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
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.
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
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: http://www.heartofniagara.org/ 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