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Reporters’ Notebook

OLAF FUB SEZ: According to American actor, producer and director Forest Whitaker, born on this date in 1961, “I can play a man who’s despicable. But I’ll still look inside him to find a point of connection. If I can find that kernel, audiences will relate to me.”


BOOTS IN HAND – Lackawanna and Salamanca firefighters will fan out Friday across their cities for the annual Fill the Boot fundraising campaign to benefit children and adults affected by muscle disease. Members of Lackawanna Fire Fighters IAFF Local 3166 will be at the intersection of Abbott and Ridge roads beginning at 9 a.m. Salamanca firefighters haven’t picked a location yet, according to a news release. The departments have been partnering with the Muscular Dystrophy Association of Western New York for more than 60 years.


FOR THE CHILDREN – The “Kids 4 Kids” toy drive to benefit patients at Women & Children’s Hospital continues through Friday with dropoff locations at the Islamic Center, 745 Heim Road, and WNYMuslims office at 4011 Bailey Ave., Amherst. A group of young Muslims organized the drive to observe the month of Ramadan. Donations of toys must be new and unwrapped. Call 923-4386 for more info.

Also benefitting the new children’s hospital at 7:05 p.m. Saturday will be the “Race for Children’s” at Holland NASCAR Motorsports Complex. The community is invited to attend the mid-season championships for all divisions at a discounted ticket price of $8. Kids under 7 are free. Discount ticket coupons are available at the cashier’s window of any Kaleida Health facility.


GET WELL SOON – Buffalo’s Elmwood-Bidwell Farmers Market is open from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. every Saturday through November, but this Saturday marks the first Wellness Lane of the season. Buffalo Cello School will entertain from 9:30 until 11 a.m. Also, people with low incomes can double their purchasing power with Supplemental Nutrition Program benefits. For up to $20, each SNAP dollar buys $2 worth of fruits and vegetables. Check

DOG DAYS – The Heart of Niagara Animal Rescue holds its second annual summer picnic, a rain or shine family-friendly event open to all dogs and their owners, from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. Saturday in Oppenheim Park’s No. 15 pavilion, 2713 Niagara Falls Blvd., Niagara Falls. Organizers say, “The event will be a day of fun, friendship and camaraderie for dog owners and their furry companions on leash.” Call 622-1213 for more info.


BOOK IT – The Buffalo BookFest will be held Saturday on Washington Street in the city, according to the Western New York Book Arts Center, which is organizing the event. It will take place from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. in and outside the Western New York Book Arts Center, 468 Washington St. In addition to food trucks and an array of items from local craftspeople and artists, the free festival will include shows of various kinds of paper and book-themed arts, such as letterpress and screen printing.

The annual festival, which is open to the public, is in its fourth year.


REUNION TIME – Join the Kenmore East High School classes of 1968-1972 as they dedicate a memorial tree to deceased classmates at 9:30 a.m. Saturday on the front lawn of the school as part of their reunion weekend. A school tour will follow. Contact for more info.


HAPPY BIRTHDAY – Gregory Thomas Shanks, Patrick Ranallo, Carmen Gentile, JT Taylor, Daryl Rasuli, Rachel Stokes, Donna Eckert, Annette Ivey-Bauer, Becky McQuillan, Jennifer Raven, Ryan Castaldo, Sophie Brown, Jessica Morse, Sharon Forney, Fran Slatter, Justin Minor, James Koehler, Joseph Koehler, Julie Nowak, Donna Chapman, Deb Plaza, Zack Uzar, Sandra Myree, Dan Molloy and Ann Jaruszewski.

AND THURSDAY – Connie Schafer Collins, Christine Binner Reaser, Charlie Connell, Peggy Grabowski, Mary Moser, Gene Karp Drebot, Evan Lorebo, Sister Mary Ann Dudek, Fran Slatter, Gretchen McKenna, Raegan Essman, Robert Bishop, Msgr. Kevin O’Neill, Lori Perrello, Colleen Williams, Sam Gullo, Brenden Molloy, Pat Szymonek, Willa Carpenter and Joe Sumbrum.