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Chamber’s Business Person of the Year is dedicated to farmers’ market in Medina

Photo by Ginny Kropf: Gail Miller, left, checks out the pumpkins at Maggie Roberts’ stand at the Canal Village Farmers’ Market. Miller has been the volunteer coordinator for the market since it opened in 2015. She has been named Business Person of the Year by the Orleans County Chamber of Commerce for her efforts.

By Ginny Kropf, correspondent Posted 10 October 2018 at 8:40 am

MEDINA – When Gail Miller retired in 2013 as a business analyst for IBM, she wasn’t planning on going back to work.

But that’s exactly what she did – as volunteer coordinator of Medina ’s Canal Village Farmers’ Market.

Her efforts in developing the market, securing vendors and promoting local agriculture have earned her the distinction of Orleans County Chamber of Commerce’s Business Person of the Year. She will be recognized with the other Chamber honorees on Oct. 18 at the White Birch Country Club in Lyndonville.

“I was on the board of the Orleans County Farmers’ Market, and when it quit, I thought it was a shame,” Miller said. “I mentioned it to several people, including Cindy Robinson, who said she would be willing to help get another market going. I must admit, it was more work than I thought it would be, but it has been well worth it.”

Miller is at the market, which operates in the former bank lot on the corner of West Avenue and West Center Street, every Saturday morning. The lot is owned by the Orleans Renaissance Group, which sponsors the market.

File photo by Tom Rivers: Gail Miller strives to make the market a fun place. She wore an Angry Bird costume in 2015 near Halloween. She is pictured with Chris Busch, chairman of the Orleans Renaissance Group, which oversees the farmers’ market.

In July 2015, the new market opened with eight vendors. There are now 20 on most Saturdays, who offer a variety of products, such as sausage, pork, chemical free and heirloom produce, dehydrated mixes, vegan food, baked goods, poultry, flour and maple syrup.

There are also vendors with children’s books and wineries who rotate every Saturday. A Canal Kids’ Tent provides games, puzzles, chalk art and free books to children.

“While our goal is to have farm-based products, we try to build on that and have a variety,” Miller said. “We have a different artist every week, who might do pottery, needlework or painting. It’s like a part-time job, and if it wasn’t for my husband helping me, I would be spending hours every day.”

They provide a community tent for non-profits to use each week. A recent week it was used by the Knights-Kaderli Fund to promote their annual walk/run. Another week, it might be yoga demonstrations.

Miller said she couldn’t believe it when she learned she had been recognized by the Chamber.

“I don’t think of myself as a business person, but more of a coordinator to help other people reach their goal, while helping the community get good, healthy and home-grown food,” she said.

She credits Chris Busch, the ORG chairman, for his work with the market, especially doing all the advertising, and eight other volunteers.

Miller is an active member of her community in other ways, as well.

She is membership chairman for the Medina Historical Society, a volunteer for the Parade of Lights and a member of Medina hospital’s Honeysuckle Twig.

Miller grew up in Cambria on her family’s crop farm, where she worked.

“While I am honored by the Chamber award, it is a tribute to the market and all its vendors,” she said. “It’s been a group effort.”

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Medina students learn about community service options locally

Photos courtesy of Medina Central School: Ryenn Oliver stopped by a display and chatted with Teresa Wilkins (Home for the Holidays 5k) and Debbie Tompkins (PTSA).

Posted 9 October 2018 at 2:52 pm

MEDINA – Every year, Medina High School staff organize a Community Day in the cafeteria.  Participant in Government teacher Todd Bensley said that the school extends an invitation to different community organizations to come and try to get students to do community service with them.

“Each student has to do 10 hours of community service with an organization,” Bensley said.  “We had 14 organizations show up so that students could make the initial contact and then it is up to the students to follow through with the contacts.”

Students met in the cafeteria and made their way around all the tables so that they could see what kind of activities the organizations offer. Mr. Bensley said that some students have already done their community service and didn’t have to pick from the options at the cafeteria.  “They are free to pick their own organization to volunteer at,” he said. “This gives them an opportunity to make a connection with a non-profit.”

Sue Metzo from the Medina Area Association of Churches discusses the organization with Justine Sargent and Patience Worley. Back row: Emma Baldwin, Courtney Lang, Zoey Adkins, Alexis Greco and Libby Cook.

Chairperson of Community Action in Orleans and Genesee Counties, Ronnie Barhite, said she thinks it is very important for students to volunteer their time.

“Being involved helps them to realize that it is not just about you,” she said. “They need to help others because that is how a society works when people work together. If they give a little volunteer time, maybe when they leave school they will find other places to volunteer. A lot of volunteer jobs turn into your real job or your second or third job. It gives the kids a real sense of accomplishment.”

Jennifer Ossont, who also teaches Participant in Government at the High School, said, “It is so important for our students to see that our school is a vital part of the community, and we appreciate these organizations coming in to expose our students to all of the great resources and opportunities our community has to offer. It is a win-win situation for the community and our students.”

Michael Quackenbush hears about the Education Recreation Club from Dan Doctor.

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Before their big day, couple celebrated a mock wedding before nursing home residents

Staff Reports Posted 8 October 2018 at 8:59 pm

Provided photos

MEDINA – Laura Guzik, an employee for the past 36 years at Orchard Rehabilitation & Nursing Center (formerly Orchard Manor), tosses her bouquet of flowers on Thursday during a mock wedding.

Guzik would get married for the real two days later on Saturday.

Laura Guzik and Keith Ward celebrated a mock wedding on Thursday Orchard Rehabilitation & Nursing Center. Laura, an LPN and employee at the nursing center for 36 years, is a lifelong Medina resident.

Ward was born in Warsaw in Wyoming County and lived in California for 40 years before returning to Albion. He met Laura’s son Bobby while attending Genesee Community College.  Bobby liked Keith so much he invited him home for dinner.  In time, Laura and Keith hit it off and started dating. The rest, as they say, is history.

Jamie Murphy, activities director, decided it would be fun to include the residents in the wedding planning. Laura was game, so Murphy and her staff and residents got busy making tissue flowers at a craft session to be used for decorations. They even created Laura’s wedding bouquet. The flowers adorned the aisle, tables, and grapevine wedding arch.

Residents donned hats and fancy jewelry for the affair. Laura wore her actual wedding dress for all to see. Traditional wedding music played as they waited for the ceremony to begin. Jamie Murphy officiated. She read words of advice for a good marriage she had compiled from residents and staff.

Vows and rings were exchanged and Mr. and Mrs. Ward were pronounced “husband and wife.”

Everyone indulged in cake and punch. The “newlyweds” danced to Love Will Keep Us Alive by The Eagles and Color My World by Chicago.

Laura even threw her bouquet which was caught by resident, Karen Boone. Karen was thrilled.

Laura’s Orchard Nursing Center family wished her and Keith well as they departed.

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Medina band continues winning streak at Webster

Posted 8 October 2018 at 11:43 am

Photo courtesy of Medina Marching Band

MEDINA – The Webster Marching Band held its 33rd annual field show on Saturday with seven bands performing.

In SS1 Medina took first place with a score of 81.90 followed by East Irondequoit in second at 78.45.

Other winners were LeRoy in SS3 with 66.35; Hilton in LS3 with 72.15; Orchard Park in LS2 with 81.70 and Victor in National with 86.05. The Webster band is in LS2 but that performed in exhibition and therefore was not scored.

Amongst Medina’s instructional staff are six former members of the marching band including Matt Jaeger, Joe Organisciak, Diana Baker, Jeff Pask, TJ Gray and Katie Granchelli. These individuals know first-hand the value of the program and strive to teach that along with the techniques to be successful. The band will perform again on Oct. 13 at Victor and Oct. 20 at Orchard Park.

The state championships are Sunday, Oct. 28, at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse. The Band Boosters are again offering a charter bus for 55 people for $25 each (not including entrance to the Dome for $19.) This is a great deal because passengers won’t have to be concerned with the price of gas, parking fees, thruway tolls or places to park or traffic.

Reservations are being taken now by contacting Jim Steele at 585-317-9389. The cut-off date is Oct. 17.

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Kids learn fire prevention at annual Medina FD open house

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 8 October 2018 at 8:41 am

Photos by Tom Rivers

MEDINA – The Medina Fire Department held its annual open house on Sunday. Donato Rosario, a new Medina firefighter, helps Nathan Gray, 4, of Medina aim a fire nozzle at a target as part of the open house.

The open house included fire safety material, fire station tours, fire extinguisher training, family activities, car seat inspections and other activities.

Fake smoke comes out of the 35-foot-long fire safety training trailer. The trailer is owned by Orleans County’s Emergency Management Office, and is available to all 12 fire departments in the county.

Inside, there are smoke simulators with fog. The trailer is used to help children and families develop fire escape plans. Firefighters stress the importance of having working smoke alarms, knowing two ways of getting out of a room. A door is the first try, but the second way out may be a window. Families should also have a meeting place outside a house or apartment in case of fire. Usually that is in front of the residence.

Robert McCarthy, 12, of Medina sprays water on the targets set up in the parking lot behind the fire hall.

Jonathan Higgins, a captain with the Fire Department, assists Robert McCarthy in aiming the nozzle at the targets.

Before the open house the Fire Department held its annual memorial service. This year the department honored the late Raymond “Pete” Morgan, a long-time Medina firefighter and police officer who passed away on Jan. 31 at age 68. A memorial brick is in his honor by the firefighter memorial in front of City Hall.

Photos courtesy of Steve Cooley: The memorial service was moved inside the firehall due to the weather.

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First food tour in Medina whets appetite for more in the future

Photos by Ginny Kropf: Alix Gilman, who owns the Shirt Factory Café with Scott Robinson, sets up cups as she gets ready to serve a specialty drink to the first participants in Medina ’s Canal Village Food Tour on Saturday.

By Ginny Kropf, correspondent Posted 8 October 2018 at 7:57 am

MEDINA – Sue Green and Sue Squires of Medina are longtime friends who are always looking for new things to do.

Saturday’s first Canal Village Food Tour was no exception and the ladies were among the first to purchase their tickets when they went on sale.

“I was excited about the street part and history walk,” Squires said. “I have a lot of friends who visit from out of town and it will be fun to tell them about the things I’ve learned.”

Green said for her it was a lot about spending time with her friends, but the bonus was learning about things in her home town that she never knew before. Also, having a career in the food industry, she said it would be interesting to see what they got to eat and drink along the way.

The Canal Village Food Tour was sponsored by Orleans Renaissance Group, Canal Village Farmers’ Market and Shirt Factory Café. It was an idea born out of the very successful Farm to Table dinners the last several years in Medina, said Chris Busch, president of ORG.

Lifelong friends Sue Green, left, and Sue Squires, both of Medina, show their tickets to Medina’s first Canal Village Food Tour Saturday at the Shirt Factory Café, where participants gathered to begin their culinary journey.

The food tour began at the Shirt Factory Café, where owners Alix Gilman and Scott Robinson first served a seasonal specialty drink, ending with a Medina 1832 sparkling cocktail. The couple then acted as tour guides as they led their group of a dozen to participating venues in downtown Medina, sharing stories of the historic buildings along the way.

Makaila Albanese was working at the counter during the morning, and said everyone who came back after the tour was talking about the progress in Medina and asking lots of questions.

“There’s definitely talk of doing another tour,” she said.

Scott Robinson said business owners were all excited about how the first food tour went and they are anxious to try another.

“This was a test run to see how it would go,” Robinson said. “It’s pretty sure we’ll have another before the end of the year. People were pretty impressed with what is going on in Medina .”

Future food tours will most likely accommodate more people, while keeping each group small, Robinson said.

“At this point, almost anything is on the table,” he said.

Iva McKenna and her daughter Jenny of Albion showed up early, hoping to get tickets, but they were all sold out.

“So we made our own tour,” Iva said. “We went to Sourced in Millville for breakfast, then came here to the Shirt Factory Café for coffee and now we’re going to the farmers’ market. Then we’ll end up at the MAAC Thrift Depot to shop.”

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Medina’s Agriculture students use alpaca fibers for dryer balls

Posted 2 October 2018 at 3:49 pm

Provided photo: (Left to right): Freshmen Zaric Boyce, Joe Cecchini and Zachary Fike work with alpaca fiber.

Press Release, Medina Central School

MEDINA – Medina High School’s Agriculture Exploration class has taken on a cool project by making dryer balls out of alpaca fiber.

An alpaca is a species of South American camelid and is very similar to a llama. The school district’s farm has several of the animals and Agriculture teacher and FFA advisor, Todd Eick, thought it would be a great project for his students to make all-natural dryer balls.

The balls are a friendly alternative to chemicals on fabric softeners and dryer sheets that reduce static and wrinkles.

“Most of the students in the Ag Exploration class are in 8th and 9th grade and have been spending class time skirting alpaca fibers,” he says.

Skirting means cleaning out vegetation from the fibers.

“We make the dryer balls out of the skirted material and the waste that is picked out is either turned into mesh balls for bird nest makers or put into our compost bin,” Eick said. “It is a zero waste project.”

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Medina Savings & Loan marks first day of merger with Generations Bank

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 1 October 2018 at 3:27 pm

Photos by Tom Rivers

MEDINA – Menzo Case (center), president and CEO of Generations Bank, helps cut the ribbon this morning on the first day of the merger of Medina Savings & Loan Association with Generations Bank, which is based in Seneca Falls.

Medina S & L started in Medina in 1888. Case said Generations was looking to grow and was attracted to the Medina community, which is a similar size small town as Seneca Falls.

Medina S & L’s existing branch offices – Maple Ridge Road in Medina and inside the Wal-Mart on Route 31 in Albion – will become branch offices of Generations Bank. The Medina branch offices will operate under the name “MSL, a division of Generations Bank” for at least two years.

All of the current 12 Medina employees will remain, Case said.

Menzo Case, president and CEO of Generations Bank, said the bank looks forward to serving the Medina, Albion and Orleans County community. “We are pleased to announce our partnership with Medina Savings and Loan,” Case said. “We are very familiar with Medina, its conservative approach to banking and its deep roots in the communities it serves. We are very excited about the future of our combined company.”

Two members of Medina’s board of directors will become members of the boards of directors of Generations Bank, Seneca-Cayuga and The Seneca Falls Savings Bank, MHC, the mutual holding company of Generations Bank.

The Medina board members include Tim Moriarty, who has retired as the president of the Medina Savings and Loan, and Howie Gardner, who was on the board for the Medina S & L.

“We couldn’t have picked a better merger partner,” said Don Colquhoun, who was the chairman of the Medina S & L. “Their emphasis on their customers and community reminded us of ourselves. The cultures are very similar.”

The Medina S & L sites will soon new technology implemented that would have been costly for the small town bank, Colquhoun said.

The sign for the Medina Savings and Loan on Maple Ridge Road in Medina is scheduled to be removed tomorrow with a new sign going up to reflect Generations Bank.

Brad Jones, chairman of the board for Generations Bank, said Medina and Orleans County are similar to Seneca Falls and Seneca County, which have a rich history with a renewed focus on economic development.

“This is more than a merger,” Jones said. “This is a marriage made in Heaven.”

Lynne Johnson, chairwoman of the Orleans County Legislature, was among the local officials who welcomed Generations Bank to the county. Johnson said the bank can be a partner in promoting economic development in the community. She called Orleans, “an up and coming county.”

Medina Mayor Mike Sidari and Assemblyman Michael Norris also attended a ribbon-cutting ceremony this morning and welcomed Generations to Orleans County.

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Medina band has top score for small schools at West Genesee competition

Staff Reports Posted 30 September 2018 at 5:48 pm

Photo courtesy of Medina Marching Band

CAMILLIS – The Medina Mustang Marching Band traveled to West Genesee High School in Camillus on Saturday for the band’s third competition this season.

Nine bands competed in four classifications while West Genesee performed in exhibition. In SS1, Medina took first place with a score of 80.85 followed by Central Square in second with 78.95, New Hartford in third with 77.0 and Mohonasen in fourth with 75.80.

In LS3, Rome Free Academy won first with 71.5 and Phoenix had the high score in SS2 with 70.50. In the National Class, Cicero North Syracuse earned first place with a score of 86.40 followed by Baldwinsville in second with 84.90 and Liverpool in third with 81.90.

The band continues to tweak the show each week in preparation for the state championships at Syracuse on Oct. 28. There are three competitions before the state championship. The next shows are Oct. 6 in Webster, Oct. 13 in Victor and Oct. 20 at Orchard Park.

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Family of World War I soldier visits Legion Post in Medina that bears his name

Photos by Ginny Kropf: Descendants of James P. Clark, for whom the Butts-Clark American Legion is named, pose under his picture during a ceremony Saturday in honor of the 100th anniversary of the soldier’s death during World War I. Seated from left are Carol Clark, great-niece; Chere Bougard, great-niece, holding great-great-great-niece Roxa Paige, 3; and Sandy Bougard, wife of great-nephew Tom Bougard. Standing from left are great-great-niece, Jennifer Clark Page with children Daphne, 7, and Arthur, 19 months; Katherine and Randy Bougard, great-nephew; Barry Scolaro, husband of great-niece Chere Bougard; and Thomas Bougard, great-nephew.

By Ginny Kropf, correspondent Posted 30 September 2018 at 9:06 am

MEDINA – Jennifer Clark Paige never knew her great-great-uncle Cpl. James P. Clark.

But on Saturday, she and her second cousin Chere Bougard of North Tonawanda had a hard time choking back the tears during a special ceremony honoring Clark at the American Legion Post on North Main Street .

“Although I never met him, he’s a hero and I would not be here without his sacrifice,” Paige said.

An honor guard from the Butts-Clark American Legion and Medina VFW offer a three-gun salute during ceremonies to honor Cpl. James P. Clark, who died 100 years ago Saturday while serving in World War I. In the background is bugler Russell Young, and standing at attention are Jim Freas and chaplain Dave Kusmierczak.

Cpl. James P. Clark was a Medina resident and member of Company F, who trained at the Medina Armory, along with his brothers Leslie and Seth.

All three were at the Hindenburg Line in France on Sept. 27, 1918, when James was shot and died.

“I had it in my mind we could go to France and visit the American section of Bony Cemetery, where Uncle James is buried,” said Chere Bougard, great-niece. “When it became apparent we weren’t going to get there, we started making other plans to memorialize him.”

About five years ago Bougard visited the Butts-Clark American Legion, which is named for Lt. John Butts and Clark.

She suggested to her second cousin, Jennifer Clark Page of Buffalo, about doing a ceremony in Medina, and Paige said, “Yes, yes.”

“We contacted the Post and they were more than welcoming,” Bougard said.

Glenn Whitmore, commander of the Butts-Clark American Legion Post in Medina, presents a coin given at military funerals to Chere Bougard of North Tonawanda, great-niece of Cpl. James P. Clark, who was killed in action 100 years ago and for whom the Post was named.

Saturday’s ceremony began with the Pledge of Allegiance and reading of the circumstances surrounding Cpl. Clark’s death by Cathy Fox.

“Today, Sept. 29, 2018, marks the 100th anniversary of Cpl. James P. Clark’s death,” Fox said. “It is appropriate we gather to pay our respects to this young soldier.

“One-hundred years ago, Company F, 108th Infantry, which was made up of infantrymen from Medina and New York City, was part of one of the great offensive movements launched by American forces during World War I – to break through the German defenses at the Hindenburg Line. The object was Bony, France. That day, the attack began in the early morning hours and as the day progressed, they suffered heavy casualties. But, by 11 a.m. they had reached their goal.

“As the offensive progressed, the commanding officers of the unit were also lost. Cpl. James P. Clark of Medina assumed command of his unit at a moment when confusion could have overcome the men. For nearly 20 minutes, he urged his friends forward before receiving a gunshot wound to the chest. He died in the arms of his comrades. Of the 239 in Company F who had started the long march across the shell- and bullet-racked field, only 54 answered roll call after the engagement.”

Cathy Fox with the American Legion reads the story of Cpl. James P. Clark’s death during World War I during a ceremony honoring him Saturday at the Butts-Clark American Legion. At right is Legion commander Glenn Whitmore.

Cpl. Clark was posthumously awarded the Distinguished Service Medal for “leading his men into effective action after all superior officers had been killed, and directing that action coolly and courageously.”

Fox explained that following the war, in early 1919 as the American Legion was becoming an official veterans’ organization, posts were being organized across the country. In Medina, the first step was deciding on a name for the new post, and it was a policy to name a post after a resident who had given his life for his country in the Great War.

This picture of the Clark brothers shows Leslie, 6; Seth, 4; and James, 2. It was provided by the family, who visited the American Legion Post in Medina Saturday on the 100th anniversary of James’ death in World War I. All three brothers were serving at the Hindenburg Line when James was killed.

Cpl. Clark was one of Medina’s first to die in France. The decision to name the post after him also honored his family, whose two other sons were wounded and able to return home.

Saturday’s ceremony then moved outside, where an Honor Guard from the American Legion and VFW gave a three-gun salute, followed by the playing of Taps by bugler Russell Young.

Legion commander Glenn Whitmore said it was a pleasure and an honor to have Clark ’s family there, as he presented Bougard with a coin which is given to a family at a military funeral. He also held up the Company F flag, under which Clark had served.

“We feel so honored to have the cooperation of these great people in Medina,” Bougard said.

“This has been very special,” Fox said.

Chere Bougard of North Tonawanda is solemn as the story of her great-uncle Cpl. James P. Clark’s death is read at the Butts-Clark American Legion Post on Saturday. Saturday marked the 100th anniversary of the soldier’s death at the Hindenburg Line.

From left, Glenn Whitmore, commander of the Butts-Clark American Legion Post; Jennifer Clark Page, great-great-niece of James P. Clark; Chere Bougard, great-niece of Clark’s; and Cathy Fox with the American Legion cut the cake during a ceremony Saturday to honor Clark, who died 100 years ago at the Hindenburg Line during World War I.

The Honor Guard from the VFW and American Legion in Medina pose with the family of Cpl. James P. Clark, who was killed 100 years ago Saturday during World War I, and for whom the American Legion is named.

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