Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Monday, December 28, 2009

Article mentioning the Jail Ministry Program

December 24, 2009

Tier churches hail holiday message of peace

Faith invoked to counter grief, loneliness in time of war
By William Moyer

Christmas, and its refrains of peace and goodwill, dawns today on a worldly stage where American troops carry rifles in Iraq and Afghanistan.

"No matter what happens around us, we can have a peace in our heart that sustains and strengthens us," said the Rev. Daniel Walton, pastor of the Little White Church in Conklin. "That is what Christmas is all about -- the giving of peace."

Not necessarily a literal peace -- although peace is a prayer of all Christians -- but an inner peace to traverse even a "blue" Christmas, an increasingly acknowledged downside to the glad tidings of the holiday.

The time from Thanksgiving through New Year's Day can accentuate grief, loss or loneliness, according to a local Lutheran pastor.

"It's OK to feel conflicted at the holidays; it's OK to feel sad; it's OK to remember what you've had and lost," said the Rev. Nadine Ridley, co-pastor of Christ the King Lutheran Church in Vestal. "In the midst of that pain, there is hope; there is good."

Ridley said one way to find peace is to express the inner angst of a "blue" Christmas.

She suggested finding a "faith container" -- a trusted friend, professional counselor, pastor or relative -- to talk about the loss rather than pretend everything is all right. In doing so, a grieved person lessens the burden of carrying unexpressed grief, Ridley said.

After worship services on Christmas Eve, which included carols, communion and candlelight, Christians in the Southern Tier awake today to celebrate Christmas, one of the holiest days in Catholic and Protestant churches.

Not all Christians celebrate Christmas today, though.

Hundreds of Orthodox Christians in the Southern Tier will observe the Feast of the Nativity on Jan. 7. Commonly known as Orthodox Christmas, the date for this celebration is set by the older Julian calendar.

Christmas came a day early Thursday for inmates at the Broome County Correctional Facility in Dickinson. They received gift boxes from the jail ministries program of the Broome County Council of Churches.

About 400 inmates, regardless of religious affiliation, received gift bags with playing cards, note cards, stamps, candy and other small items donated by local churches, said the Rev. Joseph Sellepack, executive director of the Broome County Council of Churches. The bags were decorated with Christmas symbols by children in local churches.

"It's just something to let the inmates know we're thinking about them," Sellepack said.

Christmas, in both Eastern and Western churches, emphasizes Christianity's tenets of life, light, peace and goodwill, despite unsettled events making headlines today.

"This message is proclaimed each and every time someone carries on the work of love, grace, mercy and compassion ... such serving does not often make the headlines, but it happens in acts of faithful living every day," according the regional bishops of several denominations with churches in the Southern Tier.

The message was issued by Gladstone B. Adams, of the Episcopal Diocese; Marie Jerge, of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America; Marcus Matthews, of the United Methodist Church; and Robert J. Cunningham, of the Catholic Diocese of Syracuse.

"These are difficult, challenging times for so many people, and can be quite frightening ... ," added Bishop Matthew H. Clark, of the Rochester diocese, which includes four Catholic parishes in Tioga County. "It can be so very overwhelming ... We can forget that there is so much more good in the world than bad."

Although the actual day when Jesus was born is unknown, Christmas evolved into a Christian celebration of his birth in the centuries after his death to coincide with secular winter festivals. Christians eventually fixed Dec. 25 as the permanent date for their observance

According to the Association of Religion Data Archives at Pennsylvania State University, roughly 108,200 of Broome County's estimated population of 196,000 residents identify themselves as Christians, including mainline Protestants, Evangelicals and Catholics. In Tioga County, about 18,000 people among the estimated population of 51,000 are listed as Christians.

CHOW article in Press & Sun Bulletin

Southern Tier program keeps kids fed over weekends

BINGHAMTON -- For 240 students in Broome County, help comes every Friday in a plastic bag.
Students in four Broome County districts -- Johnson City, Binghamton, Whitney Point and Harpursville -- receive help from the Food Bank of the Southern Tier's BackPack Program, which provides food for the weekend to children who might otherwise go without enough to eat those days.

With the ongoing recession, the Food Bank has seen an increase in requests, said Youth Programs Coordinator Jennifer Bertron, who spoke to Binghamton Rotary Club 64 about the program Tuesday with Deacon Edward Blaine, program director of the Community Hunger Outreach Warehouse. The program is slow to add new slots, however, and has a waiting list.
The "backpack" is a plastic bag filled with food for the child over the weekend, and contains items such as pudding or fruit cups, canned soup, granola bars and tuna or peanut butter. About 10 percent of the food comes from food drives and 20 to 30 percent through the food bank's national network; however, most of it must be purchased in bulk due to the nature of the items. It costs $120 to supply one child with food over the course of the school year -- about 40 bags, she said.
Children are usually identified by a school nurse or social worker, and the program is confidential.
"This has been good for families who have lost jobs," Bertron said.
Blaine also noted that food aid is essential during the winter, when families need to pay for heating.
The food bank is always looking for volunteers -- in groups of about 12 to 15 people -- to put together the food packs on the second Wednesday of every month at the CHOW warehouse, Blaine said. The packing sessions run from 4:30 to 6 p.m.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

WBNG Coverage of the Backpack Program

Binghamton Backpack Program
By WBNG News

Story Created: Dec 22, 2009 at 5:23 PM EST

Story Updated: Dec 22, 2009 at 5:46 PM EST

Watch The Video

Binghamton, NY (WBNG Binghamton) Hundreds of students will take home nutritious meals for the holiday break

Multimedia Watch The Video Community Hunger Outreach Warehouse Director Ed Blaine spoke to Rotary International about the Backpack Program.

It provides kids with individually packaged food that they can prepare on their own, without a stove.

Blaine says nearly 40 percent of children qualify for a subsidized lunch during the school year.

This program makes sure the they have something to eat when they're not in school.

"The needs getting more and we're trying to get enough volunteers and enough of a program assistance here in Broome County that the Food Bank of the Southern Tier can expand the program in Broome County and really reach out to more children," says CHOW Director, Ed Blaine.

The program served more than a thousand kids during the 2007-2008 school year.
CHOW packs up the backpacks on the second Wednesday of every month.

If you'd like to donate your time or money to the program, call CHOW at (607) 724-9130.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Binghamton University Article


December 10, 2009 Volume 31, No. 15

Campus community remembers Antoun

By : Katie Ellis

Kind and gentle, generous with his time — these are the words most frequently used by friends and colleagues to describe Richard Antoun, 77, professor emeritus of anthropology, who was stabbed to death on campus Dec. 4.

A sociocultural anthropologist, Antoun earned his bachelor’s degree in history from Williams College, his master’s in international relations from Johns Hopkins University and his PhD in anthropology and Middle Eastern studies from Harvard. A Fulbright Scholar in Eqypt early in his career, he conducted field work in Jordan, Lebanon and Iran among other locations.

Antoun taught at Indiana University prior to joining the faculty at Binghamton in 1970 and was also a visiting scholar/professor at the University of Manchester in England, American University of Beirut, the University of Chicago and Cairo University. He authored six books, including the popular Understanding Fundamentalism: Christian, Islamic, and Jewish Movements, retiring from Binghamton in 1999 and serving as a Bartle Professor until December 2002.

Antoun’s scholarly interests centered on comparative religion and symbolic systems, as well as the social organization of tradition in Islamic law and ethics. Colleague Michael Little, distinguished professor of anthropology, said Antoun was “very sensitive to Islamic culture.”

Donald Quataert, distinguished professor of history, knew Antoun for more than 20 years.

“My wife and I had lovely dinners with him and his wife, Roz, and saw them frequently when Dick was walking with Roz,” Quataert said.
Professionally, their research interests were quite different, but there was a great deal of overlap. “We were both involved in the Middle East and North Africa Program and had overlap with graduate students. I would often serve on comprehensive exams for his students and he very often for me for comprehensive exams and dissertation committees, most recently last spring.”
Antoun played these roles with gentleness, Quataert said. “He was very kind to the students. Often he would ask penetrating questions, but not threatening or undermining ones. He always asked questions in a constructive way. The students who knew him have all written about how kind he was, what a gentle man he was.”

For H. Stephen Straight, professor of linguistics and of anthropology, Antoun was the peacemaker. Straight joined the University at the same time as Antoun, and noted that “in a department that over the last 39 years could be fractious, he was always the peacemaker, never taking sides and always ready to lend a hand to make for a happy outcome, or at least a peaceful one. He was able to seek an amicable way out of any dispute and make it come out the best for everyone.”

As a scholar, Straight said what stands out most for him was Antoun’s “ability to get beneath the surface to understand the deeper reality of people’s daily lives … their values and the strategies people employ to make their way in life.

“A major focus of interest for him was local village politics,” Straight added, “yet he was in some ways the least political person I’ve ever known, and perhaps that’s the mark of a higher level of politics.”

Little noted that Antoun was a Boston Red Sox and Binghamton Bearcats fan, as well as a good storyteller. He recalled one story Antoun related to him about when he was a student.
“His grandmother was a native Arabic speaker,” Little explained. “He had studied formally and he came home one holiday to visit and decided to speak Arabic to her and she thought it was the funniest thing she had ever heard. His language was very formal and the classical equivalent to speaking to his grandparents in Elizabethan English,” said Little, adding that Antoun did, of course, become fluent in Arabic as he worked in his field.

Little also reiterated that Antoun was a gentle person, but not in a weak way, noting he showed his strength often in department meetings and as a non-violent participant with groups such as the Peace Action group.

“He was active in peace movements and as close to a pacifist as anyone I know, but he would stand up for principles,” Little said, adding that Antoun was also able to work under physically tough conditions in the field, including when he suffered a collapsed lung in a remote area years ago.

Antoun is survived by his wife, Roz, his son and daughter-in-law, one grandchild, two sisters and his wife’s children and grandchildren.

A memorial service will be held Friday, Dec. 11, in the Unitarian Universalist Congregation Sanctuary, 183 Riverside Drive, Binghamton, where Antoun was an active member. Visiting hours will be from 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. and the service will begin at 12:30 p.m.

Expressions of sympathy in his memory may be made to the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Binghamton to support interfaith programming, or to the Community Hunger Outreach Warehouse (CHOW).

The University is also planning a memorial service in the future and details will be announced as they are finalized.

Press & Sun Article Mentioning CHOW

December 8, 2009
Wendy's to help stock CHOW's shelves

REGION Wendy's will give a coupon for a free Frosty to anyone who brings a non-perishable food item to its restaurants during December.

The food will be donated to the Community Hunger Outreach Warehouse of the Broome County Council of Churches.

The restaurants are located at Main Street, Binghamton; Upper Front Street, Chenango; Main Street, Endicott; and Vestal Parkway East.

From 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. Dec. 16, 20 percent of sales at the four restaurants also will be donated to CHOW.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Press Release 12-8-09


Binghamton, N.Y., Dec. 8, 2009 . . . . . Four Wendy’s restaurants in the area are supporting the Broome County Council of Churches’ CHOW Program to help feed the hungry with two promotions during the holidays.

First, anyone who brings a non-perishable food item (no glass containers please) to the restaurants during the month of December will receive a free frosty coupon. Secondly, on Wednesday, December 16, during the hours of 4:30 to 7:30 p.m., 20% of all proceeds will go to CHOW (Community Hunger Outreach Warehouse).

The four Wendy’s restaurants are located on Main Street and Front Street, Binghamton; Main Street in Endicott, and the Vestal Parkway East/Rt. 434, Vestal.

CHOW is experiencing a 25% increase in requests for food this year. Wendy’s offered a similar promotion last year to help CHOW, according to Deacon Edward Blain, CHOW program director.


Donations Funds In Memory of Antoun

By WBNG News Story Created: Dec 7, 2009 at 1:14 PM EST
Story Updated: Dec 7, 2009 at 1:16 PM EST

The Unitarian Universalist Church in Binghamton is setting up two funds in memory of Richard Antoun.

The funeral service will take place at the Unitarian Universalist Church in Binghamton.

Calling hours start at 11:00 am Friday, December 11.

The service begins at 12:30 pm.

The church has established two funds to take donations in memory of Antoun.

One is for the Community Hunger Outreach Warehouse, or CHOW.

The other is for Interfaith Programming.

Make checks payable to UUCB, 183 Riverside Drive, Binghamton 13905.

Those wishing to donate can mark the memo line of their check for either fund.

Operation Safeguard

Operation Safeguard in Binghamton
By WBNG News

Many violent situations could have been prevented, had those who noticed warning signs come forward earlier, which is why New York State's Office of Homeland Security created Operation Safeguard.

Multimedia Watch The Video Action News reporter Gabe Osterhout explains how local police and churches are learning how to utilize the program to prevent future violence.

Several groups met at the Broome County Council of Churches office in Binghamton to discuss ways to keep people safe in large groups.

Specifically in church.

But it could also be used for large gathering places like the American Civic Association or Binghamton University.

"If you see warning signs of suspicious activity in regards to problems in and around, particularly today was discussion about houses of worship or your congregations, don't be afraid to pass that information on," says Major Mark Smolinsky of the Broome County Sheriff's Office.

The New York State office of Homeland security's Operation Safeguard supplies a toll free number.

It urges you to call them with any concerns of suspicious activity.

You can give your name confidentially and local law enforcement agencies will check out the situation.

"It's always a case where people Monday morning quarterback issues after the fact and we see warning signs of this or that comes out. This is a proactive approach for preventing things of that nature," Smolinsky says.

There are several warning signs people can look for.

"Strange language, interesting behavior, the way someone's casing a building, some of the questions they are asking," says Rev. Cris Mogenson of the Broome County Council of Churches.

Bottom line, if you see something that looks out of the ordinary to you, call the hotline.

It could prevent the next public tragedy.

In Binghamton, Gabe Osterhout, WBNG-TV Action News.

If you see or hear something suspicious and would like to report it, you can call the New York State Terrorism Hotline at 1-866-SAFE-NY.

That's 1-866-723-3697.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Hi Greg,

I just wanted to wish you a very Merry Christmas in case I don't see you before then.

When I needed a friend God sent me you,Jack

Friday, December 4, 2009

FIA Volunteers Advisory Committee news

November 5th Committee Minutes:
Committee reviewed the slate of names for committee recruitment and those interested, as well as those who declined and those not asked at this time. The committee selected the following candidates: Ellen Rury from StafKings Home Health Care; Deb Kerins from RSVP; Dorothy Gardner, UHS/Stay Healthy Center; Darlene Ninos, Temple Concord; Bonnie Brown, Temple Concord and Emily Gunzenhauser, second choice from Temple Israel. Joanne read the by-laws section Committee Composition, and the desire for 12 members. She will contact the new members, send them the by laws, and invite them to attend the December meeting. All terms begin January 7, 2010.

Dining for Dollars will be held on Thursday, March 18, 2010. The Lives of Commitment Awards Breakfast Signature Committee meets later this month. Event is May 7, 2010.

Year to date referrals to the program are 120. We are accepting wheel chair ramp referrals for 2010. Applications will be sent out in January. We look forward to receiving United Way Venture grant of $5,000 for that project for 2010. Zach reported status of the Healthier Lifestyle Mentoring program. He is also trying to start a Wii Senior Bowling League. Joanne reported on the Train the Trainer class for Powerful Tools for Caregivers. She and Kathy Medovich are co-facilitating a six session class at the Council of Churches which began 10/13/09. Plans will be made to repeat the class in the spring, 2010.

The program will once again work with Home Instead Senior Care with Santa for Seniors for program care receivers. Volunteers are needed to deliver gifts.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Press & Sun: Mark your calendars

December 3, 2009

Mark your calendars for holiday performances, exhibits and festivities

The holiday season is in full swing with plays, parades and special displays. Here is a roundup of upcoming events to help you plan. Check out other events in the Good Times calendar.


* "Andy Cooney's A Classic Irish Christmas" concert will be performed at 7:30 p.m. Monday at the Boulevard United Methodist Church, 113 Grand Blvd., Binghamton. Cooney, an Irish-American musician, will be joined by George Casey, soprano Emma Kate Tobia, the Darrah Carr Dance Troupe and musical director Brian "Bugs" Moran with Irish America's Finest Musicians. For tickets or information, call 238-1222 or 727-2262, or e-mail sconners@

* The Binghamton Theater Organ Society will perform its third annual Christmas show, "The Snowman in My Window," at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at The Forum, 236 Washington St., Binghamton. Featured is organist Richard Van Auken. For more information, call 724-6062.

* The sixth annual Choruses for CHOW concert will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday at the Sarah Jane Johnson Memorial Church, Main Street, Johnson City. For tickets, visit the Broome County Council of Churches office, 3 Otseningo St. Binghamton, or call 724-9130, ext. 331.


* The Rafael Grigorian Ballet Theatre will perform "The Russian Nutcracker" at 2 p.m. Sunday at The Forum, 236 Washington St., Binghamton. The show will be directed by dancer and choreographer Rafael Grigorian and will feature Boston Ballet soloists Lia Cirio and Sabi Varga. Call 778-1369.

* The Endicott Performing Arts Center, 102 Washington Ave., Endicott, will present "The Nutcracker" at 8 p.m. Dec. 11-12 and 3 p.m. Dec. 13. For details, go to endicottarts. com.


* Vestal's Christmas Tree Lighting & Family Sing-A-Long will be held from 7 to 7:30 p.m. Friday at the Memorial Park Gazebo at Four Corners in Vestal. Santa will arrive at 7:30 p.m.

* Otsiningo Park's ninth annual Hometown Lights Festival, a drive-through display, will be open from 5 to 9 p.m. daily through Dec. 27. Admission proceeds benefit the Southern Tier Independence Center.

* The Binghamton Zoo at Ross Park will turn into a Winter Wonderland on Dec. 12, with ice sculptures, carolers, storytellers, games, crafts and an appearance by Mr. and Mrs. Claus. For more information, go to www.ross


* The Discovery Center of the Southern Tier, 60 Morgan Road, Binghamton, will sponsor a fundraiser, Breakfast with Santa, from 8 to 10 a.m. Saturday at Applebee's, 842 Upper Front St., Binghamton. Call 773-8661 or go to thediscoverycenter. org. The center also is featuring a toy exhibit, The Santa Workshop, through Jan. 10.

* The Roberson Museum, 30 Front St., Binghamton, will offer special events Saturday: tours of the mansion every half hour from noon to 4:30 p.m.; the Talking Hands program from 1 to 1:30 p.m. in Sears Harkness Hall; Vestal Community Chorus from 2 to 3 p.m. For more information, go to or call 772-0660.


* Endicott's annual holiday parade and tree-lighting starts at 4 p.m. Saturday on Washington Avenue. The parade ends at Park Avenue. Refreshments will be served in the visitors center following the tree-lighting.

* Johnson City's hourlong parade begins at 7 p.m. today at Your Home Public Library, 107 Main St., and ends at the Johnson City Senior Center. Following the parade, a reception for the public will be held at Sarah Jane Johnson Memorial United Methodist Church, 308 Main St., next to Wilson Hospital.

Stage shows

* "An EPAC Christmas," a variety show set to music, will be presented for its sixth year at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday at the Endicott Performing Arts Center, 102 Washington Ave., Endicott. Visit for more details.

Owego events

* "A Christmas Story": The Ti-Ahwaga Community Players will present the holiday classic at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday, 9 p.m. Dec. 11-12 and 2 p.m. Dec. 13 at Ti-Ahwaga Performing Arts Center, 42 Delphine St. in Owego. Call 687-2130 or visit for ticket prices.

* Owego home tour, auction: The fundraiser for the Tioga County Council on the Arts features tours from 1 to 4 p.m. and 6 to 8 p.m. Saturday, starting at the Owego Elks Lodge, 223 Front St., which is the site of the 8:30 p.m. auction included with tours. Call 687-0785 or visit tiogaartscouncil. org for details.

* Lights on the River Festival will be held from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Friday and will feature festivities, food and entertainment. The fireworks will begin at 8 p.m. at Draper Park. For a full schedule, visit

* The Tioga County Historical Society Museum's O'Tannenbaum Holiday Showcase and Auction will continue through Dec. 18 at the museum, 110 Front St., Owego. It features holiday trees, wreaths, baskets and other crafts. For more information, call 687-2957 or visit

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Press & Sun: A Time to Give

Broome County Council Of Churches

Mission: Connecting Compassion with Needs; Inspiring Growth with Dignity. Major Programs Include: CHOW (Community Hunger Outreach Warehouse) and Broome Bounty; Faith in Action Volunteers; Jail Chaplaincy; Hospital Chaplaincy; and Wheelchair Ramp Construction
Address: 3 Otseningo St., Binghamton, N.Y., 13903
Contact: Rev. Dr. Joseph Sellepack, Executive Director
Phone: 724-9130
Three needs:
* Food for CHOW warehouse (non- perishable food items, no glass containers)
* Computer(s), (minimum of 1g memory) and 15" flat screen monitor(s)
* Pickup truck(s), (under 70,000 miles) for CHOW Farm and Wheelchair Ramp use

Monday, November 30, 2009

Valerie Zehl article mentioning CHOW

November 28, 2009
Valerie Zehl neighbors: Johnson City Islamic school growing fast

39 children enrolled at The Crescent Academy.

Danyal wants to be a baseball player. Sarrah hopes to be a truck driver. And Aisha? "A cop."

Such are the hand-printed aspirations of three little students at The Crescent Academy in Johnson City.
The school is unique in Greater Binghamton because its goal is to deliver a high-quality, well-rounded education while instilling the tenets of Islam deep into the children's hearts.

In December 2005, the school was nothing more than a dream. By February of '06, the Islamic Organization of the Southern Tier purchased a building. In the fast-paced months that followed, Romineh Dawood-Sethi -- then with two smallfry and a newborn of her own -- became TCA's first principal, opening the private school that September.

Now, 39 children attend pre-K through third grade there, representing families from India, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Trinidad, Sudan, Iran, Turkey and elsewhere.

As the school's Web site,, specifies, the students study regular academic subjects in context of the guidelines provided by the Education Department of the State of New York, with Arabic, Urdu and Spanish offered as foreign languages -- as well as classes in Islamic Studies and Qur'an.

For Ramadan, the little ones helped with a food drive for CHOW, the Community Hunger Outreach Warehouse, so they could put into action what they'd been learning about their faith, Romineh explains.

Of the school's four state-certified teachers, only one is Muslim. Janelle Smith was a substitute in the Binghamton schools, but came here because she enjoys teaching in small, diverse classrooms and appreciates the generous involvement on the part of the students' parents.

Christina Muscatello, of Binghamton, doesn't even get paid for the time she spends doing art with the children. She volunteers simply because she enjoys the environment, she explains.

With pizza for lunch in one room and Arabic letters on the wall in another, the school is a good metaphor for living as a Muslim in America, Romineh explains.

"There doesn't have to be a distinction between being Muslim and being American," she says. "There's no distinction -- it's about having good values."

When the little ones heard about the shootings at Fort Hood, they were saddened, explains current Principal Mohamed S. Khan. But when they learned the accused was a Muslim, they were horrified and confused.
"They couldn't understand (it)," he says. "They know Muslims are not supposed to kill innocent people."
And so The Crescent Academy -- whose motto is "Lighting the path to success" -- tries to teach its students everything they need to know, including how to use their minds and hearts to help the world become a better place.

* The Apalachin Lions Club reports that although Santa is very busy this time of year, they've persuaded him to take phone calls for three nights in early December. Santa has been happy to do this for the children in the area for many years and is looking forward to again talking to his many young friends so he will know what they want for Christmas, they explain. To talk to Santa, call (607) 625-HOHO (625-4646) between 6 and 8 p.m. Dec. 7, 8 or 9.

WBNG Holiday Train

Holiday Train Coming Saturday Night

By WBNG News

Story Created: Nov 27, 2009 at 1:35 PM EST
Story Updated: Nov 27, 2009 at 1:35 PM EST

Each year Canadian Pacific Railway sends its Holiday Train on a tour through the Northern US and Canada.

At each stop, the train opens up into a stage for entertainment.

This year's troup features singers Adam Puddington and Shaun Verreault.

Plus Prescott and Willy Porter.

The show is free, but you're asked to bring a donation of money or food for CHOW, the Community Hunger Outreach Warehouse.

The Holiday Train pulls into the East Binghamton Rail Yard on Conklin Avenue this Saturday.

The show starts around 8:45 pm.

The train stops in Oneonta on Sunday around 3:15.

Go to the Gas Avenue Railroad Crossing.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Press & Sun Article for CHOW 11-25-09

November 24, 2009

SV Students Bake Bread for C.H.O.W.
Using baking lessons acquired in a school assembly, dozens of 6th and 7th grade students at SV's Richard T. Stank Middle School spent hours last weekend in the kitchen, baking bread for their own families and for families in need.
Wednesday, November 18, 2009, Paula Gray from King Arthur Flour Company visited the middle school to teach students how to bake bread. Mrs. Gray's baking assistants during the first assembly were Ian Lupole, Kate Meade and Kory Harder; second assembly assistants were Linnea Kolanda, Jacob Jackowsky and Katie Kitchen.
As they left school that day, each student was given a bread-baking kit containing all the ingredients necessary to bake two loaves of bread. Their assignment: bake two loaves - keep one at home to enjoy and bring the other back to school to be donated to the Community Hunger Outreach Warehouse (C.H.O.W.)
On November 23, students returned with 209 loaves of bread!
"C.H.O.W. was very excited about this project and the donation," said RTS Middle School Family and Consumer Sciences (FACS) teacher Charlene Reagan. "The donated bread filled eight large boxes, which nearly completely filled the C.H.O.W. van."
Mrs. Reagan credited the King Arthur Flour Co., Wegman's, and her Family and Consumer Sciences Club members for the success of the project. "Wegman's donated bags for us to fill with supplies for each student. FACS Club members filled the bags and distributed them to students as they left school November 18, and helped to collect the loaves of bread students brought back," Reagan said.

Monday, November 23, 2009

News Channel 34 11-23-09

Up To The Minute News

CHOW Benefits from Canadian Pacific Holiday Train Event

From Community Hunger Outreach Warehouse:

CHOW Benefits from Canadian Pacific Holiday Train Event

Binghamton, N.Y. Nov.19, 2009…. “Feed the Need” is the theme this year for the Canadian Pacific Railway Holiday Train stopping in Binghamton on Saturday evening November 28, to help the Broome County Council of Churches and its CHOW program feed the hungry.

The event is staged each year by the railroad which brings awareness of hunger in the Binghamton area and other communities across the country. The brightly decorated freight train appearance helps collect food and money and donates it all to CHOW (Community Hunger Outreach Warehouse). The brightly lighted train is a special attraction to children who are invited to bring their family along for the festivities.

The public is invited to welcome the train at about 8:30 p.m. Saturday, November 28, at the East Binghamton Rail Yard on Conklin Avenue. Spectators are asked to bring food items or a cash donation to the show.

Featured entertainers appearing are Prescott, Adam Puddington and special guest Shaun Verreault, best known as a singer/guitarist/songwriter for the blues-rockers. The show will last for about 30 minutes.

In Memory of James Wm Kildare, Sr

James Wm. Kildare, Sr.
of Johnson City

On Monday, November 16, James Wm. Kildare Sr., 88, passed from our existence and was born in the next. At 3:40 p.m. he joined his beloved wife, Emma, on their new journey. Born in Brooklyn, NY, he made Johnson City his new home, which he loved. He was a proud member of the U.S. Army during WWII serving in Europe. He worked until he retired at G.A.F./Ozalid in Johnson City and Vestal Plants. He is survived by his daughter, Theresa Marie; sons, James Jr., Raymond, Robert, Daniel and Annette; 7 grandchildren, Christina and Tod, Amanda and Ryan, Damian and Janele, Gary and Tonya, Robert, Joseph, and Michael; 7 great-grandchildren. A supporting cast of Mary, Sue, Judy W. and Pam. He had two main goals in life: to survive the war and to raise a family. It appears he had a very good life. We will miss him very much.

A Funeral Mass will be offered at St. James Church, Johnson City, Friday at 9:30 a.m. Burial will be in Calvary Cemetery, Johnson City. The family will receive friends at the J.F. Rice Funeral Home, Inc., 150 Main St., Johnson City, Thursday 4-7 p.m. Those wishing may make memorial contributions to CHOW, 3 Otsiningo St., Binghamton, NY 13903 in James Wm. Kildare, Sr.'s memory.

In Memory of Larry Relyea

Larry Lyle Relyea of Binghamton

There is no end.

There is no beginning. There is only the infinite passion of life.

Larry Lyle Relyea was born to Elsie and William Relyea in Saugerties, NY on April 10, 1946. Larry graduated from Windsor High School in 1964 and then attended Scranton University. He belonged to many community groups throughout his life, and among his passions were the Binghamton Civil War Roundtable, the Binghamton Model Railroaders, and Roberson Museum's "Home for the Holidays," where he volunteered with his "conductors at heart," Howard Lott and David Spicer. On Wednesday, November 18, at 7:00 p.m., Larry joined his mother, Elsie; his stepfather, Joseph Cozza; his father, William; his brother, Joe; and his very special mother-in-law, Audrey Greene. He leaves behind his loving family: Peg, his loving wife of 42 years; sons, Mark, Pete and his wife Amy, Nate and his wife Nicole; and his grandchildren whom he adored, Josh, Audrey, Joey and Briana, who will miss him dearly. He will also be remembered by his many friends.

A celebration of Larry's life will be held Monday, November 23, at 6:00 p.m. at the Barber Memorial Home, 428 Main St., Johnson City. The family will greet friends prior to the service. In lieu of flowers, and at Larry's request, donations may be made in his memory to CHOW at 3 Otsiningo St., Binghamton, NY.

Earnest About Thanksgiving

Some of you have asked about my speach for the Chamber Thanksgiving Luncheon: here's a rough draft that was refined as I delivered it... Ask Greg for details... Enjoy! J.S.

I want to say how deeply honored I am that the Chamber of Commerce asked me to offer the keynote address. I think this is my third Thanksgiving Luncheon and each of the addresses have been very moving and thought provoking. I think that they have set the bar pretty high when it comes to the quality that I believe you’re looking for.

That said, when Amy Shaw asked me if I would do this, I told her that my first Thanksgiving luncheon was when Eliot Spitzer’s wife Silda came to speak in 2007. It seemed that right after she was here all of her husband’s infidelities came out.

When Amy asked, I had to make sure that I didn’t have anything buried in my closet that would come out to bite me. So I talked it over with my wife and she assured me that we didn’t have anything too embarrassing. She said there was that time at a Seder meal when I set my jacket on fire, but that was just clumsiness and just a little embarrassment. So from her perspective I was good to go.

But as I’ve been thinking about it, there is something that I want to confess. And being as I have approximately 500 some odd of you I thought it might be a good idea to come clean here. Just get it over and done with in one fall swoop. Yes, it’s kind of embarrassing, but don’t be too hard on me.

It pains me to say it, but yes, I do really enjoy the occasional chick flick.

It seems that after 20 years of marriage my wife has worn off on me and I do now succumb to watching movies that do not involve blowing things up, kick boxing, underwater espionage and martial arts. I do enjoy those movies mind you. But there’s something sentimental in me that just loves the story line of a good love story.

Sleepless in Seatle. You’ve Got Mail. Philadelphia Story. Benny and June. When Harry met Sally. Yes, I’ve seen those and more. One of my wife’s favorite movies is “Return to Me” starring David Duchovny and Minnie Driver. Those of you that have seen that movie know that the main character’s wife Elizabeth dies and her heart is used to save someone else’s life. The person who is the recipient of the heart transplant named Grace falls madly in love with the husband of the person who gave the heart. One of my favorite lines comes at the point where the whole story comes together and David Duchovny says to his soon to be father in law, “I will always miss Elizabeth, but my heart aches for Grace.”

And that is the moment where I start to bawl like a little baby. I guess deep down inside I’m just a sentimental ball of mush and I have been getting much more so as I get older.

So it really shouldn’t surprise you to learn that one of my favorite movies is “The Importance of Being Earnest.” Those of you who are literary buffs know that this movie is an adaptation of a book by Jane Austen that uses the same title.

Here we find a young man from the country who changes his name to Ernest every time he goes into the city as a way of throwing people off his trail. He is able to do or be anything when he is in the city even those things that would ruin his reputation, and then go back to the country and still have his good name protected. The problem is that he falls in love with a woman who thinks that he is Ernest, when in reality he has another name and he has to convince her that while he is not really Ernest – his feelings toward her are indeed earnest.

Earnest after all means sincere, deep and lacking in frivolity. How do you trust a man who says that he is Ernest when he is really not earnest? The movie becomes rather funny and the irony is indeed thick.

So what does this all have to do with Thanksgiving? Well next week many of us will wake up early to watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade. We will cook a turkey dinner with all the trimmings. We will bow our heads and give thanks for the good things that we have in our lives. And maybe we will sit down and watch the obligatory football game – the only time when we can be assured that the Lions will be on television and I get to root for them.

But this scenario begs the questions, “Are we truly earnest in our feelings of thankfulness or is this just a put on?” Like Ernest who goes out into the city to sow his wild oats, do we just come to this holiday and out of obligation to some expectation set by someone at some time in the distant past, do we end up bowing our heads and putting on an aura of thankfulness hoping that no one will scratch the surface and find out how truly unthankful we are?

Look around you, the cynic might say, why do we give thanks when unemployment is at an all time high. Manufacturing jobs are hit especially hard. People are working two and in some cases three jobs just to make ends meet. Folks are going through hard times and you want us to be earnestly thankful? Come on, get a grip – look at your own work. Some are indicating that charities are being hit especially hard in this economic climate.

Donations to CHOW are lower than they’ve been in years, but demands are up by over 24% over last year. Our Faith In Action Volunteers are meeting increased demand for volunteers to help elderly and disabled people live independently in their own homes with decreased giving and volunteers. Charities are hit with the real possibility of cutting staff and trying to meet needs that increase as families come under economic stress and uncertainty. Look what have we to be thankful for?

Greg Anderson, in Living Life on Purpose tells a story about a man whose wife had left him. He was completely depressed. He had lost faith in himself, in other people, in God--he found no joy in living. One rainy morning this man went to a small neighborhood restaurant for breakfast. Although several people were at the diner, no one was speaking to anyone else. Each one seemed to have his own unhappiness to contend with and the atmosphere was very melancholy. Our miserable friend was hunched over the counter, stirring his coffee with a spoon.In one of the small booths along the window was a young mother with a little girl. They had just been served their food when the little girl broke the sad silence by almost shouting, "Momma, why don't we say our prayers here?" The waitress who had just served their breakfast turned around and said, "Sure, honey, we pray here. Will you say the prayer for us?" And she turned and looked at the rest of the people in the restaurant and said, "Bow your heads." Surprisingly, one by one, the heads went down. The little girl then bowed her head, folded her hands, and said, "God is great, God is good, and we thank him for our food. Amen."That prayer changed the entire atmosphere. People began to talk with one another. The waitress said, "We should do that every morning.""All of a sudden," the man said, "my whole frame of mind started to improve. From that little girl's example, I started to thank God for all that I did have and stop majoring in all that I didn't have. I started to be grateful."

So no matter where you are in life, I would encourage you to at least entertain the thought that you can be earnestly thankful and by giving thanks we can encourage each other to be better people in the process. Maybe together, as we sit in this place, we can begin to create an atmosphere of thanksgiving that spills out into our community.

And really we have a lot to be thankful for. I was thinking about how lucky we are to have three mayoral candidates who love Binghamton so much that they would want to give of themselves to serve the public good. One of them is indeed happier of the outcome of the election than the others, but all three should be proud of the race they ran and the public conversations that they started.

Good place to raise a family – fifteen minutes from anywhere in Broome County…. Great schools…

We have Speedie Fest that benefits many local charities and draws people in from all over the country to find quality entertainment. First Night, First Friday, Celebrate the Southern Tier, WSKG – these are all good things that we have in our community that add so much to our life together.

And there are the social service providers who help care for people. Catholic Charities. Crime Victims Assistance Center. CHOW. Food Bank of the Southern-tier. First call for Help run by our very own and active United Way. Mental Health Association of the Southern Tier and so many more. These help us care for our community and help create an atmosphere of nurture and support.

And who can forget the businesses like Security Mutual that sponsors the Mud Cat Grant Celebrity Golf Tournament that donates thousands of dollars to the Urban League, CHOW and Catholic Charities. Or Weis Markets that helps with the Round Up Program that supplies fresh perishable items to the hungry in our area. Or Wegman’s work with the Food Bank. Or how the radio stations in the area truly give back by hosting food drives or raising good causes for us to help with. No, we are truly blessed.

In my own organization along with the First Ward Action Council Inc., we were able this past year with the assistance of Home Depot, Bellknap Lumber, Follands lumber, Christ the King Lutheran, the Community Foundation, Rotary Clubs, Lions Clubs, and thirteen Church and Community Youth Groups to build thirteen wheelchair ramps for elderly and disabled people trying to live in their own homes. We used over 111 youth and 70 mentors to get the job done. And it was really a community partnership involving even the BLI class from last year.

Yes, we have a lot to be thankful for.

But it’s not just in the large events when we come together to help reduce the plight of the hungry or the homeless or raise money for great causes. It’s also in how we treat each other when we’re not at our best. When we’ve been frazzled and beat down and don’t look the part of what we once did. It’s at that point when you prove just how earnestly thankful you are.

You’re standing in the checkout line being served by a surly looking teenager who would rather be in several different places and in spite of all the reasons that you have to return his attitude in kind, you instead remember that it could very well be your own surly teenager who is serving you and you treat them with kindness and generosity. And you prove yet again what it means to be earnestly thankful.

When you’re late for a meeting across town caught behind an obviously confused and overly cautious elderly person. Instead of getting bent out of shape quietly seething or even beeping loudly on your horn scaring the living daylights out of them, you instead treat them with respect and courtesy remembering that your own parents are not far behind them and you really hope that someone else will treat them with respect and care. When you do that you are earnestly thankful.

When you’re trying to get to the bottom of what is happening with a bill that you thought you had paid, but you just got an overdue notice. And you get on the phone with the company to complain. Instead of taking it out on the poor person on the other end of the phone, you realize that they are as powerless over this system as you are and you treat them civilly with courtesy and respect, then you are being earnestly thankful.
Yes, friends, it is easy enough for us to be thankful when we’re in good times, celebrating the fruits of a good harvest, but its entirely different when we’re not at our best. Today I invite you to be thankful – and not just be moderately so. Give in to it, let it pull you in and be earnestly thankful. And together as we go to our various ways, let’s spread the message to everyone we meet and invite them to a live of generosity and care.

WBNG Article

Up To The Minute News

Last Update: 11/20 9:39 am

A special interest note from Bosocv's

From Betsy Reynolds, Boscov's Binghamton Store Manager:

In a time when everyone is busy and struggling to make ends meet. A time when we are tightening our belts and stretching the dollar. The Boscov's Binghamton coworkers are doing the opposite. During the month of October Bosocv's corporate ran a sales contest. The Bosocv's Binghamton store was a winner of a cash prize to be used for luncheon party for co-workers. The co-workers in the spirit of the season have decided to reach out to the community instead. Binghamton Bosocv's coworkers have donated the money to purchase food for CHOW-The Community Hunger Outreach Warehouse.
As the Store Manager it makes me feel proud to be a part of such a generous group of people and help our neighbors at the same time.

Press & Sun Article 11-20-09

November 20, 2009
Boscov's employees donate to CHOW

BINGHAMTON The workers of Boscov's downtown donated $700 in food to Community Hunger Outreach Warehouse, store manager Betsy Reynolds said.

The employees had won an October sales contest developed by the corporation. The cash prize was to be used for a luncheon party for the workers, who decided instead to donate the money to buy food for CHOW.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Tweet from News Channel 34 11-20-09

wivt nc34The Holiday train will be coming to Binghamton on Sat 11/28

Website Update

I wanted to send a big Thank You to Barbara for updating our Volunteer page on the Council website.  We now have the Volunteer Opportunites flyer and the Liability Release Form.  So if someone calls and wants to volunteer we can let them know about the website and they can see our opportunites online.  They can also print their own liability release form to fill out and bring it in for their interview/orientation/or first day. 

The Volunteer Program is progressing every day because of everyone's support.  Thank you!!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Article on News Channel 34

Up To The Minute News

6th Annual Choruses for CHOW Benefit Concert will be held Saturday December 5

Last Update: 4:17 pm
From Broome County Council of Churches:


Binghamton, NY, Nov. 18, 2009... The 6th Annual Choruses for CHOW Benefit Concert will be held Saturday December 5, at 2pm at the Sarah Jane Johnson Memorial United Methodist Church, 380 Main St, Johnson City.

The concert, which raises money for the Community Hunger Outreach Wearhouse (CHOW) of the Broome County Council of Churches, will feature the following groups which are all non-profit organizations:
- Binghamton Downtown Singers
- Bronzissimo! Bell Choir
- Carousel Harmony Chorus (Young Women in Harmony Chorus)
- Endwell Community Chorus
- Southerntiersmen Barbershop Chorus

Tickets purchased in advance are $8.00, or $10.00 at the door, and can be purchased by calling the Council of Churches at 72409130, or by contacting a chorus member.
*Joe Dahm sent this press release today and this is the wording almost word for word that was on the press release - Susanne*

Article mentioning Dr Joe and CHOW

November 18, 2009
Catholic Charities, HHK honored at Binghamton Chamber luncheon
By My-Ly Nguyen
BINGHAMTON - A sold-out crowd of about 550 people attended the Greater Binghamton Chamber of Commerce's annual Thanksgiving luncheon Tuesday at the Binghamton Regency Hotel and Conference Center.
The chamber presented its Community Advocate Award to Catholic Charities of Broome County for being in the "forefront of responding to the ever-changing needs of our community," whether it's helping the homeless, runaway youth or a variety of other groups in need.
The chamber gave its Corporate Citizen Award to Hinman, Howard & Kattell LLP for its financial commitment to Greater Binghamton and leadership and employee participation in many community events and organizations.
Most notable, the chamber said, was the law firm's sponsorship of the Dick's Sporting Goods Open this past summer, which covered the cost of complimentary admission to the general public for a day of the golf tournament.
The Rev. Joseph Sellepack, executive director of the Broome County Council of Churches, was the event's keynote speaker. Layoffs and other economic woes may make it hard for some to be thankful this holiday season. But only when we are tested can true thankfulness emerge, he said.
Sellepack said he is giving thanks for the region's "great" school systems, his 15-minute commute to anywhere in Broome County and the 140 youth who built wheelchair ramps this summer through his organization.
He got the crowd to laugh when he offered these tips:
* Remember to "round up" for the Community Hunger Outreach Warehouse at the grocery checkout. The cashier may be a "surly teenager," but give thanks because "that surly teenager could be your own."
* When stuck at a traffic light behind an elderly driver who missed three opportunities to go, remember someone else may be laying on his or her car horn behind your mother or father.
"This society, culture, place we know as Binghamton has been tried," he said. "Let's be earnestly thankful. ... It is painful out there ... but let's give thanks anyway."

Article about Concert donating to CHOW

November 17, 2009
Concert features 17th-, 18th-century music
A concert at 3 p.m. Saturday in Casadesus Recital Hall in the Fine Arts Building (FA 117) at Binghamton University will feature "An Afternoon of 17th & 18th Century Music," and part of the proceeds will benefit CHOW, the Community Hunger Outreach Warehouse.
The concert will feature tenor Tony Villeco, pianists John Isenberg amd Aric Phinney, flutist Tamara Heiss and Laurie Holdridge on recorder.
Admission is $12 ($6 for seniors and students). For more information, call 727-3894.

Article about Vestal Business Donations

November 18, 2009
Vestal businesses collecting donations for charity
Two Vestal businesses are collecting donations for charity this holiday season and offering discounts to customers who participate.
Empire Vision Center’s Vestal location at 3900 Vestal Parkway East is collecting donations Dec. 4 and 5 for the Community Hunger Outreach Warehouse, Toys for Tots and the Family Enrichment Network. They’re collecting gently used children’s coats for FEN, new and unwrapped toys for Toys for Tots and non-perishable food for CHOW. For each donation, customers will receive a 10 percent discount off their entire purchase, with 15 percent off for two donations and 25 percent off for donations to all three.
Dressbarn, located at 2317 Vestal Parkway East, is also launching a Toys for Tots drive, which will run from Nov. 19 to Dec. 15. Customers who donate new, unwrapped toys will get 15 percent off their purchase of a regular-priced item.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Tweet from WBNG 11-17-09

Friday, Nov. 20, CHOW will be accepting non-perishable food items collected by 6th graders at East Middle School in Binghamton.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Jail Ministry Facebook Post

Broome County Council of Churches Jail Ministry Program This Thursday 11/19 at 7PM we will be conducting a training at the Council for our volunteers entitled "Barriers To Reentry" it is open to all regardless of being a volunteer!

Minutes for FIA Advisory Meeting

Faith in Action Volunteers

Advisory Committee Meeting Minutes
October 1, 2009

Present: Mike Marinaccio, Rabbi Tziona Szajman, Rev. Andrew Morrison, Steve Gardner, Caroline Vadala, Lisa Schuhle, Zach Ziemba, and Joanne Kays

Advisory Committee Membership:   Recruitment for five vacant seats to begin.   A listing of recommendations will be revised and sent to the committee. All present supported reaching out to these candidates and Joanne asked that we review brief resumes at the next meeting which will be the deadline for submissions. Lisa, Mike and Andrew will help with recruiting and preparing bios for review.

Fund Raising:  The next event is Dining for Dollars to be held in March. Steve, Caroline and Lisa will participate. Joanne may ask Mary Lou or Jean Hill to chair or co-chair the committee. The Lives of Commitment Awards Breakfast is on May 7, 2010. Two FIA volunteers and one community volunteer are honored. If anyone has a suggestion, send to Joanne quickly. Joanne will send the usual request to Hersh Rozen, the Rozen Foundation, this year for underwriting.

FIA Program Report:  Staff is status quo. Zach reported status of the Healthier Lifestyle Mentoring program. He is coordinating a mini-bus trip to Green Bros for apple-picking. Scholars students are participating with cooking projects. Zach’s term will end in December. He will assist with recruiting and/or transitioning. Zach requested suggestions for pumpkin donations for a festival at Tabernacle UMC. The BU MSW intern has started and will be with the program for two semesters. Collaboration going well. Joanne attended training for Powerful Tools for Caregivers in Ithaca. Six class sessions on Tuesdays will be offered in October and November here at the Council.

Adjournment/Next meetings:  Meeting was adjourned 1:05 pm. The next meeting is Thursday, November 5th.


Honorees and Speakers for Lives of Commitment 2010

The Lives of Commitment Signature Committee has announced the honorees for the May 7, 2010 Awards Breakfast. They are:

Joan Eisch of Vestal, FIA Volunteers - program assessor

Cyndy Vosburgh of Newark Valley, FIA Volunteers - program caregiver

Katie Legg of Kirkwood, Community volunteer

Keynote Speaker: Kathryn Grant Madigan, attorney with Levene, Gouldin & Thompson

Hoiday Craft Fair

The annual Holiday Craft Fair will be held on Saturday, November 28 from 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM at the Binghamton University West Gym. Over 140 vendors will be selling their crafts. Admission is $2.00. Please bring a non-perishable food item for CHOW.

Holiday Train

The Canadian Pacific Rail Road Holiday Train will arrive at the Binghamton East Rail Yard on Saturday, November 28 between 8:30 - 8:45 PM. Come out for a wonderful Holiday experience of lights and music. Bring a non-perishable food item for CHOW.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Jail Ministry on Facebook asking for bags to be decorated

Broome County Council of Churches Jail Ministry Program 
We need people to decorate small bags for Christmas. These bags will hold small and simple gifts for inmates at Christmas. Plain white bags can be picked up at the front desk of the Council of Churches at 3 Otseningo St. Binghamton, NY (607-724-9130). Just drop them off when they are decorated. (Please avoid glueing hard objects to the bags as this could be a security risk). This is a great project for a youth group or Sunday School! Thanks! Chaplain Cris Mogenson.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Our Annual CHOW donor

We had a visit from a gentleman who comes once a year.  He brings change this time every year that he collects all year.  He brings the change in Christmas tins and Judy comes down, collects the change and lets him know how much he collected.

11/21/08   $72.10
11/20/07   $66.01
11/20/06   $66.59
11/15/05   $65.24
12/1/04     $68.71
12/5/03     $70.95
etc.......  We have the earliest date as 1999 for giving change.  This gentleman has also given to various other causes, including the recent ACA tragedy.

When someone says they don't have anything to give, makes you think of all the spare change that could be given to our community. Pretty inspiring!

Judy will be counting the change on Tuesday morning.  Stop her after that and see what the amount was for 2009!

Congregation Blast for CHORUSES FOR CHOW

Announcing the
6th Annual


Saturday, December 5, 2:00 PM

Sarah Jane Johnson Memorial UMC

380 Main Street, Johnson City










Press Release for Operation Safeguard

Binghamton, N.Y., Nov. 12, 2009 . . . . . In an effort to assist the local faith-based community be more prepared against violent episodes in both public facilities and during religious services, three government agencies and a non-profit organization are conducting a Homeland Security program entitled “Operation Safeguard” at 10 a.m., Monday, Dec. 7, at the Broome County Council of Churches.

Spearheading the program are the Council of Churches Jail Ministry Program, the Broome County Office of the Sheriff, the New York State Office of Homeland Security and the New York State Police. The program is designed to assist local congregational leaders and clergy recognize and thwart potential violence in light of an increased number of recent violent episodes at public gatherings, and in particular during religious services.

The Council of Churches office is located at 3 Otseningo St., Binghamton. For directions, additional information, or to RSVP for the meeting on Dec. 7, please call the Council at 724-9130, or email Rev. Cris Mogenson, the Council’s Jail Ministry chaplain, at


Article for a concert benefiting CHOW

November 11, 2009

Concert will benefit CHOW

Tenor Tony Villecco will present "An Afternoon of 17th & 18th Century Music" at 3 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 21, in Casadesus Recital Hall in the Fine Arts Building (FA 117), Binghamton University.

Joining Villecco are pianists John Isenberg and Aric Phinney, flutist Tamara Heiss and Laurie Holdridge, recorder.

Part of the proceeds will benefit CHOW (Community Hunger Outreach Warehouse) and there also will be a CHOW barrel for collection of food items.

Tickets at the door are $12 for the general public, and $6 for seniors and students with ID. Works by Handel, Purcell, Gluck, Bach, Corelli and Vivaldi will be performed. For more information, call 727-3894.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

CHOW Advisory Minutes for November

CHOW Advisory Meeting Minutes – November 10, 2009

PRESENT: Fr. Jim Dutko, Jen Cubic, Betty Stanton, Alex Siegel, Rod Reeder, Ed Blaine.

HUNGER WALK - Final tally not ready. Looks to be a little less than last year.

BROOME BOUNTY – Time Line was presented for moving to pre-order for our Bounty agencies. Agencies will have to receive order form either by email or fax (if they have neither they will have to pick up). Orders due the day before pickup. A pick up time will be assigned. This will eliminate “shopping” at the warehouse and long lines.

PANTRIES - Two new CHOW Pantries were opened: One on Rutherford Street in Binghamton and one in Windsor.

FARM UPDATE: Conklin property is still being cleared. Scott Barvainis is organizing work crew to take down trees and clear brush. Stumps need to be removed. Alex may know someone who can help. We should have 4 acres ready to plow by spring.

Alex Siegel asked for a list of needed equipment. Ed will send.

EMERSON DONATION – Emerson Corporation donated pallet shelving and a forklift from their old building. Shelving will help create more space in the warehouse and the forklift is usable outside. This makes unloading large trucks more efficient. Thank you to Alex Siegel.

CHOW STRATEGIC PLANNING – We began discussion on preparing goals for 2010. One major goal is to have the committee members more involved in the work of CHOW, especially in the major events and promotions. For discussion and decisions at December meeting Ed will bring a list of the major events that need a committee for 2010. Committee members will be asked to chair on of the event committees. Ed will provide activities associated with the events.

Brainstorming discussion about the future of CHOW included a discussion of additional warehouse space in vacant local buildings; creating a CHOW pantry that is open every day for walk-ins (again in another building); recognition was made that CHOW is involved in a shifting culture both in the warehouse and in how we distribute food. How do we direct the evolution of CHOW?

JOHNNY HART BOOK SALE - We will be selling Johnny Hart’s book I DID IT HIS WAY at the Mall beginning November 27

HOLIDAY CRAFT FAIR – The annual Holiday Craft Fair will be on November 28 fro 9:00 – 4:00 at the Binghamton University West gym.

HOLIDAY RAIN – The Canadian Pacific Holiday Train will be in Binghamton on November 28 at 8:30.

CHORUSES FOR CHOW – The 6th Annual Choruses for CHOW will be held on December 5 at Sarah Jane Johnson Memorial UMC at 2:00. Performing will be: The Southerntiersmen, The Carousel Harmony Chorus, the Down Town Singers, The Endwell Community Chorus, and the Bronzissimo Bell Choir. Tickets are $8.00 advanced and $10.00 at the door. Proceeds go to CHOW.

DISNEY ON ICE – Disney On Ice will be at the Arena on December 17, 18 19 & 20. Anyone purchasing tickets at the Arena Box Office who brings a food donation for CHOW will receive a $3.00 discount off the ticket price. CHOW also received four complimentary tickets and a box of show related items to raffle off at the Craft Fair.

Next Meeting – December 8.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Broome County Council of Churches Jail Ministry Post 11-9-09

Broome County Council of Churches Jail Ministry Program Here is a tremendous web site to help in employment issues for those reentering from correctional facilitates. It is illegal to discriminate because of prison time served for convictions which are not directly related to the job applied for.

FREE Online LawHelp/NY Training on Thursday, November 5, 2009orSchedule a FREE on-site training for your organization!Click Here to Learn More

Letter and Guidelines sent to all Broome Bounty Agencies

A Coalition of Caring - Through Food Recovery

To: All Broome Bounty Agencies,

As the needs of our community have increased, the existing agencies are in more need than in the past. We have also added some agencies to the Broome Bounty program. As such the line for Broome Bounty has become longer, it has become obvious that to continue as we have, is no longer feasible. This means that some changes are a necessity for the program to continue.

We can no longer operate as if the Broome Bounty program is a small effort. We must change the program to match what our counterparts are doing to distribute recovered food.

The change is to start having agencies order food ahead of time so that we can have food packed and ready for pick up before the agencies arrive. Only one order per week per agency will be processed. Pre-orders will be filled on a first received, first served basis. Limited food, such as produce and perishable items will still be available for selection the day that you arrive.

First we must have an updated application for all Agencies. Attached is a Renewal of Application, which must be filled out and submitted before December 1, 2009. If your application is not received, your membership to Broome Bounty will be discontinued.

The application should include an email or fax number so that the pre-order system will work the best. If this is not available to you, someone will need to come to the CHOW office to pick up an available food list and deliver your pre-order.

For soup kitchens, shelters and after school programs, a Food Safety Self Assessment Guide must be submitted before December 31, 2009.

Attached is a timeline of when the changes will take place.


Deacon Edward Blaine
Director of CHOW/Broome Bounty
The Broome County Council of Churches

Here is a timeline of changes to Broome Bounty.
  • Tuesday, November 17, 2009 - Tuesday, November 24, 2009
    • You will be given the Available Food List while you are in line.
    • This will familiartice you with the Available Food List.
  • Friday, November 27, 2009
    • Broome County Council of Churches Closed for Thanksgiving
  • Tuesday, December 1, 2009
    • You will select the items you want from the Available Food List while you are waiting in line for Broome Bounty
    • You will no longer be able to "shop" from the shelves or any other area of the warehouse.
    • Depening upon previous agency selections, the items requested on your Available Food List will be selected for you to load into your vehicle.
    • A list of produce and other perishable items will be available.  If you would like to see any of these itmes they will be brought from the cooler for you to decide whether or not you wish to take.
    • NO ONE is allowed into the cooler or freezer except for warehouse staff and volunteers.
  • Thursday, December 3, 2009
    • Available Food List available for Pre-order for Tuesday. 
    • Orders received first will be filled first.  If items ordered become no longer available because of previous orders, you will not receive items on your order regardless of your scheduled pick up time.
    • You will pre-order all Broome Bounty Orders.  You must provide email or fax for the available inventory list to be sent to you.  You must send your order back to us so that we can "pull" your order.
  • Friday, December 4, 2009
    • Broome Bounty CLOSED for inventory
    • Broome County Council of Churches offices OPEN
    • Pre-order due by 4:30 pm fro Tuesday, December 8.
  • Monday, December 7, 2009
    • You will be given a scheduled pick up time for Tuesday, you will not be served before your scheduled time.
    • You will no longer wait in line.
  • Tuesday, December 8, 2009
    • Available Food List available for Pre-order for Friday.
    • Orderes received first will be filled first.  If items ordered become no longer available because of previous orders, you will not receive items on your order regardless of your scheduled pick up time.
    • You will pre-order all Broome Bounty Orders.  You must provide email or fax for the available inventory list to be sent to you.  You must send your order back to us so that we can "pull" your order.
  • Wednesday, December 9, 2009
    • Pre-order by 4:30 pm for Friday, December 11, 2009
  • Thursday, December 10, 2009
    • You will be given a schedule of pick up time, you will not be served before your scheduled time.
    • You will no longer wait in line.
Every Tuesday - Food list will be available.  Due by 4:30 pm Wednesday - Friday Pickup
Every Thursday - Food list will be available.  Due by 4:30 pm Friday - Tuesday Pickup

Deacon Edward Blaine - Director 607-724-9130 x331   Email -

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Video and Article with Dr Joe

Fort Hood And ACA


By WBNG News

Thursday's deadly shooting in Texas brings back haunting memories to a similar tragedy here.


Action News Reporter Natalie Jenereski tells us how many in Greater Binghamton are empathizing with the families of the victims at Fort Hood.
"I was in disbelief," says Joe Sellepack of the Broome County Council of Churches
As were many, when they heard of the casualties in Fort Hood.
But the tragedy hits home for people in Broome County.
"It was so similar to what happened here with the American Civic Association tragedy that it was just eerie, the similarities and what was going on between the two was amazing to me," says Sellepack.
"I can definitely sympathize with them. I can sympathize with everyone in the military, especially their families now," says David Hoag of Endicott.
Sellepack says, "As it was unfolding, I couldn't help but think of the families that were affected here and the amount of devastation that people were feeling."
In April, 41-year-old Jiverly Wong shot and killed 13 people inside the ACA on Front Street in Binghamton, before turning the gun on himself.
Now, people in our area offer advice to the families in Texas on how to pick up the pieces.
"People are going to have to take a time out, let the wound heal, let it blow over, and then hopefully they can come back together as a family and as a community and move on," says Charles A. Duvall of Maine.
"Deal with your pain. Pray, be with you family, and learn to trust each other again," says Sellepack.
Words of advice from a community still recovering itself.
In Johnson City, Natalie Jenereski, WBNG-TV Action News.

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