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REPORTERS' NOTEBOOK

OLAF FUB SEZ: According to Irish-born author Elizabeth Bowen (1899-1973), "The heart may think it knows better; the senses know that absence blots people out. We have really no absent friends." . . .

ON THIS DAY -- In 1804, Lt. Stephen Decatur led a successful raid into Tripoli Harbor to burn the U.S. Navy frigate Philadelphia, which had fallen into the hands of pirates. . . . In 1868, the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks was organized in New York. . . . In 1923, the burial chamber of Egyptian King Tutankhamen's recently unearthed tomb was unsealed. . . . In 1959, Fidel Castro became head of Cuba's government after the overthrow of Fulgencio Batista. . . . In 1968, in Haleyville, Ala., the nation's first 911 emergency telephone system was inaugurated. . . .

A PARTY to raise funds for the eighth annual "Old Neighborhood" St. Patrick's Day Parade will be held tonight in the Valley Community Center, South Park Avenue and Elk Street. Festivities will begin at 5 and continue to 10 and will include a performance by the Celtic band Jackdaw.

A highlight of the evening will be the naming of the grand marshal for the parade, which retraces the original 1913 parade route through the streets in the Valley of the Old First Ward neighborhoods in South Buffalo. . . .

DOUBLE EVENT -- Ashley and Amber Geary were born Nov. 20, 1997. Because of the complication of twin-to-twin transfusion, they both have cerebral palsy. Benefits to raise their quality of life will be held this weekend. A dinner and dance will be held at 7 p.m. Saturday in Bowmansville Fire Hall, 36 Main St., Bowmansville. The tab is $20 per person. A Chinese auction will be held Sunday afternoon in the Knights of Columbus Hall, 6114 Broadway, Lancaster. Tickets are $5. A ham raffle will be held every hour both days. For information, call 681-1028. . . .

THE "MOOSE" RETURNS -- Daryl Johnston, retired Dallas Cowboys fullback and Super Bowl ring wearer, will visit Lewiston-Porter High School Tuesday to address students and to donate $70,000 to his alma mater.

His visit heralds a second "Daryl Johnston Day" at Lew-Port. The first one was celebrated in 1994. Johnston was valedictorian of the Lew-Port Class of 1984. He was a star football player at both Lew-Port and Syracuse University before being signed by the Cowboys.

Johnston is also a superb public speaker. He will address the school's student body in two morning assemblies in the auditorium at 4061 Creek Road (Route 18), Youngstown. . . .

A BENEFIT to help defray medical expenses for 10-year-old Bryan Lawrence, a fourth-grader at Our Lady of Black Rock School, will be held Saturday night, starting at 6, in St. Florian Hall, 567 Hertel Ave. Donations are $25 and include food, drinks, live entertainment, Chinese and live auctions and raffles, according to Karen Kanalley.

Bryan has a form of brain cancer. People who can't attend the benefit but wish to help out can send donations to the Bryan Lawrence Fund, First Niagara Savings Bank, 1776 Sheridan Drive, Town of Tonawanda, N.Y. 14223. For information, call 553-4236 or 876-9880. . . .

HAPPY BIRTHDAY -- DeVon S. Drakeford, Kristine Jordan-
Edbauer, Joanna Deyell, Monique Roberts, Elaine Daly, Nancy Straton, Kathryn Miller, Patricia Kelly, Rick Montesano, Heather Heath, Eric Milligan, Rita Marinaro, Tiffany Zachowicz, Wendy Ann Gibson, Sebastian Puma, Carol Scorsone, Jack Robinson, Mary E. Loftus, Billy Emerson, Kali Aronica, Pete Savage.

SATURDAY -- Elaine Lombardo, Laura Czopp Barnum, Paul J. Gavigan, Norman Ryan, Joel Greenauer, Gina Grekulek, Florence L. Green, Wendy Jacobson, Jan Poloncarz, Tony Vitello, Beverly Krsyanowski, Mathew C. Rzezinik, Mike Czerniak, Matthew Poland, Rita Evelt, Eugene Baranowski, Kaley Robinson, Stephen Turton, Shannon Scheu, Karen Steele, Colleen Allman, Doug Marshall.

AND SUNDAY -- Sister Margaret Mahoney, Louis Kowal, Lisa Panek, Kelsi Sullivan, Alice Steltermann, Tom Stumm, Eric Machiejewski, Jimmy Mullins, Kathleen Gill, Tracy Will, Wendy Perison, Mary Ann Tonaka, Ricky Tafelski, Debbie Hickok, Christine Cimmerer, Vincent DiStefano, Mary Anne DiStefano, Verna Schaller, Matt Gryta, Jane Jacobi, Matthew Maury, Mark Saunders, Matthew Popp, Barb Uzar.

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