Saturday, January 30, 2016

TASTE of NIAGARA REGION 2016: January 30, 2016

For the second year, Peggy and I went to Niagara Falls for the TASTE OF NIAGARA REGION event. We had a great time and brought a lot of food home with us.  I covered the event for the LOCKPORT STAR and here is my article:

by Carolyn Simmons

Every ticket was sold for the Fourth Annual "Heart to
Heart" fundraiser "Taste of Niagara Region" which was
held on January 30th, 2016 at the Conference and Event
Center in Niagara Falls, New York.

Heart of Niagara Animal Rescue is a not for profit agency
whose goal is to protect the health and welfare of
abandoned, unwanted and homeless companion animals in
order to reduce the number of homeless animals who are
senselessly killed each day. They provide shelter for the
animals until they are placed with suitable adoptive
families. Prior to adoption the animals are evaluated,
vaccinated and spayed or neutered by licensed veterinarians.
The agency also works to attain low cost spay and neuter
services and vaccination and micro chip clinics. They
educate the community on the importance of pro-active measures
in regard to proper animal care, the prevention of cruelty
to animals and the consequences associated with overpopulation.
Many homes across Western New York have an animal from Heart
of Niagara.

Forty Restaurants and Caterers from the area participated.
They offered samples of various items from their menus. For
three hours, participants were able to leisurely choose
from the wide variety of items offered, learn about the
the establishments represented and talk with the servers.
The Caribbean Extravaganza Band played reggae and calypso
music while participants relaxed and visited with others
at their table.

Three Lockport Establishments participated. Donna Eick's
participated for the third year and served up their popular
broccoli salad. Lock 34 Bar & Grill came for the first time
and served pasta salad. One Eyed Jack's was there for
the second time. Scott Shulock, co-owner of One Eyed Jack's
served up pulled pork sandwiches.
Scott is the nephew of
retired teacher Margie Kwiatkowski, who is a Lockport resident.
Margie is one of the founders of Heart of Niagara. She began
on the Board of Directors as the Secretary and is now the Treasurer.
She says "the hours are long, the decisions are difficult, but all
of that disappears in light of seeing a happy, rescued animal with
their new parents."

Ron and Gretchen Kudlecik
were there with their daughter,
Alexis. It was their second year to attend. Gretchen said
"It's great to be able to experience all the different foods
because we can't go to all of the restaurants. Sometimes we find
things we really like here and then we go to that restaurant."

Alexis is a member of the Builders Club which is a Kiwanis
sponsored group of middle schoolers. It is the largest service
organization for middle school students, with more than 40,000
members worldwide. During the Taste of Niagara Region Event,
the members of the Builders Club acted as volunteers and helped
out where they were needed. It looked like they were enjoying

In addition to great food and nice music, there was a basket and
gift certificate auction. While taking a break from eating,
participants checked out the baskets and decided which ones to try
to win. Many people who came empty handed went home with baskets
full of new items or gift certificates for restaurants and other

If you are looking to adopt a pet, you can browse adoptable friends
on the agencies website: Adoption
applications are available online. There are opportunities to help by
volunteering, donating cash or pet supplies or fostering an animal
in your own home. The phone number for Heart of Niagara is 716-345-7129.
If you love companion animals, this is your opportunity to get involved
and help out. Remember: get your tickets early for next years Taste of
Niagara Region!!

607 words

Saturday, January 9, 2016

WINTER FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada January 8, 2016

Mary Ann and  I decided to cross the border into Ontario, Canada in order to see the "festival of lights".  After some discussion and a couple of changes in plans, we decided to have supper in Niagara Falls, New York before crossing the border.

Mary Ann suggested FORTUNA'S and I agreed.  This is a very nice, kind of fancy place, with very good food.  We both chose the lasagna which is delicious. Although I like Fortuna's and the food is good, it is rather expensive and I am not likely to return.

Our drive across the border was quick and uneventful, and finding the first part of the displays (near Clifton Hill) was easy, but then we managed to get off of the Falls Parkway and wasted a half hour or so attempting to find it again!  We finally were able to get to it from the opposite direction when we found Dufferin Island.

It was well worth the short trip from Lockport to see this amazing display of lights.  I took several pictures.  It would have been nicer if it had not been raining a fine mist.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Festival of Lights at the Fatima Shrine in Lewiston 1/3/16

I asked Mary Ann if she felt comfortable driving to Lewiston to see the Festival of Lights at the Fatima Shrine.  She was fine with that idea and we agreed to go this evening.

We decided to have supper in Lewiston before going to the shrine.  Mary Ann remembered eating at TIN PAN ALLEY, and thought she remembered where it was.  It seemed that the restaurant SOROS was n the same spot, and we decided to eat there.  We both had Greek salads, which were very good.
Then we headed to the shrine, which is slightly north of Lewiston on Swann Road.  We located it easily and visited the gift shop first.  Mary Ann bought a few items. Then we walked over to the church and walked around.  It is really beautiful.  I took these two pictures n the main chapel.

and here are some pictures from the smaller chapels which are arranged circularly around the large chapel:

The displays outside are also beautiful

When we got back to Lockport,  I suggested  that we check out the well decorated Christmas house on Ontario Street.  
My full set of pictures can be seen here:

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens 1/2/16

Mary Ann and I had tentatvely planned to go to the Botanical Gardens on New Years Eve Day, but she changed her mind and we rescheduled it for today.  She picked me up a little after nine a.m. and we headed towards Lackawanna.

We thoroughly enjoyed exploring the gardens.  Here are some pictures:
I had never seen poinsettias like this.
Christmas decoratons were everywhere!
Unfortunately, the rain forest room was closed for renovations.  

For lunch we went to ROOSTER'S CAFE.  

We both had turkey club sandwiches which were very good.  

Friday, January 1, 2016


Today I attended the OFFICIAL Swearing In Ceremony of Lockport Officials at the Palace Theatre.  My brother, Mike, was sworn n as the new Chief of Police!  Here is my brother being sworn in by Judge  William Watson.  
His daughter Kimberly is on the left hand side and his wife Jane on the right hand side.  

My complete set of pictures can be seen here: