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March 7, 2019 - 3:30pm
Press release:
Strength In Numbers Entertainment announces the American Warrior Festival Rock 'n' Roll Bowling Party will be held Saturday, May 18th, at the Botts Fiorito American Legion Post 576 at 53 W. Main St. in the Village of Le Roy. It is free to attend and is for all ages.
It will benefit the Botts Fiorito post, which is celebrating its centennial this year. In addition to live music and bowling, there will be a military vehicle/aircraft display (vehicles being provided by the Rochester National Guard and private owners) and a Cornhole tournament and more. 

The event is brought to you by the premiere sponsor: The Original Red Osier Landmark Restaurant.
The 2018 event was a success and everyone is looking forward to making it bigger and better in 2019! The American Warrior Festival is known for serving as a tribute to honor our military's active and retired personnel. 
This event also donates to a nonprofit veterans' organization of its choice. This year's event beneficiary will be Le Roy's American Legion Post 576.
The American Legion was chartered and incorporated by Congress in 1919 as a patriotic veterans organization devoted to mutual helpfulness.
It is the nation's largest wartime veterans service organization, committed to mentoring youth and sponsorship of wholesome programs in our communities, advocating patriotism and honor, promoting strong national security, and continued devotion to our fellow service members and veterans.
American Warrior Festival Rock 'n' Roll Bowling Party will feature live music, a military aircraft and vehicle display, bowling, cornhole tournament, prizes, food, drinks, etc. 
American Warrior Festival Owner/Founder Dan Clor, who served in Iraq with the Marine Corps sums up the event: "A celebration of our troops, veterans, and American way of life." 
Additional local American Warrior Festival 2019 sponsors are: Oliver's Candies, JoshEDesigns.com, Le Roy Hardware, Batavia Legal Printing, Ken Barrett Chevrolet-Cadillac, Watson Guitars, Welding's Most Wanted, I Need Oils.
If you are a local business that would like to be involved with our American Warrior Festival as a sponsor or contributor please contact Dan Clor at:
(714) 742-0204 or email  [email protected]
For more information visit www.StrengthInNumbersEnt.com 
To "Honor A Vet" on our Honor Wall please click here.
December 11, 2018 - 5:36pm


The Genesee Country Decorative Painters, founded in Batavia in 1983, painted dozens of totes with patriotic themes as a service project for 2018 and today presented the gifts to the State Veterans Home in Batavia as a gift to veterans at the home.

Each member painted three bags each.

Photo: Diane Fiorentino, Laurie Bellucci, and Maggie Cummings, activity director for the vets home.

November 22, 2018 - 11:04pm
posted by Billie Owens in Batavia VA Medical Center, volunteers, batavia, veterans, news.

Press release:

Join folks from the Genesee County Office for the Aging at 11 a.m. on Tuesday Nov. 27 to learn about volunteer opportunities at the Batavia VA Medical Center, located at 222 Richmond Ave. Information, a tour and light refreshments will be provided.

Enjoy a conversation during recreation activities, escort a patient within the facility, provide clerical support, drive veterans to medical appointments, and more.

Put your skills into purposeful action. Call Courtney Iburi, RSVP coordinator, at (585) 343-1611 with any questions or to RSVP. We will meet at the doors near the parking lot to the west.

November 21, 2018 - 1:09pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, Announcements, batavia, veterans.

Submitted photos and press release:

CVMA 19-6 Broken Arrow chapter donated $1000 in gift cards to the VA PTSD Residential Programs on Monday (Nov. 19) at the Batavia VA. The gift cards to Walmart, Tops and Target will be used to enhance programming for veterans while at the facility.

It gives us so much joy to able to give back with all the help from the folks that contribute to “Vets helping Vets," an organizer said.

Thanks again to all our supporters!

About CMVA
The nonprofit Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association is a group of combat veterans who joined together to form a brotherhood of men and women who have in common the trials of serving in defense of our country and the love of riding.
The association is comprised of combat veterans, supporters, and auxiliary members who share a love of riding motorcycles. Its mission is to support and defend those who have defended our country and our freedoms.
The Western New York Chapter is based in Akron.
Below, from left, are: Andy McCann, Patrick McCann, Chad Liggetto, Brian Fitzgerald and Nick Pilozzi.
November 11, 2018 - 3:31pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Armistice Day, veterans, Veterans Day, news, Le Roy, notify.


George Botts, Cecelia Cochran, Errol Crittenden, Leo Fiorito, Thomas Illes, Edward Kaine, Percy Luttrell, Patrick Molyneaux, Edgar Murrell, George Ripton, Alvin Smith and John Wilder.

Twelve Le Royans who went to war in the Great War, the War to End All Wars, and who didn't return home.

Today they were honored on the 100th Anniversary of Armistice Day. The day when a treaty calling for the end of hostilities in Europe on the 11th day of the 11th month at the 11th hour 1918 went into effect.

A new memorial to Le Roy's 12 who died as a result of the war was dedicated at Trigon Park with prayers, poems, a song, a reading the names of the 12 names, a 21-gun salute, and the playing of taps.













November 11, 2018 - 2:35pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in va center, veterans, Veterans Day, batavia, news.


Among the Veterans Day ceremonies in Genesee County today there was one at the VA Center in Batavia attended by residents of the VA Hospital.






November 10, 2018 - 1:26pm
posted by Billie Owens in steve hawley, veterans, Veterans Day, news.

Press release from Assemblyman Steve Hawley:

 As we approach our nation’s observance of Veterans Day this Monday, Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) is urging his constituents and all New Yorkers to set time aside this weekend and thank a veteran or current service member for their dedication and sacrifice to preserving our way of life.

Hawley, the son of a veteran, served seven years in the Ohio Army National Guard and U.S. Army Reserves and reached the rank of 1st Lieutenant. He has served on the Assembly’s Veterans’ Affairs Committee for more than a decade.

“Military service runs deep in my family and Veterans Day will always hold a special place in my heart,” Hawley said. “Whether it be my annual Patriot Trip to Washington, D.C., to give back to local veterans or my efforts in Albany fighting for various tax credits, healthcare and education options available to our veterans, protecting those who have risked their lives to protect us will remain one of my top priorities.

"I encourage all my constituents and New Yorkers alike to take time this weekend to thank a veteran for their service and pray for those who are still fighting overseas.”

Hawley is a true champion in Albany for our current and retired military members, sponsoring several pieces of legislation to make the “Campaign Service Medal” more inclusive, help veterans start small businesses, and remove admission fees for veterans to state parks.

Hawley also played a pivotal role in ushering in the Veterans Buy-back Bill that allows vets to purchase up to three years of military service back from the state in exchange for a credit toward their public pension.

November 6, 2018 - 3:39pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in WNYHeroes Inc., news, veterans, notify.


Genesee County, acting as a pass-through agency for a nonprofit that serves Western New York veterans, is to receive $80,000 in state aid for a program that provides fun group activities for combat veterans and their families.

WNYHeroes Inc. is based in Williamsville and provides several veterans programs, including service dogs for qualifying combat vets and financial aid for veterans in danger of losing their homes.

"We assist veterans if they're three or four months behind on their rent or mortgage," said Chris Kreiger, an Iraq War Vet and president and cofounder of WNYHeroes. "We pay the rent or mortgage, the security, utilities, food, whatever they need. If they fall three or four months behind, we provide the funds in grants, not loans."

Last year's Red, White and Blue Gala raised $300,000 for the assistance fund, he said, and $236,000 of that money went directly to veterans in need.

The ninth annual gala is tonight at Seneca Niagara Casino.

The $80,000 state grant is for the organizations for Operation B.O.O.T.S., which brings together veterans and their families in a casual, non-clinical, non-threatening, safe, fun environments to foster teamwork, networking and friendship. The program's motto is, "From defending our freedom to enjoying it."

WNYHeroes serves 12 of WNY's 17 counties and Kreiger said the goal is to expand to all 17 counties within the next two years.

The Human Services Committee yesterday unanimously approved a resolution authorizing the county to act as the pass-through agency for the state funds.

Photo: William Joyce, Genesee County veterans service officer, and Chris Kreiger and Lynn Magistrale of WNYHeroes.

November 3, 2018 - 2:38pm
posted by Billie Owens in veterans, Veterans Day, news, Announcements.

From William R. Joyce, CSM (retired), director, Genesee County Veterans Service Agency:

"Honor, respect and guard your freedom for it comes from the blood of those who gave their life for it."

Veterans Day Ceremonies Schedule for Sunday, Nov. 11

  • 9 a.m. -- Genesee County Park & Forest (VVA)
  • 10 a.m. -- Batavia VAMC
  • 10:15 a.m. -- NYS Vets’ Home
  • 11 a.m. -- Upton Monument
  • 11:30 a.m. -- Jerome Center (UMMC)

Organizations Participating

  • Veterans of Foreign Wars of Genesee County
  • Genesee County American Legion
  • Disabled American Veterans – Chapter #166
  • Marine Corps League – Hansen Brothers Detachment
  • Vietnam Veterans of America – Chapter #193
October 18, 2018 - 4:02pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in news, Batavia HS, batavia, veterans.


Students and staff at Batavia High School are hosting a ceremony honoring Genesee County's veterans at 10 a.m. Friday Nov. 9 at the school.

The ceremony will be held in the auditorium. There will be performances from the high school band and chorus, a student representative speaker, and a keynote speaker, and a reception after the ceremony in the school's library.

The ceremony is open to all local veterans and their families. Veterans who plan to attend should email Jane Haggett, [email protected]. Veterans are invited to include a picture with their response.

Photo: Students Cooper Mattice, Ryan Weaver, Elle Fulton, and Lyndsay Debo. Not pictured, Gyna Gibson, whom Haggett said was the real driving force behind organizing this year's event at the school.

October 15, 2018 - 1:15pm

Press release:

Tops Friendly Markets, a leading full-service grocery retailer, announced today that the company will once again offer military personnel and their immediate families an 11-percent discount off of their grocery bill this Veterans Day.

On Sunday, Nov. 11, Tops Markets will honor an 11-percent discount off of a total order to all veterans and immediate family members in the same household, who shop at any Tops location.

Customers should present proof of service that they, or an immediate family member are a U.S. veteran, active duty, reserve or retired military personnel to automatically receive an 11-percent discount off of their total purchase that day. 

"The respect and gratitude we have for the people who serve and have served in the military is immeasurable, and for that we are forever grateful,” said Frank Curci, Tops chief executive officer.  “We wanted to support local military personnel by giving back to our associates and customers who have courageously defended our country and made many sacrifices through their military service.”

Tops is a longtime supporter of military associates and customers. The company’s actions include support of the American Veterans Tribute Traveling Wall, Honor Flight Missions, sending care packages for troops serving domestically and overseas, VA hospital visits, and participation in veteran job fairs, parades and expos.

October 12, 2018 - 4:31pm
posted by Billie Owens in veterans, va center, news, batavia, Announcements.

Submitted photos and information:

Veterans, their friends and family members enjoyed a dinner dance at the Veterans Community Living Center on Richmond Avenue in Batavia on Thursday afternoon.

It was hosted by the VA Western New York Healthcare System and held in the Recreation Hall of Building 4. The event was organized by Recreation Therapy, Nursing, other VA staff and the community.

Vets were treated to stuffed meatloaf dinner prepared by D&R Depot while enjoying music by Dr. Marc Maller, VA physician, and Kelly’s Old Timers Band. The Alexander Girls High School Soccer Team assisted staff with this special event, which included crowning a King and Queen.

August 21, 2018 - 5:12pm
posted by Steve Ognibene in veterans, korean war, news.


Pictured above are Conrad Gifford, left, and Roger Hill.

Laura Platt hosted two military cadets this week, Dayeong Choi and Yeojin Jo, both of South Korea, who are traveling to New York and Utah to learn more about the Korean War and interviewing veterans who served there.

The cadets went to the VA Nursing Home in Batavia and Veterans Service Agency at the Genesee County Building #2 on West Main Street Road and listened to the vets tell their stories and teach them firsthand about the history of the conflictr and their role in it.

The two cadets could not be photographed for security purposes and are in the final year of a six-year military education; coming to the United States was part of the training.

(Photos courtesy of Steve Ognibene.)


Rolland Lee




Richard Kern

July 25, 2018 - 4:09pm
posted by Billie Owens in steve hawley, patriot trip, veterans.

Submitted photo: Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) [center] poses with veterans of the Air Force at a memorial honoring Air Force veterans during last year’s Patriot Trip to Washington, D.C.

Press release:
Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) announced there is still room available to sign up for this year’s Patriot Trip to Washington, D.C., from Sept. 20 – 23.
Veterans who have attended a previous year’s trip or live outside the 139th Assembly District are now welcome to sign up.
*Veterans who are first-time attendees to the trip will still receive first priority.
Hawley is a longtime supporter of veterans and has served on the Assembly Veterans’ Affairs Committee since 2006.
“The Patriot Trip is one of my favorite events throughout the year,” Hawley said. “This trip was inspired by Mike Paduzak, a World War Two veteran, who asked me to come together with local veterans and host a trip to Washington, D.C.
"Through the experiences of my father, veterans I have met during previous year’s trips, and my own service in the military, I have gained a tremendous understanding and admiration for the sacrifices endured by our veterans. It is for these reasons that I continue the Patriot Trip each year and have solidified it as one of the staples of my service to our community.”

Attractions Hawley plans to visit this year on the trip include:

  • U.S. Capitol  
  • World War II Memorial
  • Gettysburg 
  • Korean War Memorial
  • Vietnam War Memorial
  • Iwo Jima – The Marine Corps Memorial
  • American Veterans Disabled for Life Memorial
  • Air Force Memorial
  • 9/11 Memorial at the Pentagon
  • Arlington National Cemetery, including the Changing of the Guard
  • Wreath Laying at the Tomb of the Unknowns

If you or a veteran you know wants more information about this year’s Patriot Trip XI, please call 585-589-5780 or email [email protected].

To view photos from previous years, use the following link: http://vetsdctrip2008.shutterfly.com/

June 25, 2018 - 12:35pm

Press release:

Victor Roberts, veterans benefits advisor, NYS Division of Veterans' Affairs, will be at the Downtown Batavia Public Market (Bank Street & Alva Place) from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Friday, July 6th, to distribute NYS FreshConnect Checks to local veterans.

FreshConnect Veterans Checks are a component of Governor Cuomo's "New York Fresh Connect Farmers' Markets" (FreshConnect) program. The program is designed to assist New York farmers by increasing the sale of locally grown food in communities.

FreshConnect checks will be issued as a one-time annual benefit: 10 -- $2 checks ($20) -- one packet per household, per season.

Checks will be issued on a first-come, first-served basis to the first 100 veterans of the Armed Forces of the United States, current members of the Armed Forces, members of their immediate families, or un-remarried surviving spouses.

"Recipients will not require ID," Roberts says, "but they will need to sign a form accepting the program's rules and regulations."

"The checks can be used to purchase fresh produce from participating vendors at the Market," says Market Manager Mike Bakos. "The Market is excited to, once again, be a distribution point for FreshConnect Veterans Checks and we thank all veterans for their service."

June 19, 2018 - 12:43pm
posted by Billie Owens in steve hawley, news, veterans, small business.

Press release:

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) today criticized New York City politicians on the Assembly’s Ways and Means Committee for blocking a number of bills that would ease the tax burden on veterans and small businesses and increase the amount of funding that smaller municipalities receive.

“It is truly disappointing that some of our downstate colleagues do not share our priorities of making life easier for our nation’s heroes, our veterans, and starting to change the narrative of New York state as the tax capital of the country,” Hawley said.

“These are common-sense bills, many of which have bipartisan support, which New York City politicians will not even allow to reach the floor for a debate and discussion. In the waning days of session, I will continue to fight for our veterans, homeowners, small-businesses and seniors against misguided priorities coming from Assembly leadership.”

A complete list of bills that were blocked is as follows:

A.6558: Extends the period during which the county of Genesee is authorized to impose a county recording tax on certain mortgage obligations until November 1, 2019.

A.8040: Relates to enhanced aid and incentives for municipalities.

A.1740: Relates to exempting cranes from the petroleum business tax.

A.1783: Provides a tax credit in the amount of certain fees charged in connection with loans under the federal home loan guarantee program to National Guard and reserve veterans.

A.1559: Creates a tax exemption for leasing of certain aircraft used for flight schools.

A.1682: Relates to creating a local food and products sourcing tax credit.

A.1693-a: Creates a wage tax credit for employers who employ New York National Guard men and women, reservists, volunteer firefighters and EMS personnel.

A.1561: Prohibits the transfer of unexpended moneys from funds receiving moneys from a dedicated fee into any other fund.

A.1565: Exempts veterans 85 years of age and older from the obligation to pay New York state income tax.

A.1616: Exempts compensation for active military service from inclusion in a resident's adjusted gross income under certain circumstances.

A.1617: Prohibits the New York state Department of Taxation and Finance from charging a fee for applications for a certificate of registration pursuant to a reregistration program.

A.1645: Relates to compensation of certain district attorneys; requires the state to reimburse the counties for the entire cost of any increase in the annual salary of a district attorney due to an increase in the annual salary of a justice of the Supreme Court or a county judge; appropriates $1,600,000 therefor.

June 10, 2018 - 7:06pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Flag Day, va center, batavia, news, veterans.


Veterans residing at the Batavia VA Medical Center were honored today as part of a Flag Day ceremony that included the reading of three essays about the flag by students of Batavia Middle School.

The winning essay was written by Harrison Southall (second photo):

What the American Flag means to me? Well, it stands for hope in my eyes. In America's history, when battles were fought there would be a flag bearer who would hold our flag with his life. If he got shot, he still held it. If he got killed, someone else would just drop their gun and pick up the flag because they knew they were fighting for our country. The flag shows that America never gives up and shows brave soldiers that hope is never lost even in the worst times, and that is what makes the flag special.

Organizing the event was spearheaded by Frank Panepento and ended with a medley of patriotic songs from a brass band.




Assistant Principal Maureen Notario with a binder full of all the essays submitted by students of Batavia Middle School. The book was presented to World War II veteran Leo Pelton, who is 99 years old (below).




June 9, 2018 - 9:47pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in bergen, veterans, news.


A new granite monument honoring the men and women from Bergen who served their country in the U.S. military was dedicated in a ceremony today following the Bergen Park Fest parade.

Bob Bausch, chairman of the County Legislature and its Bergen representative, was among the speakers and he recalled walking through the park recently and looking at the names on the memorial.

"I looked at the list of the wars," Bausch said, "and I knew somebody from every one of those conflicts, even from World War I — I knew some of the old guys when I was a kid, so it means a lot to me, these efforts being made."

American Legion Commander Thomas Williamson reminded the crowd gathered for the ceremony to remember the veterans who served as they enjoyed the fireworks planned for later in the night; and American Legion Adjutant Gary Hilbert said the memorial honors those who served in times of war and times of peace and those who never returned.

"Today we make our Founding Fathers and those who came before us proud," Hilbert said. "Our liberties and values stand safe because of brave men and women who have been ready to face the fire. We thank God for each and every one of them."







June 5, 2018 - 12:52pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, batavia, Announcements, veterans, Flag Day.

Press release:

This Sunday, June 10, the public is invited to the Batavia VA Medical Center for a special ceremony to honor the American flag.

The ceremony will begin at 1 p.m. honoring those service men and women who have fought to protect that flag and our country.

There will be a motorcycle procession, Special Presentation of Colors, and a special thank you from the Batavia Middle School to honor Mr. Leo Pelton (98 years young) for his service in World War II.

"Let's Ride" -- motorcyclists carrying the names of our fallen warriors listed on Batavia's memorial wall -- will gather at Stan's Harley-Davidson, 4425 Saile Drive, Batavia, at 11:30 a.m. for the noon memorial ride to the Batavia VA Medical Center. They will present those names to the veterans in the hospital to let them know they are not forgotten and present a new American flag on their behalf to the hospital.

Essays will be read by the student winners from BMS who won the essay contest on “What the American Flag Means to Me.“ 

St. Joseph’s of Batavia Brass Ensemble will perform its patriotic/military set for the VA patients and the general public.

It promises to be a great afternoon! Come on out and be part of this special celebration. Help us make this a very special Thank You to our veterans and service people!

The Batavia VA Medical Center is located at 222 Richmond Ave. in the City of Batavia.

Next week is National Flag Week. Flag Day is Thursday, June 14. The National Flag Day Foundation holds an annual observance for Flag Day on the second Sunday in June, which includes a ceremonial raising of the national flag, the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance, singing of the National Anthem, a parade and other patriotic events.


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