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.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Memo from Elizabeth Church Manor

We received a lovely letter, along with a donation, from Elizabeth Church Manor for CHOW.  Here is some of that letter:


DATE:       11/5/09

TO:            Ed

SUBJECT: Elizabeth Church Manor Donation

Through our GROW BROOME Program at Elizabeth Church Manor, residents sold the produce that they grew and want to contribute the monies raised to CHOW. 

This whole experience has been rewarding for us all.  We have seen a marked change in the residents participating in this program, especially in their feeling of worth still being able to give back to the community.

This shows how volunteering your time and contributing to your community can also help your own health and well-being.  A big thank you to the residents!! (And the produce was wonderful.  I was able to purchase some when my grandmother was in rehab there.  The earth boxes were bountiful this summer!)


Press Article for CHOW

November 5, 2009

Students to bake bread for CHOW

Students at Susquehanna Valley's Richard T. Stank Middle School will learn how to bake Nov. 18 when Paula Gray from King Arthur Flour Company will visit the middle school.

The King Arthur Flour Co. is supplying two kinds of flour, recipe books, yeast, bread bags and dough scrapers for each student. At the end of the day, each student will be given enough supplies to make two loaves of bread at home. One loaf will stay at home and the second will return to school Nov. 23 to be donated to the Community Hunger Outreach Warehouse.

“I have already had several conversations with the director of CHOW about this donation and they are excited about it," said Family and Consumer Sciences teacher Charlene Reagan. "We are one of only three schools in New York selected for this program."

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

NewsChannel 34 article about CHOW fundraiser

RTS middle school to welcome King Arthur Flour co. students to bake bread for CHOW

Last Update: 11/03 11:57 am
From SV School District Public Information Coordinator:

RTS Middle School to Welcome King Arthur Flour Co. Students to bake bread for CHOW

Something's cooking at Susquehanna Valley's Richard T. Stank Middle School! Actually, something's baking!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009, Paula Gray from King Arthur Flour Company will visit the middle school to teach students how to bake bread; and the lessons they learn will help to feed local families!

7th and 8th grade students will start their day with back to back assemblies at which Ms. Gray will enlist the aid of a pair of student baking assistants! By the end of the day, students will have all the skills and supplies they need to bake loaves of bread. The King Arthur Flour Co. is supplying two kinds of flour, recipe books, yeast, bread bags and dough scrapers for each student.

At the end of the day November 18, each student will be given enough supplies to make two loaves of bread at home. One loaf is to stay at home and the second loaf is to be returned to school Monday, November 23. The returned loaves will be donated to C.H.O.W. (Community Hunger Outreach Warehouse). "I have already had several conversations with the director of C.H.O.W. about this donation and they are excited about it," said RTS Middle School Family and Consumer Sciences (FACS) teacher Charlene Reagan. "We are one of only three schools in NY selected for this program."

Mrs. Reagan's FACS Club will be very busy during this project. "Wegman's donated bags for us to fill with supplies for each student. FACS Club will fill the bags and distribute them to students as they leave school November 18, and will collect the loaves of bread students bring back," Reagan said. FACS Club members will also be baking additional loaves of bread in the classroom to add to the C.H.O.W. donation.

Here's a link to the King Arthur Flour education website where you can watch some videos of the actual assembly: 

Article about upcoming interview with Joanne on WSKG

A Community Conversation: Caring for the Caregiver

LIVE November 3 at 7pm on WSKG Radio

More and more people are in a position of having to provide care for an aging or chronically ill parent, spouse or child. It isn't a role that is chosen, but one that is taken on because it is needed. This program discusses ways to be able to "do it" without burning out and how to find respite and relief for you, the caregiver. Where do you turn to for advice and guidance? How can these organizations help?

Lisa Kendall has worked with Elders and their care partners for over 25 years, in settings including home health care, adult day programs, hospitals, and nursing homes. Formerly Senior Consultant for Work and Family Services at Cornell University, Lisa is a medical social worker at the Visiting Nurse Service of Ithaca & Tompkins County, runs a Caregiver support group for the Cortland County Area Agency on Aging, and maintains a small private practice. She holds advance certification in clinical gerontology, is a trainer for the Sharing Your Wishes coalition in Tompkins County, and is a Certified Eden at Home trainer. Lisa is a popular speaker on aging and Elder care issues at the local, state, and national level.

Contact info: (607) 351-1313

Joanne Kays has been the Program Director for Faith in Action Volunteers at the Broome County Council of Churches for the past 8 years. She is responsible for recruiting and training volunteer caregivers, who assist frail elderly clients as well as program fund development. Oversees coordination of activities of over 300 volunteers.

Joanne has recently completed training to teach Powerful Tools for Caregivers.She represents Broome County Council of Churches as a member of the Aging Futures Partnership. She is a member of the committee that established Social Connections for Senior Women, a social support group in Broome County. Joanne is a member of the Lourdes Parish Nurse Advisory Board. Joanne was a family caregiver for her mother from 1996 through 1999.

Contact info:(607) 724-9130 ext. 304

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

CHOW video and article at WBNG

Hungry for Donations

By WBNG News

Story Created: Nov 2, 2009 at 8:33 PM EST
Story Updated: Nov 2, 2009 at 11:08 PM EST

With more and more people losing their jobs, the Southern Tier is seeing a growing need for hunger relief.

Multimedia Watch The Video And as Action News Reporter Rachael Hidalgo tells us, the supply of food is

During an economic downturn, many families struggle to put food on the table.

A new study by the Food Bank of the Southern Tier shows that more people in our region are seeking emergency assistance.

And with a 25% increase for demand, many families are seeking help for the first time.

"We're getting a lot of people saying I always used to donate to CHOW, now I have to ask for CHOW's help. And we say, well that's what we're here for. When you get back on your feet you can donate again. But more and more people are accessing our pantry's for the first time," says Ed Blaine, Director of CHOW.

The Community Hunger Outreach Warehouse says they've seen about 20% increase of people looking for groceries at their locations.

To meet that need, they added 2 new food pantries, one in Downtown Binghamton and another in Windsor.

Here at the Catholic Charities Food Pantry they say the food is practically flying off the shelves.

"The food leaves the shelves pretty quickly and it's really hard to keep them filled," says Fran Beazley, volunteer for Catholic Charities.

"It seems to me almost every day of the week we have an increase in the population that is in the position to need more food," says George Mayerhouse, volunteer for Catholic Charities.

Many volunteers are concerned about providing food for the upcoming holidays.

Catholic Charities has already filled all 2,200 orders for food baskets this Thanksgiving.

"This year we saw a 25% increase over last year. The need is very, very large," says Mary Gibson, volunteer for Catholic Charities.

While the study says many Southern Tier food banks are finding it difficult to meet the rising need, Binghamton area food banks hope the community will continue in doing what they can to help those in need this holiday season.

"The people are pretty generous in this area, those who can give food to us, they do," says Blaine.

Both CHOW and the Catholic Charities Food Banks are always accepting canned donations.

You can drop them off at either location.

CHOW is at 3 Otseningo Street in Binghamton, and Catholic Charities is at 100 Main Street in Binghamton.

To see the video:

Monday, November 2, 2009

Beautiful Plain announces humanitarian awards

BINGHAMTON, Press & Sun Bulletin:

The Beautiful Plain Community Development Corporation, affiliated with Beautiful Plain Baptist Church, will hold its first Ball of Distinction from 6 p.m. to midnight Nov. 21 at Traditions at the Glen, 4101 Watson Boulevard, Union.
The organization's focus is to improve the quality of life for residents of Broome County.
The organization will present Beacon of Light Humanitarian awards to people who've given time and talents to better the community.
Local recipients include: Mayor Matthew Ryan; Broome County Executive Barbara Fiala; David Tanenhaus, of the Binghamton Housing Authority; Analusette Shaello-Johnson, of the Broome County Urban League; Rev. Joanne Pace, Hands of Hope Ministry; Rev. Dr. Joseph Sellepack, of the Broome County Council of Churches; Stephanie Eatton-Johnson of Beautiful Plain Baptist Church of Binghamton; Rita Turner of Lincoln Avenue Baptist of Endicott; Rose Simpson of New Heights Ministries of Binghamton; Michelle Spight of Greater Faith & Deliverance Ministries of Binghamton.
Tickets are $35 per person. For journal advertisements and reservations, call Sharon Smalls-Williams at (607) 770-0892 or Alicia Speller at (607) 797-2553.

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