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Learning By Doing -- And Eating

GENEVA -- Two years ago the Sands Family Foundation and Lowe's helped the Geneva Boys & Girls Club redesign and improve its kitchen's teaching capacity. Since then, club members have been taking regular cooking classes and helping serve dinner each night to more than 90 members.
So when a group of 12 club members turned up at New York Kitchen in Canandaigua in August for a Culinary Camp, the resident chefs were a bit surprised.
"These kids are so advanced,'' Teaching Chef Mary Beth Brinkerhoff said on the camp's first day. "We'll have to revamp the menus.''
For the next four days, the 12 Boys & Girls Club members got the gift -- sponsored by Dr. Dan and Gail Alexander -- of learning side by side with master chefs in the state-of-the-art teaching kitchens that are at the heart of the New York Kitchen facility.
The first day, between 10 a.m. at 1:00 p.m., the kids produced gourmet macaroni and cheese, fried chicken, pan fried fish, jambalaya, corn bread, hush puppies and a puff pastry dessert. Enough to feed them all and left-overs to haul back to their families.
And so the week went, more challenging menus each day, culminating with learning to create and cook delicate fresh pasta and chocolate mousse on the final day.
But lessons went beyond the kitchen. Chefs Brinkerhoff and Geneva' own Matt Wooster discussed menu planning, food cost calculation and, in a highlight for the week, toured several local farms where high quality herbs and animals are being raised to supply local restaurants with the best "farm-to-table" ingredients the new restaurant trends demand.
"It was an amazing week,'' said Chris Lavin, the Boys & Girls Club executive director. "New York Kitchen is an incredible asset to this region. The best, focused learn-by-doing experience we've ever had for our kids. And they even liked doing the math with the recipes!''

The Boys & Girls Club's partnership with New York Kitchen will continue, Lavin said.

"We share the goal with New York Kitchen of giving this region not only great wines, but also great cuisine to go with it,'' Lavin said. "Our kids have a passion for this and we believe can be part of the tourism tide that is raising all boats these days.''

The Culinary Camp was part of Summer University, a collaboration between the Boys & Girls Club, the City School District and Hobart and William Smith Colleges. More than 200 club members are experiencing six weeks of creative clubs, exercise and weekly field trips to the region's attractions. 


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Geneva Community News

3401111957?profile=RESIZE_710xNew HWS President On The Air



GENEVA -- The new president of Hobart and William Smith Colleges is sharing her experiences while getting to know her new job. Joyce Jacobsen is recording many of her first encounters with college and community leaders and publishing these via podcast. CLICK HERE or on the image above to listen to her discussion with Chris Lavin, a 1981 Hobart graduate and a former newspaper editor who is now working with the Boys & Girls Club of Geneva.



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Finger Lakes Arts


SENECA FALLS -- Theatre444 partners with Mynderse Academy Drama Club to present summer performances of the critically-acclaimed musical Pippin with start-times slated for 8 p.m. Thursday, August 1; Friday, August 2 and Saturday, August 3 as well as an afternoon showtime at 2 p.m. Sunday, August 4 at the Mynderse Academy Auditorium, 105 Troy St. in Seneca Falls.

From the creative mind of Stephen Schwartz, Pippin is a four-time Tony Award winning musical in 2013, even earning the title of Best Musical Revival.

With a 25-person cast encompassing the entire region of the Finger Lakes, the dynamic group is set to dazzle audiences with their compelling portrayal of the iconic film and novel.

Joseph Gonzalez of Geneva portrays Pippin, a young prince and heir to the Frankish throne, who yearns for sparking passion and adventure in his life. Genevan Allauna Overstreet-Gibson, assistant executive director of the Boys & Girls Club of Geneva, also plays a starring role.


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Finger Lakes Food and Wine

3277710261?profile=RESIZE_710xEat Local, Drink Local 

HIMROD -- The new tavern at the Plum Point Lodge on Seneca is a relatively small space, but it has high ambitions.
Sit at the six seat wooden bar and, at first blush, it can seem to be a typical drinking spot. Take a closer look at the array of bottles behind the bar and the difference starts to emerge.
The usual suspects are missing.
No “Captain Morgan.’’ No “Malibu.’’ No array of Russian vodkas or foreign exotics. None of the collection of the big name brands that rule the national and3277718967?profile=RESIZE_710x international booze markets prominently displayed.
The Plum Point Lodge has moved the farm-to-table “locavore” movement into its bar.
“Our whole idea here has been to feature the best of the Finger Lakes,’’ said Brud Holland, chef of the lodge’s SAPALTA restaurant. “Why shouldn’t that apply to our wines and drinks as well.’’
It turns out, the boom in local wines, spirits and beers has opened a door.
Plum Point may feature the only bar and restaurant serving exclusively New York wines. No big California reds here. No Australian or French. Not even Champagne.
All of its wines and virtually all of its spirits and beers --like much of its foods -- are being produced within a few miles of this quaint hotel.
The staff here is quick to redirect a classic spirits order.
“I’ll take a Glenfiddich on the rocks,’’ the customer might order.
“How about a ‘Collaboration,’’’ Bartender Julie Adams will respond. “An Irish whiskey-style drink produced together by two local distillers?’’
Adams, who managed Geneva’s Halsey’s restaurant for many years, says the bar has two local vodkas, four local gins, six local beers in cans and four on tap. It also has local rye, whiskey and bourbon on its shelf.
Tucked away in the back of the coolers are a few Bud Lites, Stella Artois and Michelob Ultras for customers who won’t try the locals, but they aren’t promoted.
“Our customers are intrigued by the local choices and haven’t rejected one yet,’’ Adams said. “Local wines and spirits compete nicely.’’
Holland has also collaborated with Adams to produce a variety of signature cocktails, also built with all local ingredients. No stodgy Old Fashions here.
Typical is the Plum Point Martini, a concoction that features a lavender gin from Myer’s Distillery in Ovid, plum jam made by Holland, and a local wine-based liquor that replaces the traditional vermouth.
“Our wine shop features most of the best the Finger Lakes has to offer,’’ Holland says. “We want that same standard through our cuisine and into our bar as well. What is produced in this region today is fantastic and can compete with the best in the world. Come see.’’

Plum Point Lodge on Seneca is located 19 miles south of Geneva on Seneca Lake’s western shore. It is open daily for breakfast from 8 to 11 a.m. and for dinner from 5 to 8 p.m. Drinks are available from the bar throughout the day and served on a deck and lawn patio.


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Geneva Philanthropy

 Summer University Meeting Its Enrollment Goal

GENEVA -- Deadlines for signing up for Summer University at the Boys & Girls Club are approaching and the club has exceeded its goal for enrollment already.
But this broadcast from WEOS radio today explains that we will find a way to fund all the kids who need us.
CLICK HERE to hear the short broadcast.



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GENEVA -- Theatre444 is proud to bring you the Regional Premiere of a new, Pulitzer Prize winning contemporary rock musical Next to Normal.  Next to Normal, with book and lyrics by Brian Yorkey and music by Tom Kitt, explores how one suburban household copes with crisis and mental illness. Winner of three 2009 Tony Awards, including Best Musical Score and the 2010 Pulitzer Prize, Next to Normal was also chosen as "one of the year's ten best shows" by critics around the country, including The Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, Rolling Stone and The New York Times.

 Dad's an architect; Mom rushes to pack lunches and pour cereal; their daughter and son are bright, wise-cracking teens, appearing to be a typical American family. And yet their lives are anything but normal because the mother has been battling manic depression and bi polar disorder for 16 years. Next to Normal takes audiences into the minds and hearts of each character, presenting their family's story with love, sympathy and heart.

 With a talented cast hailing from multiple cities, audiences can expect to see pieces of themselves in these characters.  Laura D. Feligno(Geneva) and Nick Bessette(Auburn), play married couple Diana and Dan Goodman. Joe Gonzalez(Geneva) plays their son and Hannah Fox (Victor) plays their daughter Natalie.  Damon Fletcher(Seneca Falls) plays Natalie’s boyfriend Henry and Jarrod Jones(Phelps) plays the Doctor. This talented and experienced group is lead by NYS Award Winning Artistic Director Pam Rapoza and Vocal Director Meredith Beckley assisted by Pianist Annie Bachman and Conductor Hilary Chaya.  Richelle Coons serves as Stage Manager and Properties are put together by Jane Stobie and Theresa Hashem-Gage. Lighting Designers RJ Rapoza and Garrett Coons, Costume Designer Kasi Krenzer-Marshall, Media Designer Cole Ruffalo, Master Carpenter Bill Stobie and Technical Director Craig Deisering round out the crew.  

 Performances are Thursday, Friday and Saturday, May 2cnd, 3rd and 4th at 8pm. Sunday May 5th at 2 pm.  A Talk Back Panel will discuss the production themes of mental health, wellness, and pharmaceuticals after the Friday and Saturday evening performance.  Join us for a hearty discussion. All performances are at the Geneva Community Center at 160 Carter Road Geneva, NY 14456. Visit  to purchase tickets. For more information on Theatre444, visit and like our page!  

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