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American Legion makes sure veterans’ graves in Lyndonville are honored for Memorial Day

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 25 May 2018 at 9:15 am

Photos by Tom Rivers

LNDONVILLE – Carl Boyle, a member of the American Legion in Lyndonville, was among a small group of volunteers who placed flags at 504 veterans’ graves in Lyndonville cemeteries on Thursday.

Boyle said the number of veterans to honor on Memorial Day increases each year. Boyle is shown at Lynhaven Cemetery in Lyndonville. Legion members and other volunteers also set flags at four other cemeteries.

Weldon Barnum, another American Legion member, eyes veterans’ graves at Lynhaven to set flags.

Lyndonville will observe Memorial Day on Monday with a parade starting at 9 a.m. at the Catholic Church on Lake Avenue and ending near the library on Main Street. A ceremony will be held there. The Yates Community Library has arranged to have many flags in the school front yard.

Steve Goodrich, commander of Houseman-Tanner Post 1603 in Lyndonville, presented a certificate of appreciation to Luke DiFato of Lockport on Thursday. DiFato, 16, volunteered a few days last summer to remove lichens, mold and mildew from veterans’ gravestones. This headstone was covered in lichens last summer, and could barely be read.

Photo courtesy of Steve Goodrich: This picture from last summer shows the lichens growing on the headstone.

Goodrich heard that Wet & Forget was effective as a moss, mold, mildew and algae stain remover. The solution doesn’t need pressure washing or scrubbing. Goodrich heard that DiFato was looking to do community service with a veterans’ project. He applied the Wet & Forget last summer and the solution knocked off the lichens from the headstones, many of which are more than a century old.

The Town of Yates is now interested in having Wet & Go used on other headstones that have lichens. Goodrich said the town is looking for volunteers to apply the solution. Interested volunteers should contact the Yates Town Hall (585) 765-9716 and leave a message for Goodrich to contact them.

Luke DiFato helped place flags on veterans’ graves at Lynhaven Cemetery on Thursday afternoon.

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Lyndonville church’s fashion show is tribute to ‘Wonderful World of Weddings’

Photos by Ginny Kropf: Wanda Oakes of Lyndonville stands next to her wedding gown which she wore at her wedding to James Oakes in 1950.

Posted 21 May 2018 at 11:49 am

By Ginny Kropf, correspondent

LYNDONVILLE – A spring luncheon event has become a tradition at the Lyndonville United Methodist Church, and this year’s drew inspiration from the past.

Organized by Ruth Hedges, the spring fling on Saturday paid tribute to the Wonderful World of Weddings, and featured a fashion show of gowns worn by brides at their weddings dating as far back as 1870.

Hedges got the idea after doing one with town of Shelby historian Alice Zacher when she attended the Millville United Methodist Church about 10 years ago.

“It was a huge success,” Hedges said.

Men of the Lyndonville church served the luncheon Saturday, which included a bridal cake shaped from cupcakes from Case-Nic Cookies.

Guest speaker was Georgia Thomas, who shared the “History of Weddings,” and how many wedding traditions originated.

Marilyn Kenyon stands next to Haley Shafer, who is modeling the wedding gown Kenyon wore at her 1951 wedding at the Lyndonville United Methodist Church.

June weddings go back in antiquity, she said.

“It was warm in June, and back then they only took a bath once a year, so people got married in June when they smelled good,” she said.

The wedding band, a circle of gold, represents never-ending love and is worn on the third finger of the left hand because it was said a vein runs up that finger to the heart.

Early bridal bouquets were made from field flowers and herbs, and every bride had rosemary and a sprig of myrtle in her bouquet. Rosemary signified remembrance, while myrtle is the flower of love and marriage, dating back to Greek mythology. All royal bouquets had a sprig of myrtle.

The “something old” each bride must carry was meant to be something from the bride’s past, while “something new” was meant to signify a happy future. “Something borrowed” had to be from a happily married couple, and “something blue” ensured fertility and love.

Through the decades, brides and grooms have tied the knot in hot air balloons and airplanes, on television and even by telegraph in a transatlantic wedding between Stockholm, Sweden and Detroit.

Special music was provided at the luncheon by Darrel Oakes of Lyndonville, who sang “I Love You Truly.” He also sang the song at Hedges first wedding to James Valentine in 1960.

It was a challenge to find models who could fit in the bridal gowns worn decades ago, and only Carla Woodworth was able to fit in the gown she wore when she married Terry Woodworth in 1975.

Hedges’ granddaughter Bridget Boland of Albany came to visit so she could model her grandmother’s gown. She had purchased it from a lady in Lockport for $25.

Haley Shafer modeled the gown worn by Marilyn Cook when she married Roger Kenyon in the Lyndonville Methodist Church in 1951.

“My sister and I took the bus to Sattlers at 998 Broadway to shop for my gown,” Marilyn Kenyon said. “They were remodeling and their bridal gowns were on sale. The clerk asked me what I was looking for and I told her I wanted a mandarin collar and pointed sleeves. It was the first and only dress I tried on. The headpiece cost more than the dress.”

Caelen Crowley was a perfect fit for her grandmother Charlotte Owen Crowley Bruning’s wedding dress.

The Rev. Beth Malone, pastor of the Lyndonville United Methodist Church, was married by her mom to Darren Malone in 1988 in Geneseo. Her gown, which she said she bought at an end-of-year sale, was modeled by Karen Brown.

Boland modeled two gowns – her grandmother’s and the gown worn by Christine Pask of Millville when she married Ed Urbanik of Lyndonville in 1985 at the Millville United Methodist Church.

Perhaps Laura Campbell had one of the most unique weddings. She and her husband were married in 2002 on 97 Rock in a promotion which included 97 couples. Rebecca Strickland modeled Campbell’s gown, which she purchased on sale at Blissett’s in Medina for $99.

Several bridal gowns and accessories were on display in the church sanctuary during the fashion show. One was Georgia Thomas’ which she wore at her December 1964 wedding to Terry Thomas of Medina. It was peau de soire with a silk organic overlay and court train.

Georgia also brought a c.1870 gray gown from the Medina Historical Society’s collection, with gloves and high button shoes.

Two other gowns on display were the one Wanda Oakes wore at her wedding to James Oakes and the one her mother-in-law Eloise Oakes’ worn at her wedding to Leonard Oakes. Wanda and James were married Dec. 22, 1950, while Eloise and Leonard were married Dec. 21, 1926. Eloise’s gown was muslin, while Wanda’s was candlelight satin.

Wanda said their colors and flowers were unusual, as they were married so close to Christmas. Her bridesmaids wore red and green velvet, and her flowers were poinsettias.

Alexis Strickland brought a beige muslin gown worn by her grandmother in 1919 and her grandfather’s wedding shirt to display.

Hedges said they are already planning on next year’s ladies’ spring luncheon. It will be a Kentucky Derby tea party, and ladies are encouraged to start thinking about the hat they will wear.

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Fashion show features antique wedding gowns

Posted 20 May 2018 at 10:04 am

Photos by Ginny Kropf

LYNDONVILLE – Georgia Thomas of Medina stands next to her wedding dress, which she wore in 1964 when she married the late Terry Thomas of Medina. Second from the right is the muslin wedding dress worn by Wanda Oakes’ mother-in-law Eloise at her marriage to Leonard Oakes in 1926.

At far right is Wanda’s gown of candlelight satin, which she wore when she married James Oakes in 1950. The gray gown and high button shoes at far left are from the Medina Historical Society and date back to 1870. The gowns were all on display for a luncheon and fashion show of antique wedding gowns Saturday at the First United Methodist Church of Lyndonville, at which Thomas was guest speaker, talking about wedding traditions.

Among the models wearing antique wedding gowns at a fashion show Saturday at the First United Methodist Church of Lyndonville are, from left, Carla Woodworth in the gown she wore at her wedding in 1975; Julia Goheen in the gown Sally Quintern wore at her wedding to Robert Quintern in 1967; Bridget Boland in the gown worn by Christine Pask at her 1985 marriage to Ed Urbanik; Rebecca Strickland wearing Laura Campbell’s gown from her 2002 wedding; Caelen Crowley in her grandmother Charlotte Owen Crowley’s wedding gown; Haley Shafer in the gown worn by Marilyn Kenyon in 1951; and Karen Brown in Pastor Beth Malone’s gown worn at her 1988 wedding.

Bridget Boland, granddaughter of Ruth Hedges of Lyndonville, models the wedding gown worn by Christine Pask at her marriage to Ed Urbanik of Lyndonville in 1985.

Caelen Crowley wears her grandmother Charlotte Owen Crowley’s wedding gown at an antique wedding gown fashion show Saturday at the Lyndonville United Methodist Church.

Rebecca Strickland models the wedding gown worn by Laura Campbell, right. Campbell was married in 2002 on 97 Rock with 97 couples.

Julia Goheen, left, models the gown worn by Sally Quintern at her 1967 marriage to Robert Quintern, while Haley Shafer is shown in the gown worn by Marilyn Kenyon at her 1951 wedding at the Lyndonville United Methodist Church.

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$200,000 loan will help LynOaken Farms update packing line

Posted 17 May 2018 at 6:04 pm

Press Release, Orleans Economic Development Agency

ALBION – The Orleans County Economic Development Agency secured $200,000 in GAIN (Growing the Agriculture Industry Now) loan proceeds for LynOaken Farms of Lyndonville through the agency’s Orleans Land Restoration Corporation.

LynOaken Farms will use the funds to update a packing line through the purchase of machinery and equipment, allowing the company to meet upcoming USDA, FDA and Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) requirements, increasing efficiencies and adding new markets and product streams.

“We’re thrilled to be making this investment in local agriculture and for the assistance from the Orleans County Economic Development Agency,” said Wendy Oakes Wilson, general manager of LynOaken. “It will enable us to grow and expand our markets for years to come.”

The overall project includes the construction of a pole barn to house the new packing line and refrigerated finished storage, an internal build out of office administrative space and a pallet racking system at the Ridge Road location in Medina.

“The expansion of LynOaken is an outstanding example of an Orleans County farm business that has successfully grown, over the past 99 years, and diversified to actively compete in the marketplace,” said Jim Whipple, chief executive officer of the EDA. “Our agency was eager to support this newest expansion project through OLRC and the GAIN program.”

Apple growers in Orleans County since 1919, LynOaken Farms is a 250-plus acre diversified family farm operation that has consistently expanded to adapt and meet changes in the industry. They currently operate with 27 full-time, year around, employees supported by 50-60 seasonal employees; additional employment is projected over the next 3 years. The orchard operation began on Platten Road in Lyndonville and now includes a sales, u-pick, packing and storage operation on Ridge Road in Medina, New York.

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Albion, Lyndonville-Medina musicals both are big winners at Stars of Tomorrow

Photos by Tom Rivers: Qasim Huzair plays the role of Uncle Fester in Lyndonville-Medina’s production of The Addams Family in March. Qasim won a “best supporting actor” award from the Stars of Tomorrow. The “Dancesters” in back also received a “Tip of the Hat” award.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 11 May 2018 at 11:01 am

Both named outstanding musicals, among many awards

ROCHESTER – Two high school musical productions in Orleans County were big winners Thursday night at the Stars of Tomorrow competition in Rochester, which recognizes the top school musicals in the Rochester area.

Albion and Lyndonville-Medina both won the top award for outstanding musical. Albion, which competes with many large suburban schools in Division B, performed Godspell on March 23-24 and Lyndonville-Medina, in Division D, performed The Addams Family from March 23-25.

Enoch Martin (Judas), Victor Benjovsky (Jesus) and Laiken Ricker (disciple) perform a high-energy song in Godspell, Albion’s musical in March.

Both programs won many other awards and five students from the two programs also advanced in an individual competition where the winner goes to the Jimmy Awards program in New York City in June.

Lyndonville-Medina won the following awards for The Addams Family:

• Outstanding musical

• Outstanding Dance Ensemble

• Outstanding Acting Ensemble

• Outstanding Orchestra

• Outstanding supporting actor for Brian Cunningham, Qasim Huzair and Jacob Corser

Christian Hahn, center, portrays Gomez Addams, the patriarch of the family. He is shown with Brian Cunningham, left, who portrayed Pugsley Addams and Cora Payne, who portrayed Gomez’s wife Morticia. The three all received awards for their performances.

• Outstanding leading actor for Christian Hahn

• Outstanding leading actress for Cora Payne and Layna Viloria.

• Future Stars – Meagan Hardner

• Special Recognition – Grace Masse and Miranda Lembcke

• Tip of the Hat – Ethan Bowie, Sarah Cochrane, Zayda Moyle and the Dancesters.

(Hahn, Huzair, Payne and Viloria advance to round 2 of the Stars on May 24.)

Albion won the following awards for Godspell:

• Outstanding Musical

• Outstanding Dance Ensemble

• Outstanding Singing Ensemble

• Outstanding Acting Ensemble

• Outstanding Orchestra

• Outstanding supporting actor for Enoch Martin

• “Tip of the Hat” recognitions from the adjudicators for Nate Grammatico, Riley Seielstad, Emma Tower, Sophia Zambito, Matt Kovaleski, Richard Flanagan, Miranda Smith and the Albion HS Special Olympics Club

(Enoch Martin advances to round 2 of the Stars on May 24.)

Sophia Zambito, left, and Riley Seielstad, center, both were recognized by judges.

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Lyndonville, Medina school districts say shared programs have been successful

Photos by Bruce and Associates: Medina and Lyndonville students worked together to perform The Addams Family in March. The show was in Lyndonville.

Posted 8 May 2018 at 12:27 pm

Press Release, Lyndonville and Medina school districts

Jason Smith, Lyndonville Central School District Superintendent, and Mark Kruzynski, Medina Central School District Superintendent, say that their districts’ collaboration over the last several years has proven to be very successful.

The districts, like many communities across America, find their student populations dwindling as families get smaller.

“In the six and a half years I have been at Lyndonville, we have worked with Medina on a variety of projects, most notably athletics,” Smith said. “We have been able to offer our students marching band, cross country, soccer, football and of course the musical. Looking at our declining populations from both schools and keeping an eye on the long-term, we believe that working together whenever possible is the best thing for our students.”

Kruzynski said the partnership benefits both districts.

“This expands the amount of programs available for kids, which is the ultimate goal, and expands the quality of the programs for the kids as well,” he said. “We are always evaluating and always looking at different things that we can share and save money.”

The annual musical has been very well received by both the districts’ communities. Smith makes the observation that it helps the directors have a bigger cast and more talent to draw from.

“It has become a richer experience for the cast, crew and the audience,” he said.

The two superintendents have even got in on the act with both performing in the pit band this year for The Addams Family.

The superintendents and the athletic directors meet on a regular basis as well to update one another on their findings and discuss how to improve upon their success.

“One thing that we are looking at in Lyndonville, in respect to sports, is the transportation department here at the schools to offer more comprehensive transportation,” Smith said.  “We don’t want to put the students at a disadvantage to travel to and from Medina. That is something we have heard from our community over the past couple of months and we are looking to make some improvements there.”

Medina is exploring that as well, Kruzynski said.

“Now that the girls soccer will be hosted by Lyndonville next year, we will also be providing transportation for all of our soccer players who need it,” he said.

The combined Medina-Lyndonville varsity team wears Medina mustang uniforms and plays their home games in medina at Vets’ Park.

The superintendents have walked a fine line providing collaborative opportunities for all their students while maintaining their individual identities. Both districts believe that their school colors and mascots provide a common thread that runs through generations as symbols of their town’s character and history.

“It is interesting because both districts wanted to retain their identity as Tigers and Mustangs,” Smith said. “But both of our districts recognize the need to share.  We have two districts that work very well together and both Mark and I work well together professionally and that is the key to our relationship.”

There has been a nice side benefit for partnering together on the activities as well.

“Many of our students have become friends across both districts,” Kruzynski said. “Relationships are being formed that would not be formed otherwise. That was not the primary goal, but it was definitely a benefit.”

Planning ahead, both superintendents says they will continue to meet to map out how they can provide the best opportunities for their students.

“Our board officers have met and are going to meet again in July to see how things are progressing, assess what is going well and see what we can improve,” Smith said.

“We are always looking for ways to save money for both the districts,” Kruzynski added. “In the long-term we are hoping this partnership can evolve to see where we can share costs well into the future.”

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Remembrance service Sunday for pastor of Lyndonville Presbyterian Church

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 4 May 2018 at 7:07 pm

LYNDONVILLE – The Lyndonville Presbyterian Church and an association of Lyndonville area churches are planning a remembrance service on Sunday for Catherine Benjamin.

She served as pastor of the Presbyterian Church for 11 years until she passed away last month. She started her career as an elementary school teacher and then worked 15 years as a principal in the Buffalo City School District. After she retired she earned a master’s of divinity at Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School and then started leading the Lyndonville church in March 2007.

“She was our beloved pastor,” said Kay Van Nostrand, a member of church’s board of session. “It was a sudden death and we’re reeling from it. She was a wonderful friend.”

There was a memorial service for Benjamin in Buffalo on April 23. Her congregation and the association of Lyndonville pastors – the Lyndonville Yates Ministers Association – will lead the service on Sunday.

Beth Malone of the United Methodist Church, Lyle Drake of Yates Baptist Church and Craig Rhodenizer of St. John’s Lutheran Church will all be part of the service.

“This is an opportunity for the Lyndonville community to express our remembrances and good-byes,” Van Nostrand said.

The service on Sunday starts at 7 p.m. The Presbyterian Church is located at 107 North Main St.

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Lyndonville Area Foundation boosts scholarships, commits to other community causes

Posted 4 May 2018 at 4:49 pm

Press Release, Lyndonville Area Foundation

Photos by Tom Rivers: Fireworks on July 4, 2015 are shown through the through the row of trees by the sports fields in Lyndonville.

LYNDONVILLE – The Board of Directors of the Lyndonville Area Foundation is pleased to announce that distribution of funding is off to a brisk start for 2018.

In addition to sponsoring a Program Day for the newly inaugurated Leadership Orleans program through Orleans Community Action, the Lyndonville Area Foundation proudly continues its support of the Orleans County Adult Learning Service with an additional $4,500 donation made earlier this year.

The Lyndonville Area Foundation continues its annual support and cooperation alongside the Town Of Yates with a $7,500 contribution towards the Summer Recreation Program at Lyndonville Central School. The Foundation has generously contributed to the summer program since its inception a number of years ago.

With its long-standing close-knit ties to the Lyndonville Lion’s Club, the Foundation’s Directors unanimously agreed to assist the Lyndonville Lion’s efforts towards their creation of another memorable 4th of July event. The Lyndonville Area Foundation was pleased to honor the Lion’s request for $4,000 to assist in their 4th of July fireworks spectacular plus an additional $3,500 contribution to the Lion’s for their Main Street parade and afternoon music entertainment.

“The Lyndonville Lion’s Club creates a remarkable day-long 4th of July festival,” said Foundation President Darren Wilson. “Their efforts make the 4th of July truly the highlight of the year for Lyndonville and the behind-the-scenes work of the Lyndonville Lion’s Club is unquestionably deserving of our full support.”

Additional funding by the Foundation in the amount of $5,000 was recently provided in support of the Cornell Cooperative Extension Ag-In-The-Classroom program at Lyndonville Central School. And for the second year in a row, the Foundation’s Board of Directors agreed to funding for the “Shake On The Lake” event, a professional live performance of Shakespearean interpretations.  This year’s contribution of $3,000 will support Shake-On-The-Lake performances at outdoor venues in Lyndonville and the Town of Yates later this year.

A 14-member cast from Shake on the Lake performed Romeo & Juliet behind the Yates Community Library last August. This signs directs people to the play.

The Lyndonville Area Foundation is also pleased to announce a $1,000 increase in three of the Foundation’s annual college scholarships available to graduating seniors at Lyndonville Central School. The Josie Gracey, Mabel Stroyan and Director’s scholarships will now be $5,000 each while the Foundation also voted to increase the number of  Frank B. Housel Jr. scholarships from two to three. The Frank B. Housel Jr. scholarships are $4,000 each.

The Foundation also introduced the addition of two brand new scholarships in the amount of $2,500 each and which are designated as the Founders Memorial Scholarships. The Foundation also administers the Trevor Cook Memorial scholarships and the Skinner-Wilson scholarship through the Cook family of Lyndonville and the Donald O. Skinner family of Oneida, New York respectively.

The Lyndonville Area Foundation may be reached at P.O. Box 545, Lyndonville, NY 14098.

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Million-dollar winner hasn’t been identified

Photo by Ginny Kropf: The E-Z Shop in Lyndonville has sold two large winning lottery tickets in the last three months, the first being a $65,000 Take 5 ticket in January, followed by a $1 million scratch-off last month.

Posted 2 May 2018 at 10:59 am

E-Z Shop in Lyndonville sold the ticket last month

By Ginny Kropf, correspondent

LYNDONVILLE – John and Barb Champlin thought it was pretty exciting when a $65,000 Take 5 ticket was sold in January at their convenience store, the E-Z Shop in Lyndonville.

But that didn’t compare with their excitement to learn a $1 million scratch-off had been sold there in April.

“We’ve owned Champs in Ridgeway for 20 years and the E-Z Shop for 17, and never have we had a really big winner,” Barb Champlin said. “Now we’ve had two in three months. It is quite exciting.”

The Take 5 ticket in January was won by Ron Coon of the Lyndonville/Barker area, according to Champlin.

The $1 million winner has yet to be identified. The chances of winning the $1 million prize are 1 in 2,039,400, according to NY Lottery. The winning scratch-off ticket cost $10 in the Winner Cashword.

Champlin said the lucky tickets have upped sales of lottery tickets at the E-Z Shop by 10 to 15 percent.

She also said the store receives a percentage of wins on Power Ball and Mega drawings, but not on lottery tickets.

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