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Reporters' Notebook / Bits and pieces of news...

OLAF FUB SEZ: According to astronomer Carl Sagan, born on this date in 1934, "Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known."


EARLY ARRIVAL -- Yes, that will be Santa Claus pulling up to Boulevard Mall's main entrance in Amherst at 11:30 a.m. Saturday in a horse-drawn carriage. Joined by a parade of costumed characters, he will proceed to the Food Court to meet and greet from noon to 4 p.m. Santa will be at the mall daily through Christmas Eve.


GIFT IDEAS -- A host of fundraising auctions and sales are on tap this weekend:

*Flea Market Bazaar, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. Refreshments. Ontario Methodist Church, 179 Ontario St.

*Harvest Festival featuring chowder, crafts and baked goods, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, chowder and desserts at noon. St. Peter Evangelical Lutheran Church and School, 4169 Church Road, Cambria, between Routes 104 and 93.

*Arts and Crafts Christmas Show sponsored by the Twin Village Art Society of Depew and Lancaster, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. Free admission. Municipal Building, Broadway and Central Avenue, Lancaster.

*Silent Auction and Lasagna Luncheon to benefit Altar and Rosary Society, doors open at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, lunch at noon. Tickets $6 for lunch. St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, 6895 Boston Cross Road, Boston.

*Theme Tray Event, doors open at 3 p.m. Saturday. Pizza and homemade desserts. St. Bernard Catholic Church, 1988 Clinton St.

*Meat Raffle to benefit Buffalo Irish Center, doors open at 6 p.m. Saturday, raffle at 7. Tickets $6, include chicken dinner, beer, pop, desserts, prizes. Buffalo Irish Center, 245 Abbott Road.

*Meat Raffle to benefit Commandery 382, Knights of St. John, doors open at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, raffle at 7. Free admission, snacks and refreshments. Queen of Heaven Parish Center, 4220 Seneca St., West Seneca.

*15th annual "Dare to Dream" ticketed and silent auction, doors open at 7 p.m. Saturday, auction at 9 includes Ice Bowl tickets and $10,000 grand prize. Tickets $25. Music and food. St. Benedict's School, Main Street and Eggert Road, Eggertsville.

*Meat Raffle, doors open at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, raffle at 8. Free admission and refreshments. West Seneca Post 8113, Veterans of Foreign Wars, 299 Leydecker Road, West Seneca.


FOOD, TOO -- Grace Lutheran Church, 174 Cazenovia St., will hold its famous old-fashioned breakfast to raise funds for World Hunger from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Sunday. Give a free-will offering and choose from pancakes, French toast, eggs any style, home fries, bacon, ham, sausages, coffee, tea and milk.

The Sodality of Our Lady of Fourteen Holy Helpers Parish, 1345 Indian Church Road, West Seneca, is sponsoring a Christmas Bazaar and Chiavetta's barbecue chicken dinner from 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday. Dinners are $7.50, $27 for a family of four. Santa Claus will visit at 1:30.

First Presbyterian Church, 2085 Union Road near Clinton Street, West Seneca, will hold a spaghetti dinner and theme basket event from 4 to 7 p.m. Saturday. Dinners are $7.50, $5.50 for kids 3 to 10. Get tickets in advance by calling 668-1115 and save 50 cents a ticket.

Buffalo Greyhound Adoption will hold its annual spaghetti dinner and theme basket auction from noon to 5 p.m. Sunday at Big Tree Volunteer Fire Company, 4307 South Park Ave., Blasdell. Dinners are $7.


HAPPY BIRTHDAY -- Joe Paul, Brianna Marie Hakes, Pam Loomis, Gail Maiorana, Hugh Bondanza, Monsignor Ron Sciera, Joe Rialphi, Bob Marion, Clare Kelley, Sister Shirley Sweney, Michelle Warren, Mary Ann Carr, Brian Schmitt Sr.

SATURDAY -- Kevin Holcomb, Wayne Hoffman, Mary Clare Keenan, Sister Mary Germaine Wernicki, Frank Lojacono, Marie Fanara, Michael Robert Pesarchick, Leonard Feldt, Phil Arsenault, Samantha Vogt, Christine Rowe, Katherine Styborski, Tom O'Leary, David Seeger.

AND SUNDAY -- Robert Stewart Shanks, Bruce Ivan Fage, Roy Sasiadek, Eleanor Oliver, Nancy Puma, Linda Fox, Peter Weinreich, Fred Holakowski, Tom Fay, Roger Powell.


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