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GENEVA -- Members of the Boys & Girls Club of Geneva Goodman Street unit conducted a car wash Wednesday to help the Flint, Michigan, Boys & Girls Club deal with the continuing water challenges in that town.
The Geneva club members, all first, second and third graders, did a great job on car after car and raised $227 which will help the Flint Boys & Girls Club keep clean water on hand,
"I was so proud of our kids and the staff,'' said Alison Switzer, the Goodman Street site supervisor. "They kept at it and really did a good job. Some of our customers paid $5 more than we were charging!"
The Boys & Girls Club at Goodman serves more than 60 club members a day, serving lunch and four hours of literacy coaching, mentoring from Hobart and William Smith students and character and fitness programs every day after school.
The Geneva club also operates a unit at 160 Carter Road were more than 100 members a day in grades 4 to 12 pursue similar activities.

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A Letter From Slovakia

Traditions And New Places

By James Williams

SLOVAKIA -- So for the month of April it was really busy and somehow it got even faster, but a lot happened during this time and I was very busy with a lot of fun activities! I will just go along in chronological order. Starting off in April we had a school break for Velka Noc (Easter) and during this time I learned about a tradition across all of Slovakia where young men and women will go out during the day. The young men will either buy or make a stick which they can tap some of girl’s with it and talk with the girls a bit. The girls then give the guys some sort of small gift such as chocolate or if they are of age alcohol. I was unfortunately unable to participate because my host family brought me and my host brother Jakub to a few monuments and castles that day. My host family doesn’t participate in this tradition so I didn’t either. I wanted to at least see something on how it was done but I actually woke up late and we left pretty earlier. I thought it was very weird tradition but I wanted to still experience it at least once for the memories but I also wanted to respect my families wishes, so I went with the ladder. In this part of Slovakia the partici


pation in this tradition has declined a lot. Many women don’t want to participate which for me was fairly obvious why but there are still many women who still want to. They even have a verb specifically for the “whipping” of the women specifically on this day, it’s a fairly large event. But further on I had my birthday on April 4th where on this day I went out with my closest friends and had a wonderful time talking with them and then having a really nice dinner. Then the 5th my parents came to Bratislava, Slovakia and eventually to Piešťany! I spent a week with them. The first few days were meeting with my closest friends and going around some towns nearby and Piešťany! I made sure to go to places with traditional Slovak foods and showing them my Slovak skills. I explained a lot of questions they had and a lot about the Slovak culture. After staying in Piešťany for a few days we left to Žilina where we met up with Soňa and had a nice lunch and walk around her town with a short hike to a great view of Žilina. From there we continued to the village of Hrabušice nearby Slovensky Raj national park. The park name in Slovak means “Slovak Paradise” which I can totally agree with because for hikers and people who love nature it is a paradise. The views are breathtaking and the calm feel of the land is a type of meditation while walking. But I got incredibly lucky when I chose the small house that I we would stay in. Our hosts were immediately kind and generous. When my mom explained in German to them that I had my birthday recently the host went and got a bottle of wine and gave it to me as a gift. I hadn’t even talked to him and just like that. I will never forget it, It makes me want to pay it back in the future to someone else because of how it made me feel. They helped us find hikes to do in our short 2 day trip. It was overall my favorite part of my parent’s coming to Slovakia when these strangers treated us like family. For my next trips to Slovensky Raj I will be sure to try and book with this family who was so kind and generous to me and my family. But after two nights and a lot of quality time with my parents we departed back to Piešťany and eventually my parents continued on to Vienna where they went to Germany to see my brother. But my parents also met each of my host families and I was a translator for these conversations. It was MUCH harder than I thought it would be. Switching between languages was more difficult than expected and a few times I would speak to my real parents in Slovak and then my host parents in English. It was funny. I was a little surprised on how well the conversations went, I thought it would be hard to explain everything but I was able to do it fluidly, but that was a great learning experience for me. Anyways each family had a wonderful time and I am glad that each meeting went well. Moving on to mid April. I went to school and had a normal week along those lines. I went to a concert with some school friends to see a rapper from Piešťany perform, he is also my favorite Slovak rapper and it was awesome to see him perform in person, his name is Ego. Then a good friend named Antoine came from the t


own of Poprad to stay for the weekend.  I showed him around Piestany and one night we had a camp fire with our Slovak friends. It was a really nice night to relax cook some špekačky (slovak sausages for cooking over a fire) and look at the stars. The next day Antoine and I went out with the other exchange students from our town for lunch then we alone took bikes and rode to a spot where we could swim! Yes in mid-April the water was still cold but very bearable. I also knew of a rope swing and we totally went off that and had loads of fun! Then we met up again with the our friends and I showed him some more of Piešťany. Then the next morning on Sunday he left and that Tuesday I would be leaving on my Rotary organized Europe Tour! EuroTour was here already! Holy crap. So on Monday I went to school and it went slower than slug. Then Tuesday morning I finshed prepping to go and got some food to leav


e and headed to Bratislava and this was the start of some amazing travels with great friends. This was a bus trip and we went from Bratislava to Paris, France. It was a loooooong bus ride. It was great to be able to catch up with everyone and that made the ride bearable. So we made it to Paris and we spend 2 nights there and 3 days. The first day we did a tour of some of the well-known parts and saw a lot of stuff there. We were all really tired from the bus ride but used our wonderful young person energy to push through and have fun anyways. We saw too much for me to remember but through our time in Paris we saw the louvre, the Eiffel tower, la sacre Coeur, Montmartre, Place de la Concorde, and more. Then after our stay in Paris and lots of shenanigans that there are too many to count but one involved me having to ask a French girl for her phone number in my terrible French, which did not work out that time but  I did get a French girls number later!!! Anyways after Paris we had another long bus ride down to Barcelona in Spain! This was my favorite city! It may have not been the nicest or prettiest looking but the feel about the city was much more energetic. I also knew a lot less about Barcelona than Paris and I think that made it feel much more of an adventure. Again we spent 2 nights and 3 days there. Again everything was so fast that it’s hard for me to remember all that happened. But we saw a lot of beautiful buildings and we actually went to the sea and swam! That was a great feeling even thought there were jellyfish and freezing cold waters, we played volleyball and soccer and had loads of fun. We also saw a lot of work from a modern architect; Gaudi. His most well-known work is the Expiatory Temple of the Holy Family (Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Familia) and that is an amazing piece of work that appears to be from ages past but it is actually still uncomplete. I would like to return when to see it fully completed. From here we took a boat to Rome. In Rome there were a lot of old things. It was amazing to think that we were in the same spots as some of these people who are know all around the world. But at the same time everything seemed familiar and it didn’t exactly feel like an adventure. But we saw the Coliseum, the Vatican, the old ruins of many buildings, and a lot of other monuments. I also had a meal of homemade pasta and damn that was some of the best pasta I have ever had. But I think my buddy Stephen Fazio still has them beat with his secret Italian recipe. From Rome we went down to Naples and Pompeii. In Naples we didn’t have a lot of time but I had to get some pizza from the original town and that was a wonderful treat. Then Pompeii and Vesuvius were both great to experience as well. Vesuvius was a little sucky because of the fog and not being able to see 50 feet in front of myself, but running up and then down the Volcano was fun. Just getting a good workout besides walking all day was a good release. I felt as if I finally achieved something when I reached the highest point we could go to that day, even through the rain and fog. Later Pompeii was very humbling to see how an advanced civilization can be wiped out by Mother Nature in such a short time. But to learn about how they went about their way of life was also interesting, I recommend seeing Pompeii. After Naples and Pompeii we went to Florence where we had a day to wander around and there wasn’t too much in Florence besides one huge and incredibly ornate church which I had no idea existed and when I first saw it in daylight it literally took my breath away. Now moving on to our last city, Venice. We arrived outside our hotel which was a stone’s throw from the beach, had dinner, and then had free time out until 23:30 the latest yet. I immediately went straight to the beach and went straight for the water. We had so much fun there. Pretty much everyone went, we enjoyed ourselves through dance, song, and good spirit. The next day in Venice we had a scavenger hunt and my team didn’t win but along the way we met v


ery nice people who helped us with answers and enjoyed their company. My team did get the most Venusian photo which in turn got this team free t-shirts!!! I was so excited when we won. We did go on the gondolas and that was a cool experience to see a new way to travel around a city. Me and a friend went on an adventure to find the ‘Ponte de Tette’ and succeeded but it turns out there are two and the people we were supposed to meet went to the 2nd one and that totally baffled us. But all in all Venice was my 2nd favorite city even with the maze of buildings that all look pretty similar and the possibility to turning a corner too fast and falling into the water. From Venice we took the bus back to Bratislava, SK and from there I took the train back to Piešťany and came home tired as an exchange student who has traveled for 2 weeks and with one final 15 hour push after a day of walking around in the hot sun. This is a very fast synopsis of this trip and I hope to write more in depth later, but I'm not sure how likely that is as I'm already extremely busy. 

Also I'm sorry for not having more pictures now!  This is me and Gervaise from Tasmania, the Colleseum, le Tour Eiffel, the Statue of David and finally the Grand Waterway of Venice! There are thousands of pictures I have but my phone hasn't been able to connect with my picture so I had some friends send me some! Thank you again! 

James Williams is a 2017 graduate of Geneva High School. He is spending a gap year as part of the Rotary International program with a host family in Slovakia.


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Sundays haven't been the same since Downton Abbey ended?Join the Geneva Historical Society and First Choice Travel for a two-day bus trip to New York City for Downton Abbey: The Exhibition August 25-26, 2018.  Based on the beloved television show, Downton Abbey: The Exhibition transports visitors to post-Edwardian England, where the characters and the iconic house come to life.
Visitors will be transported on an incredible journey through the grand home of Downton Abbey as the exhibition peers into the world of the Crawleys and those that served them below stairs. From Mrs. Patmore’s hectic kitchen and the gossip-fueled servants’ quarters, to the family’s glamorous dining room and Lady Mary’s bedroom, fans will get the chance to walk through some of the series’ most recognizable and beloved sets. Visitors will even come up-close to over 50 of the show’s official costumes.
Following the visit to the exhibition, the group will continue to celebrate Downton Abbey at a special afternoon Tea Master Class at T2 Teas. Here expert tea instructors will share their knowledge of tea history to fuel and inspire a sense of curiosity and creativity.
The cost is $289 per person, double occupancy, $279 triple occupancy and $260 quadruple occupancy. Rooms have two queen beds. A deposit of $100 is due by May 31. Balance based on occupancy is due by July 2, 2018. Make checks payable to: First Choice Educational Tours. The trip includes motor coach transportation, tour manager, overnight accommodation, breakfast, and all admissions. On August 25 the bus will depart Geneva from the Staples Plaza on Routes 5 & 20 at 7 a.m. and return around 10 p.m. on August 26.
A minimum number of participants are required for the trip to run and seating is limited. For more information or reservations, contact Kerry Lippincott at 315-789-5151 or

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Arts Academy Lights Up The Smith

GENEVA -- Join the St. Peter's Community Arts Academy for student and faculty performances at the Music and Dance Celebration at the Smith Opera House on Sunday, May 6th at 4:30 pm! Join the academy for special and talented performances by all - from dance to violin to guitar to piano to choir to cello!

Immerse yourself in music and dance and support local arts by joining us for a FREE event in the beautiful Smith Opera House downtown at 82 Seneca St, Geneva, NY 14456.

To read about the Academy's professional faculty - check out their biographies here

Check out our Facebook event here

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St. Peter's Community Arts Academy is proud to announce the upcoming Strings Studio Recital will combine the guitar studio with our talented strings students for an incredible performance at St. Peter's Church on Sunday, April 29th at 3:00 pm. Anyone and everyone is welcome to attend the event, and we encourage as many community members to attend to see the hard work of our young and dedicated students. 

Additionally, we would like to thank all the community members who came out to our celebration of the 8th Annual Dinner with the Arts this past Sunday, April 15. It was a huge success, and the student performances were excellent! We are excited for what the rest of the season has in store. As always, feel free to call our office at 315-789-0106. 

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Boy Meets Slovakia - March 2018

Slip Sliding Away!

By James Williams

SLOVAKIA -- So pretty much most of my month of March was skiing! I spent about 12 days of the month skiing on the slope and by the end of the 3 weeks I was really tired but it was a great time! I did a few other fun things as well that I will get into! This month I will do chronologically!

On the first and second of March I went to school as usual but I didn’t realize that these days would be two of the four days I would go to school this month. Now DON’T WORRY! I was with my school skiing for 2 weeks. Therefore I could technically count that as being in school :P But back to the order. From those first two days We had a school break for one week. I decided that I would like to go skiing during that winter break and because I have been having a fun time and learning how to do it.

I went skiing on a Sunday at a local ski slope that I can get to by bus! But I met a nice woman who speaks English who is a neighbor who was going the same day as me. She was bringing her young son to teach him how to ski, their son is bilingual English/Slovak but he had a British/Slovak accent that was really difficult for me to understand, That was really surprising for me, not being able to understand my first language. But it’s not the first time, the second xD. But during that day I accidentally broke my skis that I had rented for the season. The second it happened I knew it was bad because skis aren’t supposed to make a big CRACK sound. But they didn’t completely snap just the metal on one side for about 6 inches kind of like a noodle when you throw it in the air. So I skied on it and put it on a spot so that skiing would still be possible. Anyways I made it home just fine and I now have to bring the skis to the place where I rented them. Also the shop owner doesn’t speak English, just so you all know. I bring the skis he looks at them and says $150 EUROS! I think to myself can I phone a friend? We talk a bit more, the shop owner explains that the skis are top notch and all this stuff blah but the skis are 10 years old, totally used, and next year would be their last year. So I end up calling my host dad and I leave saying that I will be back to pay because they only accept cash. All in all I ended up paying 80 euros after talking to a few people and getting a better idea of what the price should be, but I paid about two weeks later because I was away with my family and with my school.


With my family I went to Tatranska Lomnica and there was great skiing. We spent 2 days skiing and the 3rd we went to a beautiful spot nearby. The first day of skiing was alright but very foggy, so I spent that time on the lower part trying to perfect my 180! I talked with a few people and they all complimented my Slovak. The 2nd was amazing. During the fog it had snowed and nobody had gone into the free ride zone. So we had about a foot of fresh powder skiing and I was incredibly excited to finally get to do some powder skiing. We also had completely clear skies pretty much all day. There was still strong winds and the highest lift stops if it is too strong. But after It started I was actually on the first chair to make it up! Once I got to the top I just took a bunch of time to appreciate the view and take pictures. I didn’t know how long the lift would be open so I wanted to take in every moment. I am very glad I did the view was beautiful and with the clear weather I could see so much of Slovakia and the mountains. I of course will have some of my pictures below. I really think it’s the best skiing/snowboarding I have done. I really am so thankful for the opportunities I have been given and the luck I have had when I go and do these things. I don’t know where it comes from but it seems to really be never ending. But back to Tatranska Lomnica, the skiing was amazing and the views were unbelievable. During this time I was with one of the students in my town, Kris from Taiwan. It was nice to talk to him and not be alone the whole time. Then on the 3rd day we went to Štrbské Pleso and wandered around there for a few hours this was the third time I was there and we didn’t have the perfect weather we had the day before so it was beautiful but not a perfect day, still awesome to see.

After returning home on a Saturday I turned around to leave on Sunday for a week of skiing with my school! This week was alright I was with two exchange students from my town Sofia (Mexico) and Isadora (Brazil). They were so fun to ski with because they aren’t the best and I was able to help them a lot with my experience on snow and in general winter sports. I spent a lot of my time with them this week and learned a good bit about them and myself spending a week with all the same people. The skiing itself was alright there were clouds every day and it actually rained 3 of the 5 days we skied :c But on the last day I as I was leaving I saw a guy that I met during the Rotary Ski Week who is one of the most well know free ride skiiers in Slovakia. I started talking to him and he said that the next week’s weather would me much better and sunny and they would get snow through the weekend.

So right then and there I decided I would go for the 2nd week in a row. So I came home for the weekend got my clothes washed and Sunday went back to Jasna for the last time to ski this year. And on the first day we had clear weather and that held the whole week. I was so happy that I went with my gut and decided to go and push through. The weather was incredible and I am so thankful for the opportunity to go. During this week I was with Kris,YES the same one! There I was speaking a lot more Slovak because I needed to. It really made me proud of myself and realize that I could get by 100% on only using Slovak if I needed to. I am not 100% in the language and I make many mistakes while speaking but everyone usually understands what I mean. I am proud of myself for learning this language. So at the end of the week on Friday instead of going home I got permission to spend the weekend with an exchange student friend, Daniel (Columbia), in Poprad a city known for being the head city near the High Tatras. Now I had initially gone to Poprad to ski but I changed the plan to stay in Poprad and spend time with the students there and look around the city. So that’s just what I did. We went around the city and hung out and had an awesome time for the weekend. The students there are awesome, I think that whenever I am with exchange students it’s just awesome. But so much that’s all for March! I am forever thankful for all the opportunites I have had through this program and I every change I have I will try to explain and encourage people to go on and do an Exchange. I have heard it described as “Not one year in your life, but a life in one year” and I can’t agree more.

James Williams, a 2017 graduate of Geneva High School, is spending a gap year with a family in Slovakia. His year is sponsored by the Geneva Rotary Club and is part of a Rotary International program.

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Geneva Art & Politics

Click on image above for more readable version.

Song, Dance, Politics

GENEVA -- This is a humorous dinner-theater performance telling the story of Trailblazers PAC through Broadway showtunes. A group of talented actors under the leadership of Rachel Lampert, Artistic Director Emerita of the Kitchen Theatre in Ithaca, will put this on at Geneva’s Club 86. Tickets are $100 (including dinner and drinks) and the whole event is a fundraiser for our honest-government candidates in 2018.

Trailblazers PAC is a new and interesting organization that is trying to energize very local politics. CLICK HERE to learn more about the group.

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