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2018 Greater Olean Area Home Show a win for attendees, vendors


The 47th-annual Greater Olean Area Home Show welcomed more than 2,500 visitors April 13-15.  Eighty-three vendors were on-hand to display and demonstrate products from hot tubs to gardening supplies, along with heating and cooling systems. The event was hosted by Greater Olean Area Chamber of Commerce and co-sponsored by its 54 corporate sponsors.

“I received a lot of positive feedback for my business, many sales,” said Brianna Eaton of Refined Furnishings of Olean. “A few folks have expressed interested in my refurbishing some of their own pieces as well as donating some for me to refine and sell. The home show was an amazing opportunity to get my business name out there.”

The vendors at the Home Show competed for “Best Booth” based on neatness, presentation, props, information, and theme-related. The theme this year was “#DestinationRenovation.”  

Winners for 2018 Greater Olean Area Home Show are: Best Use of Theme: VanDyke Agency of Great Valley, and Best Overall Booth: Countryside Woodworking of Penn Yan. 

"The construction and new improvements at the William O. Smith Rec Center that started right after last year’s home show were great for our Home Show visitors and our vendors, stated, Meme K. Yanetsko, the chamber’s COO. “Visitors were treated to a separate demonstration area, inside one of the party rooms at the center.  The demos all appeared to have many in attendance due to this separated space.”

Ion Zimmerman of Countryside Woodworking added, “The Olean home show gave us a chance to inform visitors of our poly outdoor furniture for decks and patios, including tables and Adirondack chairs. We made some great new friends and had a decent amount of sales.”           

The winner of the Home Depot of Olean /Greater Olean Area Chamber of Commerce Home Show grand prize, a NEXGrill 5-burner grill, was Erin Hitchcock of Olean.

The Chamber’s next events include the Community-Wide Garage Sale on May 19 and the Corporate Challenge 5K Run/Walk on June 21.  

For more information regarding Greater Olean Area Chamber of Commerce or events and activities, please call 716-372-4433 or  


Linwood Center, a special place for seniors 


The wisdom of their years is only amplified by the joy they share at the Linwood Center.

After a lifetime of hard work, raising families, fighting and surviving wars, recessions and many hard northern winters, today 30 seniors enjoy their well deserved day in the sun.

As an adult day center, the Linwood Center is a deeply honoring and welcoming place for adults over age 60. While some are fully independent and just need the social interaction of others of their own generation, others may need a little extra support to remain independent in their homes.

Services include: breakfast and lunch, exercise, trivia games, armchair travel, live bands, games and cards, volunteer opportunities, day trips and fishing trips.

“There are no TVs here,” Nancy Ogden, who has been with the Linwood Center for 13 years and is currently its supervisor, said, adding all the activities and events are mind, body and community stimulating.

“Maybe we view one or two movies a month, but everything is geared toward providing a therapeutic activities, socialization, assistance with personal care and case management.”

The center promotes an improved quality of life while providing respite and guidance to family members and caregivers. It offers a friendly environment for veterans, retired people, and those who live alone and want the daily companionship of others.Veterans, retired people, those who live alone and want the daily companionship of others. For one, in particular, the Linwood Center has given him a new lease on life after the death of his wife.

When Chuck Tyler’s wife died in 2006, he slipped into a deep, dark depression, and remained alone at home for well over a year. After he began coming to the Linwood Center, he found his life again.

“Now, everything is better because of Linwood. This place helps a lot of people more than anyone realizes. You have to associate with other people to be mentally intact,” he said, smiling as he headed back into the bright cheerful room full of friends waiting for him to play Bingo.

Others with some physical and cognitive challenges also enjoy a special bond of friendship encouraged by a caring and experienced staff.

The Linwood Center, which is sponsored by the ReHabilitation Center and located in its Allegany site on Nine Mile Rd., has a long history in Olean.

It was begun 35 years ago by the Cattaraugus County Department of Aging in Christ United Methodist Church at 633 Linwood Ave.

Later, the Linwood Center was moved into the now closed Allegany High School where it remained until it was relocated to its current location on May 1, 2015.

“The old school closed in 1990. It had no upgrades and always had issues with temperature. We needed a new location,” Nancy said. “We became part of the ReHabilitation Center on January 31, 2011, but didn’t move until after construction was completed.”

In addition to providing a great community for friendship and support, the Linwood Center encourages members of the community to share knowledge and resources through special events.

“We have guest speakers regularly from the Department of Aging who discuss nutrition and staying healthy along with other services they provide,” Nancy said. “These services promote an improved quality of life while providing support to family members and caregivers.”

For more information about the Linwood Center, call Nancy Ogden at 716-375-4740, ext. 120.


Arts Council welcomes grants and

development coordinator  


The Cattaraugus County Arts Council is pleased to welcome a new team member, Kara Frisina, as its grants and development coordinator.  

Frisina  was born and raised in Olean, and recently moved back home to live on her family’s old farm and participate in the revitalization of the area. She earned her undergraduate degrees in visual communication and Spanish, and her master’s in communication and development at Ohio University. As part of her educational experience, Kara worked with nonprofits in Ohio and Guatemala and became interested in how she could develop her skills to support these types of organizations. 

She is excited to join the Arts Council’s mission to promote the creation, presentation and appreciation of arts and culture in the region

“I’m so impressed by the growth in the Twin Tiers,” Frisina said. “After traveling and experiencing living in other places,  I want to put my energy into arts and culture in my home region. This is a beautiful area full of inspiring and diverse folks. The Arts Council is a catalyst for rural creativity and I’m excited to be a part of that.”

Executive Director Tina Hastings is thrilled to have Kara join the staff of the Arts Council, saying, “Growing up in the region, Kara is familiar with CCAC and her past volunteer and internship experiences here helped inform her decision to apply to be our grants and development Coordinator. Her desire to return to this region after college to live and work is wonderful because rural areas often lose their young professionals. I'm glad we could offer her a position and I believe she will be a tremendous asset as an arts  advocate for our region's arts and cultural organizations.”



Celebrate Olean - Outdoor Festival 2018 taking shape


Planning for the second-annual Celebrate Olean – Outdoor Festival 2018 is coming together. 

The weekend-long festival started last year as the Olean Outdoor Fest and was held at Bradner Stadium. The event, spearheaded by Jamie Hamed, is a non-profit fundraiser for local charities.

The 2018 festival is scheduled for June 15 and 16 at Gargoyle Park. Admission is free and prices for its various activities have been reduced. Camping during the festival is $10 for four people both nights. 

The festival’s activities and amenities include a volleyball tournament, bocce tournament, archery competition, jeep jamboree, kids zone, scavenger hunt, beer yoga, best chicken wing contest, wine tasting, seminars, a decades night, a bonfire, camping, vendors and much more.

Proceeds of the 2018 Celebrate Olean – Outdoor Festival will benefit Olean Food Pantry and The ReHabilitation Center.

Currently festival organizers are seeking donations to fund a fireworks display. A GoFundMe account is set up online. 

Donations will be accepted all the way up to the festival date, Hamed said. 

“If we do not raise enough funds the proceeds will be forwarded to the charities,” he added. “We have all put a huge amount of time and effort into putting this festival together, your support means the world to us.” 

For full event details or to donate, visit


Congratulations are in order


Two local businesses recently celebrated milestones. 

McElfresh Map Co. turned 25 this year, while Randy’s Up the River turned 30. 

Congratulations and best wishes for continued success! 


Olean Area Young Professionals sets

May networking event 


Olean Area Young Professionals will hold its next monthly networking event from 5:15 to 7:15 p.m., Thursday, May 10, at Union Whiskey. 

Food will be provided and there will be a cash bar. The group will be raising money for United Way. 

OAYP is open to all the area’s young professionals and welcomes new attendees. 


Archbishop Walsh Academy holds art show   



PHOTO: Archbishop Walsh Academy senior Aliyah Tejera discusses part of their art exhibit during the school’s International Baccalaureate Art Show on Wednesday evening. Seven students from Archbishop Walsh presented exhibits for the show.

Seven seniors at Archbishop Walsh Academy presented their International Baccalaureate art exhibits on April 11 to the public. 

The art show featured works by students Kelly Fitzgerald, Sophie Garvin, Inez Gilson, Samara Lindberg, Joseph Scordo, Tioga Simpson, and Aliyah Tejera. Their displays are a culmination of a visual arts course the students started at the beginning of their junior year. 

“All seven students used their own personal experiences and internal ‘voice’ to deliver a visual theme,” said Kevin Spoor, art instructor for Archbishop Walsh. “Each student explored and developed an individual theme during a two-year period — sharing something with the viewer.” 

He noted the exhibits featured a range of subject matters from reflections on personal growth, studies in human forms, and explorations of animals and nature. 

“These exhibits require extensive planning and processing, with each student working with multiple forms of media and in different dimensions. We are immensely proud of our students for bringing their visions to life,” added Danielle Michel, director of the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme at Archbishop Walsh. 

The International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme is a two-year curriculum for high school juniors and seniors that aims to develop inquiring, knowledgeable, and caring global citizens. The Diploma Programme is implemented in more than 3,000 schools in 153 countries worldwide and promotes intercultural understanding and respect through innovative curricula and rigorous assessment. 


Area nonprofit organizations receive annual support from CRCF


Eleven charitable organizations recently received grants from donor-designated funds at the Cattaraugus Region Community Foundation, providing support for a variety of causes including medical flights, churches, a library and scouts.

Donor-designated funds allow donors to make annual gifts to organizations they choose to support without so much as having to pick up a checkbook once the fund is established, said CRCF Executive Director Niemic Buchheit.

“For those donors who have a cause they love and want to support each and every year, a donor-designated fund at the Foundation may fit their needs perfectly,” Buchheit said. “The Foundation handles all of the administrative duties, so the donor can support his or her favorite causes without worrying about the paperwork.”

Four donor-designated funds recently made possible annual grants to the charitable organizations chosen by each’s donors.

The Luella Potter Fund, established by friends of the longtime Catholic school educator, made possible a $2,142 grant to Southern Tier Catholic School and Archbishop Walsh Academy.

The Kay and Oliver Williams/Rushford Endowment Fund, established by Mr. Williams, made possible grants to eight organizations in Rushford that he and his wife supported during their lifetime.

Those organizations included:

First Baptist Church of Rushford ?

United Methodist Church of Rushford?

Rushford Library?

Podonque Cemetery?

Boy Scouts Pack 708 (for boy scouts based in Cuba-Rushford school district)?

Rushford Cemetery?

Rushford Concert Band?

CRCS Outdoors Conservation Camp?

The Jim and Gail Olson Mercy Flight Fund, established by Gail Olson of Olean in part to honor and remember her late husband, made possible an annual grant, $894 this year, to Mercy Flight WNY to support the Olean station.

The Rev. Leo J. Gallina Endowment Fund for St. Bernard of Clairvaux Church made possible a $820 grant to support the church and its community outreach programs.

Another major benefit of establishing a donor-designated fund at the Foundation is that endowed funds are designed to grow support over time.

“Funds are invested for income and growth, so that level of support the donor wants to provide annually will continue to increase over time,” Buchheit added. “We have seen each of these funds grow and be able to provide more support to these organizations each year.

“In the case of a fund like the Williams fund, an endowed donor designated funds allow support to continue even after that donor passes away.”

Anyone interested in establishing a donor-designated fund of their own, or a fund of any type, can contact the foundation at 716-301-2723 or

Donations can be made to any of these funds at 301 North Union St., Suite 203, or online at


Corporate Challenge fast approaching


The eighth-annual Southern Tier Corporate Challenge Run/Walk is scheduled for June 21 at the Cattaraugus County campus of Jamestown Community College.  Challenge hosts, the Olean High School Sports Boosters and Greater Olean Area Chamber of Commerce, invite all organizations, businesses and companies to participate in this wellness event.

The event was created by the Chamber to promote team-building, fitness, and friendly competition. 

 "The Corporate Challenge allows local businesses to compete on a participative and competitive basis, while promoting fitness and corporate camaraderie," said Erica Dreher, the Chamber’s member outreach associate.

The 3.1-mile road race and 2 mile walk will go throughout downtown beginning and ending at JCC.  Sponsors include BlueCross/BlueShield of Western New York, The Mix 101.5 / WMXO, Sanzo Beverages, Pepsi Bottling Company of Jamestown, and Constellation. 

The race is open to both corporate and community teams. Individual racers may also enter. 

The challenge concludes with “Olean’s Largest Office Party” complete with individual awards:  Fastest CEO, Fastest Man, and Fastest Woman; and community teams and corporate team awards:  Fastest Male Team, Fastest Female Team, and Fastest Coed Team. 

Teams need to be determined before race, either running or walking. A Community Team is a team of friends, family, and non-employment associates. Corporate Team is a team of employees of said company (this includes spouse if their employer doesn’t compete). 

The registration fee is $20 per participant and if registered by June 6, includes a race promo item, refreshments, and entrance to Office Party with live music. 

Teams can also compete for the The Most Spirited Team Award, which considers team dress coordination, cheering for all participants, spirit during the challenge.  You may not have the fastest runners in the field, but your team can still come out a winner by entering the Logo Design Contest.  Let your creative juices flow and come up with a design that incorporates either the series logo, full event name or any other element of the race (event location, city name, etc.).  This is only a logo design.  The winning design may be used in future events as the race logo.

Back again to this year’s challenge is the Corporate Cereal Challenge.  Event organizers are teaming up with the Olean Food Pantry and encouraging companies participating to collect boxes of cereal to donate. Last year’s challenge saw 2,423 boxes of cereal donated.  

To be included in the cereal challenge, email that your company will be collecting cereal, collect at your business now until June 15, and turn in the cereal at the Corporate Challenge.  The challenge will have two awards: Most Boxes Donated and Most Boxes per Employee Donated. 

For more information or registration details, call the Chamber at 716-372-4433 or email

New program offered to prep for race day


Greater Olean Area Chamber of Commerce has introduced a new program to help those participating in the upcoming Southern Tier Corporate Challenge 5k Run and 2.1 Mile Walk get ready for race day.

Starting on April 23, the Chamber will offer an eight-week course, 8weeks2runninga5k. During the two months leading up the race, the program helps people ease into running a 5k. This year’s Corporate Challenge is set for June 21.

“It’s great to see so many people come out and participate in the Corporate Challenge, but we would like to see people challenging themselves to run,” said Erica Dreher, the Chamber’s membership outreach coordinator and an avid runner. “There are step by step guides to running a 5K — Couch to 5K Training; Become a Runner in 8 Weeks; and Run a 5K, among many others online”

Those looking to participate in the training program are asked to register with the Chamber by calling 373-4433 or emailing Once a person is registered, the Chamber will email out several programs to choose from.  Each week, the Chamber will email the training participants with encouragement, status of their program, and other tidbits.

After the eight weeks and the challenge event, the Chamber will place all participants name in a hat, and choose winners — gifts will range from a subscription to a runners magazine,  a gift card to local grocery stores, and t-shirts and hats.

Participants in the eight-week training program should consult their physicians before you start any exercise program, if you are over 40, not accustomed to any exercise, or more than 20 pounds overweight; Schedule your workouts/trainings; expect bad days and don’t rush.”

The Chamber began hosting the Southern Tier Corporate Challenge 5K Run and 2.1 Mile Walk in 2011 with the goal of supporting companies in creating internal wellness programs. The Corporate Challenge allowed local businesses to compete in a participative and competitive basis, while promoting fitness and corporate camaraderie.  That first year, the event had 302 participants, 102 more than anticipated.  The challenge has been a success every year since, with an average of 694 participants.  

For more information or questions, please call 716-372-4433 or email

Chamber membership drive set for May 10 


Greater Olean Area Chamber of Commerce is hosting an one-day membership drive on May 10, to reach potential members..

“You might wonder why your business should belong to the local chamber of commerce. What is in it for your business?,” said Cam Myers, a member of the Chamber’s Membership Committee. “ I would like to say the answer is simple, but in all reality it isn’t. Different businesses get different things from belonging to the Chamber, depending on what their needs are.  There are direct and indirect benefits of belonging to the chamber.  Some indirect benefits are economy, community betterment, education, and civic responsibility.”

During the one-day drive, the Chamber’s Membership Committee will gather at Paul Brown Chevy and  call more than 200 businesses or organizations.  The membership drive will include incentives for businesses joining thea Chamber that day.

“Another reason to join the chamber is simply because we need you,” said Erica Dreher, the chamber’s member outreach associate. “The Chamber wouldn’t be a chamber if it weren’t for our members.  Our members allow us to provide all of our services, whether direct or indirect.  Some of these might help you, but some might help your clients.  Either way, your membership helps local businesses in our community.”

Greater Olean Area Chamber of Commerce, located at 301 N. Union St., Olean, has been the leading business organization in the greater Olean area since 1906. Their business plan reflects activities related to lobbying local and state leaders and developing programs, to supporting workforce development, small business owners, large corporate entities, non-profit organizations, manufacturers, and area residents.


Healthy eating starts with Canticle Farm 


Do you want your family to eat local, healthy foods but do not have the time to plant a garden?  Simplify your life and subscribe to a spring share at Canticle Farm; your backyard garden without the work.

Become a shareholder and receive more than 30 varieties of Certified Naturally Grown vegetables throughout the growing seasons of spring, summer, and fall. The spring share begins May 8.

A Canticle Farm fresh, weekly supply of homegrown produce offers the benefits of:

Learning about vegetables and their preparation?

Getting your produce straight from the farm?

Knowing who grows your food and how it’s harvested ?

Receiving a weekly newsletter with quick and easy recipes.?

To get garden fresh vegetables every week, choose the size of the share, small or large, that is right for you or your family.

Canticle Farm is a not-for-profit community supported farm founded and sponsored by the Franciscan Sisters of Allegany.

Registrations for a share may be found, or at Canticle Farm Market in Allegany. For more information contact Canticle Farm at 716-373- 0200 ext. 3358, or email


Community-Wide Garage Sale date set


The officials at Greater Olean Area Chamber of Commerce have scheduled the Community-Wide Garage Sale for May 19 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The Chamber is encouraging people to get up in their attics, basements, and garages and start sorting and cleaning.

 “Garage sales are very well attended events.  More than 101 houses participated last year and more than 240 maps were handed out,” said Erica Dreher, the Chamber’s member outreach associate. “We encourage residents to hold garage sales at their homes or join with neighbors to hold block sales.”

Those interested in holding a garage sale at their home as part of this event need to register their address with the Chamber to be placed on the garage sale map for a $3 fee. The Chamber will need addresses and a short list of items that the home would be selling.

The deadline to register  is  May 16 at 12 p.m. 

Maps depicting the locations of the garages sales, will be available on May 18 and also will be handed out from the Chamber’s office on the morning of the sales, beginning at 7 a.m. 

Mail or drop off garage sale information to the Chamber at  301 N. Union St. Information can also be faxed to 716-372-7912 or emailed to

For more information on the garage sale, please contact the Greater Olean Area Chamber of Commerce at 716-372-4433.


Welcome new members!


Literacy West NY - CORE - The Learning Center, 1 Bluebird Square, Olean, 14760, 585-786-3890. 

Apex Construction, 281 Pleasant Acres Drive, Portville, 14770, 716-378-2400.




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Greater Olean Area Chamber of Commerce • 716-372-4433 •

Greater Olean Area Chamber of Commerce • 716-372-4433 •