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Kiwanis to scale back Marilla Yule activity

The Marilla Kiwanis Club notified the Town Board at its organizational meeting Thursday that the club wants to cut back its role in town's annual Christmas activities.

Club President and Councilman Dan Handy explained that the Christmas program has grown over the years and that it is too big for the Kiwanis Club to handle.

"We will still continue to provide a tree, do the caroling, hot chocolate and cookies, but are leaving the rest up to the town," he said.

Councilman Warren Handley, who has been chairman for the Kiwanis annual Tree Lighting Ceremony, said in the past nine years, the event has grown from one tree and a handful of participants to 12 Christmas trees and 350-plus participants.

Handley said he finds it unthinkable that the Kiwanis would let down the community and 250-plus primary students who decorate the trees with handmade ornaments.

"How do you tell students, youth groups and residents they will no longer have to take part in decorating the trees, free pizza, entertainment, hay rides, face painting, crafts or a visit from Santa at our community center?" Handley said.

Handley said that effective immediately, the town will plan and run the annual tree lighting celebration. As chairman of the Pavilion Committee, Handley said he welcomed the Kiwanis Club to participate and thanked them for their past efforts.

Supervisor George Gertz reported that he was commended by the Erie County Legislature for his rescue efforts at a Dec. 17 fire on Eldridge Road. He was severely burned and required skin grafts.

Handley, who filled in for Gertz while he was recovering, was reappointed deputy supervisor.

Rick Janiga was reappointed to a seven-year term on the Planning Board. The other three openings will be filled when Councilwoman Barbara Spanitz returns from Florida.

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