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Friday, December 31, 2010

SOLD!! Sales statistics for Chautauqua Lake Home Sales will be posted on FAQ page on the website mid January.

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Thursday, December 09, 2010

Steve Martin to play Chautauqua in 2011

Sure, you're cold and wet and miserable.

Chautauqua Institution aims to cheer you up by thinking summer. The venerable establishment -- soon to be featured in a major PBS documentary -- has added some pretty good shows for its 2011 lineup: Steve Martin, Natalie Merchant, Clint Black, and Anna Deavere Smith.

Martin and his Steep Canyon Rangers will perform "An Evening of Bluegrass & Banjo" on July 1 at 8:15 p.m. Yes, Martin is a gifted musician as well as comic and actor. He won the Grammy for Best Bluegrass Album in 2009 for "The Crow: New Songs for the Five-String Banjo."

He'll tour in 2011 with North Carolina's Steep Canyon Rangers. Tickets will be $39.

Also, Natalie Merchant returns home to play the amphitheater with a 28-member orchestra on July 8. Of course, she got her started in Jamestown, N.Y. with 10,000 Maniacs. Her latest project, "Leave Your Sleep," debuted at No. 17 on Billboard's Top 200. Tickets for that show will also be $39.

Country star Clint Black is also confirmed for Chautauqua; he plays on Aug. 12. Black debuted in "Killin' Time" in 1989 and has been killing audiences ever since. Before country veered toward pop, he played with a sense of tradition and respect.

Actress, playwright and MacArthur "genius" fellowship recipient Smith will perform on Aug. 8. She's best known for plays, done in a documentary, theater style, that feature multiple, diverse characters -- all played by Smith. She's the "ultimate impressionist," says the New York Times. "She does people's souls."

Tickets for amphitheater specials, including previously announced shows with Bill Cosby (Aug. 27) and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir (June 25) will go on sale March 7, 2011.

The PBS special, by the way, is titled "Chautauqua: An American Narrative" and will debut on Jan. 31 on PBS. The bulk of it was filmed during Chautauqua's 2009 season and includes interviews with Sandra Day O'Connor, David McCullough, pianist Alexander Gavrylyuk (who returns July 13), and Chautauqua leader Tom Becker, among others.

Erie Insurance, by the way, was one of the sponsors for the documentary, that was filmed by Buffalo PBS station WNED.

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Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Holiday Valley opening kicks off WNY ski season

By: Nicki Mayo

All the lake effect snow over the past week is good news for skiers who got to hit the slopes for the first time this winter at Holiday Valley. YNN's Nicki Mayo takes us to opening day at the Ellicottville resort.

Holiday Valley opening kicks off WNY ski season

ELLICOTTVILLE, N.Y. -- Lockport students Zach Pietrzykowski and Zack Kibler skipped class to hop on the slopes at Holliday Valley Ski Resort.

"I told my mom that I'm skipping school for the first day. This is my first day here on the opening day, so I'm stoked," said Pietrzykowski.
"We just love riding so first day open, why not come!," Kibler added.
The Niagara County teens are among the hundreds of Western New York skiers hitting the slopes for the new season.
"I think the snow conditions are fabulous for opening day. It's the most snow we've seen in years" said Chris Tew.
More than a half-million skiers visit Holiday Valley each year.
"We have three lifts open, about 10 slopes so it's just going to get better from here on," said Holiday Valley Marketing Director Jane Eshbaugh.
"It's been a great opening because of all this beautiful snow they we've had. The weather has been cold we've been able to make some snow," Esbaugh added.
The snow guns have been pumping out snow since Thanksgiving. The area has seen more than a foot of lake effect snow in the past week.
"The lake effect snow that we get makes skiing so much fun. It makes it soft and pretty," said Esbaugh.
"It's a little icy in patches underneath, but this new snow is going to make a big, big difference," Tew added.
Holiday Valley and Kissing Bridge are among the Western New York ski resorts opening this week. More skiers hitting the slopes can mean more shoppers heading into local stores.
"When ski season starts, it's a huge economic impact to the area. It's not just Ellicottville; it's the entire county of Cattaraugus," said Ellicottville Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Brian McFadden.
"It's exciting. There's all this pent up energy from October and November. Although we have a great summer time and fall here. Everybody wants that ski season to start," McFadden added.
The Chamber has 400 business members. Forty-five of them provide lodging, a third of those are in Ellicottville.
"So we send them out to everywhere around the county. So ski season is important to a big area," McFadden said.

There are more than 120 ski trails between Holiday Valley and Holimont ski resorts.
"Oh my gosh, it's awesome already. If you find the lines, it's really good skiing out there," said Laura Kohler of Ellicottville. She advises rookies to play it safe on the slopes.
"Take it easy, it's the beginning of the season, you got a whole season to go," Kohler added.

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Monday, December 06, 2010

Holiday Valley's 54th winter season

Holiday Valley's 54th winter season will begin on Tuesday, December 7 at 9:00AM. Three lifts and four slopes will be open on Tuesday and more terrain will open as the resort continues to make snow and receive natural snow.
Snowmaking began on November 26 and has operated as temperatures permitted. The resort has received more than 10 inches of snow over the past 5 days. The forecast for the Ellicottville area is for night time temperatures in the teens and low 20's which is ideal weather for snowmaking. Lake effect snow and snow showers are also predicted through the week.

Holiday Valley targets full operation of all 58 slopes and 13 lifts on or before the Christmas holiday starting December 25.

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Sunday, November 28, 2010

Ski Areas Getting Ready To Open

Whether they blame the weather man or Mother Nature, ski resort officials aren't satisfied with the amount of snow that has fallen so far.

Jane Eshbaugh, Holiday Valley marketing director, said their target date to be ready to go was Friday, but because of the weather, it doesn't appear that will be the case.

''It's not looking promising. We do expect some snow fall for the weekend, but not really extended cold for snowmaking,'' she said. ''We're keeping our options open. Once the weather cooperates, we will be able to make snow for a couple of days and be ready.''

On Friday, resort officials said the snowmaking crew began making snow at 4 p.m. Snowguns were set up and staged on the Yodeler, Mardi Gras, Candy Cane and School Haus slopes. Snowmaking is planned to continue with the goal of opening the resort by next weekend, weather permitting.

The possibility of 12 inches of lake-effect snow predicted through Sunday morning will help get the season under way. The weather forecast calls for a warmup Tuesday and Wednesday, then colder temperatures again Thursday with more natural snow.

"Stay tuned for updates on the exact opening date. Mother Nature's the one who ultimately calls the shots," said Steve Crowley, Holiday Valley director of mountain operations.

The Holiday Valley website,, will have up-to-the-minute details.

The resort located in Ellicottville has 58 slopes and 13 lifts, include there new $3.5 million morning star high-speed quad chairlift. New this year are two new slopes - the bear cub for beginners and gobbler glade for more experienced skiers. Also there is a new rails park, expanded snowmaking capabilities to make more snow quicker and an expansion of the warming hut in the tubing park.

Once ski season gets rolling, Holiday Valley will be open 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. Saturday and 8:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday. The eight-hour weekend ticket costs $57 and $48 during weekdays for adults. For more information, visit or call 699-2345.

Jack VanScoter, Cockaigne Ski Area owner, said once the weatherman gets the weather right and the snow starts to fly the slopes in Cherry Creek will be ready for willing participants.

''We are ready to open, but the weatherman is going to determine when we can start,'' he said. ''We have all of our lifts inspected and personnel hired and trained, all we need is for the weatherman to give us some snow.''

VanScoter said he is about to start his 41st year at Cockaigne and is still having fun. New features this year include new ski rental equipment. Skiers can attend ''Retro Ski Days'' Dec. 20-23 and ''Christmas Race Camp'' Dec. 26-30. For more information on schedule of events, visit or call 287-3223. A weekend ski ticket is $34.

In Findley Lake, Peek'n Peak is guaranteeing a minimum of 100 days of skiing and riding for the 2010-11 winter season. If there trails aren't 100 percent open, daily lift tickets will be discounted based on the percentage of open terrain. Their state-of-the-art snowmaking technology and naturally great snow location means guests are skiing and riding on a minimum of a 6-inch groomed base. The resort has 27 slopes and trails serviced by eight chairlifts. Peek'n Peak is open seven days and nights a week throughout the ski season with equipment and helmet rentals available. A weekend pass cost $56 for adults. For more information, visit or 355-4141.

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Sunday, November 21, 2010

Chautauqua Institution wins Livable Community Award

CHAUTAUQUA - Chautauqua Institution has been recognized as one of the world's most livable communities.

At a ceremony in Chicago, Chautauqua Institution was presented with the Silver Award at the International Awards for Livable Communities, also known as the LivCom Awards. The competition, launched in 1997, is endorsed by the United Nations Environment Programme and is the world's only competition focusing on best practice regarding the management of the local environment.

Delegations from communities in 22 countries and six continents were in attendance for the five-day finals event, presenting to a panel of international judges and exchanging best practices in a collegial atmosphere.

Chautauqua is the first dedicated community institution to reach the finals of the international competition and the only American finalist in the small community (under 20,000 population) category. Other finalists in the small community category included Emly, Ireland; Haapsalu Municipality, Estonia; Pushchino, Russia; and Trim, Ireland.

"We are very pleased that Chautauqua Institution has received international recognition as a livable community," said Chautauqua President Thomas Becker. "Equally important, we hope this award calls attention to the richness of life in the larger community of Chautauqua County and brings us together to promote tourism and foster civic pride in the region."

Communities in all population categories for the LivCom competition were judged on five criteria: enhancement of the natural and built landscape; arts, culture and heritage; environmental best practices; community participation and empowerment; healthy lifestyle; and strategic planning.

After submitting a written application in June, Chautauqua Institution learned it was a finalist for the Whole City category in August. Attending the finals event on behalf of Chautauqua were Matt Ewalt, publications editor for Chautauqua Institution, Charlie Heinz, community planning associate and former vice president for administrative and community services, architect Marty Serena and summer resident Ernest Mahaffey.

"We were honored to be part of this international gathering of communities that have dedicated themselves to issues of historic preservation, environmental sustainability, civic engagement and lifelong learning," Ewalt said. "Recognizing that the institution does not operate as a city, town or village in the traditional sense, it was important for our delegation to call attention both to Chautauqua's unique functions as well as its true strengths as a livable community and how it functions as a prototype, a model for other communities to draw from."

Ewalt said that the delegation's presentation focused on Chautauqua's efforts to protect Chautauqua Lake through stormwater management, implement energy-saving best practices in all its facilities, and engage all residents and visitors in programs encompassing the arts, education, religion and recreation. Aspects of good community planning and design were also highlighted, including the importance placed on public space, a pedestrian-friendly environment, and a strong connection with nature and the lake.

"Having attended presentations made by other communities at LivCom, I was also impressed by the emphasis on lifelong learning, volunteerism and healthy living by the judges," Ewalt said. "Chautauqua, as a community, truly sets a global standard in these areas and in its focus on community.

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Friday, November 12, 2010

Real Estate Advantage Donates to Saftey Village

Ashville, New York (Friday, November 5, 2010)—Real Estate Advantage takes children's safety seriously. The firm recently donated a child's Peg-Perego motorized car to support safety education at the Chautauqua Children's Safety Education Village located in Ashville , New York .

The Peg-Perego motorized car, made in Italy, is a high performance, 12-volt, technologically innovative car made with durable fabrics, safety materials, seat belts and child safety criteria that goes beyond national boundaries. Subsequent to the car donation, Real Estate Advantage donated 200 bicycle helmets to the Children's Safety Village with the promise to replace them as needed.

"We are thankful for the support we have received from Real Estate Advantage," said Terri Kindberg, Chautauqua County Children's Safety Education Village Executive Director. "They have not only provided us with a car, but a lifetime supply of helmets for the students to use while they are at the Children's Safety Village . We appreciate their support and generosity as well as their belief in our program."

The Children's Safety Education Village is a child's size town, complete with a business district, streets, traffic signals and railway crossing to teach children how to properly cross the street, sign recognition, bicycle safety, how to call 911 among other safety education demonstrations.

"Real Estate Advantage strives to become an integral part of the communities we serve," said Richard Benedetto, Broker/Co-Owner of Real Estate Advantage. "In Chautauqua County , we've worked on diverse projects for many years and this was a natural fit for us to support a safety program with a community focus on child safety."

In the village, constructed by local organizations, children learn how to react when faced with emergency situations, such as a fire, disaster, and traffic. Each child receives specialized instruction, which will help reinforce lessons taught earlier at the on-sight classroom facility by safety officers and firefighters.

"The Safety Village provides a setting where children can prepare and practice real life situations and truly reflects our mission to build a better future for our community," added Earl Johnson, Broker/Co-owner of Real Estate Advantage.

For more information, to make a donation or to schedule a presentation at the Children's Safety Village , call (716) 664-5859 or visit their website,

For more information on Chautauqua Lake Real Estate & Living: visit

Chautauqua Lake Real Estate Interesting facts

Based on the Chautauqua County, New York MLS(Multiple Listing Service) data, the number of Chautauqua Lake property Sales for 2010 year to date have increased 18 percent over that of the same time period for 2009.

Interesting facts for Lake Front properties

Data based on Sales from January 1, 2010 - October 28, 2010

Average sale price $268,800.00

Average square footage 1,861

Average days on market 128

Looking at the largest segment, Lake Front Properties priced between $200,000 and $400,000

  • January 1st to October 28th 2009, the average sale price was $298,000

  • January 1st to October 28th 2010, the average sale price was $276,500

In comparison, there has been a 7% decrease in sales price but an increase in the number of unit sales for 2010. If the trend continues we should expect to see in increase in sales through 2011 and see property appreciation come back into the mix.

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Ellicottville Beer & Wine Festival

This Saturday's 7th annual Beer and Wine festival promises to be one of our best ever, for a number of reasons.

For starters, the number of microbreweries and wineries continues to grow… we now have at least 30 microbreweries participating… ranging from regional players such as Southern Tier and our very own Ellicottville Brewing Company to the likes of stellar Saranac from the Lake Placid region to Pennsylvania's highly popular Voodoo Brewing Company.

With this kind of line-up, it goes without saying there will be a lot of pride on the line to come to 'the show' with a selection of beers that will get everyone from novice beer drinkers to beer connoisseurs feeling like they're heaven.

So what kind of beer can you expect to try at this festival? Well I can tell you from Ellicottville Brewing Company's perspective; we're going to be featuring three unique beers.

Two of these beers, our St. Jacob's Oak Aged Stout, with hints of both vanilla and chocolate, and our Bourbon Barrel Belgian Boozies Ale a unique double-fermented ale with sour apple and oak tannin flavors, will be featured in the special VIP area, where a limited number of participants can enjoy the very best that the festivals microbreweries have to offer… all small volume, limited edition beers. The VIP area also includes a selection of great cheeses and h'ordeuvres.

As for the main exhibit area, in addition to many of our mainstay beers that visitors to our Ellicottville restaurant have come to know and love, we're also going to be featuring our perennial favorite, the Chocolate Cherry Stout, an 8 ½% alcohol beer brewed with real cherries that we only bring out for the beer festival and around Valentines. Because this is a nitrogen-fed beer, it pours like a Guinness (only tastes better) and has an extremely smooth finish.

We'll also be unveiling a brand new Winter Witte bottled beer – a 5.8% wheat beer with spicy coriander, orange and citrus lemon grass notes.

I you'd like to learn more about the Beer and Wine Festival, or to order tickets, click on the following link:

You can also pick up tickets on the day of the event, which begins on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. at the Holiday Valley Yodeler Lodge. The even runs until 7:30 p.m., followed immediately by the Ellicottville Brewing Company After Party' in town, where we'll serve more VIP beers and there will be a tented beer garden at the back with fires and propane heaters to keep everyone cozy and two live bands – one at 7:30 p.m. to kick off the evening event and the second at 10 p.m.

All in all, I can think of a better way to spend my Saturday – hope to see you there!

Dan Miner

Head Brewer

Ellicottville Brewing Company

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Monday, November 08, 2010

Holiday Valley To Crank Up New High-Speed Quad Chairlift

Load testing the new high-speed detachable quad at Holiday Valley. Load testing the new high-speed detachable quad at Holiday Valley.

At A Glance

Where: Holiday Valley Resort, Ellicottville, NY 14731
Cost: $3.5 million.

Holiday Valley in Ellicottville, N.Y., has finished a $3.5 million project to install a high-speed detachable quad chair.
The new Morning Star High Speed Quad just passed the New York State load test, in the final step of the project that began in May.
The load test involved loading 26 of the 56 chairs with 935 pounds each, about the weight of four skiers or riders. Total load on the lift was 24,310 pounds. Operators ran the lift forward and backward, and tested brakes, backups, and auxiliary motor. The test also involved safety switches and tower circuits.
The Morning Star High Speed Quad replaces a four-person fixed-grip chairlift. Work involved removing the old concrete tower bases and lift terminals, and installation of new ones.
The old lift will replace the SnowPine double chair for the the 2011-12 season.
The Morning Star's base is at a lower elevation on the mountain, next to the base of the Eagle Chair. The new lift line takes a slightly different path up the mountain, with only two lift towers on the Morning Star slope. Skiers and riders also will be able to ski the new lift line.
The ski area expanded terrain and added lights to accommodate the longer lift line, as well.
Holiday Valley has 58 slopes and 13 lifts on four distinct mountain faces.

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Sunday, October 31, 2010

Cleveland Winter Sports Show

Looking for a new place to play this winter? Check out dozens of options at the Cleveland Winter Sports Show next weekend in Bedford Heights.

The show runs 2-9 p.m. Friday, Nov. 5 and 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 6 at the Mediterranean Party Center, 25021 Rockside Road. It will feature information from dozens of regional ski resorts, including Alpine Valley and Boston Mills/Brandywine in Ohio; Peek'n Peak, Cockaigne, Holiday Valley, HoliMont, Bristol Mountain and Kissing Bridge in New York; Hidden Valley and Seven Springs in Pennsylvania; Timberline in West Virginia; Wisp in Maryland and Jay Peak and Killington in Vermont.
Area ski shops will showcase merchandise, and local ski clubs and travel agencies will promote their services.
Admission to the show is $5 (children 12 and under are free with an adult). A kickoff party with cash bar will follow the show both days, from 9 p.m.-1 a.m.
For details, visit the website or call 216-496-4685.

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Thursday, October 28, 2010

$2,000 grants to first-time homebuyers

The NYSAR Housing Opportunities Foundation is now offering $2,000 grants to first-time homebuyers for closing cost and/or down payment assistance.

The New York State Association of REALTORS Housing Opportunities Foundation is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization founded in 2003. The Foundation's mission is to assist individuals in becoming homeowners by identifying outside partnership opportunities with organizations that facilitate homeownership and also to provide direct support in the home buying process to low-to-moderate income families. It is with this in mind that we found it necessary to provide a program for you and your clients to assist in purchasing a home.
The purpose of the first-time homebuyer grant program is to afford those individuals and families who fall under the low-to-moderate income level, the ability to purchase a home by assisting them with their closing and/or down payment costs.
Click here to visit our newly-designed website for information on the program and how to apply.

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Monday, October 25, 2010

Beer&Wine Festival Update

Steins and Stems Unite at Beer and Wine Festival
Holiday Valley Resort, The Ellicottville Brewing Company and Southern Tier Brewery are 'brewing' something special for the 7th Annual Beer and Wine Festival running November 12-13 in Ellicottville. New this year, 100 beer and wine connoisseurs will be able to purchase a $100 Beer and Wine Fest VIP pass, entitling bearers to sample some of the finest Belgian beers and specialty products from U.S. craft brewers, along with complimentary hors d'oeuvres, a special VIP glass and free poster. Festival lodging packages are also available. A one-night stay for two with festival vouchers and shuttle service starts at $220 at Holiday Valley, while the Wingate by Wyndham is offering a two-night stay for two including festival tickets as well as tickets to Friday night's Beer Tasting Dinner for $399. Presale tickets are $40 per person for the festival and $50 per person for the dinner. For more information, call 716-699-2345. To purchase VIP tickets, call 716-699-2537 and ask for Peter.

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Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Wineries Prepare For Harvest Wine Weekends

October 19, 2010

The Chautauqua-Lake Erie Wine Trail, soon to be "Lake Erie Wine Country" between North East and Silver Creek, will hold its annual Harvest Wine Weekends at 20 wineries during the first two weekends in November.

Each winery will treat visitors to a wine tasting and provide a fall food paired with a special wine. As in the past, ticket holders will receive a wine glass, recipe booklet, a $5 voucher for wine purchase and a gift. In keeping with the trail's desire to purchase locally, the gift for the event is a Wendell August Forge boxed coaster, manufactured in Grove City.

Tickets are now on sale for the event at $35 per person for either weekend, Nov. 6-7 or Nov. 13-14. They may be purchased online at or by calling 877-326-6561. Ticket holders will set their own agenda, spending time at each winery at their leisure between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. each day.

Designated driver tickets are available for $20 and include everything except wine and the $5 voucher

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Friday, October 08, 2010

Great Pumpkins

Unmistakable Symbol Of Fall Has Many Uses As Food, Decoration

October 7, 2010 - By Dave Emke

With the coming of the fall season comes an influx of pumpkins into our general consciousness.

There are pumpkin pies to be eaten, pumpkin-flavored beverages to be drank, and - of course - pumpkins to be used as decorations for Halloween and Thanksgiving displays.

Whether they are of the carved jack-o'-lantern variety or just set out to be looked at in their full glory, pumpkins will be on porches and mantelpieces throughout the region and the country in the weeks to come.

Numerous stands, both the temporary roadside variety and the permanent buildings, are distributing pumpkins to one and all as the leaves change color and the air gets crisp. Pumpkins fit the motif of the autumn season, and they have become an integral part of the time of year.

The tradition of the jack-o'-lantern dates back thousands of years, when legend had it that the glowing gourds welcomed deceased loved ones on a certain night of the year - now celebrated as Halloween - and protected against evil spirits.

The pumpkin may not really have such magical qualities, but it has lived on through the centuries as a sign of the season without a doubt.


One of many places locally where customers can find pumpkins is Four Seasons Nursery and Garden Center.

Julie Harper, co-owner of Four Seasons along with her husband Matt, said the business usually sells between 250 and 300 pumpkins during the seasonal rush. The Harpers import their pumpkins from an Amish farm in Stockton, she said.

Customers who show up at Four Seasons tend to spend some time walking around the displays of pumpkins before deciding what they want to take home for their porches, Mrs. Harper said.

''They usually look for a few different sizes if they are just putting them out for decorations,'' she said. ''If they are going to carve them, most of them want a nice round one or a tall one, with at least one side smooth to be able to carve from - and, of course, everybody wants a handle on top.''

She said the process people go through when they stop by to buy pumpkins is much different from what they do when they visit to purchase other plants the business sells.

''For the most part, they wander around, look and see something they like and that's what they take,'' Mrs. Harper said. ''I don't think they come in thinking, 'This is what I want.'''

Pumpkins for sale at Four Seasons range in price from 50 cents to $9 each, Mrs. Harper said, depending on their size and presentation quality.

''We try to keep them economical,'' she said.

Four Seasons Nursery and Garden Center is located at 3181 N. Main St. Ext. (Route 60) in Jamestown. For more info, including store hours and other items offered, call 484-1485.


To celebrate all things pumpkin, look no further than the rolling hills of Cattaraugus County.

Pumpkinville, a 200-acre farm located just outside of Ellicottville, has thousands of pumpkins from which to choose as visitors search for exactly what they need. There are piles of displays to sort through, or visitors can pick their own prize from the farm's seven-acre pumpkin patch.

In addition to the sea of pumpkins, Pumpkinville has plenty of other attractions to delight people of all ages. Among the fun to be had is a hay ride; a corn cannon visitors can use to fire corn cobs at hay bale targets; a ''cow train'' for the kids; a ducky derby where rubber ducks are raced using old-fashioned hand water pumps; Goat Mountain, where visitors feed goats as they climb; a farm animal petting zoo; and a six-acre corn maze, one of the largest in the United States.

Pumpkin doughnuts are made on site for patrons to enjoy, and pumpkin ice cream and pumpkin fudge are available to accompany homemade pies and other desserts at the snack shack and Di's Pies and Bake Shoppe. Fresh apple cider and other such delicacies are made at the farm as well, courtesy of the farm's antique cider mill and press.

Souvenirs that can be taken home from the Boo-tique and Betty's Barn include local craft creations, fall decorations, children's gifts and dried flowers. And, of course, painted pumpkins can be purchased to enhance any seasonal decoration or display.

Pumpkinville, New York state's oldest continuously operating pumpkin farm, is open to the public every day through Oct. 31 from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.

The farm has been open since the early '60s and has been under the operation of its current owners, the Pawlowski family, since 1996. It is located at 4844 Sugartown Road (Route 98) in the town of Great Valley. For more information, call 699-2205 or visit its website at

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Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Ellicottville Fall Festival

I don't have to tell you how beautiful Ellicottville is in the fall. The hills which serve as the backdrop to the village are alive with color.
And with apologies to Julie Andrews, the hills are also alive with the sound of music.

We feature a lot of great artists in Ellicottville over the course of the spring, summer and fall and in many respects, Fall Festival is like our music finale. – only compared to events like Summer Fest, with the grand stage and big name artists, the music that you'll find during this coming weekend's Fall Festival is a smaller, more intimate mix of rock, blues, country and even a bit of punk… if any of you remember that genre.

Balloons restaurant has long been the driving force behind Fall Festival's music scene and this year's no different. Their 'Rocktoberfest' celebration kicks off on Thursday with Mo Porter… Buffalo's 'ultimate party band' and doesn't stop until Sunday night… 13 bands in all.

Personally, I'm looking forward to checking out 'More Than Me', who this summer toured London England after winning Hard Rock's 2010 Ambassadors of Rock Battle of the Bands. I know that's a mouthful, but to put it into perspective, these guys performed at the same concert in London that featured Paul McCartney, Stevie Wonder and Pearl Jam.

Balloons sets up a special tent and stage to host these performers because they really try hard to make it feel like an event unto itself.

Now here's something that I promise will be music to your ears. This year, for the first time ever, just down the road, Ellicottville Brewing Company is staging their own 'Waking Up the Village' concert on the Saturday, with their own tent and performance stage as well.

The highlight of EBC's concert during the day is definitely going to be Beatle Magic, considered to be one of the best Beatles tribute bands this side of the Atlantic. They take a unique approach to showcasing the Beatles legacy by putting on three different shows over a three hour period, with each show highlighting the Beatles progression from young Liverpool heartthrobs to international superstars.

Now I don't think Ellicottville needs to be woken up… but I would agree that EBC's headliner – Jimmie Van Zant – cousin to past and existing members of Lynyrd Skynryd will definitely rock the village. Talk about eclectic and full of energy… this guy has a unique blend of southern rock and country that promise to turn this concert into an event people will be talking about for months if not years to come.

So do come to Ellicottville this weekend (October 8, 9 and 10) to enjoy the charm and ambience of our town, our great fall colors and a lot of really good, if not great music. It promises to be one heck of a celebration

C. Rick & Julia McMahon

Broker/partners Real Estate Advantage

Bemus Point & Jamestown, NY

716-483-3300 or 484-2020

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Chautauqua County Foliage

In Cattaraugus County, expect near peak to peak foliage this weekend, with around 65 percent color change. Dull yellows and oranges predominate over the rapidly changing greens. Foliage spotters at Allegany State Park in Cattaraugus County expect 60 percent foliage change with yellow and orange leaves predominating and red starting to show. At the park, the trees have quickly changed over the past week and some hills are almost completely changed while others are still mostly green. In Chautauqua County, foliage change will be at midpoint with 50 percent transition and a bright mix of orange and yellow shades coming on strong. Allegany County is also calling for foliage change at around 50 percent and bright red, orange and yellow fall colors.

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Sunday, September 05, 2010

Chautauqua Lake $ummer $uccess

By Dennis Phillips

No only did local residents enjoy the sunny weather Chautauqua County experienced this summer, but tourists did too.

Good weather is one reason why several businesses in the county did well this summer. Dan Dalpra, Italian Fisherman Restaurant owner, said the ''phenomenal'' weather was critical in the success of his Bemus Point business.

''The weather played a real important role when compared to last year,'' he said. ''Weather brought a lot of people out. With the solid weather and a little more confidence in the economy, I think we did better this summer.''

Weather also helped Chautauqua Heights Campground in Dewittville. Anita Perry, owner along with her husband Bill, said they had an ''excellent'' summer season with help from the weather.

''The economy did not affect the business at all. The weather affected my business,'' she said. ''The sun helped me to have a very good summer. I expected to be busy. I expected good weather.''

Mrs. Perry said she also believes business was up because the campground is an affordable option for families who didn't want to travel far distances for more money.

''I think people always want to take a vacation no matter what the economy is like,'' she said. ''They may not be able to go to Disney World, but they're going to do something.''

Fred Johnson, Johnson Estate Winery owner, said he believes there were more tourists in the area from Pennsylvania and Ohio.

''My out-of-state sales were up significantly,'' he said. ''It seems to me people in Western New York are struggling a little bit more with taxes then our neighbors in Pennsylvania and Ohio. Our sales from people coming in from out of state is where we saw a lot of growth.''

Johnson said the Chautauqua-Lake Erie Wine Trail is one reason he believes more people came to the area from out of state. He said it has been a great marketing device for many wineries in the area.

''The wine trail over the last three years has really got going,'' he said. ''I think it is becoming the primary tourist draw for northern Chautauqua County.''

Dalpra said before the summer began, he had to make the decision on whether to be more aggressive or to be more cautious when it came to marketing his business.

''We chose to take and risk and be more aggressive by planning more shows on the floating stage and we did more business than we usually do. The risk paid off.''

Dalpra said businesses in the area were being more aggressive and not being intimidated by the economy, which motivated other businesses to be more bold.

''I think being aggressive helped to motivate others who were squeamish. I think it led others to do more too,'' he said. ''I think others started to look and say 'They're being aggressive, I should be too.' I think it then caught on.''

Dalpra said he is already planning for next summer and, again, will be doing more.

''It is kind of hard to project, but based on what I see now I think I will be even more aggressive next year as momentum starts to build,'' he said. ''I'm thinking about next year already and I'm thinking positive.''

Mrs. Perry said she is already preparing for next summer and she expects even more business too.

''We're putting in 70 new sites next year because, at times, we had to turn people away because we were full,'' she said. ''If I thought the economy was going to be horrible I certainly wouldn't be putting in more sites.''

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Monday, August 23, 2010

Chautauqua County Fair gets nod as one of top ten in the nation

The Chautauqua County Fair is one of Top 10 "great places for blue-ribbon county fairs" according to

"New York and New England farmers started fairs as a way to share agricultural knowledge. (Chautauqua County's), which runs in late July, is a classic, with flags, banners and a sense of tradition," say Drake Hokanson and Carol Kratz, authors of Purebred and Homegrown: America's County Fairs.
For two centuries, farmers and fun seekers have celebrated county fairs with games, food and livestock shows, Kratz notes while recommending "a visit to the homey livestock barns" the Chautauqua County Fair offers.
"It is certainly an honor to be recognized for the hard work all our fair volunteers put forth to present a good agricultural show and an entertaining event to the public," said current volunteer fair board member and Association President Lon Robinson.
The Chautauqua County Agricultural and Fair Association is a private, non-profit corporation that owns and operates the county fairgrounds.
"The fairgrounds are about 50 miles southwest of Buffalo," the story notes and the authors suggest visitors get a meal from "Santillo's Italian sausage stand with its fresh-grilled onions and green peppers."
This year's fair ran July 26 August 1 and had a 3 percent increase in attendance revenue with no increases in ticket or parking prices over the past several years.
"The weather was perfect and fairgoers really enjoyed everything the fair offers," Robinson said.
Other fairs named in the list of the top ten are held in Tillamook, Oregon; Spencer, Iowa; Viroqua, Wisconsin; Adams, Massachusetts; Elberton, Georgia; Buffalo, Wyoming; Merced, California; Delta Junction, Alaska; and Connersville, Indiana.
Hokanson said that fair boards and exhibitors annually "strut their stuff to show what they've been working on for the past year"
"It's where neighbors meet neighbors," Kratz says. "They come together that week and have a lot of catching up to do."
"Farm machinery isn't part of most fairs anymore," noted Kratz, but there is still a big display of both large farm and smaller yard and garden equipment each year at the Chautauqua County Fair.
Noted Robinson, "Local vendors who participate in the fair know they are getting exposure to 60,000 people in just 7 days. That's a pretty compelling reason to be there."
County fairs reflect "the local culture" say the book's authors and Chautauqua County's is now nationally known as one of the best at doing that.

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Light the Lakes Fireworks extravaganza set for Sept. 5

MAYVILLE?- Celebrate the spectacular 3rd Annual Light the Lakes on Sept. 5 as multiple locations around Chautauqua Lake take part in an explosion of color and noise and blast off at 9:31 p.m. in one of the largest fireworks displays in North America.
"Since Light the Lakes was founded in 2008, it has been a mission to work together with communities to make Chautauqua County a premier tourist destination," said Dan Dalpra, Light the Lakes founder. "What started as an idea as an end of summer celebration has now grown into a 250,000 spectator event showcasing our area and its beautiful communities that tourists come back to each year. There is no other place on earth visitors can come to and experience an event of this caliber," continued Dalpra.
The 3rd Annual Light the Lakes will take place during Labor Day weekend with the big "take-off" on Sunday (Sept. 5). Highlights include: 13th Annual Findley Lake Harvest Festival, a special performance from Boogie Wonder Band on the Floating Stage, Bemus Point, and air communication with special event pilot, Lou Nalbone, Jamestown Aviation Company.
At 9:14 p.m. the lighting of the flares for the Ring of Fire will begin, followed by the launching of sky lanterns at 9:21 p.m. At 9:31 p.m. the spectacular lighting of the Chautauqua Sky begins. At each "take-off" location the fireworks will run simultaneously to a specially programmed music soundtrack aired exclusively on Media One Group radio station SE93 (93.3 FM).
Locations participating in this year's Light the Lakes are: Bemus Point; Findley Lake; Lakewood; Mayville; Westfield/Barcelona; and the Jamestown Savings Bank Ice Arena laser light show. There will also be additional fireworks on the Bemus Point-Stow Ferry; I-86 Overlook; and at Long Point.
Light the Lakes is sponsored by Bemus Bay Pops; Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce; Chautauqua County Visitors Bureau; County of Chautauqua Industrial Development Agency; Chautauqua County Planning & Development Funding; Findley Lake Chamber of Commerce; Media One Group (WJTN/SE93/WKSN/WHUG/WQFX/WREO); WGRZ-TV and WICU-TV.
For full details and a complete list of community events visit

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Friday, August 20, 2010

Chautauqua County Cuisine

Dear Friends of the Summer Wind,

Come join us for a night of tasty adventures. We will having our 2nd Annual Chautauqua County Cuisine Cruise on Tuesday August 24 from 7 - 9:30. Emerald City will be providing the entertainment. 3C's Catering will prepare dinner from locally raised produce and meats selected from local farms. Locally produced wines and beers are also available for purchase to compliment your dinner. Come explore the fruits of labor from Western New York!!!

Check online for a printable brochure and consult the online calendar for cruise options.

Celoron office is open Monday through Saturday from 9am until the last public cruise leaves and on Sundays from 10am until the last public cruise leaves.

Check out our FACEBOOK page for additional information.

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Saturday, August 14, 2010

Summer Wind 2nd Annual Beer Tasting

Dear Friends of the Summer Wind,

Come join us for a night of tasty adventures. We will having our 2nd Annual Beer Tasting & Food Pairing Cruise on Tuesday August 17 from 7 - 9:30. Emerald City will be providing the entertainment. Various beers will be provided with the appetizers, entree and dessert. There is no better way to enjoy Chautauqua Lake than this!!!

Check online for a printable brochure and consult the online calendar for cruise options.

Celoron office is open Monday through Saturday from 9am until the last public cruise leaves and on Sundays from 10am until the last public cruise leaves.

Check out our FACEBOOK page for additional information.

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Monday, August 09, 2010

Burns To Visit Chautauqua

Acclaimed Historian To Return For Two Talks This Week

By Dave Emke,

CHAUTAUQUA - When Thomas Jefferson spoke of the pursuit of happiness, documentarian Ken Burns says, it was places such as Chautauqua Institution he had in mind.

Burns will return to Chautauqua, a place he said he fell in love with immediately upon entering its grounds, for a second consecutive year this week.

''When I drove through the gates last year for what turned out to be about a 20-hour visit, I think it was within about 50 feet that I 'got it,''' Burns said in a recent interview with The Post-Journal. ''A lot of Americans assume that the 'pursuit of happiness' means a pursuit of objects in a marketplace of things. In fact, what (Jefferson) meant was a lifelong learning and the things that made our spirits better, and our minds better, and our hearts better - that's what Chautauqua does.''


In a career that has spanned three decades, Burns has been nominated for two Academy Awards and won seven Emmy Awards. His epic PBS documentaries ''The Civil War,'' ''Baseball,'' ''Jazz'' and ''The National Parks'' are among the most well-known and critically acclaimed ever made.

Burns said that with the exception of baseball - a topic he quips he ''thought he knew something about'' before he began his documentary - the subjects he has featured have been new to him when he began. By tackling subjects that he hasn't already considered himself an expert in, he said, he attempts to keep the documentary from becoming a chore for viewers.

''Too often, history - and particularly documentaries - has been homework for people,'' Burns said. ''There's a big difference between saying, 'This is what I think you should know,' and 'Hey, let me share with you what I've just discovered.' The latter has been my objective for the last 30 years.''


To fully describe what goes into making one of his several-part mini-series documentaries, Burns said it would take years.

To put the process into a nutshell, though, he said it involves simply delving into as much of the history as is humanly possible and letting the documentary come together as organically as possible.

''Usually, when we are doing our filming, we never even know what our scripts will look like,'' Burns said. ''Conversely, when writing the scripts, we're not saying, 'Gee, I wonder if there are any pictures for this.' We write the story anyway, because it's a good story.''

An incredible amount of diverse raw material is gathered during the process, Burns said, and it is in the editing process where the film in truly made. And while the documentaries Burns has created have been up to 18 hours in length, that is still nowhere near enough time to share ever bit of information about any topic.

''No amount of good interviews, no amount of rare and never-before-seen archives, no amount of great writing can replace the kind of arduous and sometimes painful decision-making that takes place as we form the stories and share them with the audience when it's all done,'' he said.


Burns said he gives between 20 or 30 formal talks, such as those he will be giving at Chautauqua this week, each year.

He is currently on a national tour to promote an update of his ''Baseball'' series, called ''The 10th Inning.'' It picks up where the last documentary left off, at the end of the 1992 season.

In his two talks at Chautauqua this week, Burns said he will focus on the Week 7 theme of Sacred Spaces. He will speak about the spaces he has focused upon in his documentaries over the course of his three decades of sharing history with the American public.

While in Chautauqua for a longer period of time than he was here last year, he said, he will also relish the opportunity to enjoy more of what the Institution has to offer.

''I will be bringing part of my young family with me, and being able to spend more than just that abbreviated 20-or-so hours that I was there the last time,'' he said. ''I'm looking forward to having some time to just drink in the whole Chautauqua experience.''

Ken Burns will speak on the lecture platform in the Chautauqua Institution Amphitheater at 10:45 a.m. today and again in a special ''Evening With ...'' session at 8:15 p.m. Wednesday. For information about tickets, visit, call 357-6250, or visit the Chautauqua Institution Box Office.

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Saturday, August 07, 2010

Cross Roads Market attracting regional visitors

WESTFIELD - The Cross Roads Farm and Craft Market in Westfield is open again for its thirteenth season. Cross Roads draws thousands of regional tourists and locals each year to provide a powerful marketing tool for the county as well as drawing much needed revenue to other area businesses. This year has shown a lot of promise for the Cross Roads Market and it is becoming a new shopping alternative for families in the area.

The Cross Roads Market is open every Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. during the months of May to December. The market is also open during Memorial Day, Labor Day and Black Friday.
For the past two years, families across the country have been embracing the "stay-cation" and "buy local" movements.
Chautauqua County's economy, which is driven significantly by tourism from visitors outside the area, has seen a decline in traffic as a whole. Even the county's local wineries and bed and breakfasts have seen a reduction in numbers because people don't want to travel as far from home to enjoy their recreational time due to rising gas costs. The Cross Roads Market in Westfield, however, has not been affected by this change in traveling climate.
"People still want to visit us and continue to make us a part of their summer travel plans," said Mark Pouthier, Manager of the Cross Roads Market. "We offer unique things you can't find anywhere else. The handmade goods you can buy here are quality items that our customers have shown they are willing to travel for," he said.
The market hosts over 30 unique shops featuring woodwork, wine, cheeses, candles and more. Cross Roads has become known as a 'mall-ternative' to many of their regular customers and provides a breath of fresh air from the clustered, commercial malls and shopping centers people are accustomed to.
"We have even begun incorporating events into the regular Cross Roads schedule," said Pouthier, "and every year we host a popular chili cook-off in October and various yard sale events. We are even looking into creating a classic car show for the future."
The Cross Roads Market appeals to a broad demographic because there are shops inside the market for people of all ages. It has become a very trendy destination for a lot of Chautauqua County families because of the short drive from major cities like Dunkirk and Jamestown.
One of the more popular vendors at Cross Roads is Grape Country Candles. The original candle shop is located in Sheridan, New York, but it also has a satellite store in the Cross Roads Market. Grape Country Candles sells highly fragrant soy wax candles and has seen a drastic increase in business in the years it has spent at the market.
"I can't tell you how beneficial this market has been for my business," said Marcie Martin, owner of Grape Country Candles. "This atmosphere is so fun and the market collectively exposes my business and others to visitors from Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Erie and Buffalo," said Martin. Grape Country Candles has been a Cross Roads vendor for five years. While many of the vendors are from Chautauqua County, several of them even travel from Pennsylvania and the greater Buffalo area because of the boost they see in business.
The Cross Roads Market continues to serve as a small business incubator for the county. Created in 1998 and starting out with two buildings, the market was situated on an historic part of land along the Portage Trail connecting Chautauqua Lake to Lake Erie. The land now houses three vendor buildings and a state-of-the-art eco-friendly restroom facility. The area was inhabited by the first settlers to Chautauqua County and remains an historic landmark on the escarpment separating two major watersheds.
For more information regarding the Cross Roads Farm and Craft Market, call 326-6278 or visit

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Thursday, July 29, 2010

Ellicottville's Jazz Weekend

Event Date(s): Fri, 07/30/2010 (All day) - Sun, 08/01/2010 (All day)
Enjoying the Jazz Weekend
This event will be held at:
throughout the Village of Ellicottville Ellicottville, NY, 14731
Phone: 1-800-349-9099

Musicians from throughout the region are highlighted as they appear in local restaurants, bars, streetside and the Village Square. Enjoy as many as 20 performances in a three block area.

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Sunday, July 25, 2010

Chautauqua Lake Tornado

MAYVILLE, N.Y. (AP) — A tornado tore through western New York on Saturday, ripping the roof off a condominium and damaging 17 others and causing widespread power outages.

The National Weather Service said the twister touched down in Mayville in Chautauqua County at 4:48 p.m.

Chief Don Emhardt of the Dewittville Volunteer Fire Co. said the twister damaged some 18 condo units in a complex overlooking Chautauqua Lake as well as a nearby golf course.

Jim and Mary Conway of Shaker Heights, Ohio, were in their vacation condo when the tornado tore the roof off and part of the walls.

"I jumped up and all of a sudden the windows were breaking, glass was everywhere and rain was hitting us," said Mary Conway.

Matt Munson was in the clubhouse of the Chautauqua Point Golf Club and saw the twister approaching.

"Three seconds later you hear, 'Bang, bang, bang," as plastic chairs from the course struck the clubhouse, Munson said.

Munson said the tornado struck a vacant restaurant on the golf course property, scattering its pink insulation.

"It looked like a pink tornado going across the field," he said.

There were no reports of injuries. A National Grid spokesman said the storm left 12,500 homes without power.

Emhardt said he was amazed that no one was injured.

"Everyone walked out of here without a scratch," he said.

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Monday, July 19, 2010

St. Susan Center Preparing For Annual Soup Fundraiser at Italian Fisherman

By Dave Emke,

POSTED: July 19, 2010

To help keep putting food on the table for community members who need it every day, St. Susan Center is calling for help to make some bowls.

The soup kitchen is currently asking for volunteers to paint ceramic bowls for its third annual Souper Summer Event - formerly known as the Empty Bowl Lunch. Sue Colwell, executive director of St. Susan Center, said the soup kitchen is hoping to have 800 bowls painted by members of the community and available for sale at the Aug. 18 event in Bemus Point.

''We're continuing to look for people - youth groups, scout troops or individuals - who want to come down to the Center to paint bowls, or who want to pick up their own and do it at home,'' she said. ''It's a lot of fun.''

Ms. Colwell said the Center will provide all materials needed to decorate the bowls, including brushes and paint. A church group from Florida recently came to St. Susan's to paint bowls and spent several days there on the task, she said.

All told, the 800-bowl goal is about halfway met, Ms. Colwell said. In addition to volunteers for the painting task, she said she is also looking for community volunteers to donate painted glass and handmade ceramic bowls to help toward the goal.

''As much as the community can give us will help,'' she said.

At the actual fundraiser event in August, held on Lakeside Drive in Bemus Point next to the Italian Fisherman, more than a dozen restaurants will gather to share their soups, Ms. Colwell said.

For $10, people will be able to receive three bowls of soup as well as the handpainted bowl of their choice.

All proceeds raised at the event will go toward the services provided by St. Susan's Soup Kitchen - and there will be other fundraising activities on top of the bowl sales.

Denny Wright from Magic Moment Carriage Rides will be there, and he will donate all proceeds he raises, Ms. Colwell said. Andy Dawes from Bemus Point Pottery will also make 100 special bowls for the event, Ms. Colwell said, with sales supporting the soup kitchen.

A fundraising activity that has already benefited the Center, Ms. Colwell said, was orchestrated by Southwestern Middle School students.

''They made ceramic bowls and sold them, and then they donated the proceeds to St. Susan Center,'' she said. The project raised $287 for the soup kitchen, and the students donated the leftover bowls to the Souper Summer Event, she added.

Ms. Colwell said that parents who are looking for a summer activity for their children should contact the Center and bring them down to express their creativity by painting bowls.

''There are some really good artists, but it's just really neat to see the kids paint the bowls and put their thought and ideas into it,'' she said. ''If you have kids, I would think a parent might want to come down and purchase their child's bowl or another bowl that was painted by one of the kids.''

The soup kitchen is serving approximately 50 to 100 more meals each day now that students are out of school for the summer, Ms. Colwell said. Combine that with the fact that donations are traditionally down during the summer months, and fundraisers such as the upcoming Souper Summer Event are of the utmost importance to the Center.

''People tend to think of us as soon as November hits - lots of people do fundraisers then,'' she said. ''But we are open 365 days a year.''

The Souper Summer Event will be held on Lakeside Drive in Bemus Point on Wednesday, Aug. 18, from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Local artists will also be playing on the Bemus Bay Pops Floating Stage during the event, including keyboardist/singer Michael Lettieri and 9-year-old jazz performer Chance Scott. For more information about the event, including to donate items or to paint bowls, call the Center at 664-2253.

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