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Reporter's Notebook: Dec. 7

OLAF FUB SEZ: According to sportswriter Heywood Broun, born on this date in 1896, “The tragedy of life is not that man loses but that he almost wins.”

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BAD IS GOOD – The Lancaster Regional Players production of “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever,” a comedy in which a group of misfit children take over the roles in a church holiday program, continues this weekend in the Williamsville Meeting House, 5658 Main St., Williamsville.
Performances are at 7:30 p.m. Friday and 2:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Advance tickets are $10 adults, $7 children 12 and under. At the door, they’re $15 and $10. For tickets, visit For more info, call 435-4919 or email

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GIFT IDEAS – More than two dozen vendors will offer one-of-a-kind jewelry, home furnishings, clothing and gift items at the Artisan Faire and Holiday Open House from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday in the Family Help Center, 60 Dingens St., a block from Clinton Street and Bailey Avenue. There also will be a Kris Kringle store for kids, featuring cookie decorating.

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Monsignor Leo McCarthy

SING OUT – The alumni of the St. Teresa’s Boys Choir from the 1960s will host their 13th annual South Buffalo Christmas Sing-Along at 6:30 p.m. Sunday in the Blackthorn Restaurant and Pub, 2134 Seneca St.
The alumni include Willie Schoellkopf, Chris Clark and Dennis Farrell, directed by their original choirmaster, Monsignor Leo McCarthy. The sing-along is free and open to the public. Dinner reservations at the Blackthorn are available by calling 824-9327.

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FURRY FRIENDS – Cats and dogs will be available for adoption from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday in a Holiday Pet Expo sponsored by Ten Lives Club, the cat rescue and adoption agency, in the McKinley Mall, 3701 McKinley Parkway, Blasdell. For more info, call 646-5577 or visit the Ten Lives Club Facebook page.

Meanwhile, well-behaved dogs can have their picture taken with Santa from 2 to 6 p.m. Saturday at Buffalo Pug and Small Breed Rescue, 775 Niagara Falls Blvd., Amherst, across from the Dairy Queen. The photos by Nickel City Photography are $5 each. There also will be raffle items and refreshments.

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Marsha McWilson

BLUE CHRISTMAS – Hits and holiday favorites by entertainment legends will be featured in a benefit concert at 6 p.m. Saturday in Niagara Catholic High School, 520 66th St., Niagara Falls. Performing the songs of Etta James, Tina Turner, Gladys Knight and Aretha Franklin will be Marsha McWilson, backed by the Beautiful Music Band.
Joining her will be Richie Derwald, who will provide interpretations of songs from Neil Diamond, Tom Jones, Frank Sinatra and Elvis Presley. Tickets are $20 advance, $25 at the door, and include wine and hors d’oeuvres. Proceeds benefit the school. For advance tickets, visit

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WARM THOUGHTS – The Erie Canal Gateway Lions Club, which serves the City of Tonawanda and North Tonawanda, is sponsoring a winter scarf giveaway called “No Kid Gets Cold This Winter” at 2:15 p.m. Friday in Fletcher Elementary School, 555 Fletcher St., City of Tonawanda. The club purchased the scarves with its own funds and with the help of donations.
“If we can prevent five cases of cold or flu this winter and with this program, we keep our young people in school and learning, then we’ve done what our program was designed to do,” says club membership chairman Bob Starr. “We are still seeking more donations, especially from North Tonawanda for their schools.”
For more info, call 692-2038 or email

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Michele Costa as "Elle"

LUNCH AND MORE – Puppeteer and performance artist Michele Costa will be featured at the next luncheon program hosted by the Unitarian Universalist Church of Buffalo Women’s Society on Dec. 15. She will present her mime drama, “Elle, the Wished For Girl.” A catered lunch in the Parish Hall, 695 Elmwood Ave., will follow.
Lunch reservations and payment of $15 for members, $20 for non-members, are needed by 3 p.m. Friday in the church office. Reservations for the performance only are $5. For more info, call 885-2136.

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REINDEER GAMES – Want to have breakfast with Santa? You can meet the Jolly Old Elf from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. Saturday in Maryvale Drive Presbyterian Church, 425 Maryvale Drive off Harlem Road, Cheektowaga.
The program, free for kids 10 and under accompanied by an adult, includes games, crafts and storytelling, along with breakfast and pictures with Santa. Donations of non-perishable food items are appreciated. Reservations are preferred, but not required. Call 892-4426.

Meanwhile, Santa also will be on hand from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Bacon Memorial Presbyterian Church, 166 59th St., Niagara Falls, with breakfast being served from 10 a.m. to noon.
In addition to pictures, there will be Santa’s Secret Workshop, offering inexpensive gifts for children to buy for family members, along with Lions Club vision screening and free photo IDs for youngsters by the Masons. For more info, call 283-5744.

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HAPPY BIRTHDAY – Terry Higgins, Billy Mackey, T.J. Pignataro, R. Bruce Baum, Erin Heaney, Blythe Merrill, John C. Colucci, Don Smith, Jeremy Fenzel, Donna Schober, Rose Shafer, Sally Shea, Brian Vaccaro, Norman Werts Sr., Colleen Rathke, Carol Sabuda, Pat Kempf Lehr, Louise Carey Rusczyk, Marla Morris, Anne Gossart, Susan Hanners, Dylan Kiener, Mary Jane Piechocki, Annette Faltisco, Allison Marie Joyce, Douglas Johnson, Jason Smith and Justin Smith.

AND THURSDAY – Megan Mahoney Beardi, Lisa Travis Christon, Kate Beltz-Foley, Tim Porter, Stephen Kelly, Luretta Davis, Christopher Polizzi, Timothy Streb, Lyle Foell, Allie Hubert, Mary Higgins Smalley, Dolores “Midge” Czerwinski, Paula Dell’Isola, Della Miranto and John Monte.


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