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TABLE OF CONTENTS
october PUBLISHER'S WORD.......................................................................... 6 FASHION FORWARD
The biz-leisure trend is here to stay................................... 8
Strength of survivors in focus............................................... 10
QUEEN OF ARTS
Tish Oney: Channeling Peggy Lee.................................... 14
The power of travel....................................................................... 16
Van life: Couple trades the daily grind
for life on the road.................................................................... 24
ON THE COVER
Sarah Shea: Nurse, Mother, Triathlete, Survivor............ 19
Breast Cancer: Awareness, screenings and reducing your risk...................................................................... 30
Nicole Sommavilla: The Lyme Life................................. 32
Elaine Mielcarski: Breast Cancer Survivor................. 34
MOVERS AND SHAKERS.......................................................................... 36
UPCOMING EVENTS..................................................................................... 38
10 Survivor Edition
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Syracuse Woman Magazine
he Orangemen are off to an 0-2 start and they’re really in survival mode now,” you might hear a sports broadcaster say before the Syracuse University football team lines up again on Saturday. I know that right on this very page I have written the term ‘survival mode’ to describe the challenges the COVID-19 pandemic has created for our publishing business. I’m sure it’s the same in Zoom meetings across America as business executives are forced to deal with the changing dynamics of this economy. And if you google ‘survival mode,’ one of the first references is to the gaming world – a setting that can be applied to certain video games to see how long a player can go without getting his character killed. We’ve overused this term so much that it’s lost its meaning. But some of the women featured in this edition of Syracuse Woman Magazine know exactly what survival mode means. They, like so many others, have had to face down a life-threatening diagnosis using their own inner strength coupled with the support system around them. Reading their stories, you might find that survival mode means leaning on friends and family for support during the most challenging time of their lives. Or transferring their fear for their own life and health into doggedly advocating for the health of others. Or searching high and low for medical professionals that can provide insight into their health challenges. Survival mode isn’t in a video game. It’s in the lives and homes of thousands of Central New Yorkers who face a diagnosis of cancer, or Lyme disease, or COVID-19, or any other life-threatening or life-altering disease. It’s been nearly 10 years that we’ve been publishing Syracuse Woman Magazine, and during that decade we’ve consistently used our October edition to highlight breast cancer awareness and shine a light on some of the inspirational survivors of this terrible disease. My mother is a breast cancer survivor. So is my cousin. And my best friend’s wife. They know what survival mode means, as do tens of thousands of other women. When a disease is so common that one in eight women will be diagnosed at some point in their lifetime, it touches all our lives. Farah Jadran, SWM’s former editor and current news anchor, who is herself a survivor of cancer, also knows what survival mode means. In her column this month, Farah talks about that connection between a survivor’s inner strength and the support network around them powering that strength. “Support comes in many forms,” she writes. “I don't need to explain that, but I do encourage you to search within yourself to find how you can give that person your love and kindness.” It’s a lesson for all of us. All around there are people who are truly in survival mode. Let’s do what we can to ensure they have the support they need to become a survivor.
David Tyler October 2020
David Tyler email@example.com
PHOTOGRAPHERS Alice G. Patterson Savaria & Justin Crego
CONTRIBUTORS Allysa Dearborn Angela Antonello Farah Jadran Jason Klaiber Kenneth Sturtz Lisa Sousou Rosemary Mondo Sarah Tietje-Mietz
Cover photo by Alice G. Patterson
Renée Moonan Linda Jabbour 315.657.7690 315.657.0849 Rmoonan@eaglenewsonline.com Ljabbour@eaglenewsonline.com
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The biz-leisure trend is here to stay By Angela Antonello
oom meeting attire was never a section in most work place handbooks, but with the job shift to working from home during the pandemic, our wardrobes have shifted too. For some, working from the comfort of their couch means fashion freedom: sweat pants, workout leggings and un-ironed shirts. For others, putting effort into getting dressed offers much-needed structure in a time of uncertainty. And then there’s those who take the best of both worlds. There’s this phenomenon called the business mullet: normal up top and party below. The logic behind this is most times you only see the upper section of the torso and the head [on screens], so many think, ‘Why bother with the bottom?' We have all seen those videos on social media of the zoom call wardrobe or lack of, malfunction so think twice before you embrace that trend. Biz-leisure may be new but using clothes as a reflection or influence of our personality is not. The fashion we choose is representative of our identity and how we see ourselves. The other end of that is that not getting dressed day after day can leave us feeling unsettled. One thing for sure is that the boundaries between business and casual clothing will stay blurred for some time, possibly even forever. This is why the appeal of "biz-leisure" dressing is so on trend.
Use these tips to inspire you to find your unique fall style “mojo” and expression of biz-leisure: • The leisure bit is fairly simple for many of us who love an informal outfit. As great as tracksuit pants are find a balance between relaxed pieces and work appropriate wear. For fall into winter, this can be a pair of faux leather leggings, coated joggers or a dark pair of five-button pull on denim. Pair with a high-quality tee or knit top and a boyfriend style blazer to bring the biz! • Replace your stiff collar button ups with softer more flowy fabrics. Quality stretch fabrics and pants with an elastic waist are a must have for sitting on conference calls all day. • Don’t forget footwear when working from home. Supportive footwear is key to your foot and leg health and help to keep you in that “workplace zone.” • Add accessories to frame your face and to feel more put together. Just be aware if you use your hands when speaking, rings and jangling bracelets can be a distraction on a zoom call. • Matching lounge sets are trending everywhere. Go for fabrics such as wool, hacci or cashmere and be sure you opt for a more structured look to avoid looking too casual. Be excited about this trend as it coincides with having a balance in our wardrobe of work and off duty pieces! This is a way to mix things up create outfits that work for those days when we need to wear multiple “hats.” SWM Angela Antonello is the owner of Fashion Rescue 911 Boutique, 52 Oswego Street, Baldwinsville.
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Strength of survivors in focus By Farah Jadran
hen I think of the term, "survivor," I think of the people who are doing the surviving. A survivor is a person: someone who is finding strength, courage and the will to fight. The fight can be in a number of areas. Whether it's a fight to survive a disease, domestic violence or sexual abuse, the battles are hard and hope can sometimes appear to be faded or gone. Our hope is where our strength begins and then the support of others helps fuel our ability to push forward. In this month of October, the stories of breast cancer survivors come front and center with the awareness month. Last month, stories of ovarian cancer survivors were shared more. When you're on the outside looking into the battle of a family, friend or co-worker, you likely feel helpless. It's not your fight to take on physically and mentally. While you work through the helpless moments, the gift of perspective will come your way. What you do with it, is your big test. If you pray, then pray and if you are up for it, then show your support. Support comes in many forms. I don't need to explain that, but I do encourage you to
search within yourself to find how you can give that person your love and kindness. To all survivors, I send you my prayers and my kindness. You are warriors to be reckoned with. You have shown strength some may never know. I stand with you as a fellow survivor of cancer, sexual assault and domestic violence. I thank all who have been there for me. Feeling someone's prayers in action and hearing their support are all gifts I carry in my heart. Kindness can change someoneâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s heart. It can help others realize there is a world around them and more to life than possessions and petty arguments. Kindness can be the message you wear and walk with because you choose to live life with genuine gratitude for each day you are given. Tomorrow is not promised. Why not spend today being kind and being positive? SWM Farah Jadran is the anchor of CBS5 This Morning and CBS5 News at Noon for CNYCentral in Syracuse. Farah also served as editor of SWM for more than four years after she helped launch it in January 2011. If you or someone you know is spreading kindness in our community -- tweet at her -- @FarahJadran using #BeKindSyracuse.
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QUEEN OF ARTS: TISH ONEY
Channeling Peggy Lee ACCLAIMED CNY MUSICIAN TISH ONEY PENS TRIBUTE TO HER CHILDHOOD INSPIRATION By Jason Klaiber
ish Oney had already sung for years in school and church choirs, but it wasn’t until her mother urged her to take sight of a televised Peggy Lee performance in the mid-1980s that a dream emerged. Oney, who was about 13 at the time, recalled the edited, PBS-broadcasted concert being the first instance she had witnessed of a woman fronting a jazz orchestra while calling the tunes, introducing the band and addressing the audience. “It was just kind of a new experience for me to see that happening,” Oney said. “Peggy Lee provided one of my first pivotal memories of a strong, capable woman. She was captivating.” Now, after approximately a decade and a half of researching and writing, Oney has released a book tracing Lee’s musical catalog and development as a singer.
In its 233 pages, Peggy Lee: A Century of Song takes a magnifying glass to the titular vocalist’s recording processes at Capitol Records in addition to her live performances, posthumous material and contributions to the film industry. It also includes interviews with Lee’s family members, friends and colleagues. “I wanted to write a nontraditional nonfiction book that wasn’t really meant to be a biography,” Oney said. “It’s really much more about her music than it is about her as a person.”
As part of the “Peggy Lee 100” global campaign, the book’s release coincides with the centennial of the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award recipient’s year of birth. This past May, the month that would have marked Lee’s hundredth birthday, Oney contributed to a panel discussion over Zoom alongside singers Billie Eilish, k.d. lang and the Black Pumas’ Eric Burton as well as Lee’s granddaughter Holly Foster Wells for the Grammy Museum’s At Home Series. The Zoom chat found the guests discussing Lee’s influence, command of the stage and sense of groove and swing. According to Oney, Lee set herself apart not only by penning a slew of hits but also by co-writing her own autobiographical Broadway show, spending time as a radio host, supplying the musical theme to the Western drama Johnny Guitar and lending her voice to characters in the Disney film Lady and the Tramp. The author also said that Lee adapted to the changing times during her career, making sure to incorporate burgeoning musical genres, recruit younger musicians to fill out her band as time went on and embrace the work of contemporary composers of the 1970s and later. “She was a chameleon,” Oney said. “She wasn’t one
who would continue to sing in the same style her entire life.” In terms of the vocal stylings that became her signature, Lee was known as a “master of subtlety,” Oney said. A passage in the recently unveiled book mentions an early gig of Lee’s at The Doll House in Palm Springs, California, where she managed to quiet down a talkative crowd by singing at a lower and lower volume until they started to lean in and listen. “She learned right then that she had the power to pull people in, but it wasn’t by belting louder,” Oney said. “It was by getting softer and more intimate with the audience.” Amidst her research, Oney discovered Lee would fill up notebooks with lists of accessories she needed to pack for tours, a record of the gowns she wore in various cities and specificities like hand gestures to employ onstage. Lee also planned out which songs would sound best together in the form of medleys, used often to decrease the amount of downtime and applause breaks in her shows. John Chiodini, who wrote the book’s foreword, worked as Peggy Lee’s guitarist and musical director throughout the 1980s. He recorded four albums with the departed songstress, the same number Oney recorded with his trio’s help, all of them considered for Grammy Awards. Oney’s 2019 album The Best Part contains three songs cowritten by Lee and Chiodini that were previously unheard: “Most of All I Love You,” “I’ve Got a Brand New Baby” and “I’ve Been Too Lonely for Survivor Edition
Too Long.” Lee passed away in 2002, before she could record her own renditions. Since starting her professional singing career in Syracuse at age 15, Oney has arranged 16 different touring shows for herself, including a tribute concert called the Peggy Lee Project. From 1996 to 2004, she taught at Syracuse University as a vocal jazz director and voice professor. A graduate of Jordan-Elbridge High School, she also headlined the Syracuse Jazz Fest and performed as a symphony soloist with Symphoria for the "2013 Holiday Pops" concerts on tour through Central New York, which culminated in a sold-out finale at the Oncenter's Crouse-Hinds Auditorium. She has also instructed at Hobart and William Smith Colleges and at several universities in California and South Carolina, where she now resides. “I’m very fortunate to be plugged into some great opportunities,” Oney said. Peggy Lee: A Century of Song, published by Rowman & Littlefield, is available at rowman.com and anywhere that books are sold. SWM
Tish Oney received her bachelor of science from Cornell University and her master of music from Ithaca College before earning a doctor of musical arts from the University of Southern California’s Thornton School of Music. She has written articles for All About Jazz, The Journal of Singing and other publications, and she is currently authoring another book for Rowman & Littlefield called “Jazz Voice: A Guide to Singing Pedagogy.” Syracuse Woman Magazine SyracuseWomanMag.com SyracuseWomanMag.com
The power of travel By Rosemary Mondo
ravel is an excellent way to reset, renew and reinvigorate one's life. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a chance for someone to stop, look back and take notice. Travel is a way to replenish, revive and strengthen your inner spirit. A change of scenery gives a person a new perspective, a new way of looking at life.
Travel recharges the batteries, removes oneself and gives oneself a fresh new start. Wellness travel takes it a step further with pampering treatments, rewarding activities and meditative moments for memorable experiences. Turning pink into a new brighter, more vibrant color to mirror the next chapter.
How do you define travel? A spa retreat, a glamorous outing in the woods (Glamping!), an adventurous trip scaling mountains or a secluded beach listening to the waves roll in. The world of travel inspires our wildest dreams and gives us hope for the future. It resets our life, our purpose and ourselves like nothing else.
It gives us something to look forward to. Once weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve arrived, the possibilities are endless. A traveler emerges stronger, braver and wiser than when they started. After 20-plus years hearing your travel stories, I am inspired. Travel has changed peopleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s lives and always for the better,
even if the trip wasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t altogether perfect. The experiences make lasting impressions on future decisions, plans and outcomes. Even during a time when some travel is restricted, there are endless possibilities to achieve the uplifting and relaxing qualities that
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travel can provide. A day trip to a local spa hotel, an outdoor outing in the Finger Lakes or a relaxing day along the shores of Ontario. Travel is a girls weekend to Mohonk Mountain House, a romantic getaway to Mirbeau Inn & Spa or a family gathering in the Adirondacks. Perhaps, travel means a bit more or a lengthier stay away to
you. Pamper yourself in the Hamptons at the Shou Sugi Ban House for a week, scratch your travel itch with a getaway to Canyon Ranch in Lenox, escape to Twin Farms in Vermont to soak up the vibrant fall colors, go wild on a peaceful seaside beach on New Jerseyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Long Beach Island or just maybe,
an exploration of our great national parks like Acadia National Park located along the shores of Northern Maine. Wherever your imagination takes you, travel is just the ticket for all your hopes and dreams to come alive. Rosemary Mondo is the owner of Via Mondo Travel Agency in Skaneateles.
COVER STORY SARAH SHEA
Nurse, Mother, Triathlete, Survivor: THE INDOMITABLE SARAH SHEA By Sarah Tietje-Mietz
Photo by Alice G. Patterson
“ I had no health history. I was fine. I did triathlons. I was, you know, invincible,” said Shea. “ And then I felt a lump.”
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COVER STORY SARAH SHEA
alloween is a chance for children to take on the guise of anything they dream of, from the natural to the supernatural, but it’s not often these costumes foretell a child’s future career. For Syracuse local Sarah Shea, it was. And her mother has the photos of young Shea - costumed as a nurse - to prove it. “I always dressed up as a nurse, for years straight!” Shea said. “I wanted to be a nurse and I just followed my dreams.” Shea is a life-long resident of the Syracuse-area. She grew up in the Westhill area and attended Bishop Ludden Junior-Senior High School, and now lives in the West Genesee area. Shea stayed local to pursue a degree at St. Joseph’s College of Nursing, then went on to work at St. Joseph’s Hospital following graduation. After more than 20 years spent working in the operating room, Shea took a position with Vascular Surgeons of Central New York. This let her trade the more chaotic hours of the OR for a regular Monday-throughFriday schedule, something this mom of three called “a blessing in disguise.” As a single parent, the relationship Shea has with her three sons is incredibly important to her. Her oldest, who is fifteen, has thoughts of joining the military to fly drones for the Air Force. At 14, her middle son - whom she hopes will pursue a path in engineering - can “put anything together and fix anything.” Of her youngest son, she says he is just out there, loving life the way only an 11-year-old can. Shea lights up when speaking of her boys, the love and pride she has for them so evident in her expression. These months of the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent social distancing regulations have been hard for them all, and she jokes that with the extra down time, the boys have been “eating her out of house and home.” Shea gives so much of herself to her children, and as a nurse, she does the same for her patients, giving generously of her time, her care, and her heart. What makes her work so deeply rewarding is being able to help someone heal and to give them more time with their family and loved ones. Being a nurse is not a job for Shea. It is her calling. Nursing is the type of occupation that can take an emotional toll, and Shea acknowledges that one of the most difficult aspects of her job is when she knows she is going to lose a patient, despite everything she and the medical team has done. “You cry after it’s all done. You cry... but if a nurse stops crying, they should get a different profession,” said Shea when asked how she deals with this emotional weight.
While undergoing cancer treatments, Sarah Shea leaned heavily on the love and support of her three sons: Benjamin, 14, Joshua, 11, and Zachary, 15.
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“But I love it…I love the patients and I love helping them.” Somehow, Shea’s roles as a nurse and a parent have not overwhelmed her life. Outside the home and the hospital, she found time to train and compete in the multisport-races known as triathlons. With a small group of friends, Shea dedicated up to four days a week to training in the sports of biking, running and swimming to prepare for these competitions. Of the three, biking is by far her favorite– the wind in her hair making her feel like she is flying. Shea admits to not being the fastest competitor, but she knows she has the endurance to outlast most people. Becoming a triathlete made her feel invincible. Shea has competed in multiple local triathlons, though has had to put training and competing on hold. One of her favorite races is the Gillie Girl Triathlon in Camillus. In this annual event, participants run a 5k (3.1 miles) a half-mile swim, and a 14-mile bike ride, raising funds for the Carol M. Baldwin Breast Cancer Research Fund. When Shea competed in this race in 2015, she could not have imagined that she would later be fighting the same cancer she raced to raise money for. In the summer of 2019, while giving herself a home breast examination, Shea felt something. “I had no health history. I was fine. I did triathlons. I was, you know, invincible,” said Shea. “And then I felt a lump.” On July 23, her birthday, Shea underwent minor surgery to find out what the lump was. Soon after, she received her diagnosis – breast cancer. Specifically, Invasive Ductal Carcinoma (IDC). The website www.breastcancer.org describes IDC as a cancer “that has broken through the wall of the milk duct and begun to invade the tissues of the breast.” It is one of the most common forms of breast cancers, making up 80 percent of all breast cancer diagnoses. None of the training or her work in the medical field prepared her for this, and hearing her doctors and nurses talk about her diagnosis was like listening to another language. “I felt completely uneducated and ignorant. I could tell you everything about your aorta and your veins and your arteries in your heart,” Shea said. “I didn't know anything about cancer. It was all new to me. It was scary.” She admits doing exactly what she instructs her own patients not to do – turning to the internet for answers. Her doctors proceeded with a lumpectomy, a breast-conserving surgery that targets the removal of just the cancerous tumor and surrounding tissue. It was around this time that Shea reached out to friend and local doctor, Kara Kort. Shea holds Kort in special esteem, crediting her as both a remarkable physician and a “strong, amazing bad-ass.” A general surgeon with extensive experience in breast surgery, Kort was able to provide Shea with insight and comfort, especially when Shea learned the first lumpectomy was not successful in clearing the cancer from her breast. It was important for Shea to speak with her sons honestly after receiving her diagnosis. She sat them down and explained to them what it meant for her to have cancer and how they were going to get through it, together. They have been her cheerleaders throughout this, helping with housework and taking care of each other. Continued on page 22
Photo by Alice G. Patterson
COVER STORY SARAH SHEA
Nurse, Mother, Traithlete, Survivor from page 21 Her parents, who are still local, were an additional support system for her during her treatments, hosting the boys for sleepovers or coming to their rescue when they forgot their housekeys. The surgeries and treatment for her cancer were not easy, yet the hardest part for Shea was the waiting – for results, for procedures, for follow-ups, for answers. From first feeling the lump on June 10, 2019, to the first surgery in July and the first and second lumpectomy, then the chemotherapy, everything became a practice in patience. In February this year, Shea finally received the “all-clear” results she’d been hoping for. Though physically feeling aged beyond her 44 years, she is optimistic about the future and thankful for the outpouring of love and support throughout everything. Of all the support received by Shea, the most surprising and humbling was the fundraising benefit orchestrated by good friend and fellow nurse Michelle DiMatteo Turtschin. Both attended the same nursing program and have maintained a friendship spanning two decades. Shea is as dear to Turtschin as her own sisters, and it was this closeness that prompted her to pull together the community for the October 6, 2019 event SARAH STRONG: Benefit For Sarah Shea's Battle With Breast Cancer at the Wildcat Sports Pub in Camillus. “Sarah's the type of person – you don't forget her,” said Turtschin. “And I thought, you know, I can't make the cancer go away, but if I can do anything at all to ease any of this burden, that's what I want to do.” The ticketed event included a silent auction, raffles, food, and family-friendly games. Over 100 people from the community showed up and the funds raised from the event went directly to Shea and her family. The donated money meant Shea did not have to worry about her bills throughout her treatment, which was a considerable weight off her shoulders. The support Shea and her family received from her friends, her job, her community, even her sons’ schools in the West Genesee School District, made a huge impact on her. Talking about it, she tears up, shaking her head in wonder at how much was done for her in her time of need. The last thing Shea expected to deal with coming out of the other side of cancer was a global pandemic. “I remember I was like ‘I survived cancer for this?’ Like, I literally survived all of that to not be able to do anything,” said Shea. “I felt like I was waiting to live.” Despite the social restrictions stemming from COVID-19, Shea has found ways to enjoy her life. She and her sons enjoy getting takeout from area restaurants, and she continues to be passionate about her job, which she kept during both the cancer treatments and the pandemic. Shea gives credit to everyone at Vascular Surgeons of CNY for their compassion and thoughtfulness throughout her treatments and recovery. Once COVID-19 travel restrictions are finally lifted, Shea has plans for an idyllic vacation with the boys, complete with oceanfront property and seafood cookouts on the beach. The last year has undeniably been difficult for Shea, but it has left her with a new sense of independence and the feeling that if she can get through cancer, she can conquer anything. When asked how she viewed her experience surviving cancer, Shea was contemplative. “I didn't choose this. It was given to me. And it was something I just had to deal with. Being strong, being courageous – I didn't choose to be all those things,” Shea said. “You just have to do what you have to do to get through the day. So I do think of it as a battle now, as I look back, because it was one hell of a year.” SWM October 2020
Photo by Alice G. Patterson
“I didn't choose this. It was given to me. And it was something I just had to deal with. Being strong, being courageous – I didn't choose to be all those things,” Shea said.
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SPECIAL FEATURE: VAN LIFE
COUPLE TRADES THE DAILY GRIND FOR LIFE ON THE ROAD By Kenneth Sturtz
avaria Crego’s 9-5 job was grinding her down, making each day feel like “Groundhog Day.” She and her husband Justin, married the year prior, grew up in Central New York, but had seen little of the country. They wanted to travel to the national parks, visit the Pacific Northwest and explore Canada. Although they enjoyed their jobs, they just wanted more time. Justin’s job in information technology services afforded him five weeks of paid vacation a year plus sick time. Savaria’s job as a drafter and designer for a building automation company provided just 13 days of paid time off. “There’s just so much more to explore and 13 PTO days just wasn’t enough to be able to do all that,” Savaria says. They found themselves living for the weekend. They took hikes together, explored parks and went to concerts. There were wine tastings with friends and semiannual camping trips. Savaria taught herself crafts and was getting certified in yoga. Justin belonged to a CrossFit gym. But they decided if they were ever going to trade Central New York’s rolling hills for rugged mountains and shimmering deserts they needed to make a change.
October 2020 2020
Over several months of research and discussions they hatched a plan to buy a van, leave their jobs and spend a year exploring the country. Savaria and Justin stumbled on the van life movement on Instagram. An amateur photographer, she was pulled in by the endless stream of breathtaking landscapes shared by “van lifers.” Nearly 10 million posts are tagged with the hashtags #vanlife and #vanlifediaries. Living and traveling in a customized van might be an attractive prospect, particularly with millennials, but it can also be expensive. Customized camper vans can cost upwards of $100,000. Savaria knew they couldn’t afford that level of expense, but after some research she realized that with a little more saving they could afford to inexpensively retrofit a van and spend a year traveling.
Survivor Survivor Edition Edition
“That kind of made it more real for us,” she says. The couple began browsing for a vehicle. They considered converting a short bus or buying a sprinter or high top, but all would have been too expensive or involved. They settled on looking for commercial vans. Over six months they searched Craigslist, Facebook and eBay. They finally found a 2004 four-wheel drive van on eBay that looked just right. The owner gave them two days to claim the vehicle with cash. So, they drove to Pennsylvania, looked it over for the first and last time, and started the engine. It made a slight knocking noise, but seemed alright otherwise. Satisfied they’d found something workable, the couple handed over $10,500.
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Retrofitting the van was slow and tedious. Despite help from relatives, the couple were learning as they went so snags were inevitable. Though Savaria and Justin had planned to leave in June 2019, work stretched on into the summer. Finally, in August, they decided it was good enough to set off on their first trip. “We didn’t actually finish everything we wanted, but I was like I need to go otherwise we’re never going to go,” Savaria says. They quit their jobs, got rid of their apartment and donated many of their belongings. They sold one of their vehicles and stored the other along with a motorcycle, wedding gifts and other items. And then they hit the road.
A good omen
They headed for Maine and then Canada. The first few days were spent in the Adirondacks getting used to van living. On the first day, they spotted a moose, which Savaria took as a good omen. At first the hardest part was finding places to stay for free, but there turned out to be an app for that. There was no heater, which became problematic as the weather turned cooler. An unsecured storage bin bounced around violently. And their 12-volt cooler, which they eventually replaced, had to be plugged in all the time, draining their battery. But while they were figuring out what worked and what didn’t, they were enjoying their travels. In Nova Scotia they visited the Bay of Fundy and experienced its famous extreme tides, which range more than 40 feet between high and low tide. Part of their plan to travel for a year included not paying to do a lot of touristy things,
SPECIAL FEATURE: VAN LIFE
Van Life from page 25 Savaria says, but they did take a ferry all the way to Newfoundland. It was there they visited Gros Morne National Park. They took a boat tour of Western Brook Pond, a spectacular landlocked fjord whose steep sides were carved by glaciers. The water appeared a deep black, reflecting the landscape. Nearby, they spied three moose swimming together. “It was really eerie, but beautiful,” she says.
October 2020 2020
After the maiden voyage, Savaria and Justin spent a few weeks back in Central New York making alterations to the van, but the weather pushed them to head south. “So we kind of wanted to get south as quick as possible to avoid being stuck in a tin can and it snowing,” Savaria says. When they reached Arkansas in early November, however, the whole country settled into an unexpected deep freeze. They headed for Texas, celebrating when they reached Big Bend National Park, temperature 80 degrees. They enjoyed watching the sun rise over the distant mountains and set over massive red rock formations.Now, more than a year later, they’ve visited 15 states and three Canadian provinces. There have been obvious highlights, such as the Grand Canyon. Savaria loved swimming in hot springs near the Rio Grande. At Sequoia National Park Justin marveled at the largest trees on earth. In White Sands National Park, they climbed the glistening white dunes that create the world’s largest gypsum dune field. The couple were often willing to go off the beaten path to see something extra beautiful. They hiked to several secluded waterfalls in Yosemite. They walked three miles through deep sand to see some of Utah’s famed slot canyons. But the trek there was worth it, Savaria says, because they had the place to themselves.
Survivor Survivor Edition Edition
A day in the van life
There’s no normal day for a van lifer, but Savaria and Justin have tried to have a routine. They typically don’t pay for camping, often staying at campsites in national forests or on Bureau of Land Management property. If they happen to be in a Walmart parking lot, they just get up and go. If they’re at a camp site, they usually take their time getting ready for the day. Morning coffee in folding camp chairs under the van’s awning offers a front row seat to a panoramic landscape. Breakfast is usually something simple like cereal, oatmeal or a Pop Tart. If they’re driving somewhere new they leave as soon as possible. If not, they might relax a bit. At first, they didn’t
have a shower, which meant looking for a truck stop shower or taking a sponge bath, which Savaria and Justin readily admit was one of the less fun parts of the experience. They eventually installed a solar shower. Depending on the day, they might go for a hike or if they are at a new campsite, take a few hours to pick up the trash and litter that is usually left behind by previous campers. Throughout the day, they snack on cashews and raisins. For meals, however, they usually cook everything on a Coleman propane stove. Once in a while, they’ll splurge and stop for Mexican or Chinese food. When they aren’t out exploring, Savaria enjoys reading, journaling and sketching. Justin has been teaching himself to play the guitar. For exercise, Savaria sticks with yoga, while Justin uses whatever he has, such as water jugs, for workout equipment. And they download their favorite Netflix movies and television shows when possible so they can binge later on. Occasionally there’s nothing to do but tend the fire and soak in the wilderness surrounding the van and the stars blanketing the sky. Savaria uses free moments to document their adventure in photographs. Their adventure has been full of new experiences. Savaria had never seen the dessert before. Now she’s had the opportunity to wake up to the shimmering dessert landscape as far as she could see. Continued on page 28
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SPECIAL FEATURE: VAN LIFE
Van Life from page 27 Nearly every day brings a new landscape so beautiful it could have been clipped out of a National Geographic magazine. Savaria says she and Justin have especially enjoyed having the freedom to change their plans if they want to. “That’s been really awesome,” she says. Often, they meet and befriend other van lifers who share stories and suggest new places to explore. For example, they made an unexpected detour to Oak Ride, the secret production site for the first atomic bomb, after a man they met suggested it Another time they were in the Southwest at Christmastime and didn’t have plans. They stopped at a small visitor’s center and a woman there invited them to a giant Christmas parade through town. They’ve stayed friends with many of the people they’ve met. “We don’t know what’s around the next bend,” Justin says. “People, weather and what we see guides what we do and where we go.”
A break in the action
As nice as it was to have no alarm clock, no jobs, and no schedule, the Cregos still found themselves racing against time. The couple had saved enough money to spend about a year on the road, Justin says, and they wanted to see as much as possible before time ran out.
“It was ringing in the back of our heads constantly,” he says. Instead of taking their time and enjoying themselves, Savaria says it was hard to break the mentality that they had to keep moving to see and do as much as possible. They rarely stayed in one spot for more than a day. “We were just constantly moving,” she says. “We’d climb a mountain and then say ‘What’s next?’” They got the chance to slow down earlier this year. News that the COVID-19 virus was spreading was slow to reach them. They were traveling in the California backcountry and lacked reliable phone or internet service. The pandemic made it increasingly difficult to find bathrooms and showers, or even to connect to the internet at a coffee shop. And the couple had only recently adopted a stray dog they’d named Zuko. After some discussion they reluctantly went into quarantine with relatives in Phoenix. They spent three months staying with family who had a spare bedroom and bathroom. It was a bit of an adjustment, but Justin says they appreciated having a roof over their heads and hot showers, as well as more of a routine. But there was also uncertainty about whether they would be able to travel again. When they did head back on the road, they agreed to take their time and enjoy themselves a bit more. The new challenges of traveling during the pandemic and the three months spent under a roof made the couple discuss whether it might be time to look for a house. Savaria misses gardening and having space to do work. Justin thinks Zuko would benefit from a backyard to play in. They still want to visit Washington state, Montana and British Columbia. For now, they’re applying for jobs, preferably remote, to fund their lifestyle. Even if they settle down, Savaria says, that won’t be the end of their van life adventures. “But having a home base would be great.” SWM
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Breast Cancer: AWARENESS, SCREENINGS AND REDUCING YOUR RISK by Lisa Sousou, RPA-C
ctober is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Did you know that one in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime? Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths among U.S. women. However, its overall death rate in the U.S. has been decreasing steadily over time, due to improvement in treatments and to increased early detection. Learn about the symptoms of breast cancer, factors that increase and decrease your risk, and how to maximize the chance of early detection. Then spread the news!
Symptoms of breast cancer
One of the most common symptoms is a lump, but breast cancer does not always present with a mass. Other symptoms can include thickening of the breast tissue, change in shape of the breast, dimpling of the skin, or a rash or even an “orange-peel” appearance to the skin. A newly inverted nipple or a bloody nipple discharge can also be a symptom. Not all of these symptoms definitely mean cancer, but any change to the breast should be examined by a medical provider.
Most women are aware that a family history of breast cancer can increase one’s own risk. A woman’s risk nearly doubles if she has one first-degree relative who was diagnosed. Families with many breast cancer cases are more likely to carry mutations of a gene called BRCA, which can increase lifetime breast cancer risk to as high as 70 percent. Some BRCA mutations also increase risk of ovarian cancer. However, only 5 to 10 percent of breast cancers are associated with a BRCA mutation, and more than 85 percent of breast cancers occur in women with no family history at all. Besides family history, other risk factors include: Age: Incidence increases with age, and most cases are found in women aged 55 or older. Race: Ashkenazi women are more likely to carry BRCA mutations, and among women under 45 years old, Black women are more commonly diagnosed than non-Black women. Starting menstrual periods early, before age 12, or menopause later than age 55. Having dense breasts- a common, not abnormal, finding on mammogram- which increases risk by 1.5 to 2 times. Taking menopausal hormone therapy containing both estrogen and progestin (the risk is low- an increase of eight breast cancers per 10,000 women taking estrogen plus progestin for a year). Estrogen therapy alone has not been shown to increase breast cancer risk. Contrary to common belief, neither aluminum-containing antiperspirants nor wearing a bra has been linked to breast cancer risk. Maintaining a healthy weight, being physically active, avoiding alcohol - or at least limiting it to no more than one drink per day and breastfeeding may help reduce risk.
For optimal chance of successful treatment, early detection is key. Regular breast cancer screenings can help increase the likelihood that a cancer will be detected early. For most women, this means mammograms every one to two years. For some higher-risk women, breast MRIs and/or ultrasounds may also be recommended. Mammogram recommendations have changed in recent years, and differ somewhat among medical organizations. In general, average-risk women should start mammograms at age 40-50 and continue them every one to two years until at least age 75. Some organizations, like the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, recommend starting at age 40, while the American Cancer Society recommends starting at age 45; the U.S. Preventative Services Task Force advises starting at age 50. For women at high risk, the American Cancer Society advocates mammogram and breast MRI yearly starting at age 30. High risk is defined as lifetime risk of 20 to 25 percent or greater (as determined by different screening “tools” which assess risk factors), BRCA mutation in one’s self or one’s first-degree relative, history of radiation therapy to the chest, or certain genetic disorders. In addition, for women with dense breasts on mammogram, a screening breast ultrasound is sometimes offered as an option. Dense breast tissue appears white on a mammogram, possibly obscuring some cancers, which also appear white.
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Adding an ultrasound can pick up cancers which may have otherwise been missed on a mammogram of dense breast tissue. However, ultrasounds also increase the chances of detecting abnormalities which lead to biopsies but end up not being cancer. Ultimately, the choices surrounding breast cancer screening are best made after a discussion between each woman and her own healthcare provider. Finally, clinical breast exams and breast self-exam can be additional tools to help catch early breast cancers. In general, recommendations have moved away from strict monthly selfexaminations in favor of “breast self-awareness”- meaning a purposeful familiarity with the appearance and consistency of one’s own breasts, and a vigilance for any changes as well as willingness to report any changes promptly to a healthcare provider. While neither self-exams nor yearly clinical breast exams has been found to definitely correlate with an increase in breast cancer survival rates, a large percentage of breast cancers are found by women themselves, so being alert for changes is definitely best. Knowledge is power! Arm yourself with the knowledge of signs and symptoms and awareness of your own breasts, and discuss with your medical provider the best screening plan for you. Then keep up on those screenings and take charge of your breast health. Breast cancer is common, but with vigilance, early detection is more likely and treatment is more likely to be a success. SWM
NICOLE SOMMAVILLA The Lyme Life By Jason Klaiber
icole Sommavilla dedicated herself to spending countless hours outdoors during the first half of her freshman year at Ithaca College, oftentimes staying active by hiking near the school’s campus. That was until Valentine’s Day morning in 2013, when she woke up with serious flu-like symptoms. She spent the ensuing week in the hospital, flushed with antibiotics and released with assurance that she would feel fine from then on. Instead, Sommavilla struggled through four years of reoccurring and unexplained brain fog, exhaustion, muscle and joint pain, headaches and soreness in her throat. Some days, she could only summon the energy for a short trip to the grocery store, even if she otherwise appeared externally healthy in the eyes of her peers. Those years revolved around what she called “the guessing game.” Some doctors she saw pinned the symptoms on depression or an overload of stress resulting from her full plate of class assignments, but those were evaluations she rejected outright. Other medical professionals had trouble boiling down the range of symptoms to any firm conclusions. “It was really frustrating,” Sommavilla said. “It just got to the point where it was a broken record. You know in your heart that something is wrong. You’re just not getting the answers.”
Eventually an assessment of her blood work revealed that her white blood cell count was off to a noticeable degree. This led to Sommavilla being diagnosed in January 2017 with Lyme disease, a tick-borne illness known as “The Great Imitator” because it can mimic afflictions such as fibromyalgia or multiple sclerosis. The fact that she never found a bull’s eye rash, which can be an early indication of Lyme disease, decreased the chances of early detection even more. Despite that four-year waiting period, she still considers herself lucky to have been diagnosed when she was. “The longer it goes missed, the harder it is to get under control,” Sommavilla said. “Some people go more than four years without knowing.” To avoid contracting Lyme disease, she recommends conducting frequent and thorough tick checks immediately following nature excursions, especially ones steered deep into the woods. Upon a diagnosis, treatments can be hard to come by and expensive if available according to Sommavilla, now a reporter and weekend anchor for NewsChannel 9. However, she said she found her “golden ticket” in the spring of 2019. After previous regimens proved too harsh for her body, she said a dozen rounds of Bicillin injections administered by Connecticut-based specialist Dr. Steven Phillips improved her health greatly, a sudden breakthrough she attributes
partly to her prayers asking for healing. “With Lyme, it’s throwing darts and hoping one sticks, because everybody reacts differently to different treatments,” she said. To raise awareness and reach out to others battling Lyme disease, Sommavilla now openly shares her experiences living with the illness through her social media accounts. She also produced two on-air segments titled “Living With Lyme,” that are available on her website. “The more people you can surround yourself with who understand what you’re going through, the more hope you’ll find,” she said. “Lyme almost killed me, but God gave me a second chance,” Sommavilla writes on the site. “Many doctors believe there's no cure, but I'm working diligently with mine to fight my way into remission.” SWM To learn more about Sommavilla’s insight into living with the disease, visit the “Living With Lyme” page on her website nicolesommavilla.com.
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Advocating for women's health By Alyssa Dearborn
laine Mielcarski - Central New York’s first licensed midwife and a gynecologic nurse practitioner - may not be practicing at the level that she had once enjoyed, but she has been able to continue helping Central New York women live healthier lives. She has been open about her cancer experience with very few people in the past. But as new information about women’s health issues has evolved, Mielcarski believes that she can help more women by talking about her cancer story. “I was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 42.” Mielcarski said, “My second breast cancer was pre-menopausal. My third breast cancer was probably menopausal or almost menopausal. One of my two sisters was diagnosed with breast cancer and died of it. A cousin and aunt also died of it. I want women to be advocates for themselves.”
One thing about her story that Mielcarski wants women to know is that even though she was able to survive her cancers and even manage a rewarding career and personal life, she also experienced similar struggles that other cancer patients face every day. When asked about how her life changed through her diagnoses, she replied, “I was on call morning, noon, and night, weekends, holidays. I delivered somewhere between 2,500 to 3,000 babies in my career. [Dr. Waldman] took my calls when I was having radiation therapy if I couldn’t, but I also took calls delivering babies when I was having radiation therapy. But at the end of the treatment, it became exhausting.” “So many people feel that their body has failed them.” She continued, “So many people feel that their body doesn’t work because they were perfectly healthy and doing
everything right and all of a sudden, they have this cancer and they could die from it. I had a little bit of that. I didn’t have a lot, maybe because of my background. But I had it. My body didn’t work because my body didn’t fight this off. Getting through it I realized that my body was functioning just fine. I wasn’t dying of the flu as many people do. My immune system seemed to be working in every other way. And so, for me, [I ask] why? Why did I survive it and what can I do to help others survive it?” Helping other women prevent cancer and survive diagnosed cancers became a mission for Elaine Mielcarski. According to Mielcarski, early detection is important for having a good chance at survival. It is important for women to get to know their own bodies as well as their family history. “I had three primary breast cancers over 18 months. I discovered the first lump myself,” she said. “I think that’s important. Women should examine their breasts. Do breast exams. Do them every month. If you are still having periods, do it on the very last day of your period. Your hormones are the lowest, so you’re not going to have lumpy, bumpy breasts because of the hormone involvement. Just examine your breasts and if you find something, contact somebody who knows what to do.” “And here’s the thing about doing your own breast exams and finding your own lump. I found my own lump and finding it saved my life. It was six months before it was diagnosed. Not by anybody’s fault. It felt like fibrocystic tissue, but it changed. It increased in size. You will know your breasts better than anybody because you’re with them and we’re only seeing you once a year.” Family history and genetics have also been instrumental in early detection of cancer according to Mielcarski. When asked about the changes in cancer screenings over the years, she described recent research she and her colleagues published which made genetic testing more widely available. “In the early 1980’s, before breast, ovarian and colon cancer genes were discovered, I sent patients home to ask family members if anyone had colon cancer, abnormal colon polyps, breast cancer or ovarian cancer. I did this with every patient coming in for their annual exam. Dr Waldman and I who cofounded the original practice that Associates for Women’s Medicine developed from, would then record that family history in the charts. Now there are 35 genes including BRCA that we can test, for hereditary cancer. Through our study involving 4,000 patients, published in November 2018, we found that one in four of our patients were eligible for genetic testing, through the National Cancer Network Guidelines. These guidelines are the gold standard. It brought tears to my eyes to see that because I’ve been looking at women from high risk families all those years and sending them to specialists so that there was better surveillance. Women who are found with an inherited gene tend to get that cancer at a younger age be more aggressive. By knowing it and having heightened surveillance, you discover it early and save lives.Their lives can be saved. Typically, as explained by Mielcarski, many patients believe that they only have to worry about breast cancer when they’re over 50. This is not the case. “We feel infallible when we’re young.” Mielcarski explained. “Young women get breast cancer. Young women have to examine their breasts. This is not to scare them but to make them aware.
In the US, 11% of diagnosed breast cancer is in the under 45 year old. They too need care and if they feel a lump, they need to report it to someone who can evaluate it.” If there is something that we can all learn from Elaine Mielcarski, it is that no matter what challenges life and illness throw at us, survival is possible. When asked what helped her through her cancer treatment, she replied, “The first time, it was my children. They had just lost their grandfather to lung cancer. He died just the year before I was diagnosed. I couldn’t tell them. And I couldn’t tell my mother because she had just gone through it with my father. It was just not wanting to leave them and my patients. I was also helped by my faith.” It is also important for women to remember to take care of themselves and to make their health a priority. When asked about the future of women’s health, she reminded us of an all too common issue in many women’s personal lives. “Women take care of everyone else but themselves.” Mielcarski said, “They worry about everybody. They are the last that they worry about. Our organs are hidden. We often times don’t have symptoms until late in the game. So have your exams. Your family will love you for it.” When it comes to the issues discussed every day in healthcare, she believes that having caring professions looking after patients can make all the difference. “We need a unified method of addressing maternal mortality,” she said. “This can’t be a blame game. Those at risk need more care. Other countries don’t include statistics that we do. It has to be an effort out of love. We need to love women enough to care enough to change it.” SWM
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MOVERS AND SHAKERS
Dr. Christina Walton joins Crouse’s Manlius practice
The appointment of Christina Walton, DO, to the primary care provider team at Crouse Medical Practice is a homecoming of sorts for the young physician, who is welcoming new patients at the Manlius office. The Central New York native was a member of Crouse’s Choices program and Junior Volunteer corps during her years as a student at Cicero North Syracuse High School. “My experience at Crouse during my high school years provided a rich and rewarding experience, as well as a wonderful foundation as I pursued my career in medicine,” says Dr. Walton. Dr. Walton earned a bachelor’s degree in public health and biology from the University of Rochester. She completed her medical degree at Rowan University School of Osteopathic Medicine and completed her residency in family medicine at the University of Buffalo — Sisters of Charity Hospital. While in medical school, she received the J.T. Tai Foundation Scholarship, awarded for high academic standing, and the Cary F. Vastola D.O. Award, presented to the Intern of the Year, selected for demonstrating medical excellence and dedication to the osteopathic profession. “I am so pleased to be back in the Syracuse area, beginning to practice at Crouse and being reunited with family,” said Dr. Walton. She and her husband, Dan, whom she met in high school, became first-time parents in May, welcoming a baby boy, Ollie.
this initiative by hosting the fund. CNYCF will provide professional management, help with gift administration, and provide expanded capacity such as online giving, pledges, and stock/mutual fund/ complex gifts. To make a contribution to the COVID-19 Impact Fund, visit cnycf.org and search cnyartscovidimpact.
Liverpool native pens first book
Liverpool native Ella Maria LeBlanc will release her first book, entitled Your Path to True Freedom, at a virtual launch party on Oct. 7. “The Your Path To True Freedom book is to put you on the path to have true freedom in your mind, body and spirit,” LeBlanc said. “Sharing my personal stories through writing this book has helped me to heal and become a better person and I hope it does the same for others.” The book outlines 10 principles to help readers “live the life they deserve.” LeBlanc said she attributes her ability to navigate life’s challenges to her faith and her family. A certified life coach, LeBlanc is a graduate of Liverpool High School and SUNY Albany. For more information or to participate in the livestream of the launch party, visit queenellamaria.com.
Seeley joins St. Camillus
In mid-March, arts, culture, and heritage venues were closed in an effort to reduce the spread of the COVID-19 virus. This shutdown resulted in the significant loss of both earned and contributed revenue, including government funds. The loss of this revenue has placed us in the middle of an arts crisis. According to artists and arts agencies in this region’s creative sector, this crisis is having an “extremely severe” impact on their livelihoods. Without support, many will be forced to close their doors. In response to this urgent need, CNY Arts has established the COVID-19 Impact Fund with a goal of raising $1M to save Central New York’s vibrant arts community. The arts unify communities, provide jobs, stimulate economic growth, foster creative thinking, and build social cohesion. Arts and culture are also a solace and outlet for people during challenging times. The Central New York Community Foundation is assisting with
The Centers at St. Camillus has welcomed Katrina Seeley as its new director of nursing services for the skilled nursing facility, where she will oversee the nursing practice across all inpatient and clinical programs, including long term skilled nursing (continuing) care, short-term rehabilitation and the specialized care in Central and Upstate New York’s only statecertified Brain Injury Center. With a collective decade of successful experience in nursing and health care management, Seeley specializes in long term care, critical care medicine and advanced wound care. She has held positions responsible for clinical, operational and quality leadership for nursing and clinical inpatient services throughout New York’s Capital district and Central regions. Katrina received her undergraduate education at SUNY Albany and is currently a master’s candidate. She is a diplomate of the American Professional Wound Care Association and is certified in nursing executive practice. She has received several honors and awards throughout her nursing career, including the Capital District Region’s esteemed Nurse of Excellence Award.
CNY Arts responding to arts crisis
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UPCOMING EVENTS Thursday, Oct. 1
Saturday, Oct. 18
When: 6 to 8 p.m. What: It’s trivia night at the Everson hosted by local celebrity Jamie Owens! Come test your knowledge on popular culture, current events, Everson art and more, right from your living room. Be sure to add your team members names in your registration. Please keep your team at a minimum of four and a maximum of six players. The team leader will receive a confirmation email with a Zoom link and trivia guidelines for playing after registering. Space is limited to the first 6 teams. Prizes will be awarded to the winners. Participants must pre-register to receive the Zoom link to participate. Cost: Free. Info: Contact Qiana Williams with questions, firstname.lastname@example.org.
When: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. What: Making Strides Against Breast Cancer will be a drive through event taking place at the Destiny USA Solar Street parking lot across from the Embassy Suites. Info: secure.acsevents.org.
Free Virtual Trivia with the Everson
Saturday, Oct. 3
Symphoria Presents: John Williams' Greatest Hits
When: 7:30 p.m. What: Travel to a galaxy far, far away with the greatest road trip playlist of all time. Symphoria will perform music from Star Wars, Indiana Jones, E.T., and more! Sean O’Loughlin (b.1972) is the Principal Pops Conductor of Symphoria and the newly appointed Principal Pops Conductor of the Victoria Symphony in Victoria, B.C., Canada. O’Loughlin is excited to continue contributing to the rich history of orchestral and wind band literature. His music is published by Excelcia Music, Hal Leonard and Carl Fischer. He is a frequent guest conductor with professional orchestras around the country and abroad. An annual ASCAP Special Awards winner, he was a composition fellow at the Henry Mancini Institute in Los Angeles, and holds composition degrees from New England Conservatory and Syracuse University. This concert will be livestreamed. Cost: $20 Livestream. Info: experiencesymphoria.org. Tuesday, Oct. 6
Online Art Book Club
When: 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. What: The Everson Museum of Art and the Community Library of DeWitt & Jamesville are partnering to bring an art-focused book club directly to participants. This month’s book will be Oil and Marble: A Novel of Leonardo and Michelangelo by Stephanie Story. Enjoy a fascinating book and join the discussion on Zoom from your computer, tablet, or phone. Presented by the Everson Docents. Zoom meeting information will be emailed to registrants on the day of the event. Pre-registration required, please register through the library system. Cost: Free. Info: everson.org.
Making Strides Against Breast Cancer
Saturday, Oct. 18
Expansion To Joy
When: 1 to 4 p.m. What: Expansion to Joy is a three-hour online event designed for introspective men and women who push through challenges to uplift others… who are a source of support for others… who keep their challenges to themselves… who are ready to claim their own feelings, release emotional pain, and embrace their evolution. Cost: $40 for one ticket, $70 for two. Info: www.empathevolution.com. Thursday, Oct. 24
Symphoria Presents: Mendelssohn & Mozart
When: 7:30 p.m. What: After beginning the performance with the rarely heard Overture in C by Fanny Mendelssohn, world- renowned pianist Sara Davis Buechner, a proud transgender woman, performs Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 14. Felix Mendelssohn’s 1829 trip to Scotland inspired him to write his Hebrides Overture and Third Symphony, the “Scottish Symphony”, which concludes this program. This concert will be livestreamed. Cost: $20 Livestream. Info: experiencesymphoria.org. Thursday, Oct. 24
Painted Box Workshop
When: 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Where: Madison County Historical Society, 435 Main St., Oneida What: Pat Kimber teaches the step-by-step process of painting a scene on the top of a classic basswood box in the style of Rufus Porter (1792-1884,) an itinerant wall muralist, portrait painter who left a rich record of his work deemed primitive today. Registration required. All supplies are included in the registration fee. For ages 13 years and up. Space limited to 10; face masks required; participants will be six feet apart. Cost: $30, $25 for Madison County Historical Society members. Info: 315-363-4136, email@example.com, mchs1900.org.
Thursday, Oct. 15
Everson Museum’s virtual cooking demonstration with Bad Vegen Cafe
When: 6 to 8 p.m. What: If you’re looking for a creative way to use those fall vegetables, then join us in a live virtual cooking demonstration with Chef Tiesha Muhammed-Bey, owner of Bad Vegen Café. Participants must pre-register for this virtual event. Cost: $6.40 members | $8 non-members. Info: everson.org. Friday, Oct. 16
‘No Passport Required’
When: 6:30 p.m. What: WCNY’s Sixth Annual Taste of Fame culinary fundraiser will feature Marcus Samuelsson, award-winning chef, restaurateur, author, and co-owner of Red Rooster Harlem. Due to coronavirus, Marcus will host the culinary journey and cooking experience live from New York City to home kitchens across the country on Zoom. The live event features a 30-minute cocktail Q&A, a live cooking lesson, an ingredient box that feeds up to four people for $175 delivered to households by event and culinary partner, Tastings NYC, private Zoom rooms to eat with friends in other households, two-week access to the recorded cooking lesson, and the online silent auction. Cost: $175. Info: wcny.org/tasteoffame, tickets: wcny.org/events, 315-453-2424.
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