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Reporters' notebook/ Bits & pieces of news ...

OLAF FUB SEZ: According to comedian Bob Hope, born Leslie Townes Hope on this date in 1903, "You know you're getting old when the candles cost more than the cake."

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FRUIT OF THE VINE -- Seven Chautauqua County wineries will pour their best vintages from 5 to 9 p.m. Friday in the Fourth Annual Grape Expectations Wine Festival in the Clarion Hotel, 30 Lake Shore Drive East, Dunkirk.

Offering tastings and wine for sale will be Merritt Estate Winery of Forestville, Johnson Estate Winery of Westfield, Liberty Vineyard of Sheridan, Mazza Chautauqua Cellars of Mayville, 21 Brix Winery of Portland, Woodbury Vineyards of Fredonia and Sparkling Ponds Winery of Ripley.

Tickets for the evening, sponsored by the Dunkirk and Fredonia Community Chambers of Commerce, are $10 and cover the wine tastings and a commemorative wine glass. The Clarion also will offer food for purchase. For info, call 679-1565 or 366-6200.

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LAST DANCE -- USA Dance will hold its final ballroom dance before taking a summer break Friday evening in First Presbyterian Church, 2805 Union Road, north of Clinton Street, West Seneca. It starts at 7:30 with a tango lesson by Jackie George, followed by a general dance from 8:30 to 11. Tickets are $10 for nonmembers, $6 for members and students with ID. Light refreshments will be served.

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TIME OF NEED -- Awaiting a new liver is Mitchell Simon, of East Amherst, who's 11 and diagnosed with Biliary Atresia, which means his liver has no effective drainage system. To help cover the cost of his transplant, a Miracle for Mitchell benefit will be held from 4 to 9 p.m. Saturday in Our Lady of Pompeii Ministry Center Hall, 86 Burlington Ave., Depew.

Hosting the event will be radio personality and stand-up comic Rob Lederman. There also will be live music and a buffet dinner. Tickets are $25; c7hildren under 12 are free. For tickets, call Diane Moyer at 741-4047. Donations can be sent to Miracle for Mitchell, 10595 Miland Road, Clarence Center, NY 14032.

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BARGAIN HUNT -- Resurrection Lutheran Church, 3 Doat St., at Genesee Street, will hold its annual garage sale from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Offered will be children's toys and clothing, knitted items, jewelry , baked goods, household and miscellaneous items.

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LADIES DAY -- NovelTea, a formal high tea to benefit South Buffalo's Dog Ears Bookstore and the Enlightenment Literary Arts Center, will be held from 2 to 3:30 p.m. Saturday in the Buffalo Irish Center, 245 Abbott Road.

In addition to the refreshments found at a traditional high tea, the program will feature author Patty Gelman, who will offer tips on writing and publishing and talk about her successful battle against breast cancer.

The program is only for women and girls at least 10 years old. Reservations are required, and tickets are presale only. Tickets are $20 and are available at Dog Ears Bookstore, 688 Abbott Road (823-2665).

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HAPPY BIRTHDAY -- Tom Keenan, Jean Westmoore, Rob Schoellkopf, Sue McCartney, Amy Moritz, Wayne Alt, Carol Krotje, Amanda Ruszczyk, Marie Brewster, Geno Mancini, Mary Ratchuk, Louise Knapp, Bob Slisz, Andy Brind'amour, Mario Pirritano, Michael Cook, Morgan Ryan, David Goodwin, Dan Lanc, Nora Corbett, Anne Fecio, Mary Sekelsky, Rosemary Prischel and Robert E. Coyne.

email: olaffub@buffnews.com