Originally published in the Democrat and Chronicle on 11/11/18
By Caurie Putnam
Jon Terry of Brockport is an accidental advocate. The founder of the Allergy Advocacy Association never paid much attention to life-threatening allergies until tragedy struck his own family.
His only sibling, Ruth “Ruthie” T. Cornell, died in 2009 at age 53 of anaphylactic shock after being stung by a honeybee at her home in North Carolina.
“Ruthie was an example of the perfect storm of what can happen with anaphylaxis,” said Terry about the life-threatening allergic reaction that can be treated with the medication epinephrine (commonly referred to as an EpiPen). “She had been stung as a child without issues, but something changed. My brother-in-law is a primary care physician, but there was no EpiPen in the house, because there were no prior indicators she needed one.” After Ruthie died, Terry, who is retired from a career in the entertainment design industry, turned his family’s pain into advocacy. He formed the nonprofit Allergy Advocacy Association in 2010 with a mission of preventing anaphylaxis through awareness, alertness and action.
On Nov. 4 he was awarded the 2018 FARE Vision Award, from the Food Allergies Research and Education organization in Washington, D.C. The award recognizes individuals and entities who support FARE in its mission to improve the quality of life and the health of individuals with food allergies and to provide them hope through the promise of new treatments. Jon was recognized in part for the Allergy Advocacy Association’s efforts to pass legislation involving the stocking of epinephrine in schools, providing daycare guidelines for food allergy management, and working at food allergy awareness days for legislators in Albany. Among the group’s current activities, educating restaurants in New York that they’re authorized to have EpiPens on hand (with proper training) in case a diner or employee suffers anaphylaxis. They’re also working on improving signage and menus in restaurants and pushing to get more generic epinephrine products on the market.
“We’ve made a lot of progress educating the public about allergies and anaphylaxis,” Terry said. “However, we have to continue to teach everyone that allergies are not a matter of choice, but of life and death.”
Patrick Morris of Rochester has a cousin with a severe peanut allergy. He met Jon over the summer and has become involved in the organization as its senior adviser for development.
“Jon has done a great job building the organization,” Morris said. “He has taught me so much already. The more you learn about life-threatening allergies the more you realize it’s not a small percentage of people affected, it can happen to anyone.”
The Allergy Advocacy Association will hold its first annual Rochester Allergy Action Awards Fundraising Gala from 6 to 9 p.m. Nov. 15 at ARTISANworks, 565 Blossom Road, in Rochester.
Tickets are $100 per person and are available online or at the door. There will be a dinner, silent auction and awards. One of the awards — the Ruth T. Cornell Award —will be presented for the first time, in memory of Jon’s sister Ruthie.
For more information on the gala and/or Allergy Advocacy Association visit allergyadvocacy association.org.
originally published in the Democrat and Chronicle on 10/17/18
By Caurie Putnam
Although Veteran’s Day is a little over a month away, honoring and supporting veterans year-round is a mission of Kelly and Paul McCracken of Sweden.
The couple and their volunteer, event committee — the Patriot Alliance of Western New York — held their third annual Pork for Patriots event on Sept. 29 at McCracken Farms on White Road. A highlight of the music festival was the honoring of three local veterans: Frank Jenkins, Larry Vaughan and Sharon Anderson Chaplin.
All three veterans served in very different times in history and have unique stories I wanted to share with you.
Jenkins is a World War II veteran who left Brockport High School in 1944, before graduating, to enlist in the U.S. Army. He was a member of Company B 49th Armored Infantry where he received multiple accommodations and decorations, including European, African and Middle Eastern Campaign medals.
When he left the service and returned to Brockport he earned his GED, but never received his high school diploma. This August, in a private ceremony with family, he received his high school diploma from the Brockport Central School District. He and his wife Patricia have six children, twelve grandchildren and five greatgrandchildren.
“Frank has not only proven that he is an American patriot, but a hero to his family and friends through his dedication to the country, his community and his family,” said Bob Carroll, vice-president of the Patriot Alliance of Western New York, about why the group chose to honor Jenkins.
Vaughan was recognized for protecting not only his country, but the local community. He was drafted by the U.S. Army in 1969 and served in Vietnam as a member of 1st Armored Cavalry Division. When he left the service he met his wife Barb at a country firefighter’s conference and they married in 1972.
For an impressive fifty-one years, Vaughan has volunteered in fire service throughout Monroe County. He has held positions in the Greece Fire Department and Brockport Fire Department, most recently as a Brockport Fire District Commissioner since 2012.
Chaplin, the final honoree at Pork for Patriots, was recognized for her community outreach about veterans. She joined the U.S. Air Force in 1989, a year after graduating from Caledonia-Mumford High School and spending one year at St. John Fisher College.
She served as a dedicated analyst for the 36th AMU Fighting Falcons at Osan Air Base in South Korea and later reported statistics for a variety of aircraft at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida. She was among the few to witness the B2 Stealth Bomber being tested in Eglin’s climate control hanger in 1992.
After leaving the Air Force in 1993, she finished her degree at St. John Fisher College and married her husband Scott in 1998. When their daughter Samantha was in the sixth-grade she was asked to speak to her class about her time in the service and that experience sparked many speaking engagements to follow.
Additionally, Chaplin is a volunteer and guardian for Honor Flight Rochester, member of the American Legion and volunteers with a Vietnam veteran’s re-enactment group.
Proceeds raised from this year’s Pork for Patriots event were donated to Blue Star Mother’s ROC, an organization for parents that have or have had sons and daughters serving in the military and Rochester Community Inclusive Rowing, which offers rowing opportunities for veterans. Each year two different Rochester area non-profits dedicated to supporting veterans are selected to receive the funds raised.
If you have a veteran or organization to suggest for recognition at the 2019 Pork for Patriots event or are interested in serving on the event’s planning committee call (585) 395-0505 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Pick of the Week
Ken Freeman, curator at the Parma Hilton Historical Society Museum, emailed with news about a fun, upcoming fundraiser called Tasting of Apples from 1 to 5 p.m. on Oct. 14 at the Blue Barn Cidery, 928 Manitou Road, in Hilton. The event will benefit the Parma Hilton Historical Society.
Highlights of the event include tastings of a variety of desserts made with apples, displays by the historical society about the important history of apples in Hilton, food trucks and more.
Tickets are $10 and include a pint of cider and dessert tastings. They can be purchased from the museum at 1300 Hilton Parma Corners Road on Sundays from 2 to 4 p.m. or any other time the museum office is open (call (585) 392-9496 before stopping by) or online at Eventbrite.com (search for “A Tasting of Apples”).
Contact Caurie at email@example.com with news from west-side towns. She’s on Twitter at @CauriePutnam and on Facebook at facebook.com/ BrockportBlog/.
The 22nd Annual Rochester Children’s Book Festival, presented by RACWI (Rochester Area Children’s Writers and Illustrators), will take place on Saturday, Nov. 3, 2018, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The event will be held in the R. Thomas Flynn Campus Center at Monroe Community College, 1000 East Henrietta Road.
This family event is free and includes:
Among the 48 authors and illustrators, over 20 are from the Rochester region, including Newbery Medal Winner, Linda Sue Park and Edgar Award winner Vivian Vande Velde. Also, author Wendy Dunham of Brockport.
Other participants include: Grace Lin, Barbara Dee, Carole Boston Weatherford, Charles Smith Jr., Nikki Grimes, Joseph Bruchac and Bruce Coville.
For more information visit https://www.rcbfestival.com/
Originally published in the Democrat and Chronicle (print edition) October 28, 2018.
by Caurie Putnam, West Extra columnist
I challenge you to walk into the Brick Lab in Parma and not smile. The newly opened 2,400 square-foot LEGO learning center is a sensory delight for children (and children at heart) at 5110 W. Ridge Road.
“We get that reaction a lot,” said Terrence Moss, 41, owner of the Brick Lab, noticing my instant smile and wide eyes when I entered for the first time earlier this week. “We wanted to create something really special for all ages.”
Moss, his wife and their three children (ages 15, 13 and 10) live in Spencerport. He was a special education teacher in the Rochester area for 15 years, before coming up with the idea for the Brick Lab.
“I wanted to teach what I wanted, when I wanted,” said Moss, about his decision to leave the formal teaching world and go off on his own. “I knew I wanted to do something for kids that would be really hands-on because in my experience I’ve seen that’s how they learn best.”
Hands-on is the theme at the Brick Lab, whose standalone building was formerly occupied by a martial arts center and a tile sales company before that. There are thousands of brick pieces in custom-made, themed play tables, hundreds of boxed LEGO sets, a large pinewood-derby style racetrack to test vehicle creations, a stop-motion video animation area and special play area with larger, LEGO Duplo toys and trains for little ones.
There is also a birthday party room and video game area with PlayStation 4s featuring the latest LEGO game titles. My favorite part of the lab was an immersive, black-light room dubbed 20,000 Bricks Under the Sea. It has glow-in-the-dark building pieces and soothing sensory sounds from an aquarium.
Wi-Fi, coffee and work tables are available, but often parents, grandparents and other caregivers prefer to join in and play.
“Parents are getting in here and building right along with their kids,” Moss said. “I wanted to create an atmosphere for all ages. I also wanted to create something really cool for the west side that would be a destination place for east siders too.”
The Brick Lab opened in September 2018 and Moss has plans to add STEM education project-based workshops and clubs, small groups for children with special needs and other programs that draw on his teaching experience.
If You Go
Brick Lab hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. Check the website at thebricklab.com or call ahead at (585) 617-4414 (since Moss is still tweaking the hours). Cost is a daily rate of $7.50 per child for unlimited play (children under 18 months free with paid sibling).
Pick of the Week
Free community lunches
This month, Messiah Evangelical Lutheran Church, located at 4301 Mt. Read Blvd. in Greece, expanded their free lunch program to two times a month.
The church now offers free lunch to the community from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the first and third Saturday of the month in the Fellowship Hall. The next free lunch is Nov. 3. Organizers invite everyone in the community to attend this fellowship opportunity.
The church is handicapped accessible. Soup and sandwiches are served in the winter, and salads and sandwiches in the summer. For more information, contact the church office at (585) 8651866 x 2.
Contact Caurie at firstname.lastname@example.org with news from west-side towns. She’s on Twitter at @CauriePutnam and on Facebook at facebook.com/BrockportBlog.
Be sure to get your tickets for the Seymour Library's annual After Hours @ Seymour gala from 7 to 10 p.m. on Nov. 17.
This year's event will have a Night of Mystery theme where "our guests will have to help solve the mystery of who stole a priceless object from the library," said Jeannine Waldow, Promotions Clerk
at the Seymour Library.
Tickets are a "steal" at $25. They include great appetizers, wine and craft beer tastings and desserts - order by Nov. 9. I will see you there!
Tickets are on sale now for the Brockport High School Drama Club’s 2018 fall production, “Shrek the Musical.” Shows will be held in the Brockport High School auditorium Nov. 8 to 10 at 7 p.m. and Nov. 11 at 2 p.m.
Advance-sale tickets are $12 and can be purchased online at www.showtix4u.com or at the Brockport High School greeter’s desk during school hours. Groups of 10 or more get a discounted rate of $10 per ticket. Tickets at the door will be $15.
Based on the Oscar-winning DreamWorks Animation film, “Shrek the Musical” is a Tony Award-winning fairytale adventure, featuring all new songs from Jeanine Tesori (known for work in “Thoroughly Modern Millie” and “Caroline, or Change”) and a sidesplitting book by David Lindsay-Abaire.
Community members are invited to join Brockport Central School District for its annual homecoming celebration on Sept. 28, 2018.
The community event commences at 5 p.m. on Sept. 28 with the fourth annual homecoming festival. Food trucks, face painting, carnival games and a local DJ will be set up in front of Brockport High School through 7 p.m.
The homecoming parade begins at 5:30 p.m., where it will make its way from A.D. Oliver Middle School to Dahn Walrath Stadium. Each high school class will decorate a float according to this year’s theme: Music Through the Decades. Seniors, juniors, sophomores and freshmen will represent the 1980s, 1970s, 1920s and 1950s, respectively.
A multitude of bands, clubs, sports teams, alumni and other community groups will also march in the parade.
The homecoming festivities will conclude with the varsity football game against the Hilton Cadets, which kicks off at 7 p.m. in the Dahn Walrath Stadium.
Parking for the homecoming events will be available throughout the village and on the district campus. Attendees are encouraged to wear blue and white to show school pride.
If you have any questions, please contact class advisors Marcia Bartalo and Shannon Sevor via phone at 585- 637-1870 or by email at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The 2018 inductees to the Brockport Central School District’s Athletic Wall of Honor are:
Peter Agostinelli, athlete, Class of 1987
Casey Balog, athlete, Class of 2003
Jill Finkbeiner-Boadway, athlete, Class of 1992
Chris Zorn, coach.
Community members are invited to attend the induction ceremony on Friday, Oct. 5 in the A.D.
Oliver Middle School cafeteria, 40 Allen Street. The event begins with a social
reception at 5:30 p.m., followed by the ceremony at 6:30 p.m.
The inductees will also be honored during halftime of the varsity football game, which begins at 7 p.m. at the Dahn Walrath Memorial Stadium.
The Athletic Wall of Honor recognizes those who have made an impact on the district’s
interscholastic athletic program. Each inductee is honored with a plaque containing his/her name
and biography, which is placed on the Athletic Wall of Honor.
For nomination details, visit www.bcs1.org/athletics.
The Town of Sweden held their Harvest Festival from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on September 15, 2018 at the Sweden Farmers Museum, 4988 Lake Road South. A lovely event that celebrates our community's farming roots.