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Mobile Dental Unit headed to Medina, now offering vision screenings, too

Posted 27 January 2020 at 4:57 pm

(Editor’s Note: The tour by the Board of Education has since been pushed back to March due to scheduling conflicts.)

Press Release, Oak Orchard Health

MEDINA – The Medina Board of Education on Thursday will tour Oak Orchard Health’s Mobile Dental Unit, which will be at Oak Orchard Elementary to provide services to their students.

For the past 15 years, the Medina School District has collaborated with Oak Orchard Health to provide oral health services to students and their families. Since 2005, the Oak Orchard Health Mobile Dental Unit has traveled throughout Orleans County to various schools, providing dental cleanings and exams, dental treatment, and education to children and adults.

The Mobile Dental Unit travels to these schools on a rotating basis with visits lasting from two to eight weeks. OOH is excited to announce that they now provide vision screenings in addition to our dental services on the Mobile Dental Unit.

The Mobile Dental Unit visits the school district every year for a couple of months to provide cleanings, dental exams, x-rays, and fluoride applications for cavity prevention. If needed, they also provide fillings, extractions, sealants and stainless steel crowns.

A simple vision screen can help identify if a child has vision issues and needs further evaluation. To date, 45 students have used the new vision screening service.

For more information about this service or to schedule an appointment, contact Denise Beardsley, Mobile Dental Unit coordinator, at dbeardsley@oochc.org or call her at 585-267-9236.

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Pack 35 in Medina competes in annual Pinewood Derby

Posted 27 January 2020 at 11:50 am

Photos courtesy of John Dieter, Cub Master of Pack 35

MEDINA – Cub Scouts of Pack 35 in Medina competed in their annual Pinewood Derby on Sunday. There were 17 Webelos and Cub Scouts from the pack in the annual event to determine the fastest car made the Scouts.

In picture for top winners from left to right are Nate Surdel (First Place), Mason Berry (Third Place), and Sam Gray (Second Place).

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Medina kicks off winterguard season with competition in Orchard Park

Posted 26 January 2020 at 4:18 pm

Photos and article courtesy of Medina Mustang Band

MEDINA – Medina opened its winterguard season on Saturday, competing in Orchard Park. The varsity guard is shown in the top photo.

Winter guard is a hybrid art form that combines elements of music, dance and military-like precision marching in a competitive arena into a total entertainment package. Winterguard started about 30 years ago and involves the manipulation (spins, tosses, flips) of equipment (rifles, flags, sabers) while moving around the performance space.

Medina is sponsoring two guard units this season – junior varsity and varsity. Both guards performed in competition for the first time this season at Orchard Park.  It was a large show with 26 guard units from around Western New York and Canada.

The junior varsity guard competes at Orchard Park.

The junior varsity guard consists of 16 students in grades 5-9. Their show this year is “Reach for the Stars” and is about how each one of us has a big dream, places it in a star and sends it into the sky. In life you add more stars in the sky and reach for the ones you realize in life.

There were four guards in the junior varsity class and Medina took third place with a score of 50.66.

The varsity guard consists of 15 students in grades 9-11.  This year their show is “Metamorphosis”  about the decision to conform to what is around us or become the person you truly want to be. In the varsity class, Medina took third place with a score of 55.83.

Medina’s next competitions are Feb. 8 in Victor,  Feb 15 in Batavia,  Feb. 29 at Marcus Whitman,  March 7 in Lancaster,  March 14 in Medina for its home show,  and March 21 in Jamestown. The championships are March 28 at Gates-Chili.

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Merged lodge strengthens Masons in Medina, Middleport

Photos courtesy of Scott Mason: Members of Medina Masonic Lodge No. 336 and Middleport’s Cataract Lodge No. 295 pose for the first time as the newly consolidated Towpath Lodge.

By Ginny Kropf, correspondent Posted 25 January 2020 at 8:19 pm

MIDDLEPORT – Jan. 15 will go down in history as a date two local Masonic lodges will not forget.

On that date, Middleport’s Cataract Lodge No. 295 and Medina’s Masonic Lodge No. 336 consolidated to become the Towpath Lodge No. 1193.

Like many service organizations in this day and age, members are aging and membership is declining. The Medina lodge faced the reality several years ago when it gave up its vendor space at the Orleans County 4-H Fair because they no longer had manpower to run their sausage booth (which they built and took down each year for decades).

After selling their lodge building on West Center Street in Medina, they began to explore other options.

Herb Koenig, right, installing master for ceremonies Jan. 15 in which Medina and Middleport Masonic lodges consolidated to become the Towpath Masonic Lodge, introduces the new master Matthew Flammger. At rear is the Most Worshipful James Sullivan of Lockport, who presented the charge to the brethren.

The Cataract Lodge was founded in 1853, and the Medina Lodge in 1854. The merger of these two lodges will insure they continue for many years to come.

This is the second merger Medina has gone through, having merged with the Yates Lodge when it closed in 2007.

As talks of the merger between Medina and Middleport progressed, a committee was formed to choose a new name. Scott Mason of Medina, former secretary of Medina Lodge and newly-installed secretary of the Towpath Lodge, suggested the new name, which is fitting for both villages.

Herb Koenig of Gasport, a 65-year-member of Cataract Lodge and four-time master, said the new merger expands their membership base.

“I like the name of our new lodge,” he said. “It links Medina and Middleport. We’re getting to know people from Medina we didn’t know before.”

Photos by Ginny Kropf: Members of the newly formed Towpath Masonic Lodge are installed during ceremonies Jan. 15. Here, secretary Scott Mason, standing at left, takes the oath after being escorted to the Bible by installing marshal Kevin Luckman Sr. Waiting to be installed are, seated from left, junior warden Eugene Flammger, his son and master Matthew Flammger, senior warden Robert Donovan and, treasurer Allan Kropf (behind Donovan). Seated at right is Tim McGee of Albion, a member of Albion’s Renovation Lodge and the Towpath Lodge, and his wife Myrna, who were among the evening’s visitors.

Koenig was emcee for the installation ceremonies and was also the installing officer.

“This is a very special occasion, and I’m honored I was asked to be installing officer,” he said.

After welcoming guests and members, Koenig explained the history of Freemasonry, whose roots he said are lost in antiquity.

Robert Donovan of Medina, Senior Warden of the new Towpath Masonic Lodge, stands by the roster of previous masters of Medina’s Masonic Lodge No. 336, dating back to 1854.

“Our recorded history extends backward well over 600 years,” he said.

He continued to explain that Freemasonry is a moral institution, and is not just social or merely ritualistic, but is also educational and patriotic. It is neither a secret society, a religion or a substitute for religion, although Masons do have a few signs and words of recognition which they like to keep to themselves.

As the installing master for the evening, Koenig called each officer to come forward and be sworn in. One by one, they were escorted in front of the Bible by the installing marshal, Kevin Luckman Sr.

New officers of the Towpath Lodge are Worshipful Master Matthew Flammger of Middleport, Senior Warden Robert Donovan of Medina, Junior Warden Eugene Flammger of Middleport, Treasurer Allan Kropf of Medina, Secretary Scott Mason of Medina, Senior Deacon Pritchard “Jim” Anderson of Middleport, Junior Deacon Jack Hansler of Medina, Tiler Fulton Rogers Jr. of Medina and trustees Doug Hedges of Lyndonville (three years), Herb Koenig (two years) and Alan Kozody of Medina (one year).

In addition to Koenig and Luckman, others who participated in the installation ceremony were David Pynn of Lockport, installing chaplain; Right Worshipful John Krupp, chaplain of the Sutherland Lodge in North Tonawanda, who gave the charge to the wardens; Very Worshipful Joseph Daniels from Red Jacket Lodge in Lockport, who gave the master’s charge; and the Most Worshipful James Sullivan of Lockport, Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of the State of New York from 2012 to 2014, who gave the charge to the brethren.

Sullivan presented a decree from the Grand Lodge, dated Dec. 18, 2019, granting approval of the consolidation. He also conveyed wishes from the Grand Master, the Most Worshipful William M. Sardone.

Sullivan believes Masonry is on the upswing in New York state. For the first time in many years, he said there is positive growth in membership.

“There are so many good things in our fraternity,” Sullivan said. “We have a new program called Coats for Kids, and we are asking members throughout the state to bring slightly used coats for children. One thing Masons do is take care of our wives, our children and our families.”

From left, the Right Worshipful John Krupp from the Sutherland Masonic Lodge in North Tonawanda, newly installed senior deacon Pritchard “Jim” Anderson and treasurer Allan Kropf salute during the installation ceremonies of the Towpath Masonic Lodge.

The Masonic fraternity also has a Brotherhood Fund, to which members donate annually. Frank Berger of Medina has been a member of the Medina Lodge since 1960 and chair of the Brotherhood Fund for 25 years. He said they have 11 different benevolences to which members may designate their donation.

Matthew Flammger in his first address as master of the new Towpath Lodge, said he had been thinking for the past few weeks about this new beginning for both lodges.

“It’s strange this has happened at the dawn of a new decade,” he said. “We have a new name and a new lodge. I look forward to being able to give the charter of Lodge No. 1193 to the next master who will lead us into the future. It is an unforgettable experience to be the first master of Towpath Lodge.”

Matthew is no stranger to Masonry. His father, Eugene Flammger, is a member of Middleport’s lodge, as was his grandfather, the late Gordon Flammger. Matthew has been master of Cataract Lodge since 2015.

Matthew Flammger of Middleport kneels before the Bible as he is sworn in as the first master of the newly consolidated Medina and Middleport Masonic lodges, to be known as the Towpath Lodge. Standing near him is Kevin Luckman Sr., installing marshal.

Matthew can expect cooperation from Masons in other local lodges to perform his official duties, including James Horncastle, master of Albion’s Renovation Lodge No. 97.

Horncastle was among representatives from several other lodges who witnessed the consolidation and installation. He said he became a Mason for friendship and brotherhood.

“For a number of years, I never had a direction in which to put my energy,” Horncastle said. “I wanted to do something for myself and my community, and I began looking for a way. I had been to the homes of several of the Masons and they had visited mine, so I already knew some of them. I wanted to be a part of the sense of community this organization engenders. Matthew was one of the first people I met when I joined Masons and I wanted to see him installed.”

Horncastle said he looks forward to working with the newly combined lodges, helping with their fundraisers and degree work.

“I know 30 or 40 years from now, I can look at their charter and say I was there,” he said. “It’s a part of history.”

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Medina will try again for $10 million state downtown revitalization grant

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 24 January 2020 at 11:11 am

Courtesy of Village of Medina, DRI application: The Village of Medina wants to improve public access to the Medina Waterfalls by constructing an elevated platform from the towpath. That project was part of Medina’s application for $10 million in DRI funding.

MEDINA – Gov. Andrew Cuomo is making $10 million available again to 10 downtown districts around the state.

Medina has tried for the Downtown Revitalization Initiative, but has been denied. Last year it was a finalist but missed out on the grant to Seneca Falls.

Medina Mayor Michael Sidari said Medina will try again for the funding.

“Absolutely we definitely are,” Sidari said today. “We’ll see what else we can do to make it a better plan.”

Sidari said the Medina team working on the project will look at the winning applications from other communities in recent years.

The new application will likely be due in June. The governor announced Seneca Falls as the winner last Nov. 6.

Medina has hired Bergmann Associates to help with the application.

The state has been approving $10 million annually for a downtown in each of the 10 regions of the state. NY considers Medina and Orleans County to be in the Finger Lakes region/

This will be the fifth round of the DRI, where communities submit applications and the state decides the winner. Previous $10 million grant winners in the Finger Lakes region include the City of Geneva in 2016, the City of Batavia in 2017, the Village of Penn Yan in 2018 and Seneca Falls last year.

Medina put together an application last year with projects that that would have improved the downtown business district, the waterfront by the canal, created public access by the water falls, expanded housing opportunities, and added tourism amenities and attractions.

The governor’s budget also includes about $750 million to fund projects identified by the Regional Economic Development Councils. That program is now in its 10thyear.

“Our targeted economic development approach is working all across the State, creating new jobs, revitalizing communities and boosting local economies,” Governor Cuomo said. “This significant investment will be used to fund more rounds of the successful Downtown Revitalization Initiative and Regional Economic Development Councils and continue our State’s unprecedented growth.”

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Local thrift stores are busy, with proceeds going to the community

By Ginny Kropf, correspondent Posted 19 January 2020 at 10:25 am

Photos by Ginny Kropf: Ruth Hedges arranges merchandise in the newly expanded room of Hope Resales, the thrift shop she helped start at the Lyndonville United Methodist Church last March. The shop has become so successful they had to expand into another room in the basement of the church. Hedges said recent national surveys have shown more people are shopping in thrift stores.

Shoppers are setting a new trend in America, with more people buying at thrift stores.

A report by ThredUp said the resale market continues to grow at a rate expected to reach $51 billion by 2023. In fact the trend is becoming so popular, traditional department stores like Macy’s and JCPenney have started to team up with ThredUp to sell thrift finds in select stores.

Not only are they finding fine quality merchandise at drastically reduced prices, but the money spent at thrift stores usually goes to helping worthy causes in their communities.

Such is the case with the MAAC Thrift Depot in Medina, Community Action’s Main Street Store in Albion and Hope Resales in Lyndonville.

Annually, MAAC donates about $35,000 to local organizations such as Community Action, Vacation Bible School, Long Point Camp, Boy Scouts in Medina, Medina Police Department, Aglow, Orleans County Christian School, Hands 4 Hope, scholarships for Medina High School seniors, Oak Orchard Bike Rodeo, missions of local churches, fire victims, Tricounty Clergy Fellowship Workshop, Praising Kids Preschool, Senior Citizens of Western Orleans, Hospice, war orphans, GCASA roller skating, Christian Bowhunters, postage for Christmas Shoebox project, Medina National Honor Society veterans’ dinner, Orleans Recovery Hope, Parade of Lights, Veterans’ Christmas project, PACT, Empire State Special Olympics, MOPS, Orleans County Sheriff’s Department, Orleans County Summer Recreation Program, Camp Rainbow and National Night Out.

Photo by Tom Rivers: Community Action of Orleans & Genesee opened of the Main Street Thrift Store in October 2014 at the former American Legion at 131 South Main St.

The Main Street Store in Albion has targeted their profits for a job training program. Michelle George oversees the store at the former American Legion building. The store is a public resource for quality, gently pre-owned merchandise and apparel, and is a designated job skill training site for the community.

The profits from the store allow them to offer enrollment for “on the job” retail training, as well as partner with several local agencies for referrals. Store merchandise is donated and all proceeds from sales support employment services, including resumes, internet job searching, interview techniques, business and retail training and business communications. On completion of training, the store assists participants with job searches, work apparel (Dress for Success project) and references.

Hope Resales in Lyndonville has only been open about 10 months, yet sales have exceeded all expectations, said Ruth Hedges, one of the active volunteers who run the site.

Donations also have been so abundant the Lyndonville United Methodist Church has had to expand into another room in the basement.

During the past year, Hope Resales has given monetary donations not only to the church, but to Lyndonville Fire Department, Genesee-Orleans Ministry of Concern, Camp Rainbow, Lyndonville Food Pantry, Care Net of Orleans, Lockport Cares Homeless Shelter, Hospice of Orleans and to a young missionary who traveled to India. They also are sponsoring on a monthly basis a United Methodist minister and her family in Cuba.

Photo by Ginny Kropf: he MAAC Clothing Depot moved from a spot in the former Medina High School to the former Mic-Jac store at the corner of Starr and Orient streets in July 2018. The new home has more space to display and sell merchandise.

In addition, Hope Resales has been able to provide free clothing to several families in need, who have been referred to the store, Hedges said.

Hedges quoted a study by The Wall Street Journal, in which they reported more than half of respondents said they would consider gifting second-hand presents, while 56 percent said they would welcome thrifted gifts.

Whether it’s called a thrift shop, second-hand store or consignment shop, Hedges shared several reasons for shopping at a thrift store.

They include supporting a charitable cause, saving money, reducing waste and helping to save the environment, obtaining gently or never used items at a bargain, acquiring hard-to-find items one might only use occasionally, discovering a hidden treasure and buying something you forgot on vacation without paying full price.

Hope Resales is open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday and Friday and from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday. A new feature is offering one-half off select merchandise in the store on the last Wednesday of every month. Other sales can be found on their Facebook page during the month.

The MAAC Thrift Depot moved into new quarters in the summer of 2018. They are located at the corner of Orient and Starr streets. Hours of operation are 9 a.m. to noon Monday and Thursday, 9 a.m. to noon and 5 to 7 p.m. Tuesday and 10 a.m. to noon Saturday. The first Tuesday of each month is “one-half price day.”

Drop-off chutes for donations are located outside the building on Orient Street. MAAC accepts good, clean clothing; shoes and jewelry; clean household items in good condition, including small appliances and small furniture; books, toys and linens; DVDs and CDs; kitchen items and holiday decorations.

The Main Street Store is open from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Wednesday, 10:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday and from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

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Senior Center in Medina welcomes more people for games, activities

By Ginny Kropf, correspondent Posted 18 January 2020 at 3:28 pm

Photo by Ginny Kropf: A new group of card players gets into a game of euchre on a recent Friday afternoon at the Medina Senior Center. Clockwise from left are Isabelle Cotter and Dorothy Casey of Medina, Fred Brimmer of Lockport, Bill and Cindy Koepsel of Middleport, Sylvia Williams of Barker and Bev Woodward of Medina. Euchre and pinochle are also played on Wednesdays and Thursdays and new members are welcome to join.

MEDINA – Seniors looking for a fun way to spend an afternoon are being encouraged to join the Senior Citizens of Western Orleans.

Located in the historic New York Central Railroad depot, the Center is gaining in popularity as a meeting place for card players. They have sponsored euchre and pinochle games on Wednesday and Thursday afternoons for many years, but recently some seniors were looking for something to do on Friday afternoons.

That’s when Lee Smith of Lyndonville stepped up and offered to lead a euchre game on Fridays. Games each day are from 1 to 4 p.m. and each cost $2 to play for an afternoon. Players can also get into a loaner pot for $1.

Kelly Shaw of Gasport, formerly of Eagle Harbor, is director of the Senior Citizens of Western Orleans, and at the January luncheon meeting, she announced how important a role the card players play in the Center. Each week, half of the money collected from card players is put into a special fund and the other half provides prize money for the players. Last year, their $2 fee to play cards and donations in a special jug resulted in $2,530, enough to pay the fuel bill for the entire year.

The second Monday of each month is the dinner meeting at 11:30 a.m., sometimes featuring potluck and other times a prepared meal. Anyone who brings a guest to a prepared meal gets their meal and the guest’s at half price of $4. Often there is a program or speaker at the lunches.

Lady Dispatchers meet the last Tuesday of each month, with the Jan. 28 meeting featuring pizza, chips and ice cream. New members are always welcome.

It costs just $10 a year to become a member of the Senior Center, and anyone 50 or older is eligible to join.

Members are then eligible to take part in exercise classes for $1 each Wednesday. Leader is Michele Sargent from the Orleans County Office for the Aging.

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Finally Fridays concerts draw big crowd to Medina library

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 18 January 2020 at 10:58 am

Photos by Tom Rivers

MEDINA – Crikwater, a band from South Buffalo, performed on Friday evening at Lee-Whedon Memorial Library in Medina for the Finally Fridays concert series during the winter. Finally Fridays is in its 19th season.

Crikwater made its debut in the series on Friday with about 200 people in the crowd. For its final song of the night, the band weaved through the crowd. Crikwater performs many Irish American traditional folk songs.

Band members include from left: Peter Zalocha, Liam Caulfield, Charles Coughlin and Matthew Sperber.

This year’s Finally Fridays series started on Jan. 3 with Creek Bend Bluegrass followed by “A” Blues Band on Jan. 10.

The schedule for the rest of the season includes:

Jan. 24: A Moment in Time

Jan. 31: Outofar Trio Jug Band

Feb. 7: Serendipity Swings

Feb. 14: Mr. Mustard

Feb. 21: Lyin’ Eyes Unplugged

Feb. 28: Hot Club of Buffalo

March 6: Dark Horse Run

The concerts all start at 7 p.m. and free to the public. The concerts are made possible through funding by Friends of the Library and state Council on the Arts funding through the Decentralization Program, which is administered by the Genesee-Orleans Regional Arts Council.

Liam Caulfield, left, and Charlie Coughlin perform with Crikwater on Friday.

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Tops in Medina celebrates 25 years, opens time capsule

By Ginny Kropf, correspondent Posted 18 January 2020 at 9:47 am

Photos by Ginny Kropf: John Leible, the manager when Tops opened its store in Medina on Jan. 17, 1995, holds a copy of The Journal-Register which ran a story on the event. The newspaper was one of the items in a time capsule which was opened in ceremonies Friday.

MEDINA – Friday was a day for celebration at Tops Friendly Market in Medina.

The day marked the 25th anniversary of the day the store opened on Jan. 17, 1995.

In honor of the date, current employees, former managers and local officials gathered to watch a time capsule unsealed and opened by John Leible, the original store manager.

“John was here during the ground breaking and he was here when the store opened,” said Darlene Bowman, customer service manager, one of a handful of employees who has been with the store all 25 years.

This time capsule was sealed in the wall of Tops Friendly Market when the store was built 25 years ago. It was opened Friday in an observance of the store’s quarter century in Medina.

Leible spent 15 years with Tops and retired from the store which he opened.

Others who have been with the Medina Tops since it opened are Cheryl Gavenda, deli manager; Patti Farewell, overnight bakery associate; Jeff Farewell, grocery clerk; Don Barnard, dairy/frozen manager; and Peter Huth, fuel associate.

“This store is like my home,” Bowman said.

John Leible, left, manager of Tops Friendly Market in Medina when it opened Jan. 17, 1995, removes a time capsule from the wall, after Don Barnard removed the cover block. Barnard, dairy/frozen manager, has worked at the store all 25 years.

The anniversary celebration began with the small crowd gathering outside the front entrance, where Leible and Barnard unsealed and removed the time capsule in a block near the corner of the building, as current store manager Scott Fumanti welcomed the group.

“Special events like this allow us to reflect on past accomplishments, good times, bad times and moments that brought Tops workers together as a family,” Fumanti said. “Every journey becomes a milestone, and those milestones are an occasion for our celebration. This time capsule is now a piece of our history and a reason to reflect today.”

From left, John Leible, the original store manager of Tops in Medina; Don Barnard, dairy/frozen manager who has been with the store since it opened; and current store manager Scott Fumanti pose with the time capsule which was removed and opened on Friday.

Fumanti told the crowd to remember that a milestone is less of a date and more of a definition.

“What defines Tops in Medina is that the community of Medina 25 years ago welcomed Tops, and we in turn became the true definition of community, loyalty and especially family,” Fumanti said. “Our accomplishments at Tops for more than 25 years was measured by the community of Medina. And for that, we thank you.”

Items which were placed in a time capsule when Tops in Medina opened 25 years ago are pictured during the store’s 25th anniversary celebration on Friday. The items include a copy of The Journal-Register announcing the grand opening, pictures from the ground breaking until the opening, a copy of the grand opening ad, a coffee mug with Tops logo and a video tape of events leading up to the opening.

The celebration then moved inside the store, where Leible began removing items from the time capsule. There was a copy of The Journal-Register featuring a front page story on Tops opening. Leible pointed out the closing of Fisher-Price in Medina was announced in a smaller article in the corner of the paper. Other items in the time capsule included a coffee mug with Tops’ name, pictures, a copy of the opening ad and a video tape of the grand opening.

Local officials who were invited to witness the historic event included Medina Mayor Mike Sidari; police chief Chad Kenward; Kathy Blackburn, representing Medina Area Partnership; Michael Robinson, president of MAP; and Marguerite Sherman of the Medina Village Board.

Employees who worked at Tops in Medina when it opened on Jan. 17, 1995 posed for a picture after a time capsule was opened Friday commemorating the 25th anniversary of the store. From left are Cheryl Gavenda, deli manager; Sue Green, cake decorator; Jeff Farewell, grocery clerk; Patti Farewell, overnight baker; Don Barnard, dairy/frozen food manager; Darlene Bowman, customer service manager; and John Leible, store manager when Tops opened. He retired from there after 15 years with the grocery chain.

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Hometown Heroes banners coming to Albion, with second group in Medina

Photo by Tom Rivers: A banner for Frank Berger hangs in the gymnasium at the Orleans County YMCA on May 19, during a reception before the banners were put out in Medina before Memorial Day. Banners for Bruce Burns, left, and Kenneth Edward Baehr are next to the one for Berger. Medina displayed 38 banners last year of veterans, with 63 more to be added this year.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 17 January 2020 at 12:24 pm

ALBION –  The village is working to add Hometown Heroes banners this year in the downtown with a goal to have up to 40 in place by July. The banners would stay up until after Veterans’ Day in November.

Albion is following the example of Holley, Medina and Brockport in honoring veterans from the community. Albion is working to finalize the details for the program. The banners would be a maximum of $200, to be paid for by family or friends of a veteran. The cost may be less if the village can use existing hardware to secure the banners. That expense may drop to $150, said Mayor Eileen Banker, who is managing the program for Albion.

She has seen the banners in Holley, Medina and Brockport and said the display of portraits sends a powerful message.

“We should honor our veterans, the ones who are serving now and who come before us,” she said. “They made this country.”

Banker wants to know if there is interest from thr Albion community in honoring veterans with the banners. People interested could send her an email at ebanker@villageofalbionny.com or call or text her at (585) 356-0686. She is aiming for late February to early March to submit an order for the banners. They would by 2 ½ feet by 5 feet, the same size as the ones in Medina.

Albion is capped at 40 spots for the banners on Main Street between Beaver Street to just past the Erie Canal, as well as on Bank Street, between Platt and Liberty streets.

There will be a form at the Village Office beginning on Jan. 22 for people interested in the program. Banker said they will go to people “on a first come, first served basis.”

In Medina, the banners go up just before Memorial Day. Albion has banners up promoting the Strawberry Festival until after that event the second Friday and Saturday in June. After the Strawberry Festival, the banners of veterans will be displayed. This year it likely won’t be until July.

Medina will add 63 more banners this year

The banners have been very popular in Medina. Last year, there were 38 displayed in the first year, with 63 more coming in May. The program is organized by Mary Woodruff, a Ridgeway town councilwoman.

The banners last year included current and previous soldiers from the community, with some going back to World War II.

The new group of banners this year includes one veteran from the Civil War. The banners will continue in the downtown on Main Street, and East and West Center streets, and on Park Avenue. New locations will be added this year farther down on East and West Center streets, Park Avenue, Pearl Street, West Avenue and South Main Street.

Woodruff said there likely will be a reception in May at the YMCA with the banners hung in the gymnasium.

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