Club news

Cassadaga Legion Auxiliary

CASSADAGA – The Cassadaga Legion Auxiliary met recently for its regular monthly meeting with President Sue Penhollow presiding. The meeting was opened with a prayer from Chaplain Paula Pattison, the Pledge of Allegiance, the Auxiliary preamble, and a moment of silence for fallen soldiers, and roll call of officers. In the absence of Secretary Carol Baker, the minutes of the last meeting were not available.

The treasurer’s report was given by Karen Field. The following committee reports were given:

Empire Girl State – Unit 1280 made its 2013 Empire Girl’s State selection following interviews that were held at the Post. The judges said the choice was a difficult one as all the girls that tried out were very informed. After much deliberating, Unit 1280 chose Alyssa Merrill of South Dayton as its representative, and Stella Goodworth of Sinclairville as the alternate. Merrill will attend SUNY Brockport June 30 through July 3 to learn about New York state’s government. Goodworth will attend in the event Merrill is not able to go.

Children and Youth – The children’s Christmas party was held in December, with more than 20 children attending with their parents. Santa and Mrs. Claus arrived to the delight of everyone, and handed out gifts to all the children. Mrs. Claus also helped with crafts and games. Squadron 1280 donated a tray of cookies; candy and punch was donated by Unit 1280 Auxiliary members. It was a fun day for everyone.

Legislation – The Stolen Valor Act is being presented to stop non-veterans from wearing service medals that they are not deserving of.

In old business, Unit 1280 member and Chautauqua County Auxiliary President Charyle Tyler reminded the members present about her president’s project raffle, an American Flag afghan that she made. The proceeds from this raffle will be split between Warriors Family Assistance and the department convention expenses.

Tyler also finalized plans for the luncheon for Department Commander Tim Van Patton, Department President Sally Johnson and Detachment Commander John J. Knapp Sr.’s visit. The luncheon will be held at Post 1280 on Friday, Feb. 8, at 12:30 p.m. Unit members will be making a variety of salads and cookies for the occasion, and decorating the hall was also discussed. The dinner and program will be held at Post 62, Dunkirk. Tyler will also be attending the mid-winter conference in Albany.

Unit members present voted to donate money to the Cassadaga Food Pantry.

As a reminder, the Post 1280 is now taking $20 donations for the 2013 Post 1280 Flag Program that flies American flags throughout the community from Memorial Day through Veteran’s Day. A plaque is made to show whose honor the flag is flying for and who donated it. This is a yearly renewable program, and anyone new interested in having a flag flown should contact Bruce Kaus at the Post.

Unit 1280 member Gayle Cieplinski has been sending out Post notices by email. If Post 1280 members would like to receive notice of upcoming event by email, they can send their email addresses to, or stop by the Post and drop it off.

Unit 1280 continues to collect coupons for overseas families, Labels for Education, Pennies for Hospice, can tabs and canceled postage stamps. Unit 1280 also sells corn brooms for $8; anyone interested may call the Post at 595-3145.

Chautauqua County American Legion

The January meeting of the Chautauqua County American Legion was held recently at the John W. Rogers Post 327 in Westfield.

Various committee reports were given.

Mention was made about Veterans ID Cards being available at the county clerk’s office in Mayville.

Applicants can call 753-4977 to make an appointment to obtain this card. They must also bring a copy of their DD-214 discharge form with them.

Mention was also made of the upcoming department officers testimonial dinner to be held at Dunkirk Memorial Post 62 on Friday, Feb. 8.

Fredonia Memorial Post 59 made a $125 donation to the Flag Education Program.

The next meeting of the County Legion will be on Feb. 22 at the John W. Dill Post 434 in Brocton. All Legionnaires are urged to attend this meeting.

CIAO Board of Directors

The Board of Directors met Jan. 15 to discuss the activities planned for the new year. A St. Joseph Day Table is being planned with the Colony House Restaurant in Silver Creek. More information about date, time and cost will follow. Reservations will be required.

The annual meeting and picnic will be July 27 at Russell Joy Park, upper pavilion, beginning at 12:30 p.m. Members will be able to renew their 2013-2014 dues at that time. More information will follow in LaParola. The next mailing of LaParola will be in February.

The destruction caused by Hurricane Sandy has forced the trip to New York City to be canceled, but alternative locations are being discussed. Anyone with suggestions on future trips may either contact Sam Crisanti (934-2592) or attend the board meeting. Meetings are held at JCC Conference Center, 7 p.m. on the first Tuesday of the month.

Lake Erie Bird Club

Twenty-four Lake Erie Bird Club members participated in the 113th annual Audubon Christmas Bird Count. Some worked as members of teams and counted birds in a specific area in Northern Chautauqua County that includes the Lake Erie Shore from Lake Erie State Park to just east of Center Road in Sheridan. Others who lived in the club’s count circle counted the birds in their yards and at their feeders. A total of 65 species and 4,465 individual birds were observed. Over the last thirty years the average numbers observed on the Christmas Bird Count in Northern Chautauqua County were 58 species and 7,665 individual birds.

Highlights of the count included nine species of ducks (Mallard, Greater and Lesser Scaup, Long-tailed Duck, Bufflehead, Common Goldeneye and Hooded, Common and Red-breasted Mergansers). Five species of gulls were observed: Bonaparte’s, Ring-billed, Herring, Glaucous and Great Black-backed. Four woodpecker species were reported: Red-bellied, Downy, Hairy and Pileated. Other count highlights include 86 Wild Turkey, 95 Double-crested Cormorant, 13 Great Blue Heron, one Black-crowned Night Heron, 16 Bald Eagle, 209 American Coot, 153 Black-capped Chickadee, 24 Tufted Titmice, 11 Red-breasted Nuthatch, 25 White-breasted Nuthatch, 10 Eastern Bluebird, 106 American Tree Sparrow, 147 Dark-eyed Junco and 81 Common Redpoll.

Additional information about the count can be found on the Audubon Christmas Bird Count website. Joanne Goetz served as compiler for the count.

Twenty-six members attended the December meeting conducted by John Ruska. Members shared their recent sightings that included a Northern Mockingbird, Eastern Bluebird, Carolina Wren, White-crowned Sparrows, Cedar Waxwing and many reports of Common Redpolls. Also reported were Bald Eagles, Hooded Mergansers, Ruddy Ducks and American Coots at Dunkirk Harbor.

John presented a program on what he and Beverly Ruska did for the birds this summer. He discussed Point Gratiot and the importance of the woodlot for migratory birds, especially warblers in the spring. Because of this, trees will not be cut down in the woodlot for a bike path. Trees are also important for Red-headed Woodpeckers who nest in tree cavities at the Point. He also discussed the new Purple Martin house they installed by the DEC building at the Point.

He discussed several cavity-nesting birds and asked club members to think of ways they can attract these birds to their yards. Some of the birds he mentioned included Eastern Bluebirds, Tree Swallows, Black-capped Chickadee, House Wrens, Wood Ducks and American Kestrels. He pointed out that House Sparrows and European Starlings are a tremendous problem for cavity nesting birds. They destroy eggs and kill cavity-nesting birds such as Eastern Bluebirds and Tree Swallows. Another concern is outdoor cats that kill hundreds of birds each year.

Dale Loscher and Susan Sly provided refreshments for the meeting.

The next meeting of the club will be on Monday, Jan. 28, at 7:30 p.m. at BOCES, Fredonia-Stockton Road, Fredonia. Diane Andrasik will present the program on Japanese shipwrecks of World War II naval battles. Those attending will also share their recent bird sightings. All are welcome.