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Reporters notebook / Bits & pieces of news

OLAF FUB SEZ: According to French poet and critic Guillaume Apollinaire, born on this date in 1880, "Now and then it's good to pause in our pursuit of happiness and just be happy."

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TIME OF NEED -- A few months ago, Donovan Allen Benzin was a normal 5-year-old attending Page 1 Preschool. Then, in February, he was diagnosed with Stage IV non-Hodgkins lymphoma. In the past few months, he has been in and out of Roswell Park Cancer Institute, undergoing numerous surgeries, blood transfusions and aggressive chemotherapy.

To help pay for his medical expenses, family and friends are holding a fundraiser from 3 to 8 p.m. Saturday in Harvey D. Morin Post 2490, Veterans of Foreign Wars, 965 Center Road, West Seneca. Donation is $20 and includes pizza, wings and beverages. Kids 10 and under are free.

For tickets and information, call John and Sandy Iannello at 662-6912, or Maryann Carney at 656-1773. Donations also can be sent to Dollars to Help Donovan, 621 Transit Road, Orchard Park, NY 14127.

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LOVE MATCH -- The parents of Depew Ladies Tennis are holding a car wash fundraiser from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday at Advance Auto Parts, Transit Road and Clinton Street, Elma. Proceeds will help buy team uniforms.

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SWEET DEALS -- The Friends of the West Seneca Public Library are staging their fourth annual yard and cookie sale from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday in front of the library at 1300 Union Road. If you have items to sell, a few spaces are available for $10. Call Sharon Schultz at 823-3969.

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TAKE FLIGHT -- Your last chance this year to see hundreds of beautiful but endangered ducks, geese and swans comes from 2 to 5 p.m. Sunday at Gooseneck Hill Waterfowl Sanctuary, 5067 Lindsley Townline Road, Delevan, one of the nation's largest nonprofit waterfowl sanctuaries.

There also will be music by the Famous Rustic Ramblers, featuring Gene Hilts on steel guitar. Crazy Jim's BBQ will offer pulled pork, roast beef and smoked turkey sandwiches. There also will be an auction and guided tours. Admission is $5. For info, call 942-6835.

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HELPING HANDS -- It was in March that Jim Tycz of Classic Catering was diagnosed with mesothelioma, and last month he began chemotherapy in hopes of beating back the cancer so he can undergo lung surgery.

Family and friends are holding a fundraiser to help pay for his treatments from 4 to 9 p.m. Saturday in Pvt. Leonard Post Jr. Post 6251, Veterans of Foreign Wars, 2450 Walden Ave., Cheektowaga. Donation is $20 and includes beer, wine, pop, food and a chance to win a 37-inch HDTV. For info, call Nancy at 681-0296.

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FIELDS OF DREAMS -- Shake hands and get an autograph from Mark Kelso, a member of Buffalo's four Super Bowl teams, and Joe Kirchmeyer, author of "Diamonds in the Rough," a book of inspiring sports stories, from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday in Bases Loaded Sports Collectibles, 794 French Road, Cheektowaga.

Kirchmeyer, a West Seneca resident, is president of Kirchmeyer Media. Kelso, who lives in East Aurora, wrote the introduction to Kirchmeyer's book. For info, call 656-0066.

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PICASSO PUPS -- You know your dog is smart, but is he or she an artist? Find out from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday in Enjoy the Journey Art Gallery, 1168 Orchard Park Road, West Seneca. Pet Connection Programs Inc., a special care shelter in Marilla for dogs and cats, is holding its first Dog Days of Summer and is providing paint and canvas for creative canines. The event also will feature puppy adoptions. Reusable tote bags filled with pet surprises will be offered, along with freshly grilled hamburgers and hot dogs. For info, call 652-0192.

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LET'S EAT -- Union Hook and Ladder Company No. 1 and National Hose Company No. 1 in the City of Tonawanda will hold a chicken barbecue in the fire hall, 44 William St. at Fletcher Street, from noon to 6 p.m. Sunday. Dinners are $8.

St. Stephen's-Bethlehem United Church of Christ, 750 Wehrle Drive at Union Road, Amherst, holds a Southern Chicken Barbecue from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m., followed by a free concert at 7 p.m. in the sanctuary by Mercy's Well, a gospel trio from Greensboro, N.C.

Alden Rod and Gun Club, 12 County Line Road, Alden, holds its 44th annual chicken barbecue starting at noon Sunday. In addition to chicken there will be clams, burgers and hot dogs.

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HAPPY BIRTHDAY -- Kathy Dickey, Carlee Dickinson, Ken Meier, Cary McCabe, Kimille DiRienzo, Pat McCall, Tom Nowicki, Cheri Ann Nowicki, Joey Paolini, Kristen Puglisi, Glenn Reed, Bonnie Mulawka, Lydia Laboy, Jerry Higgins, Melissa Geschwind, Helen Burke, Karen Codair and Debbie Harzynski.

SATURDAY -- Margaret Coghlan, Emma Niver, Brooke Benkovich, Leon Lewek, Sarah Bourdette, Kathy Hochul, Noa Bursie, Jessica Safe, Tony Rambino, Dan Schindler, Leroy Rockwood, Steve Vulcheff, Connor Vincent, Sandy Hibbard, Mary Bauer, Bryan Kamuda, Zoe Zimmer, Alex Godzich, Richard Spinner, Mark Koehler, John Ross Cellino and Mary Short.

AND SUNDAY -- Emma Kathleen Concannon, Brandon Powell, Louise K. Porter, Josh Petrie, Lynda Ciminese, Isabel Komornicki, Berta Brown, Susan Grelick, Christine Muszynski, Edward Brady, Barb Waz, Zach Williams, Brian M. Raab, Dale Ruhl, Hope Cheney, Ryan Biesik, Rick Zelasko, Bob Rader, Nancy Standish, Matthew Wargo, Wendy Paszko, Dr. Ryan Maine, Bonnie Chelikowsky, Diane Gottstine, Molly Griffin, William Griffin Sr. and Jerry Grosskopf.

email: olaffub@buffnews.com