Laurel Run changes ‘attitudes’

On occasion, Silver Creek’s Elaine Hotelling wears a button that says it best: “Attitudes are the REAL Disabilities.”

That statement was featured in an article Wednesday in the special edition OBSERVER, which focused on the Laurel Run events that take place next weekend. In all, more than 1,700 copies were sold with nearly $2,000 raised from the sale to benefit work-related projects for adults with disabilities.

As the mother of the event’s grand marshal, Laurel Hotelling, Elaine Hotelling has seen first hand how “attitudes” have evolved since the inaugural run in 1997. Those changes in attitude are due to those who work year round, including Wayne Hotelling and numerous employees at The Resource Center, in making the Laurel Run happen.

Through this event and the work of The Resource Center, our community has shown our love and embraced Laurel. She has, in a sense, gained a celebrity status in our area. We see her at the event that bears her name. We see her in photos promoting the event. We see her on posters.

If you do happen to see her out and about, you know who she is. Heck, she could be one of the most famous people right now in the north county.

The same could be said of her friends who are vital participants in the Laurel Run. They include John Graham, who sings the national anthem on the day of the Saturday event, and Tom Proper.

It is truly something special – and it has happened because of the Laurel Run and The Resource Center.

This year, more than three dozen volunteers helped sell the special edition from 6 to 9 Wednesday morning. They include: Victoria Trass Bardo, Nancy Battaglia-Danielson, Kayla Bohall, Amanda Bolinger, Corina Bullock, Kimberly Campaign, David Coia, Keith Collins, Brooke D’Agostino, Carter D’Agostino, Catherine D’Agostino, Amanda Dove, Tiffany Ferguson, Lynne Haynes.

Elaine Hotelling, Wayne Hotelling, Nancy Ingram, Liz Kennedy, Josie Klee, Julie Kohler, Greg Krauza, Tucker Krauza, Dominica Luzzi, Bruce Main, Althea Maxwell, Becky Mirek, Luis Ortiz, Peter Palmer, Don Parker.

Amy Pease, Mike Pease, Alyce Peterson, David Rice, Sandy Rice, Laurie Strong, Richard Swanson, Steve Waterson and Emily Wendell.

OBSERVER, staff members assisting in the project included: Michael Briggs, Charles Cuccia, Randy DeJohn, Bill Hammond, Mary Ann Herrington, Roberta Jacobs, Adam Mason, Matt Messere, Shawn Paulus and Shawn Smith.

Special thanks as well go to those 1,700 people who purchased a newspaper.

NRG gets spotlight

If you have any questions or thoughts regarding the Monday public hearing on the future of NRG Energy Inc. in Dunkirk, today is the day to listen and possibly ask a question.

From 9 to 10 a.m. today, WDOE 1410-AM and 94.9-FM will feature an hourlong “Viewpoint” program on the topic. Special guests joining WDOE News Director Dave Rowley will be state Sen. Catharine Young, Assemblyman Andrew Goodell and Dunkirk Mayor Anthony J. Dolce. Listeners with questions can call 363-2280.

For our part, the OBSERVER today begins a series of articles on what NRG means to the community. Please take the time to listen, read and attend the Monday hearing, which is from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Williams Center at Fredonia State University.

John D’Agostino is the OBSERVER publisher. Send comments to or call 366-3000, ext. 401.