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Thursday, February 19, 2015 at 3:15 pm

Annual State of the County address at Old Court House is Feb. 25

post by Billie Owens in announcements

Genesee County’s annual “State of the County” address is scheduled for Wednesday, Feb. 25 at 5 p.m. in the Chambers of the Old Court House in Downtown Batavia. The Chair of the Genesee County Legislature, Raymond Cianfrini, will deliver the address. All are cordially invited and encouraged to attend.

Thursday, February 19, 2015 at 2:40 pm

GC Mental Health Association offers two scholarships, deadline to apply is April 1

post by Billie Owens in announcements, education, mental health

The Mental Health Association in Genesee County awards two scholarships annually to deserving students who are pursuing their education at an institution of higher learning in the fields of human or social services.

The mission of the MHA is to meet the needs of the community by promoting mental wellness through education, advocacy and support, thereby improving the quality of life and instilling hope.

The two scholarships to be presented at the MHA’s annual meeting in May are:

  • Constance E. Miller Scholarship Award in the amount of $2,000 (She founded the MHA in Genesee County in 1993.)
  • MHA Board of Directors Scholarship Award in the amount of $500.

Applicants must have their primary residence in Genesee County.

A copy of the application is available online at www.gcmha.com

Applications are due to the MHA no later than April 1.

Applicants must provide: Name, mailing address, e-mail address, phone number, name of college or university accepted at, course of study or program enrolled in; and it asks if you are a relative of a current MHA employee or board member.

These are the requirements:

  • Applicant must be accepted at an accredited college or university and enrolled in an eligible program by the time the scholarship is awarded.
  • Eligible programs include: Social Work, Mental Health Counseling, Psychology or Human Services.
  • Current MHA employees and board members are not eligible. Relatives of MHA employees and board members are also not eligible.
  • Applicants must provide: (1) Academic history such as high school or college transcripts. (2) Resume or personal biography including work history, volunteer experiences, extra-curricular activities. (3) Essay that addresses educational and employment objectives. (4) Two letters of recommendation in sealed envelopes from people who know your academic and work/volunteer history. Letters from relatives will not be accepted. 
  • Financial need, volunteerism, employment history and civic involvement will be given careful consideration.

Applications should be mailed to:

Scholarship Program

Mental Health Association in Genesee County

25 Liberty St., Batavia, NY 14020

Or send e-mail to:

[email protected]

Wednesday, February 18, 2015 at 5:18 pm

Singing Silhouettes from Byron Bergen HS performed for area school boards association

post by Billie Owens in announcements, bergen, byron

On Feb. 7, the Singing Silhouettes, a select choir from Byron Bergen High School, were invited to sing at the Genesee Valley School Boards Association Legislative Breakfast. The students performed “Aquarius” for the assembly and it was conducted by Lawrence Tallman.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015 at 4:01 pm

Cornell Extension offers free forest pest detector training

post by Billie Owens in announcements

Joanna Fisher, a PhD student at Cornell University in the Entomology department, will be giving a free interactive "First Detector" training on emerald ash borer (EAB), hemlock wooly adelgid (HWA) and Asian longhorned beetle (ALB); Tuesday, Feb. 24, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Cornell Cooperative Extension of Genesee County, 420 E. Main St., Batavia.

At this training session you will learn how to detect and identify these destructive invasive pests. We will also discuss EAB, HWA and ALB biology and management, and talk about how you can get involved in your community to slow the spread of these invasive species. An optional field trip to Darien Lake State Park will follow the workshop. Free and open to the public. Lunch will be on your own.

Hosted by Cornell Cooperative Extension and WNY PRISM. For more information and to RSVP, contact Andrea Locke, WNY PRISM coordinator at [email protected] or (716) 878-4708.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015 at 2:15 pm

Free parenting classes offered by Salvation Army

post by Billie Owens in announcements

Press release:

Are you a parent looking for some help in understanding your child or teenager? The Salvation Army of Genesee County is offering a 13-week course which offers practical advice and helpful information on how to promote positive family relationships.

Discussion topics include: rest and comfort, money, emotional stability, talking and listening, setting goals and expectation, and conflict and resolution. The final session focuses on parenting issues faced by single parents. Each session has a short DVD presentation, group discussion, and time to take notes in a workbook.

The sessions are held on Mondays through April 27 from 10 a.m - 12 p.m.; there will be no class on Feb. 16. There is no charge for the classes.

Individuals can register Monday-Wednesday by calling 585-343-6284.

Thursday, February 5, 2015 at 4:55 pm

Four residents of Washington Towers to be recognized for quitting smoking by American Heart Association

post by Billie Owens in announcements, batavia

Press release:

Jeanne Graber, a Batavia resident, knows first-hand how hard it is to quit smoking. She stopped smoking three years ago after 55 years of being addicted to the deadly habit. She is now encouraging others, including her neighbors at Washington Towers where she lives, to quit with the help from their doctors.

Jeanne will be among four women at Washington Towers who will be recognized by the American Heart Association. They will receive an iconic red dress pin at a special event to support the GoRedforWoman campaign.

The other women to be recognized are Patricia Epple, Margaret Hughes and Jeanette Johnson.

The event will take place at Washington Towers from 2-4 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 13th. Management and residents also will celebrate the third anniversary of the adoption of the smoke-free policy at the apartment complex, located at 1 State St. in the City of Batavia. This policy benefits non-smokers and supports those who want to quit smoking.

"I know quitting has changed my life and made me appreciate my health more than ever," Graber said. "I'm the master of my ship now, not cigarettes. Unfortunately, before the building went smoke free, residents really could not avoid secondhand smoke because it came through the vents, outlets, windows and cracks. I want everyone who lives here to be able to breathe clean air and have healthy hearts. I'm so glad we made the decision to go smoke free."

"Smoke free policies and laws are an easy, affordable and cost effective way to prevent heart disease and help to create healthier communities," said Kevin Keenan, Community Engagement coordinator for Tobacco-Free Genesee, Livingston, Orleans and Wyoming. "Most renters, including smokers, want smoke-free housing as it supports their efforts to quit."

February is American Heart Month, an opportune time to remind New Yorkers that tobacco use and secondhand smoke are major causes of heart disease, America's number one killer. Frequent exposure to tobacco smoke has been found to nearly double the risk of having a heart attack and creates an unhealthy environment for children. Smoking is still the leading cause of preventable death and disease, increases the risk of stroke and the severity of heart attacks when they occur.

New Yorkers can be protected from smoking-related illnesses such as heart disease by creating more smoke-free housing. In addition, smokers need resources to help them quit.

Valerie Tidwell, property manager at Washington Towers said, "More than 80 percent of our residents supported making the apartments smoke free. They now realize that this was a sensible policy since there's no fool-proof way of protecting residents from secondhand smoke unless you go completely smoke free inside. For management and tenants, it has worked out well."

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), each year nearly 33 million nonsmokers in the U.S. may be exposed to secondhand smoke coming from other units and common areas. Each year secondhand smoke causes more than 3,000 deaths in nonsmoking adults in New York State, most from heart disease and lung cancer.

Tobacco-free apartment buildings save money in addition to many lives. According to the CDC, prohibiting smoking in subsidized housing alone would result in annual cost savings of nearly $125 million in New York State. Cost savings of $100 million would come from unneeded secondhand smoke-related healthcare.

"Smoking is one of the leading risk factors for coronary diseases and quitting smoking is one of the most important steps you can take to reduce your risk of coronary diseases," Keenan said. "I hope more people join Washington Towers' residents in loving their hearts by ending this deadly addiction."

Those looking for help quitting, should talk to their doctor and for additional support, call the New York Smokers' Quitline.  The Quitline provides free coaching, information and a free starter kit of nicotine patches to eligible New York residents. All callers to the Quitline in February will receive a red dress pin or bracelet. Wearing a red dress pin is a tangible reminder that better heart health begins with quitting smoking.

For more information about smoke-free properties, contact Kevin Keenan at 585-219-4064 or by e-mail at [email protected]

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter at tobaccofreewny.

Thursday, February 5, 2015 at 4:34 pm

'Catch the Wave' - Registration and enrollment help at all GCC campus centers March 31-April 2

post by Billie Owens in announcements

Put a spring in your step and hop on over to Genesee Community College to explore ways you can shape your future. All six GCC campus center locations are hosting a "Catch the Wave" educational opportunity providing enrollment and registration services to community members Tuesday through Thursday, March 31, April 1 and April 2 starting at 9 a.m. and continuing through the day as needed.

Student services including academic and financial advisement, application assistance, financial aid, course registration and other technical assistance will be provided. Potential students can take the placement test and register for summer and fall courses if they bring official transcripts from their high school. The staff at each campus center will be ready to assist students of all ages, all career interests and all walks of life.

Scholarship opportunities are among the dynamic opportunities for local residents to explore. The Genesee Promise Plus program offering summer scholarships for GLOW-area high school graduates and juniors, as well as adults who have never attended college before.

New students will be assisted in starting their online FAFSA form (Free Application for Federal Student Aid), and are encouraged to bring photo ID, record of high school graduation or GED, and their most recent tax return.

For door-to-door driving directions to the campus centers go to: http://www.genesee.edu/about/visit/maps.cfm

Wednesday, February 4, 2015 at 5:48 pm

CASA for Children gets grant so abused and neglected kids can have some fun

post by Billie Owens in announcements, CASA for Children

Press release:

A $2,500 grant that provides extracurricular activities for abused and neglected youngsters has been given to GC CASA for Children for the second year in a row.

The donation announcement was made this afternoon. The Kelly for Kids Foundation presented the check to CASA for Children Executive Director Ashley Hausfelder last month.

Genesee County CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) is a 501 c (3) nonprofit organization that trains members of the community to become volunteers who advocate for the best interest of abused and neglected children that come before the attention of family court.

“While advocating for these children’s most basic needs, CASA volunteers have quickly found that these children need so much more than that," Hausfelder said. "These children all lack self-esteem and a feeling of belonging. Some have not known where their next meal would be coming from and quickly had to learn how to be a parent to their younger siblings. Genesee County CASA would like to give these children a chance to be kids, a chance to feel like they belong in this world and a chance to feel pride."

Last year was a successful one for the children who received services from CASA because of the Kelly for Kids Foundation grant.

“In 2014, our program was able to provide family memberships to the YMCA, karate lessons, dance classes, soccer camp expenses, a trumpet for a child to play in his school band, as well as the purchase of swimming lessons, etc.," Hausfelder said. "Thankfully, in 2015, we will be able to do the same, if not more."

For more information about the Court Appointed Special Advocate program or to become a volunteer you can visit the Web site at www.geneseecountycasa.org <http://www.geneseecountycasa.org/> or contact Ashley Hausfelder, executive director, by phone at (585)-815-7809.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015 at 4:46 pm

GCEDC to hold annual meeting and luncheon at Batavia Downs March 6, RSVP

post by Billie Owens in announcements, business, GCEDC

The Genesee Economic Development Center will hold its annual meeting and luncheon from noon to 1:30 p.m. on Friday, March 6. It will be in the Paddock Room at Batavia Downs, 8315 Park Road, Batavia.

To register, contact Rachael Tabelski, marketing and communications director, at 343-4866 or e-mail at  [email protected]

Press release:

2014 has certainly been an exciting year from an economic development standpoint as unemployment was at a historic low of 4.8 percent in August, per capita income grew 6.16 percent, and businesses invested more than $50 million in our community. The food industry across the region, and especially in Genesee County, continues to flourish while investment and developments at the WNY STAMP project occur on a daily basis.

The GCEDC Annual Meeting is an opportunity for you to find out what has been achieved in Genesee County over the last year and to get a exclusive preview of what the economic landscape will look like for 2015. The Annual Meeting is also an excellent opportunity to network with economic and elected leaders from around the region. At the event the GCEDC will also unveil the "2015 Economic Development Partner of the Year Award."

Wednesday, February 4, 2015 at 3:21 pm

St. James Church kicks off its Bicentennial with 1815-style service this Sunday morning

Press release:

St. James Episcopal Church, Batavia, is celebrating its 200th Anniversary this year. Bicentennial celebration events will take place throughout the year beginning with a special 1815-style church service at 10 a.m., Sunday, Feb. 8. The service will consist of liturgy and music most likely used 200 years ago at St. James, whose parishioners included many of Batavia’s founding families.

Some of the other events planned for the year include:

  • April 12th -- A talk about early Batavia by local historian Larry Barnes.The focus of the talk will be about the founders and early Vestrymen who played a prominent role in the formation of our city. Mr. Barnes will also enlighten us on the accomplishments of Mary Elizabeth and Robert Wood. Along with being a member of St. James Church, Miss Wood was the first director of Richmond Library. Rev. Wood was an Episcopal missionary in China. Miss Wood followed her brother to China and began her life’s work of establishing libraries in China.
  • April 24th  -- A musical presentation by Vox Lumine
  • May 2nd  --  Thanksgiving in May Dinner
  • May 9th --  Period Tea and Fashion Show
  • June 6th  --  Festival Eucharist Celebration with Choral singing and Brass accompaniment with celebrant William Franklin, Bishop of Western New York
  • June 13th -- A Live Batavia appearance and presentation by Suzanne Oliver, co-author of “The Faith Club.” Her book weaves the story of three women, their religions (a Muslim, a Christian and a Jew) and their quest to understand one another. There will be several studies relating to this book throughout the community prior Ms. Oliver’s appearance.

The St. James Bicentennial meshes well with the concurrent City of Batavia Centennial Celebration.

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