Click here or on the ad above to reach the Schuyler County Partnership for Economic Development website

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Click here or on the ad above to reach a Chamber of Commerce website.

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To go to Jim Guild's Famous Brands website, click on the drawing above or here.

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Click on the ad below for information about the Franklin Street Gallery.

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Southern Finger Lakes Women, a Chapter of New York State Women, Inc. (formerly the Watkins Glen Business and Professional Women-BPW/USA), is
a local chapter of "Women Helping Women."
Its Vision: To be the leading advocate for working women.
Its Mission: Building Powerful Women, Professionally, Personally, Politically through advocacy, education, and information.
SFLW meets the third Monday of the month.
For more information contact Gloria Hutchings, Membership Chair, at 607/594-2489 or gloriaj7@aol.com

The chapter's website is www.sflw.org

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Click on the Ad above to go to the Sidle Insurance website.
Click here to send an e-mail to the Sidle firm.

Convenient Care Center hours expanding

Special to The Odessa File

MONTOUR FALLS, April 19, 2022 -- Schuyler Hospital has announced that it will be increasing hours at its Convenient Care Center starting Monday, May 2, 2022.

On May 2nd, Convenient Care hours will increase to 7:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, to improve access for patients seeking walk-in care. No appointment is needed.

Schuyler Hospital Convenient Care is located within the Montour Falls Primary Care Center at 220 Steuben Street, Montour Falls.

If you have questions, contact Schuyler Hospital Convenient Care at (607) 535-7121 or email info@schuylerhospital.org.

Cayuga Health acquires Ithaca Mall space

Special to The Odessa File

LANSING, March 16, 2022 -- Cayuga Health officials have announced that they have purchased 108,000 square feet of space at The Shops at Ithaca Mall, where they are planning to redevelop, relocate and consolidate existing practices into one location, making access more convenient for patients. Cayuga Health plans to lease some of the space to prospective new vendors.

The property, located at 40 Catherwood Rd. near NY-13, was purchased from an ownership group that includes Mason Asset Management and Namdar Realty Group, two Long Island-based real estate investment companies that oversee leasing and management efforts at the mall. Cayuga Health has acquired, for $8.5 million, the former big box retail parcels where The Bon Ton and Sears once stood.

“We see this capital expansion as a necessary next step in our strategic plan as we continue to reimagine our operations by making health care more accessible to everyone in the communities we serve,” said Martin Stallone, President & CEO of Cayuga Health. “This acquisition allows us to consolidate existing practices into one location for efficiency and improved patient access. We have been operating at The Shops at Ithaca Mall since the onset of the Covid 19 pandemic and it has been proven to be a valuable location within the community and for our health system.”

Cayuga Health has been occupying the retail space since March 2020, when it identified the facility as an ideal location for critical COVID-19 operations. Their partnership started with the opening of a Mass Drive-through Sampling Center which proved to be essential during the height of the pandemic. The partnership expanded with an indoor Vaccination Clinic (previous Sears retail location) when the vaccines became available for distribution.

Staff look forward to welcoming patients to experience the new CT technology and spacious suite. From left: Trisha Perkins RT (R)(CT), Brenda Godwin RT (R)(CT), and Erica Kane RT (R)(M)

Hospital launches Advanced Imaging Technology, lowering radiation dose

Special to The Odessa File

MONTOUR FALL, March 11, 2022 -- Schuyler Hospital recently introduced a new Computed Tomography (CT) suite within the hospital, including the addition of a new state-of-the-art CT unit.

Officials there say Schuyler Hospital has further solidified its commitment to higher diagnostic quality images at a lower dose to the patient with the addition of GE Healthcare’s leading CT imaging technology. The Revolution Maxima delivers high quality images, while delivering optimized dose levels with a quicker scanning speed.

This new CT unit offers the “gold standard” of care in today’s Radiology environment when it comes to the time the patient needs to be in the scanner for a CT scan, officials said, noting that it also offers a lower radiation dose as compared to the old CT unit.

This new CT unit, they said, is compliant with the “Image Wisely” program concept of providing the lowest possible radiation dose to the patient and, at the same time, being able to obtain superior CT images for diagnosis.

"This 'gold standard' of care is important," said Rebecca Gould, President of Schuyler Hospital, "for our pediatric patients as well, and has been a huge focus of the American college of Radiology (ACR) and the Joint Commission (JCAHO) of pediatric imaging.

“By bringing this new technology to our patients," she said, "we can ensure that they will receive an unmatched level of service, whether they are here for an emergency or for more routine diagnostics. We are grateful for the support of the Schuyler Health Foundation on this project.”

In April of 2021, the Schuyler Health Foundation donated $500,000 to Schuyler Hospital to renovate Imaging Services, including an upgrade to CT services.

“The Schuyler Health Foundation’s mission is to invest in the highest quality and equitable health care services at Schuyler Hospital, and this project meets that purpose,” said Erin Thaete, Chair, Schuyler Health Foundation. “We are proud to have funded this project, and to see the new CT Suite open and serving our community.”

“We are pleased to bring this technology to the very deserving residents of this community,” said David Vaccaro, Strategic Imaging Account Manager for GE Healthcare.

The Revolution Maxima is equipped with an exclusive low-dose reconstruction technology that can help physicians significantly reduce dose while maintaining the high image quality and low contrast detectability they need for accurate diagnosis.

The Revolution Maxima system is a 64-slice scanner that allows for fast, high-quality acquisition at optimized dose for patients young and old, large and small and can be used across a wide spectrum of procedures.

Photos in text:

Top: With staff looking on, the ribbon on the new CT imaging machine and suite was cut by Brenda Reynolds, Assistant Director of Imaging at Schuyler Hospital, and Matt Taylor, Director of Facilities.

Bottom: Brenda Reynolds, Assistant Director of Imaging at Schuyler Hospital, shows off the spaciousness of the new CT technology. (Photos provided)

Seneca Legacy is in drydock for inspection

Special to The Odessa File

WATKINS GLEN, Feb. 16, 2022 -- Captain Bill’s Seneca Legacy cruise ship is well above water at the moment: about 12 feet higher than the surface of Seneca Lake, on land at the eastern edge of the Seneca Harbor Marina.

In addition to annual in-water inspections, commercial sailing vessels on federal waters must undergo dry-dock inspections every five years. It’s that time for the Seneca Legacy.

The boat's owner, Mark Simiele -- president of Captain Bill's Seneca Lake Cruises -- is used to the exercise and has learned that one of the keys to success is controlling as many variables as possible, which is easier to do when working with local talent.

“We used to take our boats through the Canal system for the dry-dock inspection,” said Mark. “We had to disassemble the deck to get it under the bridges, and we were never sure when we would be able to bring it back through the Canal to start our season.”

To execute the inspection locally, though, required specialized infrastructure. Mark worked with local community leaders and professionals to build an underwater trolley system so that the boat can be removed from the water using winches and placed in cradles waiting on shore.

The 110-foot, 59-year-old ship was removed from Seneca Lake in November 2021. The all-day event required two captains, two crew members, two divers, and a towing team from T and R Towing with two wreckers. Once ashore, team members went to work building an enclosure to protect the on-shore team from the cold winds of winter.

Inside the enclosure, Bob’s Welding and Fabrication, working with Captain Greg Updyke, First Officer Dan Kane, and welder Cody Lakomy, is replacing bearings, fabricating a new rudder post, and reinforcing a couple of spots on the vessel’s bottom with steel plates.

“The Coast Guard audio-gauged the boat using a one-foot grid, looking for areas of the hull that needed to be strengthened,” said Mark. “The technique is similar to an ultrasound. With the results in hand, the welders knew exactly which sections needed attention.”

While on land, the team will also scrape, sand, and paint the hull with antifouling paint that prevents marine organisms such as barnacles and zebra mussels, weeds, slime, and algae from attaching themselves to the hull.

And, all of this will be completed before the season starts in May!

Photo in text: The Seneca Legacy, in drydock in Watkins Glen.

Racing Center's Sweepstakes car displayed

Special to The Odessa File

WATKINS GLEN, Jan. 27, 2022 -- For the third straight year, the International Motor Racing Research Center (IMRRC) has announced that its Sweepstakes Grand Prize will be a Corvette -- on display for the next few weeks at the Watkins Glen Harbor Hotel.

The car was stationed in the lobby there starting this week, timed to coincide with the hotel's annual Fire & Ice Celebration, a three-day event that began Thursday.

This year’s car is one of distinction: one of only 1,000 IMSA GTLM Championship Editions. This one commemorates Corvette Racing victories throughout the 2020 and 2021 race seasons. Corvette Racing, which fields the Number 3 and 4 C8.R Corvettes in IMSA's GT Le Mans (GTLM) class, won both the driver, manufacturer and team championships in 2020, the first year of the all-new, mid-engine C8.R.

The Championship Edition cars are built on the 3LT and Z51 trim and performance packages and are augmented with graphics that mimic the Accelerate Yellow and Hypersonic Gray of the two C8.R race cars. Additional exterior content includes a high-wing spoiler in Carbon Flash; yellow brake calipers; black Trident design wheels, and more. The interior features a Strike Yellow and Sky Cool Gray cabin that mimics the exterior yellow and gray racing theme, with standard GT2 seats along with yellow seat belts and a C8.R Special Edition numbered plaque.

“We are thrilled to be able to launch this year’s Sweepstakes at the Watkins Glen Harbor Hotel,” said IMRRC Executive Director Mark Steigerwald. “This special version of the iconic C8 Corvette will certainly prove popular with Sweepstakes participants.”

The Corvette will frequently be seen throughout the year at the hotel, as was last year’s car. In fact, last year’s Sweepstakes winner was a Harbor Hotel guest. The car will also frequently be seen at Watkins Glen International during race weekends in 2022, tempting thousands of race fans.

The winning ticket for the car will be drawn on December 22. All proceeds of the sweepstakes benefit the IMRRC, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.

Full Sweepstakes details can be found at winac8vette.com

Photo in text: This year's Sweepstakes Corvette, in the Harbor Hotel lobby.

About the International Motor Racing Research Center (IMRRC)

Located in one of the premier racing towns in America, the IMRRC’s collection spans continents, eras, and race series, embodying the speed, drama and camaraderie of amateur and professional motor racing throughout the world. The Center welcomes serious researchers and casual fans alike to share stories of race drivers, race series, and race cars captured on its shelves and walls and brought to life through exhibitions and special events. The IMRRC is free and open to the public, no appointment necessary, Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. More at racingarchives.org.

Hazlitt 1852's Keeler announces retirement

Special to The Odessa File

HECTOR, Dec. 17, 2021 -- John Keeler, President of Hazlitt 1852 Vineyards, has announced that he will be retiring as of the end of this year.

“John has served the company well and led us through the transition from a small regional winery into a significant East Coast producer,” said Leigh Triner, Co-CEO. “We wish him the best as he moves into a well-deserved retirement.” Co-CEO Doug Hazlitt, Leigh’s brother, added: “I’m sure John will keep busy. There are plenty of fishing holes that need attention!”

Born and raised in Willard, NY, John Keeler has been a life-long resident of upstate New York. He graduated from South Seneca High School in 1975 and received an Associate’s Degree in Accounting from Bryant & Stratton College in 1977. Later, during his time in the workforce, John received his Bachelor's Degree in Accounting with honors from the Rochester Institute of Technology.

John began his career at Robeson Appliances, a manufacturer of small kitchen appliances in Castile, NY. In 1980, he took a position in the finance department at the EPD Division of Goulds Pumps in Seneca Falls, NY. Then in 1986, John became Controller at CCN International, a manufacturer of high-end office furniture, in Geneva, NY. Ten years later, he was hired as Controller at Monarch Machine Tool in Cortland, NY. There he was eventually named Co-CEO and took on an ownership position as well. One of the highlights during his time at Monarch, John successfully managed negotiations of employment contracts with the United Auto Workers Union (UAW).

John joined Hazlitt 1852 Vineyards as company President in February 2009. During his tenure, he was instrumental in the acquisition of Widmer Wine Cellars (now Hazlitt Red Cat Cellars) from Constellation Brands and the founding of East Coast Crush & Co-Pack in Naples, NY. Under John’s purview, Red Cat Cellars has grown from 14 to 53 full-time employees with an additional 10-12 temporary hires at any time. In addition, the facility has seen many upgrades to allow for a multitude of co-packing capabilities.

In retirement, John plans on volunteering at charitable organizations. In addition to pursuing the many outdoor sporting activities he loves, John is also looking forward to traveling and spending more time with his family.

Photo in text: John Keeler (Photo provided)

Wagner's Jankowski honored by Alliance

Special to The Odessa File

PENN YAN, Dec. 17, 2021 -- The Finger Lakes Tourism Alliance (FLTA) presented its 2021 Excellence in Customer Service award to Alex Jankowski, Marketing and Public Relations Manager at Wagner Vineyards and Wagner Valley Brewing Co., during a virtual holiday party on December 14.

Serving as the hub of information, collaboration and education for growth of the area hospitality and tourism industry, the Finger Lakes Tourism Alliance is an association with over 600 tourism-related businesses.

FLTA reached out to partner businesses to receive nominations for individuals and/or teams who exemplified excellence in customer service throughout 2021.

"After careful review," it said in a press release, "Alex was selected based on his desire to create a welcome and fun experience for those that visit. It was noted that he is approachable and always arrives with a smile."

Watkins Glen Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Nigar Hale and staff said "he shares his talents, knowledge, and love of our community with all in the region. He is a true ambassador for the Finger Lakes, speaking passionately and from his soul about the wonders of our region.”

Erin Bailey, his coworker, said “He's been an incredible addition to our team and has been integral to sharing our brand values and mission as well as spreading the word about the Finger Lakes Wine region."

“This holiday event was a great opportunity to connect virtually and catch up, all while celebrating the holiday season with good cheer with a common wish that next year we can meet in person," said FLTA President Cindy Kimble. "We want to highlight the meaning of the season and use this time to recognize excellent customer service from front-line staff who have really made a difference throughout the pandemic.”

Hazlitt Red Cat marks 10 years in Naples

Special to The Odessa File

NAPLES, NY, Dec. 14, 2021 -- Hazlitt Red Cat Cellars, part of the Hazlitt family wine production holdings, is celebrating 10 years in business -- and its benefit to the workforce and economic growth -- in the Naples community.

The expansive facility is now home to multiple businesses. These include East Coast Crush and Co-Pack, Hazlitt’s custom beverage production services company, as well as an on-site retail and tasting room, a brewery, and a recreational hiking trail.

In 2011, at the time of purchase, the facility employed 14 people (full-time equivalents) and was producing wine at just a fraction of its full capacity. Along with significant investments by the Hazlitt family, Hazlitt Red Cat Cellars received an economic development grant from New York State that was administered through the Ontario County Economic Development office. As specified by the grant, the funds were used specifically to increase opportunities for the local workforce.

Currently, the company employs 53 full-time employees with an additional 10-12 at any time as temporary hires.

“One of the requirements of the grant was to reach a total of 26 full-time positions in the first 10 years. We reached that number within our third year!” said Leigh Hazlitt Triner, Co-CEO. “That’s a true success by anyone’s measure. Naples is now home to us. We care about the success of this area. We care about the people.”

“We are very excited to be part of the ongoing growth and success of the community,” said company President Dan DeBell. “We knew that purchasing the facility was a bit of a leap of faith on the part of the Hazlitt family 10 years ago. Their flagship brands, Hazlitt 1852 Vineyards and Red Cat wines, needed a larger production facility to match market demands. But it was still a big gamble financially. It was really great that both Ontario County and New York State were able to lend a hand. Our success is their success.”

“Even more importantly, " he added, "we’ve been able to contribute to the local economy by adding, and keeping, employees in good jobs. Especially throughout the challenges of the last two years.”

As a long-time advocate and leader of organizations that strive to expand job opportunities, Lynn Freid, Executive Director of the Finger Lakes Workforce Investment Board, added this: “This is a great example of private-public partnership opportunity in this region -- the strength of local business with strong ties to local community agencies with sustainable careers and investment in long-term growth for the working families they employ.

“The Finger Lakes region," she added,"is ripe with employment opportunity. Building a strong workforce/economic/community eco-system is the foundation of these successes.”

Chamber Board taps officers, new members

Special to The Odessa File

DUNDEE, Dec. 11, 2021 -- Three officers were appointed to the Board of Directors Executive Committee and three new Board Members were elected to three-year terms at the Annual Membership Meeting of the Watkins Glen Area Chamber of Commerce held December 1 at Veraisons Restaurant at the Inn at Glenora.

Raymond Lincourt (Roadmasters) will serve as the 2022 Board Chair. Kerry Keller (Glenora Wine Cellars) will serve as the first Vice Chair. Wendy Shutter (Arc of Chemung-Schuyler) will serve as the second Vice Chair. Tracy Gates (Cayuga Health Systems) will serve as the Board’s Treasurer.

The following were appointed to the Chamber’s Board of Directors.

From left: Dena Carrigan, Carmella Hoffman
and Dr. William Mullaney

Dena Carrigan from Chemung Canal Trust Company. Dena has volunteered with Watkins Glen Promotions, helped with the Italian American Festival, assisted the Montour Falls Fire Department, and is a founding member of the planning committee for the Arc’s annual 5k Run. She has also served as Chair for the Membership Committees of the Watkins Glen Area Chamber of Commerce and the Watkins-Montour Rotary Club and is the secretary for Spirit of Schuyler.

Carmella Hoffman from Sunset View Creamery. Recognized by Senator Thomas O’Mara as a woman of distinction and a producer of fine artisan cheese, Carmella operates with her family a 365-acre dairy farm in Schuyler County. The fifth generation farm milks approximately 50 cows daily with no hormones or antibiotics and produces hundreds of pounds of cheese weekly. Carmella has served as the Town Clerk, Collector and Court Clerk for the Town of Catharine and is a leader with many local and regional groups.

Dr. William Mullaney, SUNY Corning Community College. Dr. Mullaney assumed SUNY CCC’s presidency in 2019, with the immediate goal of continuing the steadfast commitment to the College’s mission. His belief that community colleges are an integral part of communities everywhere guides his decisions.

Hazlitt event supported Seneca Santa, HSSC

Special to The Odessa File

HECTOR, Dec. 12, 2021 -- Hazlitt 1852 Vineyards rang in the holidays with a “Giving Back” weekend -- a two-day event on Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 11-12, benefitting Seneca Santa and the Humane Society of Schuyler County.

The winery collected cash donations and “Wish List” gifts on both days for the Humane Society. A portion of food and drink sales on Saturday goes to Seneca Santa, with the same benefitting the Humane Society on Sunday.

To provide the perfect setting, the winery and its grounds were transformed into a winter wonderland. The theme for Giving Back weekend was “It’s a North Pole Fashion Show.” Guests were encouraged to dress like their favorite North Pole characters. Those who did were eligible to win prizes.

Other weekend activities included the opportunity for guests to take selfies with Santa and Mrs. Claus on both days. On Saturday, Mike Cavalier performed Acoustic Funk and Rock tunes in the Oasis from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Dancing was encouraged. Sunday was “Doggy Photo Day.” Folks could bring their pets and use their phone to capture a special keepsake memory with jolly old St. Nick.

In the Oasis, Hazlitt’s post and beam party pavilion, there were specials offered all weekend. Along with usual selections of wine, beer, and hard cider, there was plenty of holiday-themed cocktails and seasonal foods to choose from.

To view the Humane Society of Schuyler County’s “Wish List,” go to schuylerhumane.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/2018-11-08-Wish-List.pdf or call directly at (607) 594-2255. For more information on the “Giving Back” weekend, visit Hazlitt1852.com or call the winery directly at 607-546-9463.

Transit adding Chemung-Schuyler service

Special to The Odessa File

SCHUYLER COUNTY, Dec. 2, 2021 -- A new service is being offered by Schuyler County Transit, effective January 2022 -- a route expansion that provides transportation connectivity between Chemung and Schuyler Counties.

Schuyler County Transit (SCT) was created in 2010 to meet the needs of people in Schuyler by providing Public Transportation; a Dial-A-Ride service; and a Transportation Link-Line, which is a free information and assistance service connecting people with transportation options.

As SCT became established, a long-term goal has been to offer an expanded route, to provide connectivity between Chemung and Schuyler Counties. SCT has already accomplished something similar, offering routes which connect to Steuben and Tompkins Counties.

According to Transit officials, the route expansion between Chemung and Schuyler Counties will provide people of all abilities with reliable transportation to increase access to employment, recreation, and health care. For more information, call the Transportation Link Line at 607-535-3555 Monday-Friday from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Information and details can also be found at www.schuylercountytransit.org.

Schuyler County Transit is operated by The Arc of Chemung-Schuyler's Business Services Division, which provides businesses, government agencies, and local nonprofits with business solutions, including secure document destruction, commercial cleaning, food copackaging, auto detailing, and more.

Hazlitt announces leadership changes

Special to The Odessa File

HECTOR, Nov. 21, 2021 -- Daniel DeBell and Marc Hurlbut have been named to leadership positions at Hazlitt 1852 Vineyards. DeBell has been promoted to President and COO and Hurlbut to Chief Financial Officer.

John Keeler, who served as President starting in 2009, announced his retirement earlier this year. He will continue to serve during the transition.

“We are very excited to make this announcement.” Leigh Triner, Co-CEO said. “John has served the company well and led us through the transition from a small regional winery into a significant East Coast producer. We wish him the best as he moves into a well-deserved retirement.”

Doug Hazlitt, Leigh’s brother and Co-CEO, added, “With Dan and Marc leading the way, we are in very capable hands to move this company forward to even greater success. I’m sure John will keep busy in retirement. There are plenty of fishing holes that need attention!”

Before joining the Hazlitt team in 2011, Daniel DeBell worked for 19 years at the Goodrich Corporation, IRS Systems in Ithaca. Initially hired as General Manager, DeBell was promoted to Executive Vice President in 2015.

Marc Hurlbut was hired as Controller in February 2021 after 30 years of finance experience in the manufacturing industry. He has overseen financial operations at Hazlitt’s two production facilities and retail locations in Hector and Naples, NY, as well as the company’s custom wine production business, East Coast Crush & Co-Pack. Before working at Hazlitt, Hurlbut was the Executive V.P. Finance Administration at SYNTEC Optics, Wordingham Technologies in Rochester, NY.

John Keeler joined Hazlitt 1852 Vineyards as company President in February 2009. During his tenure, Hazlitt acquired Widmer Wine Cellars from Constellation Brands and founded East Coast Crush & Co-Pack. Before Hazlitt, he was Co-CEO at Monarch Machine Tool in Cortland, NY.

“John Keeler will be missed.” Daniel DeBell emphasized. “He’s been a great mentor and team leader. He laid the groundwork over the past 12 years that will allow Marc and I to really step up, take the reins, and drive the business forward.”

DeBell continued, “The industry is changing. It is evolving very rapidly. There are abundant challenges at every turn right now. From COVID and supply chain issues to staffing shortages. The Hazlitt family has been proactive and visionary. They have assembled a team, from top to bottom, that is configured for success.”

Photos in text:

From top: John Keeler, Daniel DeBell and Marc Hurlbut. (Photos provided)

Two Goats Brewing donates $8,500 to Spirit of Schuyler scholarship program

Special to The Odessa File

SCHUYLER COUNTY, Nov. 7, 2021 -- In a ceremony at Two Goats Brewing, brewery owners Jon and Jessica Rodgers presented Spirit of Schuyler with an $8,500 donation toward the non-profit’s scholarship program.

As with many non-profit organizations throughout the pandemic, Spirit of Schuyler experienced challenges with fundraising as a result of the cancellation of all of its annual fundraising events throughout 2020 and into 2021.

A large portion of the funds donated by Two Goats Brewing were sourced from a unique feature the brewery is known for. Two Goats’ ceiling is typically covered in dollar bills and, every so often, Jon and Jessica take the bills down, host a fundraiser, and donate it all to a local charity. The tradition of covering the ceiling in dollars began in 2010 when the brewery first opened. A local customer shared a trick where he stuck a tack in a dollar bill, put a fifty-cent piece behind it, folded it up like a dart and threw it up and into the ceiling. The trick stuck and a philanthropic tradition was born.

The “ceiling money” donated to Spirit of Schuyler was taken down in early 2020 and totaled $5,000. An additional $3,500 was raised during the brewery’s Celebration of Life event in honor and memory of its former brewer, Corey Drake, who passed away unexpectedly in 2021 at the age of 32.

“Donating these funds and partnering with Spirit of Schuyler’s scholarship program is such a great fit. Corey, a spirit full of generosity, would be happy to know this money was going to local people in need,” said Jessica.

Spirit of Schuyler is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization serving Schuyler County residents in need. Its stated mission is to improve the quality of life in Schuyler County for those who find themselves in need of emergency financial assistance. Ranging from emergency car repair to utility shut-offs, security deposits, and a variety of other circumstances, SOS assists residents who fight for their financial independence, support themselves and their families, and are self-sustaining until unforeseen situations occur.

In addition to its general fund, Spirit of Schuyler has been focused on growing its scholarship program, an entirely separate fund, to provide scholarship opportunities for individuals looking to further their education or career. The scholarship is open to any Schuyler County resident with established plans to take the next step in his or her education, development, or career, including vocational studies and certifications. In keeping with the spirit of the founders' wishes, preference is given to those pursuing advancement in the field of the Arts.

Beth Howard, one of Spirit of Schuyler’s vice presidents, expressed her gratitude. “We are blessed to live in a community with neighbors who want to take care of one another," she said. "We’re so thankful for our community partners, like Jon and Jessica Rodgers, who want to make a difference. It is an honor for Spirit of Schuyler to have the opportunity to carry on Corey’s memory.”

Spirit of Schuyler officials say SOS has plans to continue partnering with Two Goats Brewing, the Beerocracy, and Lucky Hare Brewing for future scholarship fundraisers in Corey’s honor.

Photo in text: From left, Tony Vickio, Spirit of Schuyler president; Harriett Vickio, Spirit of Schuyler vice president; Jon Rodgers, Two Goats Brewing owner; Jessica Rodgers, Two Goats Brewing owner; Gary Whyman, Spirit of Schuyler board treasurer, and Dena Carrigan, Spirit of Schuyler board secretary. (Photo provided)

Hale named Chamber's executive director

Special to The Odessa File

WATKINS GLEN, Oct. 15, 2021 -- The Watkins Glen Area Chamber of Commerce and the Schuyler County Tourism Promotion Agency Board of Directors have appointed Nigar Hale as the Chamber's next Executive Director, effective November 1. Hale will succeed Michael Hardy, who is resigning at year's end.

“Nigar is a positive and energetic leader with strong credentials,” said Hardy. “I am thrilled to pass the baton to Nigar and to watch and support her as she makes strategic contributions to the positive momentum we’re currently experiencing. Her expertise and collaborative spirit will help to further solidify the Chamber’s commitment to advancing business and tourism and supporting our members.”

Hale's career experience includes seven years as Vice President of Marketing and Membership for the Chamber of Southern Saratoga County, NY, where -- the Watkins Chamber said in a press release -- "she was able to nurture her passion for creating collaborations to promote prosperity in the local economy. Her collaborations in the capital region include serving as President of a local community economic development organization that involved town governments, school districts, agriculture, and business leaders to create a strategic vision that would impact future development in southern Saratoga County." Hale’s experience also spans acquisitions, marketing, and sales management in the publishing realm for Wiley, Delmar Learning, and Thomson Publishers and included managing hospitality, culinary, and travel and tourism content portfolios.

“As the incoming Executive Director, I am humbled to bring my commitment, work ethic and my portfolio experience to lead the Watkin Glen Area Chamber of Commerce,” said Hale.

Hale moved from the capital region to the Finger Lakes in 2019 as founder and president of Blue Pepper Strategies, Inc., a marketing solutions provider for small business. At its core, the press release added, "Blue Pepper believes in the importance of driving the excellence of a brand experience throughout the customer journey, from discovery to fulfillment." She currently serves as Chair for the Board of Wharton Studio Museum where she helps to raise awareness of its mission and to celebrate Ithaca’s place in early cinema history. She is also the current President of the Finger Lakes chapter of PRSA (Public Relations Society of America).

Hale earned her Executive MBA from the University at Albany, and Institute of Organizational Management Certification by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce for non-profit management. Her undergraduate degree was in American History and Sociology from the University at Albany. Hale resides with her husband in Ithaca, located between her two adult children with careers in the Capital Region and Buffalo. She says she is inspired by the pursuit of lifelong learning and is a voracious reader.

Photo in text: Nigar Hale (Photo provided)

IMRRC names new executive director

Special to The Odessa File

WATKINS GLEN, Oct. 15, 2021 -- The International Motor Racing Research Center (IMRRC) announced Friday that it has appointed Mark Steigerwald to be the IMRRC’s next Executive Director, replacing Dan DeRusha, who stepped down in June 2021.

John Saunders, Chair of the Governing Council, said, “We are very pleased to announce Mark’s hiring and return to the IMRRC to lead the Center as it continues its work collecting, preserving, and sharing the history of racing. Mark is uniquely positioned for this role, having started his career at the IMRRC many years ago before moving on to advance his leadership experience and fundraising credentials.”

Steigerwald is the Executive Director of the California Automobile Museum in Sacramento, CA, where he leads all aspects of the 72,000 sq. ft. facility and its mission presenting the history of the automobile with a collection of over 150 classic cars, race cars, muscle cars and early automobiles. He is also a self-described “gear head and racing fanatic,” having been involved in helping establish the IMRRC’s archives when he first worked at the IMRRC in 2000. He holds a Masters degree in Library Science from Syracuse University.

Said Steigerwald, “It is a terrific honor to be selected to return to the IMRRC and lead this important organization into its next chapter. My lifelong interest in racing, passion for the sport and love of the IMRRC’s mission have all come together in this opportunity. I look forward to working with the Governing Council and staff to advance the IMRRC’s programs and impact.”

Steigerwald was selected following a national search guided by senior search consultant Daniel Keegan of Museum Search & Reference, a firm in Manchester, NH and Boston, MA.

About the International Motor Racing Research Center (IMRRC):

Located in one of the premier racing towns in America, the IMRRC’s collection spans continents, eras, and race series, embodying the speed, drama and camaraderie of amateur and professional motor racing throughout the world. The Center welcomes serious researchers and casual fans alike to share stories of race drivers, race series, and race cars captured on its shelves and walls and brought to life through exhibitions and special events. The IMRRC is free and open to the public, no appointment necessary, Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. More at racingarchives.org.

Photo in text: Mark Steigerwald (Photo provided)

Cayuga Health Giving Day proves a success

Special to The Odessa File

ITHACA, Oct. 5, 2021 -- Cayuga Health's 2nd Annual 24-Hour Giving Day Fundraising Campaign on September 14 raised $177,440, it has been announced.

“We are simply amazed at how generous our communities have been throughout the pandemic and by the tireless support of our providers in support of their communities and one another,” said Dr. Martin Stallone, President & CEO of Cayuga Health.

“On behalf of the entire Cayuga Health System and from the bottom of my heart, I would like to once again extend my deepest gratitude to those who have provided so much during this pandemic, including their financial support, during our Giving Day.”

“Last year was our first experience with an exclusively online fundraising campaign, and we were thrilled with the outcome,” said Steve Savage, Executive Director, Cayuga Medical Center Foundation. “This year we are incredibly gracious for the continued support. The money we have raised will benefit our entire health care system and allows us to continue to provide the best care for our communities, right here.”

The funds raised on #CayugaGivingDay will benefit the Cayuga Medical Center Foundation, Schuyler Hospital Foundation and Seneca View Skilled Nursing Facility. Like last year on Cayuga Giving Day there were generous matching gifts, multiple giving challenges, and videos and live streaming.

More can be found at Cayugagivingday.org. Cayuga Health partnered with Ithaca-based GiveGab during the 24-Hour Campaign.

Cayuga Health CEO weighs in on mandate

Special to The Odessa File

ITHACA, Sept. 27, 2021 -- Dr. Martin Stallone, President & CEO of Cayuga Health, issued the following statement Monday regarding the state mandate on vaccinations for healthcare workers.

“Last month, New York State announced that all healthcare workers in the state will need to be vaccinated against COVID-19 by today, September 27th. The announcement applies to all medical staff in New York State including Cayuga Health employees across our entire system and network of providers. The vaccine requirement from New York State will not seriously impact our health system operations with the vast majority of our employees vaccinated for COVID-19.

"I respect that the decision to get vaccinated is personal, but as a health system I want to recognize that we do recommend vaccination as the first line of defense against COVID-19 for most individuals. Like all other health care facilities across the state, Cayuga Health is following this mandate, and we knew when this was announced that we might lose several valued and loyal employees.

"It is not easy to see employees leave our organization due to this mandate. We hope that those who have chosen to remain unvaccinated will rejoin our organization when this pandemic is over or if they change their mind. We value every person and their individual decisions regarding vaccination.”

Chamber's Business Expo set for Oct. 6

WATKINS GLEN, Sept. 24, 2021 -- Vendors are being invited by the Watkins Glen Area Chamber of Commerce to showcase and sell their products at the 15th Annual Business Expo scheduled for Wednesday, Oct. 6, at the Watkins Glen Community Center.

The event is sponsored by Cameron Manufacturing & Design. Vendors are invited to register online: https://tinyurl.com/WGC-BusinessExpo21. The event begins with an hour open to the public from 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

In addition to showcasing and selling their products, vendors can recruit for fall and winter workforce needs, and distribute promotional literature. Each vendor will receive a table and two chairs. Access to electric and the internet must be requested on the application.

Tabling at the Business Expo is included in Watkins Glen Area Chamber of Commerce members' annual dues. Non-members are invited to participate at $150 per table. At 5:00 p.m., the event will transition into the Chamber's monthly mixer, with a cash bar, 50/50 drawing and a raffle for items from each participating vendor. (No ATM on site.)

Refreshments will be available at 5:00 p.m.

Members and non-members are invited to stay for the mixer to network with Chamber members.

One of the displays along the Festival of Lights wooded path. A sign nearby explains the scene: "Kyle and Sarah love helping out in the garden and being outdoors."

Launch Party marks opening of Finger Lakes Festival of Lights, located behind Grist Iron

HECTOR, Sept. 15, 2021 -- A grand opening Launch Party was held Wednesday evening off Route 414, behind Grist Iron Brewing Company, for the new Finger Lakes Festival of Lights, subtitled “Grandpa’s Attic.”

Remarks by various dignitaries preceded a lighting of the show, which stretches along a wide path through woods for three-quarters of a mile, the exit within sight of the starting point.

The site is located on Grist Iron property, up the hill behind that business. The show has concessions near its entrance, including beer and wine for adult guests. Lights go on at sundown to maximize the experience.

Launch Party speakers included Schuyler County Partnership for Economic Development (SCOPED) Executive Director Judy McKinney Cherry, Schuyler County Legislature Chair Carl Blowers, Town of Hector Supervisor Alvin White, Watkins Glen Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Michael Hardy, Finger Lakes Wine Country President Laury Ward, and festival Executive Producer Robert Montgomery. Guests were from local businesses across the region.

Refreshments were provided, including egg rolls, meats, fruits and vegetables.

Funding for the show -- which officially opened Sept. 10 and will run through November 2021 with the possibility of extension -- was provided by private investors, I Love NY, the Watkins Glen Area Chamber of Commerce, and SCOPED. Organizers say that if the public response is as great as they anticipate, then the festival will be an annual event with the theme changing each year. They have said that they expect more than 100,000 visitors.

The Festival of Lights was brought to the area and organized by a newly established partnership, American Lantern Festivals Inc., which includes local winery Castel Grisch --which provided residents and visitors with its own light show production in winter 2020.

This year's festival is a new, professionally designed and engineered, illuminated lantern event that brings together concepts of fantasy and ancient artisanship in a larger-than-life, visually stimulating installation made up of over a thousand silk, porcelain and steel light sculptures.

The basic infrastructure, including all ground work, parking and electrical service, was completed by Grist Iron Brewing. All of the lanterns were manufactured in China and shipped to Hector. Local labor was used for installation.

The region was selected by show producers because of its natural beauty, which lends the show a majestic setting as guests wander along the three-quarter-mile-long, gravel path illuminated by thousands of LED lights. The light sculptures tell a story about children visiting their grandparents in Seneca Lake who use their imaginations to recreate scenes of adventure, dinosaurs, tropical animals and aquatic creatures as Grandpa tells tales from his past.

The festival’s Executive Producer, Robert Montgomery, says he is thrilled to finally have the show up and running in the Watkins Glen area. “Our Light Festivals have delighted guests across four continents and entertained millions of visitors of all ages and from all walks of life," Montgomery said. "We have been working hard to bring our show to the Finger Lakes Region. We are excited to offer a story that is meaningful to the area with culturally specific references that local people will recognize and appreciate.”

The festival officially opened on September 10th, but ran Preview Days starting September 4th.

Castel Grisch Winery owner Daniel Lai, part of the festival partnership, said he is particularly excited about the impact the festival will have within the community.

“Our new partnership of American Lantern Festivals has delivered a magical experience with a story that has roots in our community,” said Lai. “Building off of our successful drive-through festival at Castel Grisch in 2020, we’re excited about this all-new show, that will be even more spectacular and engaging.”

Photos in text:

Top: The gate at the entrance to the Festival of Lights path. An organizer pointed out that the gate suggests the shape of an opened book -- an entry to the story told along the way.

Bottom: Bright "plants" are situated along the path, with a display visible in the distance.



Among the many displays of the Festival is this submarine, with an octopus affixed.

TAP funding application process now open

Special to The Odessa File

WATKINS GLEN, Sept. 9, 2021 -- The application period for 2022 Tourism Assistance Program (TAP) funding is now open.

The Watkins Glen Area Chamber of Commerce will be accepting applications through October 8, 2021, for projects that support and promote tourism in Schuyler County, New York. The source of dollars from which projects will be funded is the County’s share of taxes collected on overnight stays within the County (lodging receipts).

Interested individuals are invited to review detailed information and download the application from the Chamber’s website (https://www.explorewatkinsglen.com/chamber-members/resources/tourism-assistance-program-funding/). Hard copies of the application may also be picked up at the Chamber office, located at 214 N. Franklin Street, Watkins Glen. Completed forms can be submitted in person at the Chamber office or emailed to michael@watkinsglenchamber.com. All submissions must be received on or before October 8, 2021.

As Schuyler County’s designated Tourism Promotion Agency, the Chamber creates an annual tourism budget and allocates dollars to tourism programs and efforts throughout the county. Applicants must complete an application (including past recipients) and submit to the Chamber by the deadline.

Submissions will be reviewed by the TAP Committee, which is comprised of the chairperson of the Chamber Board of Directors, two members of the Chamber Board of Directors, the Schuyler County Administrator, the chairperson of the Schuyler County legislature, two members of the Schuyler County legislature, the Executive Director of the Chamber, and the Tourism/Marketing Manager of the Chamber (or designee). Applicants may be asked to make a presentation of no longer than 10 minutes to the committee. In this case, they will be advised as to the time and date. Final funding decisions will be made by the TAP Committee.

“We encourage our partners throughout the county to be creative with their proposals and submit plans that will address our community’s most pressing needs when it comes to expanding tourism,” said Michael J. Hardy, Executive Director of the Watkins Glen Area Chamber of Commerce. “As we continue to adjust to an ever-changing and evolving landscape, we know that it will take every one of us pulling together to remain strong and competitive. We believe TAP funding will play a significant role in the County’s resurgence, and we look forward to seeing what our partners have in mind.”

Squires Drum and Bugle Corps featured in Schuyler Historical Society museum exhibit

Special to The Odessa File

MONTOUR FALLS, Sept. 4, 2021 -- The history of the Squires Drum and Bugle Corps, which earned national acclaim during its 17 years, is the focus of a new exhibit at the Schuyler County Historical Society’s Brick Tavern Museum.

“Echoes in the Valley: History of the Squires” comprises both the museum exhibit and online components. The museum exhibit will be in place through mid-March 2022. A photograph slideshow and interviews with Squires and Legion Cadets alumni can be seen on the Historical Society’s You Tube channel “Schuyler History.”

The Squires was formed in Watkins Glen in 1964, continuing a decades-long tradition in the county of marching units that included the Legion Cadets and the Seneca Chiefs. The teenage musicians and color guards brought home awards from across the state and nation, for a time consistently scoring in the top 10 of corps in the United States. The Squires disbanded in 1982, mostly a victim of its own success, according to Squires members and their adult leaders.

The project name is borrowed from the title of the book “Echoes in the Valley, Watkins Glen’s Squires, Pages, Legion Cadets and the Watkins Montour Seneca Chiefs, a Half Century of Drum and Bugle Corps Activity in Schuyler County, New York” by Jud Spena. The book is available for purchase at the Brick Tavern Museum.

The Squires history project is supported by a Building Capacity, Creating Sustainability, Growing Accessibility grant administered by the Museum Association of New York from funding in the 2020 Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act managed by the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

The Schuyler County Historical Society celebrates and honors the history of the county at the Brick Tavern Museum, Wickham Rural Life Center and Lee School. Hours at the Brick Tavern Museum and Wickham Rural Life Center are Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Thursday 2-8 p.m.; and Saturday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. through the end of October. Admission is free. The Historical Society is supported in part by a TAP grant administered by the Watkins Glen Area Chamber of Commerce.

Photos in text: Members of The Squires Drum and Bugle Corps, based in the Watkins Glen, perform in 1978. The history of the championship organization is presented in a special exhibit at the Schuyler County Historical Society’s Brick Tavern Museum in Montour Falls. (Photos provided)

Cayuga Health issues new parameters due to increase of COVID-19 community cases

Pre-procedural mandatory testing required for surgery, endoscopy, and radiologic procedures, including patients fully vaccinated; hospital visitations limited

Special to The Odessa File

ITHACA, Aug. 19, 2021 -- In response to an increase of COVID-19 cases, increased COVID-19 related hospitalizations, and recent exposures in the region, Cayuga Health has issued new protocols to assist in providing a safe environment for both patients and staff.

Beginning Aug. 23, Cayuga Health will now require mandatory COVID-19 testing for all patients, including those fully vaccinated, prior to any procedures such as all surgery, endoscopy, and invasive radiological procedures.

Cayuga Health also announced Thursday that beginning that day, they are changing its visitation policy at Cayuga Medical Center to two visitors as well as a support person per day.Visiting hours have also changed at Cayuga Medical Center and will now be from 3 p.m.-7 p.m. Monday-Friday, and 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Following COVID 19 guidelines:

  • Everyone entering the hospital or off-site location will be temperature checked (must be below 100 degrees) and screened for symptoms (cough, shortness of breath, fever, etc.) or potential exposure to someone with COVID-19. Failing, or not participating in the screening requirement, will preclude the visitor/support person from entry.
  • Patients undergoing same day procedures may be accompanied to the facility by a support person and that support person may remain with the patient through the initial intake process; and may rejoin the patient during the discharge process.
  • All visitors will be required to wear a mask for the entirety of their visit. Visitors who fail to wear a hospital issued mask and other PPE will not be allowed in the facility.

Testing for pre-scheduled non-emergency procedures needs to be done within five business days of a scheduled procedure or with a rapid test for emergency care. The testing will apply to all Cayuga Health locations in Cortland, Tompkins and Schuyler Counties offering the procedures listed above.

The Cayuga Health Sampling Center remains open at The Shops at Ithaca Mall at 40 Catherwood Road and is staffed by experienced Cayuga Health employees. Regular hours for pre-scheduled drive-through testing will remain the same: 8:30 a.m.-4:00 p.m. Monday-Friday. Patients getting tested in preparation for a surgery or procedure are encouraged to check that box online, and/or inform the individual on site that they are being tested as a precursor.

Any area residents seeking a test can go to www.cayugahealth.org to review the criteria and schedule an appointment. A call center has been set up for patients who may not have access to the internet, need assistance registering, or have questions. The call center number is 607-319-5708.

Need transportation to the testing site? Contact 2-1-1 (or 877-211-8677) for a list of options. Available 8:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m. weekdays.

For additional information about cases or specific recent exposures, visit: www.tompkinscountyny.gov/health.

From left: Richard Decker, Loyal Knight; Thomas Phillips, Treasurer; Charles Franzese, Secretary, and Charles Fitch, Exalted Ruler of the Elks Lodge #1546 present a donation to Patrick Ryan, Seneca View Administrator; Erin Thaete, Schuyler Health Foundation Chair; Brenda Warren-Fitch, Schuyler Health Foundation Past Chair; Tiffany Bloss, Director of Schuyler Health Foundation; and Steve Savage, Executive Director, Cayuga Medical Center Foundation. (Photo provided)

Elks donate $4,000 for Health Foundation

MONTOUR FALLS, Aug. 3, 2021 -- Schuyler Hospital and Cayuga Health (CH) officials received a donation Tuesday of $4,000 for the Schuyler Health Foundation from the Watkins Glen Elks Lodge.

The donation will be used to purchase a resident lift for Seneca View Skilled Nursing Facility.

“The Watkins Glen Elks Lodge has stepped forward for the second time in a year to make a generous donation, and we are so grateful for their ongoing support,” said Rebecca Gould, President & CFO of Schuyler Hospital. “The lift will ensure that residents are comfortable and safe as nursing staff transition them from one space to another during the provision of care.”

The Watkins Glen Elks Lodge #1546 grant passed through from the Grand Lodge Elks National Foundation.

“We are so appreciative of our growing relationship with the Watkins Glen Elks Club. Their continued generosity supports our mission of investing in the highest quality and equitable health care services at Schuyler Hospital and Seneca View,” said Erin Thaete, Schuyler Health Foundation Chair. “Being able to purchase this lift for Seneca View meets a need that will enhance care for our residents.”

Hazlitt returns for 15th year as presenting sponsor of WGI 'Bog' Hospitality Area

WATKINS GLEN, July 20, 2021 – Watkins Glen International has announced that Hazlitt 1852 Vineyards has renewed as a presenting sponsor on “The Bog Sponsored By Red Cat” hospitality area for the upcoming Go Bowling at The Glen NASCAR race weekend.

“The Bog Sponsored By Red Cat is one of the most entertaining areas at the track and we’ve enjoyed Hazlitt’s long-term partnership on this exceptional hospitality area,” said WGI President Michael Printup. “Fans are close to the excitement of the final turn of the course and are treated to great entertainment along with Hazlitt wine.”

Founded in 1985, Hazlitt 1852 Vineyards is part of a 160-year family farming legacy on the eastern shore of Seneca Lake. Best known for their flagship wine brand Red Cat, Hazlitt has been a partner of WGI for a decade and a half.

“The Hazlitt family and staff is proud to enter its 15th year as a partner sponsor of Watkins Glen International,” said Hazlitt 1852 Vineyards Owner/Co-CEO Doug Hazlitt. “It’s a privilege to support world class road racing and the storied history of automotive racing in the Finger Lakes region. Our support of this track is about a contribution to our community and the generations of families who live here and work here and call this place home.”

Tickets are still available for The Bog Sponsored By Red Cat, which will have multiple NASCAR Cup Series driver appearances during the Go Bowling at The Glen race weekend. Previous Cup Series champions Martin Truex Jr. (2017) and Kurt Busch (2004), as well as Stewart-Haas Racing driver Aric Almirol, are currently scheduled to make appearances at The Bog Sponsored By Red Cat. (All driver appearances are subject to change without notice.)

Watkins Glen will host its NASCAR Go Bowling at The Glen weekend Aug. 6-8. The Clean Harbors 100 at The Glen ARCA Menards Series race will be on Friday, Aug. 6 at 6 p.m. The United Rentals 167 at The Glen NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race will be on Saturday, Aug. 7 at 12:30 p.m. and the NASCAR Xfinity Series race is scheduled for 4 p.m. On Sunday, Aug. 8, the NASCAR Cup Series Go Bowling at The Glen takes the green flag at 3 p.m.

Glen Ale is back after an 80-year hiatus

Finger Lakes Distilling and Lucky Hare Brewing join forces to revive local brand

Special to The Odessa File

SCHUYLER COUNTY, July 13, 2021 -- Two local leaders in the craft beverage movement have launched a new project to resurrect the Glen Ale beer brand that was brewed in Watkins Glen in the late 1930s.

Brian McKenzie, founder and owner of Finger Lakes Distilling, was intrigued by the brand and always hoped to bring the product back into the marketplace. “I came across these labels 15 years ago when I was researching our distillery and always had it in the back of my mind that it would be a fun project to pursue. The vintage feel of the label and regional branding made it very appealing,” said McKenzie. “We’ve been so busy making whiskey and other spirits that we had to put it on the back burner, but the pandemic allowed for some time to look at new initiatives like Glen Ale.”

McKenzie approached the owners of Lucky Hare Brewing, Ian Conboy and Richard Thiel, a brewery also on Seneca Lake, to discuss the concept. “They jumped on board right away and started brainstorming recipe concepts immediately,” said McKenzie. Lucky Hare Brewing and Finger Lakes Distilling have a history of collaborating on projects, sharing whiskey and beer barrels to finish their respective products.

“We are thrilled to be able to brew this classic style of beer at our brewery,” said Conboy. “The fact that we were able to source all the ingredients locally, which they would have done originally, truly makes Glen Ale a special beer.”

The beer is made under Lucky Hare’s Farm Brewery License which requires that the ingredients come from NYS farms. Glen Ale is a simple recipe of malted corn and 2-row barley from Murmuration Malts in Bloomfield, NY. Glen Ale is super drinkable and refreshing with a touch of sweetness from the malted corn. It finishes light and crisp with an abv (alcohol by volume) of only 4.3%.

“The diversity and quality of beer made in the Finger Lakes is something to be proud of right now,” said McKenzie. “Glen Ale is a departure from the super-hoppy IPAs and high gravity stouts available in local taprooms, however. We wanted to make a high quality, locally-sourced craft beer that goes down easy and appeals to a wide range of customers. A can of Glen Ale is something that you can’t wait to crack open after mowing the lawn or sitting on the deck after working a long day.”

Glen Ale is available on tap and sold in cans at both Finger Lakes Distilling’s tasting room and Lucky Hare’s taprooms. It will also be distributed throughout the area in stores, bars and restaurants.

More information about Glen Ale will soon be available at www.glenale.com.

CCE 'Composting at Home' workshops set

Special to The Odessa File

SCHUYLER COUNTY, July 7, 2021 -- Uncover the benefits of composting with CCE Schuyler’s upcoming “Composting at Home” series. CCE Schuyler educators and Finger Lakes Compost are teaming up to deliver a series of workshops on how you can compost in your own backyard. Discover the power to create soil from waste, reduce your carbon footprint and make your community more sustainable.

Beginner workshops will be held on Saturday, July 10, or Saturday, August 14, from 10 a.m. to 12 noon. An intermediate workshop on how to maintain and improve a home composting setup will be held on Saturday, September 11, from 10 a.m. to 12 noon. All workshops cost $5 and will be held in the CCE Garden at 323 Owego Street, Montour Falls.

According to CCE Composting Educator and workshop co-presenter, Marissa Nolan, “Food scraps make up most of a household’s garbage. Composting these saves you money and helps the environment as well. It’s a win-win situation.”

Participants are encouraged to register as space is limited. Register online today by visiting: https://tinyurl.com/CCESchuylerCompost or contact Marissa Nolan by emailing: mn623@cornell.edu or calling: (607)535-7161 x3226.

For more details regarding this workshop and other CCE Schuyler events, visit: http://cceschuyler.org/events.

Chamber of Commerce plans 3 sports events for summer; you can sign up now

Special to The Odessa File

WATKINS GLEN, July 1, 2021 -- The Watkins Glen Area Chamber of Commerce is registering players for three events this summer. Registration is open to members and non-members. Details for all events, including event agendas and online registration forms, can be found at www.explorewatkinsglen.com/chamber-members/events/.

Alternatives Federal Credit Union Disc Golf Tournament: August 19, 3:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at Castel Grisch; $70 per two-person team.

Disc golf is one of the nation’s fastest growing sports, with more than 5,000 courses across the country. Teams in the Chamber’s first-ever Alternatives Federal Credit Union Disc Golf Tournament will face off at the Wild Vines Disc Golf Course, located at Castel Grisch. Players will receive a trio of discs (a driver, mid-range, and putter) and will complete part or all the 18-basket course based on player skill level. Prizes will be given for a variety of accomplishments, including lowest score. Participants will enjoy refreshments and a catered banquet to top off the evening. Sign up today at https://tinyurl.com/WGC-DiscGolf21.

Corning Credit Union Cornhole Tournament: September 2, 2021, 3:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at Toast Winery/Pompous Ass Wines; $70 per two-person team.

The Corning Credit Union Cornhole Tournament will be a double elimination event. FLX Wienery will cater the event and the Great Escape Ice Cream Parlor will be on-site with frozen treats for all participants. Prizes will be awarded for various accomplishments, including lowest score. Cornhole, with roots tracing back to the 15th Century Germany, is now considered a professional sport with its own league called the American Cornhole League. The League was established in 2015, and the tournament is often covered by ESPN.

“We are pleased to present the Chamber’s inaugural Cornhole Tournament,” said Michael Hardy, Executive Director of the Watkins Glen Area Chamber of Commerce. “Cornhole is a test of skill, strategy, and aim and is enjoyed by youth and adults. I’ve heard it described as Schrodinger’s Game, which captures the very real fact that players find Cornhole to be both simple and deceptively difficult at once. This Corning Credit Union sponsored event along with our first-time Alternatives FCU Disc Golf Tournament are terrific networking events for people who may feel a bit pressured to participate in a traditional golf experience. I know many members and their guests/clients and/or customers will enjoy these new options for business dealings and relationship-building.”

Chemung Canal Trust Company Golf Tournament: September 17, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the Watkins Glen Golf Course.

The Watkins Glen Area Chamber of Commerce will host its 21st Annual Donald Brubaker Memorial Golf Tournament with a shotgun start at 10:10 a.m. Four-person team fees include registration fees, greens fees, hamburgers and hot dogs all day, dinner, and t-shirt listing. For additional fees, teams will receive four mulligans, one team skin, 40 raffle tickets, and 40 50/50 tickets. The day will conclude with a buffet-style dinner.

“Golf tournaments capture the thrill of competition and ramp up the significance of each and every shot in ways that a quick round after work just cannot do,” said Hardy. “The pressure to perform and to mirror the techniques and form of the pros is real, but doesn’t seem to dissuade people from stepping up to that first tee. Unlike many other sports, golf is unrushed and personal. The game allows for casual conversation and networking, with time between strokes often used to get to know your partners. An added plus: it's easier on the body than many sports. You know what they say: ‘A Bad day of golf can be better than (and maybe even more productive) than a good day at work!’”

Nearly 30 million people play golf, and traditionally, more than 75 percent of those players are male. According to AmericanGolf.com, those stats are changing: more women are adopting the sport every year.

Glenora's is Official Champagne of WGI

Special to The Odessa File

WATKINS GLEN, June 24, 2021 -- Watkins Glen International Thursday announced Glenora Wine Cellars as the Official Champagne of WGI in a multi-year partnership that will bring the winery’s Brut Champagne to Victory Lane at the famed road course through 2023.

“The champagne spray is an iconic victory celebration and Glenora Wine Cellars is iconic in the Finger Lakes wine region,” said WGI President Michael Printup. “We’re excited to welcome them to The Glen and we know our race winners will be honored to celebrate with their champagne.”

Glenora Wine Cellars was the first winery located on Seneca Lake, opening in 1977. In addition to its award-winning wines, Glenora Wine Cellars also offers visitors a beautiful view of the vineyards from the Inn at Glenora Wine Cellars and their restaurant, Veraisons

“We are very pleased to be the ‘Official Champagne of Watkins Glen International’ as Glenora Wine Cellars has had a long history of partnerships with all types of racing from cars and motorboats to sailboats,” said Gene Pierce, President of Glenora Wine Cellars. “It is an honor to have our Brut Champagne featured at this historic track, that is so invested in the Finger Lakes wine industry.”

The winery’s Brut Champagne will be featured in the celebration of all races at The Glen, beginning with this weekend’s IMSA Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen, June 24-27.

Watkins Glen will then host the IMSA WeatherTech 240, July 1-2, and fans are welcomed to both IMSA race weekends with general admission access. The Glen will host its NASCAR Go Bowling at The Glen weekend Aug. 6-8.

Cayuga Health System wins Gold & Silver Healthcare Ad Awards for Covid coverage

Special to The Odessa File

ITHACA, June 17, 2021 -- Cayuga Health announced Thurday that it is the recipient of two prestigious National Healthcare Advertising Awards -- a Gold for its COVID-19 Public Relations Campaign and a Silver for the Cayuga Health Giving Day Fundraising Campaign focused on COVID-19 recovery and response.

Over 4,400 submissions were received for the 38th Annual Healthcare Advertising Awards, making it the largest healthcare advertising awards competition and one of the ten largest of all advertising awards. Gold awards were given to 445 entries, silver awards to 322 entries and bronze awards to 245 entries.

“Although our main focus during the COVID-19 pandemic was responding to the public health emergency, ongoing communication with our community to help keep them updated and safe was imperative.” said John Turner, Vice President of Public Relations, Cayuga Health System. “Our entire PR team became a media newsroom during the onset of the pandemic to make sure news organizations throughout the region and nation received frequent updates on our pandemic response to testing, vaccines, mask making, PPE supplies, sending our team to support NYC efforts and more. We are truly honored to be the recipient of Gold and Silver awards from the Healthcare Advertising Awards organization.”

Most of the public relations outreach included press packets with photos and video since media outlets were short staffed and unable to send reporters due to lockdown. Much of the provided information was covered by local and national media outlets, including the NY Times, NPR, NY 1, Good Morning America, the Today Show, Yahoo News, The New Yorker, American Journal of Nursing, the Associated Press, The Economist, and more.

“Our regular communication throughout the pandemic journey acted as a lifeline to many in our region and broke beyond our normal boundaries,” said Dr. Martin Stallone, President & CEO of Cayuga Health System. “Not only could they follow the big events like our NYC Healthcare Heroes and our partnership with Ithaca-based Rheonix for the first same-day turnaround testing in NY, but they could also easily and quickly find where to go to help make masks, get tested or get a vaccine.”

During the Giving Day campaign on June 30, 2020, Cayuga Health raised $146,260 from 220 donors. It partnered with Ithaca-based GiveGab to help replenish critical financial resources that were depleted due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The funds that were raised on #CayugaHealthGivingDay benefited the Cayuga Medical Center Foundation, Schuyler Hospital Foundation and Seneca View Skilled Nursing Facility.

A national panel of judges was engaged in reviewing all Healthcare Advertising Awards entries based on creativity, quality, message effectiveness, consumer appeal, graphic design and overall impact. The Healthcare Advertising Awards is considered the oldest, largest and most widely respected healthcare advertising awards competition.

The complete listing of the Healthcare Advertising Awards winners can be found at https://healthcareadawards.com/winners-list/winners-list-38th-annual/

About Cayuga Health

Cayuga Health (CH) has two hospitals, Cayuga Medical Center and Schuyler Hospital, as well as a multi-specialty group, Cayuga Medical Associates. Combined employment, including affiliated organizations, is over 2,500. CH is clinically linked to Mayo Medical Laboratories, Rochester Regional Health for cardiac services, Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center for cancer services, and the University of Rochester for neurosciences. Visit www.cayugahealth.org for more information.

Grant enhances STI's document destruction

Special to The Odessa File

ELMIRA and WATKINS GLEN, NY, June 16, 2021 -- The Arc of Chemung-Schuyler -- thanks to a grant from the Golisano Foundation -- has been able to purchase much needed equipment -- a paper baler, conveyer system, and stair clumber to aid in the safety and efficiency of its Southern Tier Industries (STI) -- to secure document destruction business.

With the addition of a state-of-art new baler, "we reimagined our whole workflow," said Joel Robinson, Buinsess Manager. "We eliminated a task that was labor intensive and slowed the overall process. Not only do we produce the bales more quickly, but they are 27% larger than the former bales. The new bales also require less time to tie off, reducing time when the shredders are not operating. With the increase in productivity, we have reduced the time it takes to build up enough bales for a truck. We needed 39 bales to fill a truck with the old baler but only 32 with the new, making us 18% quicker to reach the truckload quantity. We are also able to process received paper at a much faster pace, increasing the need to expand our customer base and incoming supply of paper to be destroyed."

"Since 2018, Southern Tier Industries has operated successfully, now with 130 customers, in 92 different locations around the region and this new equipment will allow for business growth," said Wendy Shutter, Director of Business Services. "We retained all our original staff, and cross trained people in every position. Our business is now preparing to become a fully integrated workspace for employees with all abilities. We also can offer learning skills for people exploring manufacturing jobs that will increase their chances of employment."

In early 2019, STI received NAID AAA Certification by the National Association for Information Destruction, which enabled STI to provide ongoing or one-time shredding services for both business and residential customers, in a certified setting, ensuring the confidential destruction of the documents shredded.

As a result, STI's demand for secure document destruction increased.

Museums open June 19 for History Weekend

Special to The Odessa File

MONTOUR FALLS , June 11, 2021 -- Two of the Schuyler County Historical Society’s museums will be open on Saturday, June 19, for New York State’s Path through History Weekend.

The Brick Tavern Museum and Wickham Rural Life Center, both at 108 N. Catharine St./Route 14, Montour Falls, will be open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Admission is free.

The current special exhibit at the Brick Tavern Museum is the “Stoneware of Havana,” spotlighting the functional and beautiful pottery manufactured in the 1880s in Montour Falls, then known as Havana.

Path through History Weekends are organized by the state’s I Love NY program.

For more information, contact the Schuyler County Historical Society at (607) 535- 9741.

The ribbon is cut at the site of the Farm Friends mural on the Chamber building.

Two ribbons cut by Chamber, celebrating its new mural and students' Cheese Bus

Special to The Odessa File

WATKINS GLEN, June 11, 2021 -- The Watkins Glen Area Chamber of Commerce cut two ribbons Friday morning to unveil the Farm Friends mural and welcome the Cheese Bus to the community.

The Farm Friends mural was painted by Filomena Jack, an artist from Elmira, and was supported with a grant from the ARTS Council of the Southern Finger Lakes. On the southeast corner of the Chamber’s 214 N. Franklin Street location, the street art is a tribute to nature. Subtitled “Our landscape transforms us,” Jack hopes that her creations will inspire others and spark transformation.

“Thank you to the Chamber for choosing a whimsical and abstract painting for the side of this historic building,” said Jack. “Art is determination manifested and a willingness to do ‘it’ anyway, regardless of what ‘it’ is. If you hear a voice that says don’t do it, do it anyway. If it’s raining, do it anyway. If you’re afraid of heights and need to climb a ladder, do it anyway. This building used to be a bomb shelter. I hope that this art will shelter your dreams and that you do your thing … anyway.”

Schuyler County Administrator Tim O’Hearn congratulated the artist and all involved with breathing life into the Cheese Bus.

“In Schuyler County, we are all about collaborations,” O’Hearn said. “This is a perfect example of a partnership that brought together the art community, the business community, local government, the Chamber, and academics.”

The Cheese Bus is owned by two Watkins Glen High School seniors, Cale Sutterby and Silas Farrell. It was a New Visions class project that was one idea among many and took shape, according to class adviser Paul Richmond, with help from many in the community. The bus debuted in April and can be seen throughout the summer at Lakewood Vineyards. The bus serves local cheeses, meats, and a variety of snacks.

“Owning a business is different than just working for someone,” Sutterby said. “It’s nice to set our own hours, but we have to work until everything is done.”

Watkins Glen Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Michael Hardy emceed the ceremony.

“We are pleased to support a phenomenal and inspiring arts trail in the Finger Lakes,” said Hardy, thanking Jim Guild, a local business owner and the building owner on which the mural was painted, for his support of the project. “And we’re always excited to welcome new entrepreneurs to the community. In this case, their spirit is amazingly contagious. We look forward to seeing all the great work that they will do in our community.”

Photo in text: The Cheese Bus, owned by Watkins Glen High School students Cale Sutterby and Silas Farrell. (Photo provided)

Statements, Alternatives Credit Union hold a joint ribbon-cutting celebration

Special to The Odessa File

MONTOUR FALLS, June 12, 2021 -- Statements Accounting and Consulting Services and Alternatives Federal Credit Union celebrated their arrival in downtown Montour Falls and the Southern Tier with a ribbon-cutting ceremony hosted by the Watkins Glen Area Chamber of Commerce on Thursday, June 10 at the Montour House, 401 West Main St., Montour Falls.

In addition to Rebekah Carroll, owner of Statements Accounting and Consulting, Eric Levine, CEO of Alternatives Federal Credit Union, Michael Hardy, executive director of the Watkins Glen Chamber of Commerce, and representatives from Statements Accounting and Consulting and Alternatives Federal Credit Union, a variety of elected officials offered remarks.

During the event, Alternatives Federal Credit Union Senior Business Lending Officer Branka Gligoric and Chief Lending Officer James Hunter presented checks for recently awarded grants totaling $30,000 to regional non-profit institutions. These grants are in addition to $70,000 that had already been awarded to private organizations in our region.

Guests enjoyed heavy hors d’oeuvres and tastings from Damiani Wine Cellars.

“Welcome to these amazing businesses,” said Watkins Glen Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Michael Hardy. “We are fortunate to have the expertise, quality, and services offered by Statements Accounting and Alternatives Federal Credit Union right here in our county.”

Statements Accounting and Consulting provides accounting, bookkeeping, office management, and consulting services for private and non-profit organizations. Alternatives Federal Credit Union is a mission-driven, member-owned, locally-focused financial institution that serves Tompkins County and its six contiguous counties, including Schuyler.

“I am a life-long resident of this area,” said Carroll, owner of Statements Accounting and Consulting. “I know so many in this community and am thrilled to have the opportunity to help members of the local business community realize their financial goals. It’s incredibly satisfying to watch my clients thrive.”

“We consider ourselves to be change agents,” said Levine. “In that way, we believe that with the right resources and access to information, a community and its members can build and support one another in deeply meaningful partnerships. Our big picture goal is to contribute to a better society.”

Photo in text: Rebekah Carroll (File photo)

Cutting the ribbon: From left: Schuyler County Legislator Mark Rondinaro, Town of Dix Supervisor Harold Russell, SCOPED Executive Director Judy McKinney Cherry, Naturluxe & Stars owner Dawn Aprile, Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul, New York State Executive Director of Tourism Ross D. Levi, and Schuyler County Administrator Tim O'Hearn.

Ribbon-cutting celebrates opening of Naturluxe & Stars, a glamping experience

WATKINS GLEN, June 4, 2021 -- A celebratory ribbon was cut Friday morning at Naturluxe & Stars, a new glamping business alongside County Road 16 near the Watkins Glen International race track.

The new outdoor retreat -- scheduled to welcome guests this weekend -- drew a number of dignitaries to the ribbon-cutting, including New York Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. Various county officials were also present.

The glampground -- glamping being "glamorous camping," or camping with a modern bent to it, such as a comfortable bed on a raised platform, and perhaps indoor plumbing -- is located on 48 acres of land. It is, said owner and the project's driving force, real estate developer Dawn Aprile, designed to appeal to those folks who want to get away from the pressures of everyday life.

Lt. Gov. Hochul praised the vision and drive of Aprile, who received a $385,000 state grant to help finance the $1.9 million venture. Hochul said the grant represents "New York State's commitment to creating new and fun ways to promote healthy outdoor recreation as well as boost local tourism."

Speaking at the ribbon-cutting in addition to Hochul were Judy McKinney Cherry, executive director of the Schuyler County Partnership for Economic Development (SCOPED), the New York State Executive Director of Tourism, Ross D. Levi, and the owner, Ms. Aprile.

Naturluxe & Stars, which Empire State Development Acting Commissioner Eric Gertier has said "takes the fun of camping to a new level," has eight highly visible safari tents arranged near one another on a flat area, with a nearby bathhouse boasting private showers. Platform tents can be found out in the woods beyond the bathhouse, while bell tents and platform tents can be found on the western edge of the property south and west of the 1600-square-foot Gathering Tent for guests. When fully built out, there will be 50 sites. Currently there are the eight safari tents, 14 platform tents and eight bell tents.

Burnished Larch is being used in all the structures. Beyond the buildings, there are 40 acres for private hiking -- to get closer to nature.

According to a press release, "concierge-style services are available on-site to assist with all facets of the visitor experience," and "guests are provided complimentary individually-packaged breakfast baskets and campfire s'mores. Recognizing the different accessibility needs of travelers, Naturluxe & Stars offers an accessible parking lot and ADA-compliant bathroom facilities."

Said Cherry: "This new facility is an exceptional jewel in the Southern Tier and adds to the incredible tourism experience our region offers."

Photos in text:

Top: The interior of one of the safari tents, one of eight positioned in the open, on a flat.
Middle: Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul addresses the audience on hand for the ribbon cutting.
Bottom: Naturluxe & Stars owner, developer Dawn Aprile.

Speakers: SCOPED's Judy McKinney Cherry and Ross D. Levi, New York State Executive Director of Tourism.

A group of eight safari tents, with the bathhouse on the right. The bathhouse has seven individual bathrooms with private showers.

 

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Charles Haeffner
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