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  Chamber announces Santa Claus Lane Parade winners 



Fifty-two units and more than 846 adults and children were in the 34rd Annual Santa Claus Lane Parade held Nov. 29 in downtown Olean. Paula Snyder, Jamestown Community College; Max Bullers, Home Depot of Olean, and Eric Garvin, Community Bank, did judging for this season’s parade.  More than 2,200 people watched the parade go down both sides of North Union Street.

This year’s winners and their respective awards are:

The Blitzen Award, sponsored by Times Heraldwas awarded to Olean Cub Scout Pack 617 as the most photogenic float or unit; The Seasons Greetings Award, sponsored by Olean PC Repair and Security Cameras by Joe Duplechian was awarded to Down Beat Percussion Band to the best newcomer to the parade; The Rudolph Award, sponsored by National Grid Co., was awarded to Enchanted Mountain Jeep Wrangler Clubfor the float with the most or best use of lights; The Snowflake Award, sponsored by the Street Classics Car Club was awarded to Olean Youth Hockey Organizationfor the unit with the most participants in the parade; Angelic Spirit Award, sponsored byMandy’s Flowers, was awarded to Knights of Columbus Council 338 as the most spiritual/religious float or unit.  The Elves Award, sponsored by Owl Home Groups, was awarded to Paul Brown Motorsfor to the float or unit that best typifies the holiday through the eyes of a child; Jingle Bells Award, sponsored by Milestone Financial Strategies, was awarded to Neighborhood School of Dance, the best theatrical (music/dance) float or unit; and The Sleigh Award, presented by The Bantelman Agency, was awarded to Limestone Volunteer Fire Department as the most decorated larger truck (fire truck, flatbed, utility vehicles, etc.)

“The embellishments of the four snowflakes, eight holiday stars, and four more feet to the panel holiday tree (to make it 29 feet including star) in the main roundabout were a great addition to Santa Claus Lane.  The weather was a bit cold, but was great for watching the parade. The greater Olean area is a well-diversified community and as such, people from all walks of life and religion attended the parade to celebrate the gifts and graces of the holiday seasons.  It is truly a night when the community comes together,” said Meme Krahe Yanetsko, the Chamber’s COO.



Chamber seeks member news



Each month, Greater Olean Area Chamber of Commerce distributes news and event releases to our membership and the community through things like our newsletter, Cybernews, various emails and social media posts. 

Lately we’ve noticed submissions from our members are, well, a little light.

We’d love to share more of your news with fellow Chamber members and the community — that’s what we’re here for and that service is part of your membership. 

Introductions of new product lines; special sales; employee hires, promotions, retirements; or just something you’d like your fellow Chamber members to know are all more than welcome submissions. 

News items can be sent to or 


 Boundless Connections sets winter tech camp



Boundless Connections’ TECH Unleashed group will meet January 2 and 3 for its winter camp at the Technology Center in Olean.

Camp will be held 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. both days with lunch provided. To join TECH Unleashed, visit, call (585) 376-0099 or email 

The TECH Unleashed program is for youth 13-17 years old interested in computer programming, 3D printing, augmented and virtual reality, graphic art, and audio/video editing. Membership is available to any young person with an interest.

“I really want to be an animator and having this place I can peacefully draw out sketches and concepts of episodes,” Malachi, 14, said. 

“I love it here. There’s a bunch of tech people I can talk to – it’s kind of like a second family.”

Along with summer, winter and spring camps, TECH Unleashed members meet during the school year 7 to 9 p.m. on Fridays. Members are also allowed in the tech center during staffed hours without a parent or guardian.

The program fosters the use of various technology skills in service to the community. Participants choose annual projects and stay connected throughout the year for approximately 160 hours of coordination and instruction. This year’s cohort is developing a voice-commanded robot to help handicapped individuals.

While the program’s annual projects are participant-driven, members receive guidance on project and time management, leadership and team building, public speaking, research and industry networking.

Funding for scholarships is provided by Cattaraugus County Youth Bureau, Directions in Independent Living, Fox Financial and Sol Epoxy.


Olean Area Young Professionals January event


Olean Area Young Professionals is holding its next monthly networking event from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., Jan. 24, at St. Bonaventure University's Quick Center for the Arts. The event will be followed by a performance by Slavic Soul Party, New York City’s Official No. 1 Brass Band for Balkan Soul and Gypsy Funk. The Quick Center is offering discounted tickets to OAYP members for $16. Tickets may be purchased by contacting the Quick Center. Food will be provide and there will be a cash bar. A registration form will be sent out in the coming weeks.


Be OCSD's next Future Chef 


The Sodexo Future Chef competition returns for its second year with the Olean City School District.

For the 2020 competition, the school district will accept recipe entries from students in grades 1 through 5. The idea behind this event is to help educate the kids making healthy eating choices. This year’s theme for the recipe entries should focus on the chefs to reimagine their favorite school lunch meal.

Judging will be based on the following criteria: originality, kid friendly, ease of preparation, healthy attributes, plate presentation, taste and student chef presentation to judges

Timeline of the event: evaluate recipe submissions and narrow the number of finalists down; and Culinary Competition “Cook-Off” March 18th. 

All finalists will receive prizes, (optional, add if offering: recipe book of all finalists’ recipes, chef coat, apron and hat). 

Last year,  Washington West 2nd grader Liam Herne was a TOP 40 National Finalist. He went on to win an award at the Chamber's Taste of Olean in July. 

The Olean City School District is reaching out to Chamber members to gain more local support, and asking for any donations to put towards this local event, and for the Olean City School kids. As small as a gift card to physical prizes will be awarded to each student, and a larger volume set of prizes to the top 3 winners.

 For more information contact Kevin Fisher, Sodexo General Manager, Olean City School District at 716-375-8007, 814-331-8757 or email 


Leadership Cattaraugus accepting scholarship applications for 2020 class


Scholarship applications are available for Leadership Cattaraugus’ Class of 2020 applicants through the organization’s scholarship fund, managed by the Cattaraugus Region Community Foundation.

The Leadership Cattaraugus board of directors established the scholarship to support worthy future leaders in the community by making program tuition more affordable.

The application is available at Applicants must email their completed application to by December 31 to be eligible. The CRCF Scholarship Committee will review the applications and recommend the awardees. Scholarship applicants must also apply for admission to the 2020 Leadership Cattaraugus class at

The fund provides scholarships to cover the lesser of 25% of the cost of tuition or $400.

Applicants must live in and/or work in Cattaraugus County and be employed by a small (fewer than 100 employees) government entity, nonprofit or small business independently owned and operated in Cattaraugus County.

Applicants are judged by criteria including, but not limited to, the following:

The individual is an existing or emerging leader as demonstrated by:

Holds a leadership position in his/her organization or expects to move into a leadership position within his/her organization in the next six to 12 months.

Serves as a formal or informal leader in his/her community. Examples include:

Serving as an elected official.

Leadership in a civic or faith-based activity outside of the workplace.

Coaching a sport.

Coordinating a community activity/fundraising effort, etc.

Has a vested interest in creating sustainable vibrant Cattaraugus County communities as demonstrated by community volunteerism and other similar activities.

Engages in or expresses willingness to engage in community service activities (volunteerism, community campaigns, service on a board, etc.)

Awarded for the first time in 2018, the fund has since made possible scholarships for four aspiring community leaders.

Leadership Cattaraugus’ goal is to identify future leaders of the area and help them develop the skills they will need to work more effectively for the betterment of all the people in Cattaraugus County.

Donations can be made to the Leadership Cattaraugus Scholarship Fund at CRCF, 301 North Union St., Suite 203, or online at


Chamber's Home Show set for mid-April,

Sports Show in May



Two vendor shows hosted by Greater Olean Area Chamber of Commerce are scheduled for the second quarter 2020.  The Greater Olean Home Show is set for April 24-26; with the Sports, Recreation, & Fitness Expo May 30, 31.  Both shows are in Olean.

“Business owners can reach many customers in both of these events, and customers can see, touch, compare and buy products.  Vendor information will be available for both shows mid January.  Both offer unique marketplaces to shop, compare and save on a total selection of products and services,” said Meme Yanetsko, the Chamber’s COO.    

The Home Show is where to go for the latest in products and services for your home. Each year business experts are in one location to help attendees with everything from kitchen and bath appliances to windows and siding.  Hundreds of homeowners will walk through the doors of William O. Smith Recreation Center looking for ideas and trends designed for their biggest investment- their home.  A jam-packed event complete with exhibitors and giveaways, homeowners will find everything they need all in one weekend. 

The Home Show, presented by the Chamber and its Corporate Sponsors, has dates/times: April 24, 5 to 9 p.m.; April 25, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and April 26, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. 

The 10th Annual Greater Olean Area Sports, Recreation, & Fitness Expo will be back at the Good Times Events Center and grounds in Olean.  The show dates and times are May 30, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.; and  May 31, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.  The Expo is offering outdoor retailers, associations & outfitters the best opportunity to sell merchandise, secure leads, book trips and interact with the outdoor community. 

“The Sports, Recreation, and Fitness Expo is relocating back to Good Times due to the time of the event (May) which will enable the Chamber to utilize Forness Pond and the fields around GTO, and to place vendors outside,” Yanetsko added.  

The show facility provides one floor of exhibiting space.  The core of the show is providing education and information to show goers.  The show highlights the great fishing, hunting and outdoor opportunities surrounding the Olean area.

 Area businesses are encouraged to make booth reservations as soon as possible.  Chamber members will receive discount booth space.  For more information on the Home Show or other Chamber events and activities, call 716-372-4433 or email



Discounted SBU basketball tickets

available to Chamber members


Keep the celebration going: SBU basketball tickets marking 100th season available 

The 100 seasons of SBU basketball celebration continues in January at St. Bonaventure!  Both basketball teams are playing the weekend of January 10th during Chamber weekend at the Reilly Center with BOGO specials for both games.

The men’s basketball team will kick off the weekend with their first A-10 home game vs. Fordham on Jan. 11 for a 2 p.m. game. The women’s team will take on A-10 opponent, George Mason for a 1 p.m. game on Jan. 12.

Need tickets?  Please call the SBU Ticket office, 716-375-2500 to receive the Chamber buy 1 get 1 game tickets (in select sections).


CRCF raises more than $110k in 24 hours


In just 24 hours Cattaraugus Gives raised $110,996 for nonprofits in the Cattaraugus region, tripling the final results of the 2018 program.

The Cattaraugus Region Community Foundation led efforts to organize local nonprofits to raise funds in friendly competition and provided the online giving platform as well as support, training and some of the prize money.

Held on Giving Tuesday, Dec. 3, 70 participating nonprofits together raised $110,996, representing donations from 841 gracious donors throughout the community, including $12,000 in sponsorships from local businesses, individuals and CRCF.

“Yesterday was a phenomenal day - like Christmas coming early,” said CRCF Executive Director Karen Niemic Buchheit of the program’s success. “The community support was nothing short of amazing. There are so many thanks to express - especially to all the nonprofits who came together to rally supporters and to our prize sponsors who provided such great incentives.”

The following 20 organizations won prizes based on their participation and the number of donors giving during specific hours or overall:

·      Cutco Corporation Overall Most Donors Top Prize - $2,000

o   Olean City School District Foundation

·      CRCF Overall Most Donors Prize (2nd Place) - $1,000

o   Empire Animal Rescue Society

·      Eager Beaver Prize (sponsored by CRCF) - $500

o   Pfeiffer Nature Center & Foundation Inc.

·      Early Bird from Bluebird Square Golden Ticket Prize (sponsored by Park Centre Development Inc.) - $250

o   Tri-County Arts Council

·      Breakfast Hour Golden Ticket Prize (sponsored by Hedley Brook Insurance) - $250

o   Canticle Farm

·      Community Bank's Bank is Open Prize - $500

o   Olean City School District Foundation

·      CRCF’s 25 Year of Growing Good Anniversary Hour Prize - $500

o   YMCA of the Twin Tiers

·      Buffamante Whipple Buttafaro P.C. Morning Golden Ticket Prize - $250

o   Dr. Lyle F. Renodin Foundation

·      Lunch Meeting Hour Prize (sponsored by the Cornell-Pleakis Group at Morgan Stanley) - $500

o   Allegany Public Library

·      Both, Branch & Hendrix Noon Whistle Prize - $500

o   Marjorie and Robert Schaumleffel Rotary Scholarship

·      Early Afternoon Golden Ticket Prize (sponsored by Dolores Anstaett) - $250

o   Olean Theatre Workshop

·      CRCF’s The Responsive Hour Prize - $500

o   Southern Tier Health Care System

·      Howard Hanna Realty Homeward Bound Golden Ticket Prize - $250

o   Citizens Advocating Memorial Preservation (CAMP)

·      Olean Area Federal Credit Union After Work Drive-Through Hour Prize - $500

o   SPCA of Cattaraugus County

·      Greater Olean Area Chamber of Commerce’s Golden Ticket Prize - $250

o   Ellicottville Skatepark

·      Both, Branch & Hendrix Prime Time Prize - $500

o   SPCA of Cattaraugus County

·      Seneca Resorts & Casinos High Roller Hour Prize - $500

o   The Pink Pumpkin Project

·      CRCF’s Trusted Donor Hour Golden Ticket Prize - $250

o   HomeCare & Hospice Foundation

·      It's Getting Late Golden Ticket Prize (sponsored by James Bardenett) - $250

o   African American Center for Cultural Development

·      CRCF’s Big Donor Prize for the most overall donors of $100 or more – First place $1,000, Second Place $500

o   First place – YMCA of the Twin Tiers

o   Second place – Empire Animal Rescue Society

·      CRCF Pre-Day Drawing Prizes - $250 each

o   Joyful Rescues

o   Veggie Wheels

In addition three nonprofits were recognized for their outstanding social media promotions for Cattaraugus Gives and their own organization.

·      CRCF’s Social Media Champion Prize - $250, honorable mention $100

o   Winner – Empire Animal Rescue Society

o   Honorable Mention – Lounsbury Adaptive Ski Program

o   Honorable Mention – Olean Theatre Workshop

A full list of prizes and winners, including descriptions is available at

A number of organizations staged particularly notable campaigns during Cattaraugus Gives, according to Kirk Windus, CRCF communications and fund development, who provided training and support for participating nonprofits.

The YMCA of the Twin Tiers garnered $30,024 to meet their goal of raising funds to provide 100 free memberships to disadvantaged youth in the community. Their total, which was the highest dollar amount of any nonprofit in the competition, included a $15,000 matching gift from a private donor.

The Pink Pumpkin Project raised $22,140 throughout the day. Empire Animal Rescue Society raised $9,460 and the Olean City School District Foundation raised $5,713.

“That list only covers a few of the incredible accomplishments of the participating nonprofits,” Buchheit said. “What makes this even more impressive is that three of the organizations that raised the greatest amount of money are entirely volunteer organizations with no paid staff.

“It is hard to begin to put in words the power of injecting over $100,000 into the life of all these nonprofits,” Buchheit continued. “The funds will help all of them to continue their missions and provide specific programs and services that enhance the vitality of our region and the lives of our local residents.”

Sharon Myers, CRCF marketing and donor development committee chair, put it most succinctly and poetically.

“Almost $111,000 raised for our community nonprofits?” she said, “Now that is Growing Good.”





December 2019

November 2019

October 2019

September 2019

August 2019

July 2019

June 2019

May 2019

April 2019

March 2019

Annual Report 2018

February 2019

January 2019

November 2018

October 2018

September 2018

August 2018

July 2018

June 2018

May 2018

April 2018

March 2018

February 2018

January 2018

November 2017

October 2017

September 2017

July 2017

June 2017

April 2017

March 2017

February 2017

January Newsletter - 2017


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

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