"We know you stay away from saying anything is the oldest or biggest or whatever. But there is a charity event in the area that could make you change your tune. It is the 33rd annual Canisius College Scholarship Associates Luncheon Fashion Show and it is a real 'first.' "
When the above message came to my desk, I was understandably intrigued. As regular visitors to this corner know, I learned about superlatives the hard way.
When I said something was the biggest or oldest or what have you, I invariably got a correction. It would often start with a caller or reader saying, "My uncle Louie says his organization is the oldest outfit in Western New York, and he can prove if."
Accordingly, one line from the release sent by the Canisius College Scholarship Associates hit home. It read, "Father McGinley pointed out that the idea of a woman other than alumnae working for the college was unique."
One dictionary consulted lists the definition of "unique" as "one and only. single. sole." The second definition is "having no like or equal." So that means I don't have to worry about using a superlative here.
Anyway, the luncheon-fashion show will start at noon Nov. 2 and tickets will go for $25 a rattle. And it says here the entire show could well be used as an example of why this place is known as "The City of Good Neighbors."
Now a person in the front row is saying, "Hey, the luncheon and fashion show is being held at Salvatore's Italian Gardens, which is in Depew."
The answer to that is, "The monies raised will go for scholarships to Canisius College, which is downtown."
The fashions will come from Arielle's, Joseph Palanker & Sons, and Victoria's Secret, and the modeling will be done by CCSA members, CCSA family members and the staff at Canisius College.
Those words about some of the the models being from the staff of Canisius College should bring a whiff of nostalgia to Irene Adamski. She is the lady Father Joseph McGinley, then president of Canisius College, spoke to when she brought up the idea for CCSA in 1963.
"There were no day students at Canisius then," Mrs. Adamski said. "The only women on the campus were night students and their curriculum was limited."
Where did the idea for CCSA come from? "I had been president of the Federation of Women's Clubs," Mrs. Adamski answered. "And we had a program that dealt with scholarships to UB at the time it was a private school.
"When it became a state university, we had to change our program. So in 1963 we found ourselves in an unusual situation. We had our program, but no potential recipients of the scholarships.
"So I presented the plan to Father McGinley. After a while we had his approval to contact 20 other women. And we had a tea in September of 1963. It was then that we decided to organize the Canisius College Scholarship Associates.
"At that first tea we raised $133 among the 21 members. Now we have more than 500 members and we have donated over $500,000 in scholarships to Canisius College."
A standard question about the scholarships is "What does if mean by 'non-traditional students' who will benefit from the Irene Adamski scholarship?" That is just one category of unusual scholarships the CCSA awards.
Mrs. Adamski is the 1996 honorary chairman of the CCSA event. The chairman is Diane Enright and the co-chairman is Ann Marie Quinlivan.
Helping them in ways too varied to specify are Barbara Bartels, Beverly Costanza, Alice DeLuca, Mary Eberl, Martha Eadie, Becky Greenwald, Marita Haas, Nancy Hartnett, Joan Heine, Shirley Harris Hirsh, Dee Josef, Dorothy La-Franier, Eleanor Laky, Mary Lu Littlefield, Kay Lorenzo, Joan Marinaccio, Jean Neimer, Adele Parrino, Maryann Pyrak, Helen Reilly and Carol Skretny.
Today's score, Jets 19 Bills 12.