Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

October 23, 2013

The Chatterbox by Julie Obermiller

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Lockport Union-Sun & Journal

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — I’m feeling thankful today. Last week was full of pleasant reminders of how blessed we are to live in a small town where folks go out of their way for each other.

It was back to school for me last week as I attended two early mornings of AARP safe driving classes at the Somerset Town Hall. The three-dozen adult students were welcomed each morning with a table set with hot coffee, tea and goodies, and it was much appreciated. Town Clerk Becky Connolly was up even earlier, baking chocolate chip cookies and Rice Krispie treats for us to enjoy during the long sessions. When someone bakes you cookies, it puts a smile on your face all day. Thank you, Becky.

More sincere thanks go to local woodcrafter Jon Hotaling. I asked him to make me more than a dozen wooden bases with dowels to use to create holiday centerpieces to adorn the senior citizen lunch tables. Not only did he make more than I asked for, in just a few days, but he donated them to the seniors at no cost. At Friday’s Halloween party, the bases help up fluffy, white ghosts, and turkeys are in the works for next month. Thank you, Jon, for sharing your talents.

The rain held off for Barker’s Homecoming parade last week and the students put on a great show of creativity and spirit. Thank you to the Barker Lions and Barker Lighthouse Optimists for serving up 200 hot dogs and beverages after the parade. Small-town traditions make us all feel happy inside. May we always be grateful for the neighbors and volunteers, and sometimes strangers, who lighten and brighten our days with acts of kindness.

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It’s not too late to enroll for the chronic disease self-management program starting Thursday at the Somerset Town Hall. The program, offered through The Niagara County Office of the Aging, through NY Connect, is available to any adult who has a chronic disease is eligible. Chronic disease is a long-lasting condition that can be controlled, but not cured. Many times our seniors must manage multiple chronic issues. The series will give participants direct access to nurses and medical professionals whose aim is to help them control the effects of their chronic illness by teaching/training them to be at the center of disease control solutions. The classes will be held from 1 to 3:30 p.m. at the town hall, 8700 Haight Road, Thursday, as well as Oct. 31, Nov. 7, 14 and 21 and Dec. 5. Pre-registration is preferred, but anybody who wants to attend any session is welcome. To get more information or to register, call the town supervisor’s office at 795-3575 or 438-3030.

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Thursday is the day for the annual Ham Loaf Dinner and bazaar at Countyline United Methodist Church. This popular local favorite will be served family-style with scalloped potatoes, cabbage salad, applesauce, bread, pie and coffee or tea. You can get take-outs at 4 p.m., and dining room service starts at 4:30. The cost is $9 for adults, $4 for children 5 to 11 and free for kids under 5. The bazaar will feature varied items, including dishcloths, Rada cutlery, baked goods and more. The church is at Routes 269 and 18 and the hall is handicapped accessible by elevator.

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Children in Pre-K through sixth grade are invited to a Candy, Costume Carnival from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Sunday at the Fellowship Hall at Hartland Bible Church, 8110 West Ave., Gasport. Call Cheryl Naish at 795-3056 for more information.

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The Barker Seniors will meet Nov. 1 at the Barker Fire Hall. Julie’s game starts at 10:30 a.m., the business meeting at 11:30 a.m. and lunch is served at 11:45 a.m. The Niagara County Department of Aging nutrition lunch will be Haunted Ham Loaf and all the trimmings, milk and coffee or tea. Seniors must call the Somerset Town Hall at 795-3575 by Thursday to order a lunch; and also to reserve a place. Everyone, age 55 or older from any community, is invited to join the fun group; dues are $2 a year. For information, call director Jo Ann Greenwald at 795-3787. Trips with the Barker Seniors are open to the public when space permits. There is a Carnival Cruise to Alaska, with Mirage Tours, being planned for June 17 to 24, so you can plan ahead for this dream vacation. Do you like to buy handcrafted items for holiday presents? The Barker Seniors will hold their annual Senior Fall Fair from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on their Nov. 15 meeting day at the Barker Fire Hall. Seniors will bring their crafts for sale, and the public is invited to stop by for a free cup of coffee, to browse and shop.

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When you vote on Election Day, don’t forget the Election Day Spaghetti Dinner at the Faith United Methodist Church. Serving begins at 4 p.m. and the meal includes salad, spaghetti with sauce, meatballs, garlic bread, beverage and dessert. Take-outs are available. The dinner will be prepared by Chef Gordie Harper and is sponsored by the Somerset Masonic Lodge. For more information, call 550-2795.

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Looking for an adult evening out? The St. Patrick’s Site of Our Lady of the Lake parish will hold a Fruit of the Vine Wine Tasting from 6 to 9 p.m. Nov. 9. Eagle Crest Winery, makers of fine table wines from the Finger Lakes, will be coming to showcase an assortment of wines. Prepare your taste buds for a feast. Cheese, crackers, pretzels, nuts, finger foods and desserts will be served. Enjoy music and candy tasting by Cindy Jex of Barker Chocolate Box. A donation of $10 per person will include a door prize for the winning ticket. There will also be a raffle for a set of Buffalo Sabres vs. Ottawa tickets for Dec. 10 home game. Tickets will be sold at the front door of the churches before and after Mass starting next weekend, or contact Jan Kerth at 795-3354 or Kathy Curry at 795-3822 for tickets.

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Tickets are on sale now for the annual Barker Veteran’s Dinner, which will be held on Nov. 10 at the Barker Fire Hall. Veterans are the honored guests and attend free of charge, but they must still register and get a ticket. Doors open at 4:30 p.m. with a buffet dinner catered by Two Sisters at 5 p.m. The cost for non-veterans is $10 and $5 for children under 12. The event features a stirring tribute to veterans, including the Missing Man table set by Newfane Legion Post. The Vignettes and the Barker Concert Choir, led by Drew Burke, will provide entertainment. Guest speaker will be Earl Schmidt, veteran of Desert Shield, Desert Storm and Afghanistan. Tickets are available at Thee Barker Store, Three Bears Café, Somerset Town Hall, or call Wally Coates at 795-9948.

Barker-area residents, send your news to juliechatterbox@msn.com (jpeg pictures, MSWord or text in emails only); or to 8691 Lake Road No. 9, Barker, NY 14012. To be in next week’s Chatterbox, information should be in Julie’s hands by 6 p.m. Monday.