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Saturday, July 26, 2014 at 6:00 pm

Photos: YWCA's Wheels and Heels at Stan's Harley-Davidson

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Stan's Harley-Davidson, YWCA

Kaden Lyons, 9, models his Harley-Davidson gear atop his dad's bike at the YWCA's Wheels and Heels fundraiser today at Stan's Harley-Davidson.

The event featured a fashion show and Kaden was one of the models.

Funds raised will be used for the YW's for domestic violence programs.

The event's band was "driVen," with Mike Warren on bass and vocals, Dylan DeSmit on lead guitar and vocals and Alex DeSmit on drums.

Thursday, July 24, 2014 at 12:57 pm

Community members come forward with donations to replace memorial lights destroyed at YWCA

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, YWCA

So far, the YWCA has at least 108 Malibu lights to replace the 36 that were destroyed by a vandal over the weekend.

The lights were part of a display called the Walkway of Hope, and were meant as a symbol against domestic violence. The lights were placed during a ceremony honoring Nicole Sheehan, who was murdered, allegedly by a domestic partner.

Sheehan's mother, Suzanne Ball, was at the YWCA on North Street on Wednesday evening to help reinstall some of the lights, along with Steven Foster of Adams Welding and Fabrication.

Stevens said Adams wanted to donate lights because giving hope to the victims of domestic violence is important.

"If one person walks up the walkway and saves a life and gets help, it's not in vain," Foster said.

Lights have also been donated by Mike and Norine Adams and John Peck, and at least one other man has called, according to Executive Director Jeanne Walton, to say he was bringing lights.

"It's been overwhelming," Walton said. "We've been shocked by the support we've gotten from so many people like Adams Welding and Fabrication, as well as a few others, that have just come forth and brought us lights to replace the ones that were destroyed."

All of the lights will be placed outside the Y, Walton said. That will send a powerful message, she said, to whomever destroyed the first set of lights.

Ball agreed.

"We're letting them know nobody is putting our lights out," Ball said.

Mike Adams called The Batavian after the story appeared and said he wasn't looking for any publicity of the plan (at that time) of his wife and he to make the donation, but he didn't mind being quoted calling the vandal a "coward."

"My only statement would be I guess is getting the point across, who's the coward out there who would do something like that, destroying a memorial for that young girl?" Adams said. "We're pretty upset about it."

So are a lot of other people.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014 at 5:33 pm

YWCA's Wheels & Heels is Saturday at Stan's, benefits kids affected by domestic violence

post by Billie Owens in Wheels & Heels, YWCA

Press release:

YWCA's 2014 Wheels & Heels event includes something for everyone, from a cool vehicle show and motorcycle ride to a bicycle rally, basket auction, fashion show, food fest and children's games. It's set for 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday, July 26 at Stan's Harley-Davidson, 4425 W. Saile Drive, Batavia.

The party is being thrown to benefit YWCA of Genesee County, specifically to fund new programs for children affected by domestic violence.

As bicycles head out on a 25-mile trek, motorcyclists will go on a 100-mile trip around Genesee County. There will be a few stops and goodies along the way, with the finale at Stan's, where more fun will continue.

The registration fee for the vehicle show, motorcycle and bike rides is $25.

Admission to Wheels & Heels is $5, and that includes entry for a drawing tickets, registration forms or more information, call (585) 343-5808.

Assorted foods will be available for purchase, including lobster rolls, seafood chowder, grilled hotdogs, pulled pork, ice cream treats and popcorn. Spectators may also want to check out the assorted vehicles on display, fashions on a flatbed and live entertainment.

"driVen," a three-piece rock band from Genesee and Orleans counties, features Mike Warren on bass and vocals, Dylan DeSmit on lead guitar and vocals and special guest drummers Alex DeSmit and Dan Ryan. The band has been performing for about a year at various locations in Western New York and bills itself as “not just another cookie-cutter classic rock band.” It features both classic and modern rock. Warren was previously the bass player and vocalist for Savage Cabbage and Dylan DeSmit was the founder of Above the Fog and currently performs with Zero, Delano Steele, The Night is Young and Methanol.

Not to be left out, kids can play in a bounce house and will have the challenge of a scavenger hunt with opportunity to win prizes. Youth and adults will be walking the runway to show off fashions from local merchants.

Announcement of the YW's $10,000 cash raffle will be made at 4:30 p.m., though winners need not be present. Tickets are going fast, at $15 each, $60 for five or $100 for 10. There will also be several items up for bid in a basket auction.

All proceeds will help serve some of the most vulnerable victims of domestic violence: the children, Executive Director Jeanne Walton said.

YWCA staff has developed the You Engaging Success program for victims of issues that come about for children who are being exposed to domestic violence in the home.

"So that they can move forward, away from the cycle of fear and anger," Walton said.

Monday, July 21, 2014 at 5:59 pm

Vandal destroys 'Walkway of Hope' lights outside YWCA

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, YWCA

The lighted path leading to the door of the YWCA was intended to be a symbol of hope for the victims of domestic violence and a remembrance for a former Batavia woman who died recently.

The lights were installed just a week ago.

This weekend, they were all destroyed.

"I personally think it was a malicious, intentional act," said Jeanne Walton, the YWCA executive director. "I think somebody did it to be mean and nasty and to make a statement."

Ever single Malibu light was broken. None remain usable.

"It was a symbolic remembrance of recent murder victim Nicole Sheehan, who had been killed during a domestic dispute," Walton said. "We put in the Walkway of Hope up in her honor."

If anybody has information that may assist in the criminal investigation, Walton asked that they call Batavia PD at (585) 345-6350.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014 at 3:07 pm

YWCA gets $11,000 HopeLine grant from Verizon Wireless to help domestic violence victims

post by Billie Owens in domestic violence, YWCA

Press release:

YWCA of Genesee County has received a grant for $11,000 thanks to the generosity of the Verizon Wireless HopeLine grant program.

HopeLine's goal is to provide funding for domestic violence organizations as a way to support client services, raise public awareness, train staff or help in other related areas.

YWCA is in the process of developing a transitional program for victims of domestic violence. Its name of "You Engaging Success" means exactly that for victims who want and need to move on from a crisis: success comes through counseling, training and being more secure with social, financial, emotional and physical aspects of life.

"As an organization that strives to empower women, YWCA is the perfect catalyst for change in domestic violence situations. We know that this type of program can offer victims a boost for their self-esteem while providing practical lessons," Executive Director Jeanne Walton said. "We want to offer hope to victims and help them to move on with their lives. You Engaging Success is saying YES to a life free from physical or emotional abuse."

This new program is slated to begin by early 2015. YWCA, a nonprofit agency based in Batavia, has set a goal to raise $100,000 to get it off the ground and flourishing over the next several years. YW's Domestic Violence Crisis & Prevention Services program serves approximately 700 new victims a year. If 10 to 20 people participate in the transitional program each year, that could have a residual effect on hundreds of others who are affected by domestic violence as friends, neighbors, family and coworkers, Walton said.

The new program would not be possible without generous businesses and organizations such as Verizon Wireless, she said.

Domestic violence is, unfortunately, a prevalent issue in our community, said Chris Felix, president of the Verizon Wireless Upstate New York Region.

"It’s organizations like the YWCA that are on the front lines of this issue, working hard every day to make our communities safer," Felix said. "At Verizon Wireless, we’re just fortunate to have some resources available to help organizations like the YWCA do their job. We thank the YWCA for everything they do to support domestic violence survivors in our community."

For more information about YW's programs and services, which also include quality child care and a Summer Adventure Camp for kids, call (585) 343-5808.

Friday, July 11, 2014 at 9:10 am

Batavia pastor speaks at candlelight vigil for Batavia woman

post by Daniel Crofts in candlelight vigil, domestic violence, YWCA

City residents gathered at the front lawn of the YWCA Thursday night for a candlelight vigil in memory of Nicole Sheehan. Sheehan, a former Batavia resident, was murdered by her boyfriend in Chautaqua County in June. She was 29 years old.

Roula Alkhouri, pastor of Batavia's First Presbyterian Church, called Sheehan's murder a "senseless loss" in her address to the crowd.

She noted that domestic violence is "ancient," and cited victims mentioned in the Bible -- including Dinah, the daughter of the patriarch Jacob, and Tamar, the daughter of King David.

Additionally, she called attention to the need for more awareness of domestic violence in our own times by sharing some startling statistics. According to Alkhouri, research shows that one in every four women will become the victims of domestic violence.

"How many relationships begin as stories of love," she said, "and then become stories of fear."

But she also had some words of hope -- and a call to action.

"Yes, there is ugliness and cruelty in the world," she said. "But the goodness and love in the community often outweighs this."

As the candles began to die out, Alkhouri encouraged everyone to "keep the candles lit in (their) minds, because bad things can only hide in the darkness."

"It's in changing who we are as a community that we'll make a difference in the world," she said.

As an example of the "light" she was talking about, she mentioned the YWCA. She expressed gratitude that Genesee County has a "safe place" where victims of domestic violence can come to hear that they are cared for, that it's not their fault, and that there is hope.

In addition to Alkhouri's address, the night included some brief comments by YWCA Executive Director Jeanne Walton and Domestic Violence Crisis and Prevention Services Director Cindy Earl, as well as some music and light refreshments.

For more information on the YWCA and its services to victims of domestic violence, call 343-7513 or visit their Web site.

Monday, July 7, 2014 at 2:02 pm

YWCA not offering farmer's market this year

post by Billie Owens in announcements, farmer's market, YWCA

Press release:

YWCA of Genesee County has been doing some restructuring and, as a result, will not offer The Market @ North Street this year.

The Sunday market will be reconsidered next year. For more information, call (585) 343-5808.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014 at 5:56 pm

YWCA reminds residents that domestic violence can have serious consequences

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, domestic violence, YWCA

Press release:

YWCA of Genesee County extends its heartfelt sympathy to the family and friends of Nicole Sheehan, a 29-year-old Batavia native who died from an apparent domestic violence shooting a week ago in Lancaster.

This tragic incident is another painful reminder that domestic violence is about so much more than arguments and debates; it can have grave consequences, Executive Director Jeanne Walton said.

As a gentle reminder that YWCA is here to help with Domestic Violence Crisis & Prevention Services, the agency will be lighting its walkway this week at 301 North St. as a visual display that there is hope, Walton said. Victims can always confidentially call YWCA for guidance, help and referrals to appropriate avenues that will take them out of a potentially harmful situation and into safety.

"We ask that people join us in spirit as we light up our walkway in Nicole's memory," Walton said. "And to please help -- through your increased awareness -- those others who may be struggling with a domestic violence situation. We offer advocacy, safe housing and, perhaps most importantly, a 24-hour hotline so that everyone has opportunity to reach out for help when needed."

Domestic Violence Crisis & Prevention Services Director Cindy Earl said there is usually a Domestic Violence Services office in each county. If you're unsure about where to turn for help or guidance, call the hotline at (585) 343-7513.

"Everybody's mission is to find a safe location for a potential victim if they think the person's abuser is going to do something harmful," Earl said. "We take them very seriously and will do everything we can to put them in a safe location."

Sometimes abuse is not evident to friends, family and coworkers, she said. If you even suspect that something like that is going on in someone's life, reach out for help. And if you are in a relationship that makes you feel threatened in any way, make the call. It's free and confidential.

Friday, June 20, 2014 at 4:29 pm

Photo: Pauly's sold pizzas to raise money for YWCA's domestic violence program

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Big Pauly's, business, YWCA

Paul Berardini, owner of Big Pauly's Pizza, donated $200 to the YWCA's domestic violence program today and presented the donation to Linsey Vallett. The donation is comprised of $2 from each large pizza Pauly's sold on Monday.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014 at 1:53 pm

Lia Sophia Party at YWCA for this week's Ladies Night Out

post by Billie Owens in events, YWCA

Join us at 6 p.m. on Thursday, May 29, for a Lia Sophia Party at Thursday's Ladies Night Out, held at the YWCA at 301 North St. in the City of Batavia.

Lia Sophia offers a wide range of jewelry for work, play and dressy fashions. During the party, every Lia Sophia order will be entered into a drawing to win a $25 gift certificate to My Sister's Closet or The Artisans @ North Street.

Ladies Night Out is from 4 to 7 p.m. every Thursday and features:

  • Spring and Summer fashions
  • Personal Shoppers
  • Refreshments
  • Loyalty Card (for every $5 spent, you get your card punched. Fill it with 10 punches and get $5 off merchandise; plus, on Ladies Night Out get double punches for every $5 spent.)

Questions? Call 585-343-5808.

Event Date and Time

May 29, 2014 - 6:00pm - 7:00pm
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