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  Taste of Olean on tap Sunday   


If the way to a person’s heart is through the stomach, then Olean is a destination visitors are sure to love on Sunday (July 28). 

 Time to loosen that belt a few notches, gather family and friends and head down to the 70th Annual Art in the Park and the 29th Annual Taste of Olean on July 28, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at War Veterans Park, 551 E. State St., Olean. 

The Taste Of Olean, co-sponsored by the Greater Olean Area Chamber of Commerce, National Grid Co., and the Chamber’s 47 corporate sponsors provides an affordable and enjoyable festival in a socially responsible manner for families of the greater Olean area. Admission to the event is free. Pay as you eat. 

THE TASTES -- The restaurants will present "tastes" of foods, not whole meals or sandwiches - smaller portions with affordable costs between 50 cents and $5. Restaurants are encouraged to promote their famous dishes, to introduce a new menu item or a specialty drink.  Restaurants that will be appearing at the Taste include: Mirchi Bar n' Grill, Cupcaked, JCC Alumni, Hammerback Bar & Grill / GTO Foods, The Hungry Burro, Tandoori Taste of India, Sanzo Beverage, AnnMarie's Baklava, Napoli Pizza, Baby Ds Diner, Bub’s Grub, and Certo Brothers Distributing.

THE ARTS -- Art in the Park, sponsored by the Tri County Arts Council held in conjunction with the Taste, is a juried fine arts show with a long standing tradition of showcasing the finest art in southwestern New York and northwestern Pennsylvania.  The artists include: Judy Speckman – painting, Everett Kline – wood, Deveon Spaeth - jewelry/sculpture, Greg Souchik - jewelry/painting, Eileen Weishan - fiber arts, Michael Weishan – photography, Miranda Turner – painting, Sharon Bushnell - fiber arts, Nicolaus Scolton - drawing/pastels, Kaylee Hollister – jewelry, Pauline Hoffman - Wild Mountain Organics - body care, and Sandy Pickert – painting.  Other Arts Organizations include Southern Tier Symphony, Girls Scouts of Western New York, S.P.C.A. of Cattaraugus County, and Neighborhood School of Dance.  Three awards will be presented: Best of Show; Best New Entry; and Best Presentation.

MUSIC TO YOUR EARS -- The music never stops with Theater Workshop of Olean lining up continuous entertainment. It will include the OHS STAR Program Frozen Jr 12 p.m., Bent Brass classical Ensemble  - 12:30 p.m., Olean Area Irish Dancers - 1:15 p.m., Brass Knuckle Quintet-1:45 p.m., Best Chef -2:15 p.m., Olean Theatre Workshop musical- numbers from "Once on this island" 2:30 p.m., Neighborhood School of Dance- 3:15 p.m., OTW Performance Class- 3:45 p.m., and Dance Arts- 4:30 p.m.

FAMILY FUN -- Eric Jones will be on site with his famous caricature drawings. There will also be facepainting.  Swimming is free at the William O. Smith Recreation Center from 12 to 5 p.m. courtesy of the Chamber’s Corporate Sponsors.

WHAT’s NEW: Free roller skating at the William O. Smith Recreation Center from 12 to 5 p.m. courtesy of the Chamber’s Corporate Sponsors.  The Eagle Dreams Rehabilitation of Olean will be exhibiting their birds of prey.  The Quick Arts Center ArtMobile will be there from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and will run art activities and some make-n-takes. Everything would be free to the public with all materials provided. 

Did you miss #wtchella at StrOlean?! Here is your chance to get in on the fun festival atmosphere. WT Hair will be running an activity center at the Taste of Olean for all ages. Attendees can enjoy free or low cost activities include hair braiding, glitter hair styles, flower crowns, and free cotton candy! #teamwthair will also be selling and installing custom tape in vivid hair extensions! #TASTE #FUNactivities

TASTY RAFFLES – Five dollars gives you 20 chances to win gift certificates to area restaurants, the newest Santa Claus Lane ornament, Squirrel Items, Restaurant certificates and more!

MARKETPLACE at the TASTE -- The Jamestown Community College Alumni Association will showcase local food and catalog vendors during a Marketplace @ The Taste. 

WALL OF FAME PRESENTATION -- The winners of the Taste of Olean Hospitality Awards will be recognized during the Taste of Olean, 2:15 p.m. under the big tent down at War Veterans Park.  The thirteenth class of inductees is: D.J. Butchello, John Cappelletti, and the late Larry Chiarenza. Past inductees to the Hospitality Wall of Fame include: Guerino “Butch” Butchello and Chef Anthony Lentola from the Castle Restaurant; Chef Pasquale “Patsy” Piccioli; John Sawaya; Sr.; Carl Iseman; Louis and Nancy Giannechini; Lucia “Lou” Bardenett; William “Bill” Augostini; Quinto and Dora Bagazzoli; Nicholas “Nick” Fratarcangelo; Louis Marra; Daniel Fessenden, Robert Styles, Tony Bassano, Jim McAfee, Neil and Denis Goodemote; Paul and Mary Psathas; Anthony Zampogna; James Pappas; Lou Russo; Nick Livoto; Steve Hollowell; Jackie Attard; John Malara; Richard Marcus; Louis V., ‘Little Louie,’ Marra; Eugene Stopha, Jack Coffey, Louis Frungillo Sr., Richard ‘Richie’ Piccioli, Joe Marra, MarLayn Robinson, John ‘Mac’ Sue, Tom Weatherell, John and Karol Long, Anthony Fratercangelo, James ‘Jim’ Hastas, Mike & PJ McAfee, Anthony Procacci, Paul & Lisa Marra, Ola May Gayton, Alfredo P. LaFredo Sr., Sparky Granger, and Randy Korkowicz.  

For more information on the Taste of Olean, call Greater Olean Area Chamber of Commerce at 716-372-4433 or email 


Three added to Olean Hospitality Wall of Fame 


Greater Olean Area Chamber of Commerce and its Taste of Olean Event Committee have announced its thirteenth class of inductees to the Taste of Olean Hospitality Wall of Fame Awards program: D.J. Butchello, John Cappelletti, and the late Larry Chiarenza. 

The Hospitality Wall of Fame recognizes individuals and/or businesses who have made a significant contribution and given exceptional service to the food service/ hospitality industry in the past and who may continue to do so.  All have succeeded in excelling at all the most important elements of a great restaurant - inviting atmosphere, friendly staff and impeccable food in its stylish artistic presentation and its innovative flavor combination.

“What all these honorees have in common is more than serving a good meal at a good price. Their restaurants were home.  Their popularity and customer loyalty stemmed from the way they have treated everyone,” said Meme Krahe Yanetsko, the Chamber’s COO.

The winners of the Taste of Olean Hospitality Awards will be recognized during the 29th Annual Taste of Olean, held July 28 at the War Veterans Park, 551 East State Street, Olean, 2 p.m..  Past inductees to the Hospitality Wall of Fame include: Past inductees to the Hospitality Wall of Fame include: Guerino “Butch” Butchello and Chef Anthony Lentola from the Castle Restaurant; Chef Pasquale “Patsy” Piccioli; John Sawaya; Sr.; Carl Iseman; Louis and Nancy Giannechini; Lucia “Lou” Bardenett; William “Bill” Augostini; Quinto and Dora Bagazzoli; Nicholas “Nick” Fratarcangelo; Louis Marra; Daniel Fessenden, Robert Styles, Tony Bassano, Jim McAfee, Neil and Denis Goodemote; Paul and Mary Psathas; Anthony Zampogna; James Pappas; Lou Russo; Nick Livoto; Steve Hollowell; Jackie Attard; John Malara; Richard Marcus; Louis V., ‘Little Louie,’ Marra; Eugene Stopha, Jack Coffey, Louis Frungillo Sr., Richard ‘Richie’ Piccioli, MarLayne Robinson, John M. ‘Mac’ Sue, Tom Weatherell, Joseph Marra, John & Karol Long, Anthony Fratercangelo, James ‘Jim’ Hastas, Mike & PJ McAfee, Anthony Procacci, Paul & Lisa Marra, Ola May Gayton, Alfredo P. LaFredo Sr., Sparky Granger, and Randy Korkowicz.  

For more information, please contact the Greater Olean Area Chamber of Commerce at 372-4433 or by email


Got game? Macker sign ups now being accepted




Entries are now being accepted for the Gus Macker 3-on-3 basketball tournament, to be played August 16-18 on Delaware Avenue in downtown Olean.  The Greater Olean Area Chamber of Commerce and its 48 corporate sponsors are co-sponsoring this Gus Macker 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament to Olean.

More than 3,000 registration postcards were mailed this month to team captains from tournaments held in Norwich, Hornell, Warren, Buffalo, and Olean last year.  An additional 7,000 were sent out late May to schools in Allegany, Chautauqua, McKean and Cattaraugus Counties.  Entry deadlines for teams interested in this year’s tournament are July 26 for applications that are submitted by mail, and July 29 for internet entries.  The entry fee for a four-player teams is $132. 

The three-day festival of basketball begins on Aug. 16, with a Corporate Cup Basketball Contest and early registration and continues through the division championships on Aug.  18. The tournament is open to players of all ages and experience levels who are computer-matched by age, height and experience so that all participants can be competitive.

The tournament, based on basketball played in driveways throughout the U.S., will include players who have no experience to those who have played college and semi-professional basketball.  Primarily based on their age and level of experience, players will be placed in divisions where they will be most evenly matched. Depending on the number of teams placed in a specific division, players and the teams they’re on will be playing for first- and second- and third trophies. Also teams that finish last in their divisions could receive “Toilet Bowl” trophies.

In addition to the Chamber’s 48 corporate sponsors, other major support for the event is being provided by Sparky’s Pizza, Third Base Bar & Grill, Microtel Inn and Suites by Wyndham, Adams Service, Pepsi Cola, and Universal Primary Care.  Additionally, the important roles of media sponsorships are being provided by WGWE-FM, WMXO-FM and WPIG-FM.

Every player in the Macker is guaranteed at least three games, so no matter how you fare the first time on the court, you’re not out by any means. Those who do make it on to the championship rounds can look forward to trophy presentations for first through third places. A special sportsmanship medal is also awarded at each court for the team that exemplifies good sportsmanship.  All registered players also receive t-shirts for participating in the event, which is made by possible by area sponsors.

Registrations forms are available online Offline forms for registration via U.S. mail will be available at the Chamber office.

Want to play?

What: Gus Macker 3-on-3 basketball tournament

When: August 16-18

Where: Delaware and North Barry Streets, Downtown Olean

Cost: $132 per four-person team. Checks, Visa and Master Card will be accepted.

Entry deadlines: Friday, July 26 (mail), Monday, July 29 (online)


For information on the Gus Macker tournament, sponsorships and volunteer opportunities, please contact the Greater Olean Area Chamber of Commerce at 716-372-4433 or email


Give an assist at the Macker 


As preparations for Olean’s upcoming Gus Macker 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament are nearing completion, its organizers are appealing for an assist. Greater Olean Area Chamber of Commerce, which took over management of the annual tourney in 2017, is in need of volunteers to ensure this year’s Macker is again a big success for the community.

Olean’s 2019 tournament is scheduled from Aug. 16-18 in the city’s downtown along Delaware Avenue and North Barry Streets. Actual tournament play starts on Aug. 17.  

Running the weekend-long tournament is no small job, and many helping hands are needed.

“As with every year Olean has hosted a Macker, the tournament's success depends largely on a strong base of volunteers willing to donate time to the event.  There’s plenty of volunteering opportunities at the upcoming tourney,” said Meme Yanetsko, the Chamber’s COO. “Volunteers play a crucial role in the Macker tournament, assisting with nearly every element of the event.

“Simply put, the Chamber and its staff cannot put on this tournament alone — it requires a community effort, and we’re hoping volunteers will turn out in force to help make this year’s Macker the success we know it can be for Olean.

Specifically, the Chamber could use volunteers to help with setup and break down, refreshment delivery, registration, refereeing, timekeeping, and scorekeeping. Those interested in volunteering should call the Chamber at 716-372-4433 or email

The Gus Macker 3-on-3 Tournament started in Lowell, Mich., in 1974 when founder Scott McNeal held a three-on-three basketball game with friends in his parent’s driveway. In the four decades that followed, the tournament grew from the McNeal’s driveway to become a major event held in communities across the country.


Zippo Car to appear at StrOlean car show


 The first StrOlean ever held in August 2017 featured a classic car show on Laurens Street with more than 30 vehicles.  

Because of the show’s popularity, the upcoming StrOlean in August will see classic cars on display again. 

Bob Fischer, long time Portville resident, and his wife, Holly, have stepped up to be organizers of the August StrOlean Car Show.

 “Any event, big or small, is a big time commitment.  As we have Gus Macker that weekend in addition to StrOlean overall, we needed an organization to coordinate these separate events that occur during StrOlean,” said Erica Dreher, the Chamber’s membership outreach coordinator.

Dreher and Chamber staff has secured their first flaming hot fiery participant for the car show with the commitment of the Zippo Car from Chamber member Zippo Manufacturing.  The Zippo Car has appeared at other Chamber events including our Chamber Clambake in late 90s and the History Channel Great Race.  Chamber officials are also working with Cutco Cutlery on appearance of their sharp looking automobile!

A little history on the Zippo Car includes: in 1996, Zippo purchased a grey 1947 Chrysler New Yorker and began restoration of another Zippo Car to mirror the original with additional features. Eighteen months later, the task was completed with a price tag around $250,000. 

The "new" Zippo Car was delivered on May 10, 1998 and debuted at the Zippo/Case International Swap Meet on July 16. The car had approximately 180,000 miles under its hood when purchased in 1996. There have been 11 Zippo Car drivers. The Zippo Car has visited numerous famous landmarks including: Mount Rushmore, St. Louis Arch, The Alamo, The Grand Canyon, Hoover Dam, Las Vegas Strip, Niagara Falls, the Hollywood Sign, and Bourbon Street in New Orleans.    Zippo Car now participates in parades, corporate sponsored events, tradeshows, and much more.

Information on the Part II StrOlean held in August will be available soon online at  

There are three ways for businesses, non-profits and school groups to participate at any of the StrOleans – retail vendor, food vendor or event host.  Organizations should start now and plan to participate as these can be fundraisers too!

POPUP MARKET: If your business is a brick and mortar store, GOACC would like for you to host an event outside your store, host sales/info table inside/outside your store, or if you are a restaurant, we would like you to vend outside your store.  As an existing storefront, there will be no fee to participate, but the Chamber would like you to fill out the application.

For those wishing to vend on North Union/State Streets, the Pop Up Market will include arts & crafts, artisans, catalog/home party, farm market stands, artwork, jewelry and more! 

EVENT ORGANIZER: Is your organization looking for a fundraiser event?  GOACC is also encouraging organizations to come on down and create an event that would benefit their organization.   StrOlean would love to have organizations host events during the day such as: a planned Walk, Story Time, a tasting station, a sport demonstrations, 5K/1K Fun Run, outside fitness class, strolling chorus, children’s activities, and a bunch other ideas. There would be no charge to run the event. The event would be included in the overall promotion, poster, Facebook, etc. However, GOACC still suggest they do some small promotion on their separate event and market to their captive audience. 

Past StrOlean events included tire flipping competition, an outside yoga class, story time, roller derby with a track for bouts at the Olean Center Mall parking lot, a make and take craft class, a car show, Battle of the Lips, a planned walk, and a witty scavenger hunt.

FOOD SPOT: GOACC is encouraging food vendors to come and serve up some food. There is an application for those businesses wishing to open a Food spot during the StrOlean Fest.  An existing restaurant will still need to fill out the food application.

For more information or registration forms, please call GOACC at 716-372-4433 or email


Chamber Golf Classic sees 22 foursomes 


Greater Olean Area Chamber of Commerce’s Corporate Golf Classic saw 22 foursomes compete at Bartlett Country Club on July 15.  

The winners were: Corporate Division, Dresser-Rand; and Community Division, Fox Financial. 

 Other winners included: Closest to Pin – Jeff Crouch (#3), Francis McClure (#7), Aaron Wolfe (#11) and Frank Higgins (#15).   A putting contest was also held. David Carucci won $175 Shop Olean Gift Certificates in the putting contest.

This year, the golf classic raised $400 for the Mental Wellness in Cattaraugus County Fund. The event was happy to be able to support this program and to help with our community’s quality of life through this donation.

 The Classic’s roots trace back to the fall of 2013, when Ledgie DeRose, Jeff Crouch, Frank Higgins, and Scott Derwick were inspired by the success of the Corporate Challenge and created the annual golf outing. 




Leadership Summit returns Aug. 8  


 Leadership Cattaraugus and Leadership Allegany are again cosponsoring this year’s Southern Tier Leadership Summit, scheduled for Thursday, August 8, 2019, on the campus of St. Bonaventure University.

Gain high-quality professional development and take advantage of the opportunity to network with professionals from across the region. The Summit will provide best practice examples and innovative ideas to support your own leadership development.

The event’s keynote address will be given by Jessica J. Schimert, an organizational development consultant at Performance Management Partners, Inc., of Buffalo, who will discuss servant leadership.

Servant leadership is a philosophy that places leadership focus on the growth and success of others (i.e. your employees), rather than on personal ego. A servant leadership style builds strong, trusting professional relationships; cohesive, productive teams; and a supportive, collaborative culture where people flourish and grow. Learn how to practice servant leadership while achieving your organization’s mission and strategic goals.

Schimert has worked with organizations in the health care, banking and investment, legal, accounting, television, public relations, manufacturing, construction, property management, automotive, agriculture, government, higher education and nonprofit industries. Her background experience is in the banking and construction industries, including family business management.

The conference cost of $60 includes:

·         the keynote address

·         continental breakfast and lunch

·         a selection of three leadership sessions of your choosing

·         networking opportunities

Attend the keynote address only for $30 (includes light breakfast).




Olean Area Young Professionals announce August event, accepting award nominations



Olean Area Young Professionals will hold its  monthly networking event will be from 5:15-7:15 p.m., Aug. 1, at Grand Slam Grill. Food will be provided and there will be a cash bar. The group will be raising money for the Dr. Lyle F. Renodin Foundation.  Register at the group’s Facebook page. 

The group is now accepting nominations for its annual awards ceremony recognizing young professionals for their contributions to their respective employers and to the community.

Eligible nominees are the area’s 20- and 30-somethings working for a member company or organization of Greater Olean Area Chamber of Commerce. 

Nominations must be made by the young professional’s employer or a charity or service organization, and are due by August 15. Nominations will be reviewed by Olean Area Young Professionals’ organizing committee. Winners will be announced August 31.  An award reception is scheduled for mid October.

Nomination forms may be obtained by emailing or by calling the Chamber at 716-372-4433. 


Chamber offers discounted amusement park tickets 




CRCF honors Hilals, celebrates 25 years 



At its 12th annual Friends of the Foundation Luncheon the Cattaraugus Region Community Foundation had the opportunity to celebrate its 25thanniversary while honoring two individuals seminal to the Foundation’s growth over its 25-year existence and to the community as a whole, Drs. Ahmad and Naheed Hilal, as well as the 92 students who received scholarships in 2019.

The luncheon gathered nearly 220 donors, supporters and scholarship recipients this year.

CRCF’s Friend of the Foundation award is the organization’s most prestigious and honors individuals who have supported the vision and mission of the Foundation through community volunteerism and philanthropy. 

Together the Hilals carry an extensive list of accomplishments in healthcare, education, community service and philanthropy including numerous boards and committees in different areas of service and need as well as their long careers in medicine— Dr. Naheed Hilal as an OB/GYN and Dr. Ahmad Hilal as one of the area’s most renowned cardiologists.

The Hilals have also been dedicated to education, establishing a number of scholarships both locally and abroad and establishing boys and girls schools in their native Pakistan. Together they also established the Hilal Nursing Recognition program to honor nurses of distinction each year.

“For their dedication in making this community a better, healthier and happier place,” Wendy Brand, CRCF board president said, “We are proud to honor Dr. Naheed Hilal and Dr. Ahmad Hilal as the 2019 Friends of the Foundation.”

Dr. Anthony Evans, CRCF scholarship committee chair echoed Brand’s praise of the Hilals service to the community over the years.

‘[The Hilals] have been the heart and soul of our community,” Evans said. “You have touched, literally and figuratively, many hearts. And we are so very grateful”

“Our community will greatly miss the Hilals – as this summer they have moved to the greater New York City area to be closer to their four daughters,” Brand added. “We will miss their presence, their friendship, and their service on so many boards and committees. But, we are forever grateful for all they have given in their 30 plus years here.”

The Foundation also honored and celebrated 15 new funds and this year’s 92 scholarship recipients who together received more than $154,000 in financial support to pursue their educational goals. Including students receiving continuing awards, Evans said, area students will receive a sum of nearly $200,000.

Each year a student scholarship recipient is chosen to share remarks with those gathered at the luncheon.

This year’s student speaker, Alice Li of Allegany-Limestone Central School, a Burt and John J. Murphy Family Scholarship recipient, shared her thanks for all of the donors who make these scholarships possible.

She also reminded her fellow recipients that their hard work has led them to a new beginning and an opportunity to find or reinvent themselves.

“We’ve all been tested on staying true to ourselves, sticking with our beliefs, passions, and hobbies. Maybe there was something that you appreciated that others around you made fun of or simply could not see it in the same light that you could,” Li remarked. “This image others have of you, is not permanent.

“I hope this inspires all of you to go out and pursue your passions, and have no fear or shame in doing so,” she concluded.

In honoring and sending off the scholarship recipients, Dr. Anthony Evans remembered a phrase his grandmother always used in place of “goodbye” and all the permanence the word carries – that phrase is “Bless your heart.”

And so the Community Foundation wished to the Hilals, all of its thoughtful donors, and the 2019 scholarship recipients that heartwarming phrase, “Bless your heart.”



Welcome new members! 


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

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