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Artist opens new business in Medina, after 3 years of renovations

Photos by Ginny Kropf: Patricia Greene cuts the ribbon in a ceremony Friday to celebrate the opening of her new store, the Quiet Eye, at 121 East Center St., Medina. From left are Green’s husband Alex; Barry Flansburg, who represented Assemblyman Steve Hawley; Patricia Greene; Orleans County Chamber of Commerce director Darlene Hartway; Diane Blanchard, who heads the Microenterprise Assistance Program class which Greene took; and Sam Campanella with SCORE, who works with Microenterprise participants.

By Ginny Kropf, correspondent Posted 7 January 2020 at 9:03 am

Site by canal also created as a ‘spiritual space’

MEDINA – Patricia Greene has never wanted to be anything but an artist, but opening her own studio has been a long time coming.

On Friday, Greene celebrated the grand opening of The Quiet Eye at 121 East Center St., the building she and husband Alex have spent three years renovating.

Alex Greene, who did the work renovating his wife’s new studio, shows the antique door he acquired for the bathroom. He also made the floors from old pallets, which he cut and arranged in a herringbone pattern.

Darlene Hartway, director of the Orleans County Chamber of Commerce, welcomed those in attendance and congratulated the Greenes on their new venture. Barry Flansburg, representing Assemblyman Steve Hawley, presented Patricia with a certificate.

“You’ve done a beautiful job here restoring this place,” Flansburg said. “This is a wonderful addition to Medina.”

Sam Campanella with SCORE added his congratulations. He mentors members of Orleans Economic Development Agency’s Microenterprise Assistance Program, which Patricia took in the spring of 2017. Program leader Diane Blanchard said Patricia will do a wonderful job here.

Greene grew up in Syracuse and graduated from Buffalo State College with a bachelor of arts degree. She and Alex moved to Medina in 2001.

The first time Patricia saw the small building on East Center Street, she said it looked like a shack, but she wanted it. As far back as 60, 70 years ago, it was a monument store and a law office. Several other entities have operated there over the years, including a church.

Patricia was curious what the building originally looked like and went to Lee-Whedon Memorial Library to see if they had a picture. Library director Catherine Cooper went to her computer and brought up a picture which had recently been sent to her by a distant relative of a Medina resident who lived in Australia. The person said she thought the picture belonged in Medina. It was a picture of the building in the 1930s.

Patricia Green relaxes in the space she will use to do readings at her new business, The Quiet Eye.

Alex said remodeling the building was fun, and they used antique furnishings as much as possible. The floor is made from slats from old wood pallets, which Alex laid in a herringbone pattern. Patricia painted the walls with eight layers of alternating processes, including stencils, sponging, painting and washing.

The sign over the door identifies the studio as a “Fine Art, Creative & Spiritual Space.”

In addition to art classes, Patricia will also offer private spiritual readings, something in which she became interested many years ago. In fact, as a child she made her own set of tarot cards, before she even knew what tarot cards were.

Gina Miller of Carlton admires an hourglass her husband Terry made for Patricia Greene to use when she does readings.

“Although I had these abilities, I never considered myself a medium,” Patricia said. “After my father passed away seven years ago, I encouraged my sister to further her education. Then a voice in my head said, ‘What about you.’ I always thought I’d be a massage therapist and decided to go to massage school. Then the night before I was supposed to go sign the papers for school, my spiritual mentor called and told me not to do it. ‘You’re supposed to go to metaphysical school.’”

She followed that advice and spent two years studying prophecy and healing at the Fellowship of the Spirit at Lily Dale in Chautauqua County.

She almost went in business with someone in Buffalo, but she wanted to be in Medina.

“I had seen this building and I wanted it,” Patricia said. “One of my teachers had given me a reading and said one day I would own my own place. It will be 15 minutes from your house and when, at the end of the day, you put your feet up, you will be overlooking water.”

The Quiet Eye is located in front of the Canal Basin, overlooking the Erie Barge Canal.

“I am blessed,” Patricia said.

Patricia will offer morning classes and workshops in oil paint and mixed media. She will do readings by appointment on Mondays and Fridays.

She can be reached by calling (585) 798-5860, on Facebook at TheQuietEye or by e-mailing

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American Legion remains active in community following 100th anniversary

By Ginny Kropf, correspondent Posted 1 January 2020 at 11:38 am

Members at Medina post reflect on their military service

Photos by Ginny Kropf: Fred Heschke of Medina was in the Navy from 1961 to 1967, serving with an anti-submarine squadron off the coast of San Diego. His service included helping at officers’ training school and being an aviation ordinance man on an A4 Skyhawk.

MEDINA – The year 2019 was a very significant one for American Legions nationwide, as it marked the organization’s 100th anniversary.

Frank Berger of Medina, a dedicated veteran, shared an article in the September 2018 issue of American Legion Magazine, in which the history of the American Legion is documented. It tells about 20 non-career officers who were personally selected by Lt. Col. Theodore Roosevelt Jr., son of future president Theodore Roosevelt, and ordered by American Expeditionary Forces Commanding General John Pershing to report to a YMCA office in Paris on Feb. 15, 1919.

Their purpose was to address the declining morale among cold, wet, miserable troops awaiting passage home from World War I, the war that was supposed to end all wars.

Interestingly, nine of those 20 officers who formed the American Legion had trained at the Plattsburgh Training Camps in upstate New York.

The American Legion was chartered by Congress in 1919 as a patriotic veterans’ organization. Its first national commander was Franklin D’Olier, who never trained at Plattsburgh, but did grant leave to employees of his mercantile business so they could attend.

A drive to recruit members ensued and by July 1, 1919, less than a thousand posts were formed. By Aug. 1, the number had more than doubled, and by Sept. 1, it had quadrupled. On Oct. 1, the number of Legion posts had grown to 5,670.

Frank Berger

Membership in the American Legion quickly grew to more than one million. Although membership has declined in recent years, numbers listed on an American Legion website indicate there are still nearly 2 million members in more than 12,000 posts throughout the United States, making it the largest wartime veterans service organization.

Berger provided additional information which indicated there are 3.35 million members nationwide, including the Legion, Legion Auxiliary and Sons of the American Legion.

Orleans County has four American Legion posts – the Sheret Post 35 in Albion (one of the earliest to be formed) with 81 current members; the Jewell-Buckman Post 529 in Holley with 143 members; and the Houseman-Tanner Post 1603 in Lyndonville with 41 members.

In Medina, American Legion Post 204 listed 79 members when it received its charter on Aug. 8, 1919, and was originally named the James P. Clark Post. There were 266 members when the name was changed to the Butts-Clark Post July 19, 1954, to honor 2nd lt. John E. Butts of Medina, who was killed during the Normandy Campaign in World War II.

The Butts-Clark post observed several historic events during its centennial year.

The first, on Memorial Day, was participating in the dedication of a World War I-era cannon at State Street Park after the cannon had undergone a complete restoration. This followed with a birthday cake at the Post on North Main Street, where many members had gathered.

Frank Berger is shown in his Navy uniform in the 1950s.

On Sept. 30, the Post was honored to welcome the family of Lt. James P. Clark, in observance of the 100th anniversary of Clark’s death while fighting in France during World War I.

Clark is one of two Medina veterans for whom the Medina American Legion Post was named. Both lost their lives fighting for their country.

Clark was a Medina resident who trained with Company F at the Medina Armory, along with his brothers Leslie and Seth. All three were at the Hindenburg Line in France on Sept. 27, 1918, where James was shot Sept. 29 and died.

Butts was one of five brothers to serve in World War II. He received the Medal of Honor posthumously for his actions above and beyond the call of duty during the Normandy Campaign.

Today the Butts-Clark American Legion Post has 170 members and continues to be active in community events.

Among the causes and organizations the Butts-Clark Post supports and/or participates in include sponsoring a pizza party in November at the VA Medical Center in Batavia (this was previously a picnic in June but was changed at their request); contributing with the 8th District American Legion to the Christmas fund at the Batavia VAMC; recognizing a Legionnaire of the Year; providing bingo games, snacks and canteen books at the VAMC; and sponsoring summer baseball for Cubs and Powder Puff leagues in the summer.

Tony Vicknair of Medina served with the Army in Vietnam.

Also, they sponsor an 11th grade student to American Legion Boys State and a student to American Legion Oratorical Contest; fire rifles at ceremonies at all veterans’ memorials, plus the county memorial on Veteran’s Day; place flags on veterans’ graves in May; fire rifles during observances at cemeteries, memorials in the area and participate in the Memorial Day parade; present American Legion Award certificates to two eighth-grade students; and provide a rifle squad and color guard for an average of 45 military funerals in the Medina area.

And, lastly, they send delegates to monthly county Legion members, the Eighth District American Legion six times a year and the State Department of New York American Legion Convention in July; ring bells at Christmas time for the Salvation Army; participate in Orleans County Joint Veterans Council meetings once a month; join with other county veterans’ organizations for a 9-11 ceremony in Albion; deliver up to 56 Christmas packages to shut-in veterans and those in nursing homes in December (this year the number was 75); provide an honor guard for Wreaths Across America ceremony in Boxwood Cemetery each December; participate in a Four Chaplains Service in February in Holley; and observe Flag Day June 14 with flag burning ceremonies with the Boy and Cub Scouts.

Gene Hart of Albion was a canine handler during his stint in the Army during the Vietnam era. He sits here with his dog during a gathering at the Butts-Clark American Legion Post.

Members of the Butts-Clark Post meet the first Tuesday of every month at a local restaurant and every other Tuesday at the post to have coffee and donuts.

Its members have varied military backgrounds.

Berger served in the Navy during the Korean War aboard the battleship Missouri and the heavy cruiser Macon in the Caribbean and the Mediterranean Sea.

Gene Hart of Albion was a truck driver at Fort Dix, until being sent overseas. He became a canine handler in the Army, serving from February 1967 to November 1968 in Vietnam. A member of the 24th Infantry, Hart said he patrolled the ammo dumps and missile sites with guard dogs.

“The German Shepherd dogs were all trained, and they trained us,” he said. “We could work 24 hours without sleep, but the dogs could only work four.”

Tony Vicknair of Medina was an Army veteran who served a year in Vietnam. He tells of driving a jeep north, almost to the Cambodian border, using infrared lighting and binoculars to scan for the Viet Cong. He saw the C-130, Puff the Magic Dragon, with gatling guns under its tail. As the plane banked, all he could see was tracers.

Randolph Wells of Medina served from 1973 to 1990 in various duties, including a supply warehouse clerk in Okinawa and working at a MARS radio station in Vietnam.

Randolph Wells of Medina served from August 1973 to 1990. He was sent to Okinawa where he was a supply warehouse clerk and served in emergency and reconnaissance. He also spent three months in Alaska putting up radio stations and emergency first aid tents. He was then sent to Honolulu, where he did the same thing, followed by Camp Pendleton and Vietnam, where he worked in a MARS radio station. He was part of the group which brought refugees back from Vietnam.

He loaded rockets on planes and served aboard the flattop aircraft carrier Oriskany. He spent nearly eight months aboard ship before his tour ended in 1967.

Peter Huth of Medina was an Army veteran from 1963 to 1966, serving in Germany with the Mounted Police.

Peter Huth is shown in his Mounted Police uniform.

“When I got drafted, everyone was sent to Vietnam, but I went to Frankfort, Germany,” Huth said. “We were the lucky ones. The day I was supposed to leave was the day President Kennedy was assassinated.”

Dave Morien of Medina was 25 years old when he went in the Marines, where he served from 1966 to 1968. He spent time in Quantico, Va., working as an office clerk for a major.

Glenn Whitmore of Gasport had an illustrious career with the Navy, serving from 1962 to 1966 as an aircraft handler on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier, USS Forrestel in the Atlantic in Europe. He moved planes as they landed and took them off and put them on the catapults.

He helped prepare the ship for Vietnam after it had been in drydock.

Glenn Whitmore of Gasport, commander of the Butts-Clark American Legion Post is shown on the deck of the USS Forrestel when he was invited to take a final cruise on the ship before it was decommissioned.

“I was very fortunate,” Whitmore said. “After I got off the ship, they had the biggest disaster since World War II. The ship blew up when a Zuni missile accidentally came from the bow of the ship and went down the stern to the aircraft armed and ready to take off. Senator John McCain was on the flight deck in one of those planes. He was lucky. He then transferred to the USS Oriskany. If I had been there, I’d be dead. One of my comrades was killed. I’m not sorry I went in the Navy. I did what I had to do.”

Whitmore was later honored when he was invited to go to the White House in October 2018, and laid a wreath on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington Cemetery.

“My heart was beating like a drum,” he said.

In 1992, Whitmore was one of 75 sailors who served on the Forrestel who were invited to go on a week-long cruise prior to its decommissioning. They sailed from Jacksonville to Pensacola, Fla. and Whitmore said it was a highlight of his life.

The ship was then taken to Brownsville, Texas, where it was dissembled and Whitmore received a piece of a bulkhead as a souvenir.

Jim Freas

Jim Freas of Medina was born in Philadelphia and joined the Marines in 1956, at age 18, right out of high school. After basic training at Camp Lejeune, he was sent to Henderson Hall in Arlington, Va. and then Okinawa with the Special Services Division. Next he went to Parris Island, S.C. and then Phoenix, Ariz., where he was a supply sergeant for recruiters.

In 1968, he was sent to Vietnam where he ran supplies between DaNang and Quang Tri.

Dave Higgins

What he remembers most is the night the commander of his guard got a call to bring a doctor to sick bay. There, on the floor lay a nine-foot, 400-pound tiger.

“The Green Berets on patrol said the tiger was following them and if it had attacked, it would have given away their position.”

Dave Higgins was drafted in 1968 and was an artillery truck driver. He did advance training at Fort Sills, Okla., and then went to Vietnam, where he said he was the “lamb.”

“I was the target in a convoy, driving ammunition and supplies,” Higgins said. “It was my job to draw fire from the enemy so they would show themselves and our helicopters could fire on them.”

When he returned from Vietnam, he went back to Fort Sills, where he was a training officer, teaching soldiers how to operate Howitzers.

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Ball drops in Medina for second annual New Year’s celebration

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 1 January 2020 at 10:05 am

Photos by Tom Rivers

MEDINA – Mile 303, a bar on Main Street in Medina, hosted a New Year’s Eve party on Tuesday night that culminated with a ball drop. (Click here to see a video of the ball drop.)

The ball is perched above Main Street just before midnight.

A section of Main Street was blocked off to traffic beginning at 11:30 p.m.

Mile 303 released light-up balloons from the upper floor windows and handed out glow sticks. Prior to the ball drop, Mile 303 hosted a collaborative tasting dinner with Sourced Market & Eatery and Bent’s Opera House.

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Medina church donates $13K towards new ultrasound machine for Care Net

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 24 December 2019 at 4:07 pm

Provided photo

MEDINA – One Church of Medina and Akron donated $13,000 towards a new ultrasound machine at Care Net of Greater Orleans. Wende Swick, Care Net executive director (center), accepts the check from One Church leaders.

One Church started in Medina on Christmas Eve two years ago at the former Sacred Heart Catholic Church on Ann Street.

Another anonymous donor has contributed $12,500  towards the ultrasound machine. The new equipment will be delivered during the week of Jan. 7-10, Swick said.

Care Net is located at 168 S. Main St., Suite 2 in Albion. Care Net provides free services which include pregnancy and STI testing, limited ultrasounds, classes in parenting, Bible study and life skills, material aid, and an “Earn While You Learn” program.

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Historical marker for St. John’s in Medina returns after a makeover

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 24 December 2019 at 9:03 am

Photos courtesy of Melissa Ierlan

MEDINA – The historical marker for the St. John’s Episcopal Church returned on Monday after it was repainted by Melissa Ierlan of Clarendon. This is the 21stmarker she has given an extensive makeover since 2015.

St. John’s Episcopal Church was built in 1832, making it the oldest remaining church in Orleans County. The church was featured in Ripley’s Believe It or Not as “The church in the middle of the street.” Church Street splits by the church near the intersection with East Center Street (Route 31).

The church was built with Medina sandstone before there were any commercial quarries.

Many of the markers had flaked off paint and were difficult to read. Ierlan starts by removing the top of the sign and then takes it home to give it a fresh look. She scrapes off the paint.

After stripping off the paint to the bare metal, she gives it a coat of gray primer. Then she paints the sign with two coats of blue. Ierlan gives the sign two coats of yellow and a final clear coat.

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Annual Medina community church service puts focus on peace and hope

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 22 December 2019 at 9:17 pm

Photos courtesy of Marsha Rivers

MEDINA – This photo is taken from the choir loft at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Medina on Saturday during the Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols. Aaron Grabowski, music director of Holy Trinity Parish (St. Mary’s Church), led the choir.

He also pushed to start the event a decade ago to focus on the joyful and spiritual season of Christmas, instead of the commercialism of the holiday.

The service alternating from Christmas music and scripture readings. The nine scriptural readings telling the story of the birth of the Messiah.

A free will offering was taken to benefit the community food pantry at St. Peter’s Evangelical Lutheran Church.

The Greycliffe String Quartet, a Buffalo-based string ensemble under the direction of Paul-Joseph Struckmann, was featured during the prelude. The group played two selections, “Riu Riu Chiu,” arranged by Marshall Fine, and movements “Sarabanda and Giga” from the “Violin Sonata in D Minor, Op. 5 No. 7 for Violin and Harpsichord” by Arcangelo Corelli.

The local ecumenical event has been hosted by Holy Trinity Parish for the last 10 years at Medina’s historic St. Mary’s Church.

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Nearly 700 wreaths set at veterans’ graves in Lyndonville, Medina

By Ginny Kropf, correspondent Posted 20 December 2019 at 5:35 pm

Provided photos

LYNDONVILLE/MEDINA – Volunteers last Saturday set nearly 700 wreaths at veterans’ graves in Lyndonville and Medina, including this one pictured at top at the grave of James Whipple, a Korean War veteran who died on April 25 at age 91.

There were 402 wreaths placed at veterans’ graves at six cemeteries in Lyndonville. Seven memorial wreaths were laid in honor of the Army,  Marine Corps,  Navy, Merchant Marines, Coast Guard, Air Force and POWs. Veterans buried in Lyndonville are from every conflict the United States starting with the Revolutionary War.

This is the first time Lyndonville participated in the Wreaths Across America. The event was made possible by an endowment fund established by Miss Anna Stelianou in memory of her parents and her five brothers. Those brothers all served in the U.S. military during World War II and the Korean War.

Approximately 50 volunteers helped to lay the wreaths in Lyndonville, including at Lynhaven Cemetery.

Boxwood Cemetery in Medina also is participating in Wreaths Across America, one of 2,100 cemeteries involved in the effort this year.

Boxwood first took part in Wreaths Across America in 2013. Only nine wreaths were placed that first year, said Kathy Blackburn, who has organized the event each year.

“This year, we had 261 wreaths, the largest number yet,” she said. “It grows every year, and this year was so successful because of a $1,900 donation from the veterans’ program called Peer to Peer. The VFW, American Legion, Junior Wilson’s Club and Sacred Heart Club are all generous donors to this program, along with individual supporters.”

Veteran Jim Freas of Medina salutes as wreaths are placed on veterans’ graves at Boxwood Cemetery on Dec. 14 as part of the national celebration of Wreaths Across America.

Even with the terrible weather, with rain and cold, the turnout was bigger than ever, and even included Medina Girl Scouts, Blackburn said.

“We saw many more families who brought their children to help place wreaths,” she added. “It was very moving to see these kids learning what it takes to have our freedom, and I can’t thank the parents enough for bringing their children to learn and honor.”

Members of the Boxwood Commission placed ceremonial wreaths for each branch of the service. In addition, Assemblyman Stephen Hawley from Batavia placed the POW wreath.

A veterans’ honor guard was led by Jim Freas of Medina.

The national Wreaths Across America organization is sponsoring a program from now until Jan. 15. If anyone goes online and orders a wreath for the December 2020 ceremony, the organization will match each donation.

A young girl prepares to place a wreath on a veteran’s grave at Boxwood Cemetery, during Wreaths Across America on Dec. 14. Organizer Kathy Blackburn said more people participated this year, especially young people.

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Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols in Medina is break from commercialism of holiday season

By Ginny Kropf, correspondent Posted 19 December 2019 at 7:48 am

Photos by Tom Rivers: St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Medina is shown on Dec. 21, 2014 during the Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols. The service will be held again this Saturday at St. Mary’s.

MEDINA – It was 10 years ago when Aaron Grabowski, music director of Holy Trinity Parish (St. Mary’s Church), decided something was badly needed to draw the community together at the joyful and spiritual season of Christmas – something to celebrate the true meaning of the season and bring people back from the brink of rampant commercialism.

So began what has become a growing and cherished annual tradition in Medina, a “Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols.”

“As I’ve said many times in the past, I think people are hungry for this kind of spiritual respite at Christmastime, and more so with each passing year,” Grabowski said. “In a restless world, this evening of Christmas music and scripture brings a measure of peace and hope. I know for many, it annually revives the true spirit of the season. It does for me, too. That’s why we continue to do it.”

The festival, first held on Christmas Eve in 1918 in King’s College Chapel, Cambridge, England, is a liturgical program consisting of nine Scriptural readings telling the story of the birth of the Messiah, Grabowski explained. The program is also interspersed with seasonal choral music. Over the past 100 years, it has become much beloved world-wide and is celebrated in thousands of parishes around the globe at Christmastime.

Provided photo: Aaron Grabowski, organist at St. Mary’s Church in Medina, will play the church’s historic organ at the 11th annual Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols.

The local ecumenical event has been hosted by Holy Trinity Parish for the last 10 years at Medina’s historic St. Mary’s Church. This year’s event will take place at 7 p.m. on Dec. 21, with a prelude at 6:30 p.m., featuring the pipe organ, string quartet and harpsichord.

This year, as every year, a free will offering will benefit the community food pantry at St. Peter’s Evangelical Lutheran Church.

“Every year, the need is especially great at community food pantries during Christmastime,” Grabowski said. “The generosity of those who attend Lessons and Carols greatly helps to replenish food stocks that sustain those in need. Again, Lessons and Carols helps us to open our hearts and live the true meaning of Christmas.”

Helping people to regain the spirit of Christmas through scripture and music is the goal of the event, said Chris Busch, president of Orleans Renaissance Group, which supports the concert.

“This year’s musical offerings promise to fill the hearts of all in attendance with the joy of the season,” Busch said.

The 2019 Festival Choir will once again feature voices from the Genesee Chorale – 16 in all. The Batavia-based Chorale under the director of Ric Jones of Medina, is widely known across Western New York. The choir will be accompanied by the massive pipe organ in St. Mary’s, along with the Greycliffe String Quartet, a Buffalo-based string ensemble under the direction of Paul-Joseph Struckmann.

The quartet will also be featured during the prelude with two selections, “Riu Riu Chiu,” arranged by Marshall Fine, and movements “Sarabanda and Giga” from the “Violin Sonata in D Minor, Op. 5 No. 7 for Violin and Harpsichord” by Arcangelo Corelli.

St. Mary’s Church in Medina will host the 11th annual Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols. The event is free, but a free will offering benefits the community food pantry at St. Peter’s Evangelical Lutheran Church.

Music selections this year include “Once in Royal David’s City,” “Past Three O’Clock,” “The Lord at First Did Adam Make,” “The Holly and the Ivy,” “O Come, O Come Emmanuel,” “Low, How a Rose E’er Blooming,” “What Sweeter Music,” “A Maiden Most Gentle,” “How Far is it to Bethlehem,” “Gesu Bambino,” “While Shepherds Watched their Flocks,” “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen,” “All Bells in Paradise,” “O Come All Ye Faithful” and “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing.”

In addition to the Greycliffe String Quartet, the prelude will feature three selections by Grabowski on the pipe organ, a harpsichord selection by Grabowski and two movements by Struckman on the violin and Grabowski on the harpsichord.

Scripture readers for the event include Ryder Jones from St. Peter’s Evangelical Church, Sophia Goyette from Holy Trinity Parish, Patricia Worrad from St. John’s Episcopal Church, Marc Smith from St. John’s Parish in Lockport, Regina Simon from Our Lady of the Lake Parish in Lyndonville, David Schubel from Trinity Lutheran Parish in Medina, James Punch from Holy Trinity Parish, Vicar Rick Mollenkopf-Grill from St. Peter’s Evangelical Lutheran Church and the Rev. Bernard U. Nowak, pastor of Holy Trinity Parish.

The event is family friendly, open to all and free of charge, Busch added.

Refreshments will be served at the conclusion of the concert.

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New fine crafts gallery opens in Medina

Photos by Ginny Kropf: Timothy Dunn of Albion has opened a fine crafts gallery at 419 Main St. in Medina. Dunn remodeled the space for his new fine crafts gallery, including building all the displays and covering the back wall with wood from used pallets.

By Ginny Kropf, correspondent Posted 18 December 2019 at 4:04 pm

MEDINA – Although he has always had a full-time job, opening a fine crafts gallery has been a dream of coppersmith Timothy Dunn of Albion for a long time. This year, his dream came true when he acquired space at 419 Main St. in Medina and opened American Craftsmen Gallery.

Dunn, 48, was born in Albion and still lives near Albion with his partner Jackie and their son Ethan, 12. He always thought he wanted to be a cartoonist and attended Genesee Community College in Batavia to pursue his career. That took a detour, however, when he chose to take a craft fundamentals class.

This wall hanging called repousse, which also features a clock, was crafted out of copper and is on display at coppersmith Timothy Dunn’s new fine crafts gallery in Medina.

“The professor told me if I wanted to play with clay, go to one side of the class, but if I wanted to learn metal to go to the other side,” Dunn said. “I didn’t want to dry my hands out working with clay, so I chose the other side.”

Dunn chose to make a chalice out of copper for his semester project, and when the professor took him by the arm and marched him through the halls holding up his chalice while declaring to everyone, “My student made this,” Dunn knew his career choice had been made.

“My head just exploded and all ideas of drawing were gone,” Dunn said. “My professor was a potterer and said he couldn’t help me if I wanted to continue working with metal. He suggested I transfer to Brockport, where I met Thomas Markusen of Kendall. He taught me everything I know about copper – how to make it, how to display it and how to pack it up to take to a show.”

After graduation, Dunn worked for Markusen at his studio in Kendall for 15 years. Dunn doesn’t sketch his design before he starts working on a piece. He said when he begins working with copper, he takes a piece of tubing, sheet or rod and just starts forming it.

Dunn has always held a full-time job, in addition to his crafting with copper. He worked for Sigma at the Olde Pickle Factory and has been at Sigma/Baxter for 10 years. He has done hundreds of craft shows over his more than 20 years as a coppersmith, where he says he sees fellow craftsmen frantic to sell their wares, because that is their only income.

“I always thought I’d open a gallery, and I didn’t know if I was ready now, but this space became available and it is just what I was looking for,” Dunn said. “I was going to a copper shop in East Aurora one day when I drove through Medina and saw the ‘For Rent’ sign in the window. I stopped and got the phone number and called Bill Bixler, the building owner. I told him I wanted to see the space and that I was 100 percent sure I wanted it.”

Dunn is committed to making a visit to his gallery a pleasant one. When a customer opens the door, soft Christmas music is playing and the light smell of cinnamon pine cones fills the air. A hand-crafted candy dish always has candy in it – Christmas candy for this time of year.

Dunn runs the gallery alone, while maintaining his job at Baxter as a senior technician mechanical engineer.

“I know others are very capable, but my mentality is if I don’t do it myself, it isn’t done right,” Dunn said.

Gallery hours are 4 to 8 p.m. Thursday, 1 to 6 p.m. Friday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday.

An assortment of lamps with copper bases are among the items coppersmith Timothy Dunn has created for his new fine crafts gallery in Medina.

Items in his gallery include a lot of copper items, such as lamps, vases, bowls, candle holders and wall hangings; a lot of wood, including cutting boards, spoons and a chess set; block prints; pottery (even concrete pottery); handmade candles; glass orbs; pewter; and area rugs.

Dunn is also one of the elite “Roycrofters.” The Roycroft was a communal arts, business and crafts colony founded in 1895 in East Aurora by Elbert Hubbard. The Roycroft Artisans became well-known for their pottery, furniture, metalwork and hand-printed, tooled leather books which exemplified the principles of quality, beauty and the worthwhile life.

Timothy Dunn is shown here with displays of some of the 20 crafters whose work he sells.

The Roycroft closed in 1938, but inspired by the Roycroft’s principles, the Roycroft Renaissance was born in 1976 and a new community of independent artisans was established.

To become a RoyCroft Renaissance Artisan, an artist must submit his/her work to a jury comprised of master artisans. Only artisans whose work exemplifies certain criteria are awarded the use of the RR mark. An artisan must be juried annually to demonstrate continued excellence and growth.

Dunn is displaying work in his American Craftsmen Gallery by 20 artisans from throughout the United States, including half a dozen local crafters from Medina, Gasport, Barker, East Aurora and Rochester. Most of the items he buys from them, rather than sell them on consignment. Everything in his gallery is hand made by fine crafters.

He is hoping to line up other fine crafters, especially someone who works in glass.

He admits the most fun he’s having is building and creating displays for the merchandise.

Dunn is also thrilled to be doing business in Medina, although he is an Albion native.

“I am awed about what is happening on Main Street in Medina,” he said. “If Medina isn’t ready for a fine crafts gallery, it soon will be. Medina is only going to get better.”

Dunn doesn’t mind having his cell phone posted on the door of his gallery, and he welcomes calls for viewing from anyone at any time. His number is (585) 729-5539, or he may be reached by e-mail at

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Medina native killed in homicide in North Carolina

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 18 December 2019 at 12:18 pm

LaQuita Amos, Class of 1998, remembered as ultimate team player for Medina girls basketball team

LaQuita Amos

LaQuita Amos, a Medina graduate and former varsity basketball player for the Mustangs, was killed last Thursday from a gunshot in Greensboro, NC.

Amos, 39, was killed and two others were wounded in a shooting at about 7:30 p.m. at a residence.

She graduated from Medina High School in 1998 and went to Howard University, where she received her bachelor’s degree in business administration. She continued her education at Forsyth Technical College and received a project management technology degree. Amos was employed at Lincoln Financial for several years.

‘LaQuita represented all the best qualities we could ask for in a student, an athlete and a person.’

Eric Hellwig was a teacher and coach for Amos, who graduated in 1998. He wrote the following tribute about Amos:

“Late last week the Medina community suffered another loss of a former student. Most of her former teachers have retired in the two decades since LaQuita Amos, a 1998 graduate, received her diploma.

Current students likely wouldn’t have known her because, after graduation, her connection to the area faded, as so many do. People come and go: from the area, from the school, and from our lives. And, with LaQuita, that is a shame, because she represented all the best qualities we could ask for in a student, an athlete and a person.

LaQuita was a very bright young lady who enjoyed learning and got the most out of her schooling. She could be found at the high school all hours of the day, and even on weekends, as a part of the Upward Bound program. Upward Bound was, and still is, a program aimed at students from lower-income families who would go on to be the first in their household to attend college.

Photo courtesy of Eric Hellwig: In this 1997 team photo of the Medina girls varsity basketball team, LaQuita Amos is in the 2nd row, 3rd player in from the right, #34.

LaQuita relished working with Mrs. Isabella Mark, the Upward Bound counselor at the time, and made the most of her experience. Each summer during high school, LaQuita would join with others in the program to experience college life, living on The College at Brockport campus for a few weeks and taking courses that would help them become more independent and adjust to life after high school.

Through that program, LaQuita gained the self confidence that would be the foundation for her future success, and ultimately resulted in her being accepted to Howard University, in Washington, DC, one of the most prestigious historically black colleges in the country, where she would earn her undergraduate degree.

LaQuita loved Upward Bound, just as she loved and appreciated all aspects of life.  There was never a time you wouldn’t find LaQuita with a big smile on her face, even when she was trying to fake an injury to get out of running sprints in basketball practice!  It is that great big smile that those who knew Laquita will remember about her most. She had a cheerful, positive personality and was the type of person you always wanted to be around.

LaQuita loved sports, basketball in particular. She was never the best player on the team, but she was always one of the most invaluable. Laquita understood and accepted her role with eagerness. She was a top rebounder, would battle on defense in the post, and scrap for loose balls.

‘She would do the hard, unglamorous work so that other teammates could also be successful.’

She was the type of player whose name wouldn’t necessarily stand out in the box score, but if you asked any coach, she was exactly the type of person you need to have to be successful. She would do the hard, unglamorous work so that other teammates could also be successful.

That’s why, when LaQuita had the one moment every basketball player dreams of – the chance to be the hero – everyone on the team was so happy for her. She had committed herself to helping other, and being genuinely happy for their success, and now, here she was, in that starring role.

We had a very successful girls basketball team both LaQuita’s junior and senior years, winning league championships and advancing to the sectional title game each year.

However, her senior year, it was a very near thing. We faced a very strong quarterfinal opponent in Fredonia, a team that featured a future Olympic gold medal winner and a future Division I basketball player. We knew it would be a tough game, and were maybe a little bit intimidated, even though we were the higher seed and were playing a home game.

Whatever the reason, we started the game flat and faced a really big deficit by the start of the fourth quarter. Down 17 points with 3:30 left to play, after taking a timeout to regroup and sending the players back onto the court, I turned to one of my assistants at the time and said, “Well, it looks like it’s over, but we’ve had a really good run.”

And that’s when LaQuita and her teammates gave me the lesson of my lifetime:  IT’S NEVER OVER! A couple of big three-point shots, a couple of steals and quick lay-ups, and a couple of forced turnovers had cut Fredonia’s lead to single digits. With just three seconds to go, Helen King, who had a 22-point fourth quarter, hit a “3” to cut Fredonia’s lead to two points, 62-60. A win was still improbable. All Fredonia needed to do was inbound the ball and that would be the game, and the end of our playoff dominance. But…

Sometimes things don’t go as expected. Sometimes you need to keep your focus. ALL the time, you need to not give up. LaQuita didn’t give up. She quickly found the opponent she was guarding, out near half court.

As the inbound pass came toward her opponent, LaQuita stepped in front, stole the ball, took one dribble passed half court, and heaved a shot toward the basket as time expired and the buzzer sounded. The shot missed.

But… again, things don’t always go as expected. As she released the ball, LaQuita was fouled and awarded three free throws, with no time on the clock. Down 62-60, Laquita had a chance to be the hero and extend our season at least one more game.

I remember thinking at the time, and maybe even saying, “Please, just make two so we can get to overtime!” LaQuita was a decent free throw shooter, but imagine the pressure – being on the court all by yourself, with all eyes in a packed gym on you, both sets of fans screaming.

Fortunately, LaQuita was a lot calmer than I was. She stepped to the line, took the ball from the official, went through her pre-shot routine, and calmly sank the first, and the crowd went wild. Second shot, same routine, same result, same crowd reaction. We are now guaranteed at least four more minutes of overtime basketball, and LaQuita has the chance to do what most players only dream of. And once again, she gets the ball, goes through her routine, and calmly sank the shot to win the game.

The crowd erupted, fans and players ran onto the court and gave LaQuita a proper hero’s congratulation. It was a moment all involved will never forget, and I’m sure LaQuita never forgot it, either. After the game, I asked her what was going through her mind as she went to the line, and she said something to the effect of “I just remember all those sprints we ran for missing free throws in practice, and I wasn’t missing those shots.” It was a moment all players and coaches wish they could freeze in time and share with all their teammates, past and present. Sadly, we can’t.

‘LaQuita did not relish the spotlight. She thrived on being a part of something bigger, a part of a team. And the last memory we will always have of LaQuita was her genuine, unabashed, and unconditional love for her teammates.’

After college she graduated from college, I lost touch with Laquita. Her family moved to Greenville, North Carolina, and LaQuita followed in order to be close to them. I don’t know many things about the time in between then and now, but I imagine LaQuita touching the lives of everyone she came in contact with, just as she had touched ours.  Horribly, last week, LaQuita was the victim of a domestic violence dispute, and was killed at the age of 39, which I do know is all too young.

There are many things I’m sure I do not know about LaQuita Amos, but there are other things frozen in my mind and, I’m sure the minds of everyone who knew her. First was that beautiful smile she always displayed. And I do mean ALWAYS. There was no happier person in the school, regardless of circumstances.

Second was her humility. LaQuita did not relish the spotlight. She thrived on being a part of something bigger, a part of a team. And the last memory we will always have of Laquita was her genuine, unabashed, and unconditional love for her teammates. If someone experienced success, LaQuita was just as happy for them as she was for her own success. And most importantly, I know this about LaQuita: Her team loved her back.”

Eric Hellwig

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