OLAF FUB SEZ: It was English author J.R.R. Tolkien (1892-1973) who observed: "All that is gold does not glitter; not all those that wander are lost."
A BENEFIT and silent auction will be held from 2 to 7 p.m. Sunday in Hearthstone Manor, 333 Dick Road, Depew, to help Nick Vito receive treatment for cerebellar ataxia, a paralyzing rare degenerative disease that has forced him to retire at age 45 after 21 years at the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority.
An estimated 150,000 Americans have the disease, which has resulted in Vito's having difficulties walking and talking and experiencing tremors and severe cramping in his legs, arms, stomach, hands, fingers and feet. He often chokes while eating and drinking and has impaired coordination in his arms and hands.
After much research, hope has been found at Nanshan Hospital in China, where patients have reported finding comfort and reversal of the disease through umbilical cord cell treatments. Cost of the treatments is estimated at $30,000, including travel for Vito and a caregiver. He will spend 30 days in the hospital. He will receive numerous tests before and after five treatments of a mix of stem cells and nerve growth factors as well as physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, acupuncture and daily life education.
Tickets are $20 per person. Auction items are still needed. For tickets or to make arrangements for donating auction items, e-mail Benefit4nick@yahoo.com or call Maria Vito at 896-6520. People who can't attend the benefit can make donations to Nick Vito Benefit, 208 Schiller St., Buffalo, NY 14206.
FOR ALL EAGLES -- Jonathan Hollifield of the Buffalo Conservancy will be the speaker at a meeting of the Eagle Scout Alumni Association of Greater Niagara Frontier Council, Boy Scouts of America, at 5:30 p.m. Jan. 25 in Uniland Atrium, 300 Corporate Parkway, Amherst. It's open to all Eagle Scouts. Admission is $7. For information, call Herb Schmidt at 891-4073 or Pete Somerville at 694-8868.
MILITARY NOTE -- Airman Michelle L. Messimer, daughter of Tanya Messimer of Jamestown, has graduated from basic military training at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas. She graduated from Falconer Central High School in 2006.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY -- Jason Bailey, Caleb Michael Edbauer, Delores McLaurin, Cindy Sweet, Jeffrey Speaker, Sue Pieri, Kraig Kurzanski, Bill Rindos, Monsignor Anthony Jasinski, Rich Violanti, Robert J. Smith, Norma Winter, Mark Slawek, Stanley C. Starks Jr.