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Saluting those who serve the community
By Sammi King | Daily Herald Columnist
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Published: 9/29/2010 12:01 AM

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Congratulations to Elderday on its 20th anniversary. This organization, located in the Bethany Missionary Center off Wilson Street, provides a valuable service to our community by providing programs for seniors.

Some of the seniors are homebound without regular daily contact. For them, the programs at Elderday provide a valuable social service. It also gives family caregivers the opportunity to have some of their own time.

Coming clean: Speaking of service to the community, members of Sanctuary are spending the first Thursday evening of each month helping out at our downtown laundromat. Members from the church provide free quarters, soap and fabric softener to those who might need a little extra help.

"It's actually a national program called 'Laundry Love,' said church secretary Candace Kless. "We have been doing the program for about a year and a half in an effort to help out in our community."

The church is also working on its Halloween alternative event that takes place from 6 to 8 p.m. Oct. 31. Each year on Halloween, kids are invited to the church for a movie, games, prizes and refreshments.

"Some kids come in costume but they don't have to," said Kless. "It's just a fun party open to the community, and an alternative to trick or treating.

Sanctuary is at 1S430 Wenmoth Road, Batavia.

Blast from the past: The Batavia Historical Society is planning a community party as well.

On Oct. 30, the society will celebrate its 50th anniversary with a theme party "Nifty at Fifty." The plans call for music from the 1950s, the showing of two movies of Batavia in the 50s and food at 50s prices.

The society is looking for volunteers to serve and to entertain. Call Chris Winter at (630) 406-5274 at the Depot Museum.

Good eats: I had the opportunity to eat at both Ona's and Daddio's this week. What a great asset to our community to have two neighborhoods restaurants where you can get a good meal and drop by a table just to say "hi" to someone you know.

Ona's is now open for dinner. Although it only serves one special at night, you can be assured of a good home-style meal. Menus are offered monthly, so you can plan ahead to try one of their delicious offerings.

All in the family: Anne Purpura, who used to be a physical education teacher at the old Batavia Junior High under Sam Rotolo, told me that Sam's granddaughter will be entering Rotolo Middle School this year.

It must be pretty exciting to attend a school that has a legacy attached to someone who was and is such an important part of our community.

• When it comes to young people with extraordinary character, the children of Don and Charlotte Ritchey have to be on the top of the list. All are in the army, currently serving our country.

All three are graduates of West Point with Heather stationed in Italy, Ashley in Afghanistan and Brandon in Iraq. Batavia has a great opportunity this year to get involved in sending a special mailing to Lt. Brandon Ritchey's platoon. Could you bake some cookies or pick up some much needed items for his platoon? Log on to to see how you can get involved.

Good luck, Rashad: When it comes to illustrious members of the community, there are many who have made their mark. Batavia sports fans were delighted to support the Bulldogs basketball team during the 2004-2005 seasons.

An integral part of the team was Rashad Mitchell, who went on to play at Olivet Nazarene University after high school. Mitchell was one of those players who played for the love of the game, even sharing his skills with kids during the summer in the Rashad Mitchell Basketball Camp. He is headed to Germany to play basketball for Germany in the Euro League.

"I'm excited," he said. "To be able to play a sport that I love and see Europe is a great opportunity."

Rashad Mitchell is one of those players who always took time for the kids and is just a great all-around athlete of extraordinary character.