June 2015

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JUNE 2015

special feature


sm inspire


in his own words TIM O’SHEA’S JOURNEY TO MT. MARCY

fab finds


Chris Fowler




Jack lost 175 lbs. and found the long way home. A simple trip to the mailbox used to be a grueling excursion. But since Jack had weight-loss surgery at Crouse, he’s found his old self. Jack also found a caring and compassionate team to help him along his journey. From trusted surgeons to nutritional experts to a support group that shares everything from flavorful recipes to a healthy dose of inspiration. Come to our next weight-loss surgery seminar and discover what you can find. crouse.org/weightloss

FREE weight-loss surgery seminars! June 1 • June 18 July 1 • July 16

To register, visit crouse.org/weightloss 315/472-2464

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June Letter from the Editor

48 6

Out & About 7



Fashion Forward: Nathan Schafer


Platter Chatter: Modern Malt


New in the Cuse: Gourmelt


Special Feature: Roland Williams


Fab Finds: Facial Hair Fancies


Special Feature: HOPE for Ariang


Healthy Man: Joint Replacement


For a Good Cause: Friends of Dorothy House


Cover Story: Chris Fowler


King of Arts: Dave Hanlon



Fitness: Eric Hinman 36 In His Own Words: Tim O’Shea


Leading Man in Business: Matthew Dydo


Syracuse Men Inspire 43



SWM Main Events 48 SWM Calendar 49


38 38


LETTER FROM THE EDITOR Almost everyone knows cover man Chris Fowler, the founder of SyracuseFirst, a nonprofit that strives to “shift the community to buy local as frequently as possible.” An advocate for this city, Chris can be found most days supporting downtown Syracuse by attending events, getting to know local business owners and spreading the word about the benefits of buying local. He shares the story of how he came into this role and his goals for the future of the organization and the city as a whole — he’s running for a Common Council position this year.

“My amazing man happens to be my best friend and love of my life, Mike. Not only does he serve our country as an Army Sniper, but he is always putting others first. On his own accord, he visits with some of the veterans at the nursing home I work at, among other things. He literally inspires me every day with his selfless ways.” – Stefanie Heath Higgins, Cuse Pit Crew “My amazing husband of 31 years is not afraid to stand up for what’s right. He spends every waking minute helping create a legacy in memory of our daughter and save women’s lives; is a great dad to our son; and a wonderful partner to me. He’s the one you will see at the War Memorial, walking the entire arena, handing out teal ribbons and symptom cards to save one life. He’s the one you will see walking the NYS Fair in 90-degree heat talking to every woman he sees, trying to save one life. Oh yeah, and he’s a two-time cancer survivor. He rocks.” – Frieda Weeks, Hope for Heather “One of the most amazing men in my life was my father. He believed that you could be anything you wanted to be if you worked hard and were kind to other people. He taught me that there are more important things in this world than money (which was good, because we rarely had any extra), but he also taught me that I needed to make a living in this world and work had its own rewards.” – Virginia LaFaro, Amazing Mother When I put out a call for people to tell me about the inspiring men in their lives, I was surprised to find that all the respondents were women. After all, men look up to men, too — sons to fathers, nephews to uncles, and so forth. But I found this demographic oddly fitting. The team at SWM feels the same way the women who responded to my query do: proud of the men in our lives and what they’ve achieved. That’s why we’ve dedicated an entire issue to them in our first-ever “Man Edition.”

This past February, many local media outlets covered the story of Tim O’Shea, a local cyclist who rode his bike from Manlius to Mt. Marcy to raise money for a local charity. In this issue, Tim provides the first-person perspective of his story in the In His Own Words article, detailing his 206-mile journey to raise money for Two Smiles, One Hope — a local nonprofit with the goal to end Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy through research and a cure. Our three Inspires this month are just as selfless. Dom Cambareri is one of the key players in developing the Carrier Park Challenger Field of Dreams, Syracuse’s firstever handicapped accessible baseball field. Believe in Syracuse Founder John DeSantis shares his dream to transform the negative thinking about Syracuse into positive commentary through social media, programs and supporting local businesses. Unlike Dom and John, Dan Clausen’s work is done behind the scenes for Ophelia’s Place. He is the maintenance man, music coordinator, occasional dishwasher, support system — you name it, he’s done it.


Kelly Breuer Barbara McSpadden


Barbara McSpadden


Alyssa LaFaro


PHOTOGRAPHY Matthew Balch Jeffrey Best Cleary Gerard H. Gaskin Steven J. Pallone Alice G. Patterson Chris Szulwach

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Anna Dussing Hayleigh Gowans Seth S. Greenky Brett B. Greenky Brittany Sperino Horsford Kayla Isaacs Farah F. Jadran Alyssa LaFaro Margaret Madge Madigan Samantha McCarthy Tim O’Shea Catherine Wilde


Renee Moonan Linda Jabbour Please contact Renee Moonan (315) 657-7690


Lastly, I would like to dedicate this issue to one very special man: Ken Conley, my father’s best friend who was like an uncle to me. Ken would have given a stranger the shirt off his back. He was the kindest, gentlest, funniest person I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing. Many lives were changed by his unexpected passing in 2004. But he lives on forever in our hearts. This one’s for you, Ken.

Unlike any other publication in the Syracuse area, our feature articles address major topics that interest local women.

To the men in our lives,


Alyssa LaFaro

Each issue includes articles on health, fashion, fitness, finance, home matters, dining, lifestyle and personal perspectives, as well as a spotlight on local Syracuse women. Ads are due on the 15th of the month prior to publication. The print magazines will be distributed locally in over 350 locations and will be in your inbox electronically by the middle of every month. The publication is available free of charge. 315.434.8889 2501 James Street, Suite 100 Syracuse, NY 13206 info@syracusewomanmag.com

DOWNLOAD OUR MEDIA KIT AT www.syracusewomanmag.com


Chris Fowler was photographed by Chris Szulwach of The Story Photography (thestoryphotography.com) on Walton Street in Armory Square, as well as Al’s Whiskey Lounge, Funk ’N Waffles, LOFO and on top of the Clinton Street garage.

The magazine is published 12 times a year by Syracuse Woman Magazine, llc. and Eagle Publications, 2501 James Street, Suite 100, Syracuse, NY 13206. Copyright © 2014 Syracuse Woman Magazine, llc. No part of this magazine may be reproduced or republished without the consent of the publishers. Syracuse Woman Magazine is not responsible for unsolicited submissions, manuscripts, photos or artwork. All such submissions become the property of Syracuse Woman Magazine, llc. and will not be returned.

o&A MOVIES Jurassic World – 6/12 Twenty-two years after the events of Jurassic Park, Isla Nublar now features a dinosaur adventure park, Jurassic World, as originally envisioned by John Hammond. Owen (Chris Pratt), a member of Jurassic World’s on-site staff, conducts behavioral research on the Velociraptors. Jurassic World’s attendance rates begin to decline and a new attraction, created to re-spark visitor interest, backfires.

Inside Out – 6/19 The film is set in the head of a young girl, Riley, where five emotions - Joy, Anger, Disgust, Fear and Sadness, try to lead her through her life. The emotions live in Headquarters, the control center inside Riley’s mind, where they help advise her through everyday life. As Riley and her emotions struggle to adjust to a new life in San Francisco, turmoil ensues in Headquarters.

Ted 2 – 6/26 This time around, Ted (Seth MacFarlane) is attempting to raise a child with his new wife, but in order to do so, he must prove that he’s a person.


Come to the historic George & Rebecca Barnes Foundation on James Street from Thursday, June 4 through 6, for a weekend of fashion, food and fun.

This year’s Save the Mansion Tour kicks off with “Cocktails & Conversation” — a 1950s happy hour with a style show and shopping — on Thursday, June 4. The following evening, enjoy a “Garden Party” with wine, cheese and hors d’oeuvres, to be held at John & Mary Lou Thomasmeyer’s Sedgwick home on Brattle Road. End your weekend with Saturday’s “Save the Mansion Tour,” a tour of the Barnes Hiscock Mansion and five homes in Sedgwick. The George & Rebecca Barnes Foundation was formed to meet the growing demands of preservation, restoration and maintenance of 930 James St., the original home of George and Rebecca Barnes. The Foundation’s goal is to preserve the home and educate the general public about the significance of the home and its original occupants. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit grbarnes.org.


The seventh annual ArtRageous Extravaganza to benefit ArtRage Gallery — Syracuse’s social justice art organization — will be on Saturday, July 11, from 7 to 11p.m. at the ArtRage Gallery, located at 505 Hawley Ave. The event will feature live music from the Kambuyu Marimba Ensemble of Syracuse and Better Than Bowling; a silent auction featuring more than 100 spectacular items such as jewelry, pottery, theater tickets and gift certificates; and incredible food and a cash bar. Admission is $15, or two for $25, at the door. For more information, visit artragegallery.org or call 315-218-5711.


Eating and drinking with purpose! Is there a better way to spend a Sunday afternoon? On Sunday, Aug. 2, Philanthropic Foodies will present its Fourth Annual Culinary Showcase from 4 to 8 p.m. at the SKY Armory.

Magic Mike XXL – 7/1 Picking up the story three years after Mike bowed out of the stripper life at the top of his game, Magic Mike XXL finds the remaining Kings of Tampa ready to throw in the towel. But they do it their way in one last blow-out performance in Myrtle Beach, and with Magic Mike sharing the spotlight. On the road to their final show, Mike and the guys learn some new moves and shake off the past in surprising ways.

This event showcases talented local chefs and products from local purveyors. The goal is simple: Eat, drink and give back! A minimum donation of $100 per person is requested, and tickets include tastings from the area’s premier culinary talents, beer and wine, access to local food and beverage experts, a silent and live auction, and jazz entertainment by Jimmy and Ashley Cox. Proceeds to benefit Friends of Dorothy House, Stupid Dumb Breast Cancer and The First Tee Syracuse. Philanthropic Foodies was born from the desire of local food enthusiasts to channel something they love to do (eat and drink) into a vehicle to give back. In the past three years, it has donated more than $100,000 to five deserving and local organizations. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit philanthropicfoodies.org.



forward ::FASHION



The Modern Pop Culture owner talks his store, style and stunning creations BY FARAH F. JADRAN I PHOTO BY JEFFREY BEST CLEARY Nathan Schafer, owner of Modern Pop Culture in Armory Square, has always known and foreseen this city’s potential. “There is a great feeling of support among the local businesses,” he says. “I work directly with my customers in the shop, so I will run into a lot of them around town, which is great.” He has always enjoyed hearing the compliments his customers have received for the ensemble they found at his shop. “I know that even though it might just be clothes, I have a positive effect on people and how they feel.” I sat down with Nathan recently to learn more about his business and role in Syracuse’s fashion scene. Syracuse Woman Magazine: How long have you been in business? Nathan Schafer: I opened the shop in the spring of 2008. My original shop was a third-floor location on Walton Street and, after two years, I moved around the corner to my current location, which is street level on Jefferson Street in Armory Square. It has been just over seven years now for the shop, though I started making my own screen-printed designs and selling them at events a few years prior to that. SWM: What truly inspired you to do this? NS: I always knew I wanted to do my own thing, have my own business and be my own boss. When I was doing my own designs and hand screen printing, I tried to see if I could get my clothes in various stores in the area. I found it hard to do this even though I was getting a small following by selling at various events and pop-ups. After trying for a while, I decided to just do it myself and open my own shop. I would carry my styles and also try to help others doing the same things from various areas. I wanted to carry things that were not in other shops, hard to find and a different vine from the standard norm. That is why the shop has evolved into what it is today — carrying unique, fashionable vintage clothing along with my customized styles. I still do my best to have brands and independent styles you can’t find in other stores as well.

SWM: Has your style and design evolved with time? NS: My style and creativity is constantly evolving. That is something I always wanted for the shop as well. I was never really someone that considered themselves an artist. I can’t even draw a stick figure straight. My appreciation for the arts has always existed and I have been close with some very talented people. As for me, I tend to see things in a more mechanical and mathematic way — things fit together. There is a certain detail in simplicity with a subtle uniqueness. As I have met more people and learned from experience, I have constantly improved using unique methods to create. Since I work with clothing, I do my best to pay attention to the small features that make things more wearable, more comfortable and fit just right. SWM: What is it about timeless fashion that makes it special? NS: Some fashions just work, even though there are trends that may be more popular at times. When something fits just right and the person feels good when they wear it, then it is timeless for that person. The “rules” of fashion are falling to the wayside. This is making more room for creativity in fashion, which in turn makes those one-of-a-kind styles that much more special. SWM: Tell Syracuse Woman Magazine readers about a memorable project. NS: I have a few things I have made that I am especially proud of. I have taken on some projects I was not sure I would be able to do. One such item is a fur coat that had a severely damaged sleeve. I decided to try and make it into a vest. I had to take it apart and come up with a few of my own methods to get it to work, but in the end it was amazing! I had so many people comment on it. I still have a few items I have made that I have a certain affection for that I cannot sell. They have graced the runway in various outfits, but I just have to keep them. One piece is a velvet, off-the-shoulder, “cross” mini dress in which hand-sewn crosses embellish it. Each cross is hand-placed and individually sewn. It always gets noticed. For more information on Modern Pop Culture, visit modernpopculture.com.

Make it a Home Run with Dad this Father’s Day!

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chatter ::PLATTER

Modern Malt

Where breakfast and cocktails meet





When you think of breakfast, you think cereal. A bowl topped with milk, and maybe some toast and jam on the side — it’s the typical go-to breakfast. But Chris Bily, one of the managing partners and founders of Modern Malt in Armory Square, wanted to combine these ingredients to create something original. In an effort to reconstruct breakfast, he fashioned dishes like the “Barney Rubble” — French toast coated in crushed Fruity Pebbles — which is, today, a staple item on the Modern Malt menu. Inspired by the food truck scene in 2014, Chris and childhood friend Matthew Gardner had the urge to bring their own eclectic dishes-with-a-spin to Syracuse. Knowing that a truck was not their route, the duo thought a diner would add a 21st-century-meets-modern feel to the mix. Connecting with Rob Bidwell and Mark Bullis, the group considered the vibe and scene they wanted to evoke, as well as menu ideas. Together they created Modern Malt, the faded orange-and-blue-toned, funky, progressive diner serving all-day-long breakfast and lunch items, specials and cocktails. “We’re trying to promote a new way to look at food service in New York,” says Chris. “I think that, sometimes, people are scared to step outside the box when it comes to food. But we always want to push the envelope and search for new techniques or creativity when it comes to how certain dishes are thought of to the normal human being.” While designing the menu, Chris thought of interesting ways to mesh food. Anthony D’Onofrio — Modern Malt’s executive chef — tested, tweaked and executed the ideas, bringing Chris’s concepts to life. Like with the “Barney Rubble,” smeared with strawberry-ginger jam, plated with a side of crème anglaise; or the “Elvis B-Side” bacon pancakes with bananas and peanut butter. Adding eggs on burgers or slathering on homemade fig jam, these twists on classic dishes give rise to the diner’s ambiance, where booths border the rectangular space and high-top tables sit in the center. A curved countertop bar with high-backed, retro-colored chairs greets customers. To remain forward thinking, Chris envisions seasonal menus with different options. “We’ll always have our staple items and we’ll always change,” says Chris. “I think for the customers it’s cool to just come and get new stuff all the time. It’s intrigue. Everyone’s looking for cool and different things.” This summer, Modern Malt will introduce its updated, bolder menu. It will include a lemon meringue waffle and movie theatre-style salad. “When you think of movie theatre you think of popcorn,” explains Chris. The final result will be a caramel corn topped salad with fresh strawberries, among other ingredients. Withich has cocktails, they will offer a lavender mint julep, a blood orange and Thai basil mojito, and a modern macchiato — using coffee from Café Kubal, who teamed up with Modern Malt. Other restaurants have also formed partnerships with the diner. Gannons delivers ice cream for milkshakes, like Modern Malt’s exclusive vanilla malt. Nearly everything the diner makes is homemade or outsourced locally. Even the cocktail bar juices their own citrus and flavors their alcohol. “It’s just really got that classic vibe, like a little bit of a throwback,” says Chris. “A real and true place where everyone can come in and just culturally feel that. “I think the restaurant industry and scene should be an entirely cultural experience,” he continues. “If people can come here and relax, have fun, be catered to by our staff, enjoy some of the coolest, funkiest, and craziest dishes and cocktails in Syracuse, then I think we’re doing something right.” For more information on Modern Malt, visit eatdrinkmalt.com. SYRACUSEWOMANMAG.COM :: JUNE 2015




Wouldn’t it be simply wonderful if one could gain the wisdom of the years without all the wrinkles? That’s my definition of growing old gracefully.


“Youth has no age” … Pablo Picasso.

Younger AT ANY AGE

With advances in cosmetic medicine, you can look, 10 to 20 years younger without surgery. Here are some things you can do to keep looking radiant at any age; 1. TAKE CARE OF YOUR COMPLEXION: There are so many choices in the market place today when it comes to skin care. What works depends only on your skin type and degree of damage. This is why I have developed the “FLAWLESS PROFILE™” This will help you determine the degree of skin damage and sensitivity so you can select the appropriate products. This will save you money and aggravation. An effective skin care routine should accomplish at least five basic objectives: Exfoliation, treat blemishes, stimulate collagen production, hydrate and protect your skin. Some of the best agents for exfoliation contain hydroxyl acids such as glycolic acid, salicylic acid and lactic acid. To treat blemishes such as brown discoloration or age spot, examples of products that work include: • Hydroquinone • Lumixyl • Arbutin • Kojic acid The best product for stimulating collagen production is retinol or retin-A.



Hyaluronic acid is a good example of a product that helps to hydrate the skin. Adequate intake of water is very helpful.

Wearing sunscreen with SPF 30 or greater should be the cornerstone of any daily skin care routine.

Even the best at home skin care regimen may not be enough as we get older. In the late 30s and early 40s, periodic professional treatment may go a long way to delay the effects of father time. These may include chemical peels or laser treatments especially for redness and capillaries. 2. RELAXED EXPRESSIONS: Over time frown lines, forehead lines, and crows’ feet will appear. These are caused by excessive contraction of muscles of facial expression. The most effective way to do this is with botox and medicatiions like botox such as dysport or xeonin. The results are quite impressive. There is just no topical product in the market place today that will give you comparable results. 3. RESTORED VOLUME: As we age, we lose fat from the face. This causes under eye hollow, deep smile lines, parallel smile lines, marionette lines, sunken cheek. Lost volume can easily be restored with facial fillers. The results are dramatic and immediate. Examples of fillers include Juvederm, Restylane, Perlane, Radiesse. 4. TIGHTEN LOOSE SKIN: The options for facial skin tightening include; Laser resurfacing, radiofrequency, medium and deep chemical peels. Micro needling is becoming popular. 5. RENEW YOUR SPIRIT: Looking younger and feeling younger require a youthful spirit. A renewed spirit goes a long way to ignite your energy and vitality allowing you to experience and express your complete beauty both inside and out.





SCRAPE, Sizzle,

Scrape. Sizzle. Serve. Those are the sounds of Dick Benedetto cooking up some grilled cheese sandwiches in the kitchen of his new gourmet grilled cheese restaurant, GourMelt, located in the historic George & Rebecca Barnes Foundation Mansion on James Street. The Smoke Incorporated owner only made the decision to open a restaurant specializing in one of America’s favorite sandwiches earlier this year. “I’ve always been thinking about it,” he admits. “Other grilled cheese-based restaurants around the country do very well. It’s something we are missing here in Syracuse. I thought it would be a good fit.” The response to the concept has been phenomenal. “People are loving the idea,” adds Dick. “Between Twitter and Facebook, we have about 1,000 people following us now. People stop at the mansion on a daily basis and ask if they can have grilled cheese. I am getting phone calls on a daily basis asking if we are open. Everyone is quite excited about it.” Well, the wait is over. GourMelt hopes to open later this month. Dick plans to take advantage of the area’s local resources. He’s in the process of sourcing his cheese and bread from companies like Meadowood Farms in Cazenovia and Heidelberg Baking Company in Herkimer. The menu will feature eight to 10 staple sandwiches throughout the year, as well as daily specials. “That’s where the weird stuff will happen,” laughs Dick. Smoke Incorporated and GourMelt will share a kitchen, so it’s no surprise that bits and pieces from Smoke’s barbeque creations sneak into the menu — which isn’t finalized yet. Regardless, Dick shares a sneak preview of what grilled cheese connoisseurs can expect. “I am working on a brazed short rib and caramelized onion sandwich,” he explains, “and plan to use some Empire Brewing Company Black Magic Stout to braze the meat in. My pulled pork is definitely going to be on a sandwich on the menu.” There will also be plenty of options for vegetarians, like the goat cheese and mozzarella sandwich, which has a sundried tomato and basil pesto and is served on sunflower raisin bread. Upon my visit to the GourMelt kitchen, I watched Dick experiment with, literally, whatever he had in the fridge. Like a scientist in a lab, he piles a menagerie of ingredients between two slices of bread and hopes for the best. The first sandwich he made featured Meadowood Farm’s Lorenzo cheese — which we both agreed tasted like a delectable cream of broccoli soup — along with some Colby, fried chicken skin and red onions on Heidelberg cracked wheat. This was, by far, my favorite concoction. Next, he piled apple chutney, parmesan, munster and Meadowood’s Champ cheese onto Heidelberg pumpernickel — an interesting blend of sweet and savory flavors. The third sandwich featured both Meadowood’s Champ and Lorenzo cheeses, goat cheese, oven-roasted summer squash, zuchinni and peppers on Heidelberg cracked wheat. Last, but most certainly not least, I watched Dick add heaping spoonfuls of Nutella, peanut butter, marscapone and a brownie to some Heidelberg sunflower raisin bread. That’s right, folks, GourMelt will also serve dessert sandwiches.

Gourmet grilled cheese comes to Syracuse 14


Perhaps even more fantastic than Dick’s creative kitchen concoctions is the location of GourMelt. The restaurant will work in partnership with the George and Rebecca Barnes Foundation. It was Kristin Earle, the foundation’s executive director, who approached Dick with the concept of having his restaurant at the mansion. “She is really trying to raise awareness about the mansion and educate people on the history of the mansion,” he says. “We figured this would be a good way to get people in there.” For more information on GourMelt, visit Facebook.com/gourmeltsyr.

Early Learning at

Manlius Pebble Hill School NOW OFFERING new tuition rates to our earliest learners!

• Full-day Pre-K and KG plus extended day options • Academic instruction includes Singapore Math, World Language and Wilson Fundations • “Whole-child” approach promotes critical thinking, character Spaces going development and self-confidence quickly. • Creative development through Call Today! Suzuki Strings, Music, Art and Dance

For more information contact our Admissions Office at 315-446-2452 (ext 131) or visit us online at www.mph.net/Admissions.

feature ::SPECIAL

“It makes me feel great, helping people live their best life, helping people maximize their person, maximize their potential, that’s what life is about. Who wants to live a mediocre life?” 16


hero... feature




At 6’5 with a smile that lights up a room, Roland Williams is one impressive man. You may know Williams from his legendary football career at East High School in Rochester, Syracuse University, St. Louis Rams, and Oakland Raiders, however his life after football has been nothing short of remarkable. Roland Williams makes you believe that anything is possible because he himself believes anything is possible. And that’s why he flies from Los Angeles to Rochester once a month to pour his heart and soul into helping Rochester’s youth and steering them toward a successful future instead of the city’s current path of decline. Truly a hometown hero. As a child, Williams experienced a life that unfortunately a lot of Rochester city children live - poverty, abuse, violence and gang activity. As a freshman football player at East High School, he was admittedly terrible, but by senior year became one of the best players in the history of Rochester. “That story is the epitome of my life. Of believing in yourself. Having unbreakable belief that you can accomplish the amazing, despite your past”, says Williams. That was just the beginning. He went on to Syracuse University, playing four years of football and earning a BA in Speech Communications. His commitment to excellence led to an eight year career in the NFL and a Super Bowl XXXIV win with the St. Louis Rams. Even though he had extraordinary football skills, it’s his work off the field that is most impressive and defines his greatness. In November of 2013, Williams visited Rochester to receive an award and spoke in front of group that included the mayor and the RCSD Superintendent. “I got reacquainted with the need here. Rochester is in crisis. Rochester students are in crisis. As a proud City School District graduate, as a proud Rochesterian, you know I feel it’s all our obligation to do our part to turn things around.” Williams is speaking about these facts… 1. Rochester has the lowest graduation rate of all the major city school districts in the State. New York State Education Department statistics show that for students who entered high school in 2009, only 43 percent of all Rochester students from this group graduated. 2. Rochester has the lowest high school graduation rates of Black and Latino males in the U.S. (2014 Schott Foundation for Public Education Report) 3. Rochester is #1 in the state per capita in murders. (City-Data.com) 4. Rochester is the second poorest mid-size city in the U.S. (Rochester Area Foundation Report 2014) “In my NFL experience, when a team is struggling you don’t point fingers at one position and say, if that one position was great then we’d be great. No, what happens is everyone tries to make themselves better, everyone does a little bit more to make the team better.” And that’s what he started doing, commuting from his home base in Los Angeles to Rochester to help his hometown in its time of need by creating Champion Academy. Champion Academy is a dynamic and inspirational 12-month mentoring and empowerment program for Rochester City middle and high school students (boys and girls) that includes a two week “academy” in the summer. Champion Academy is an exciting evolution of the award-winning football and life skills camp Williams conducted during his NFL career. The Academy is a year-long program for all students whether they play sports or not. Champion Academy uses football themes to help illustrate life lessons. The program contains innovative components such as a 24/7 online mentoring platform, daily behavior and citizenship standards, celebrity integration,

monthly mentoring meetings, strategic partnerships and collaborations, and community service projects, all designed to keep teens committed and motivated. These programs are designed to engage and motivate our city children to be passionate about making the most of their potential and live their best life! At the end of the 12 months, the program concludes with a graduation ceremony attended by mentors, sponsors, and local officials. Williams has assembled a passionate team and is currently cultivating sponsor partnerships with local corporations and individuals to kick off the 2015 program that starts in July. Williams is receiving tremendous support from the private sector for the Champion Academy including MVP Healthcare, Summit Federal Credit Union, LiDestri Food and Beverage and The Bonadio Group. “On the subject of programs for atrisk youth, you took a room full of friendly skeptics and turned them into believers in the Champion Academy model. What you and your team have accomplished so far for young people in Rochester is very encouraging, not only for our city, but potentially for others as you grow the program,” says Tom Bonadio in a letter of support to Williams regarding a meeting he held to discuss the Champion Academy with potential sponsors.

Using his many years of experience as a motivational speaker and corporate consultant for high performance team building, Williams aims to show the kids that they can be whatever they want to be and maximize their potential. “It makes me feel great, helping people live their best life, helping people maximize their person, maximize their potential, that’s what life is about. Who wants to live a mediocre life, who wants to go 8-8, with no playoff appearances?” he states using his usual football analogies like 8-8, meaning a teams win-loss record. That’s what makes Williams so entertaining to listen to, and the analogies make perfect sense. Over the past eight years, Williams’ sports knowledge and larger than life personality and charisma have earned him sports analyst gigs on NBC, CBS, and ESPN. He has a broad spectrum of intellectual pursuits and has accomplished many other endeavors besides the motivational speaking, team building, and sportscaster roles. He has written three books, one being a collection of poetry, has ghostwritten books for others, hosts events and radio programs, and loves Bikram Yoga and bike riding. A true Renaissance man. But his greatest passion besides helping our Rochester youth, is being a proud single father to three sons ages 11, 9, and 4. Last summer Williams ran a soft-pilot of the academy after he was called to do the program, given a budget then having funding taken away over the misconception of it being a football camp. He did the program on his own, funding it with his own money to prove that he wasn’t in Rochester for anything else other than to help. “After spending months and months with all the students and hearing their pain, and hearing their tears, hearing their honest stories, I couldn’t not do anything this summer,” Williams states. He believes the summer is the most volatile two to three months for middle and high school students in our community. School is out, many children have nothing to do and no supervision. Even if they are in summer school, that concludes by noon. He believes that is the most critical time to reach these children, that is why he is offering this free program for 500 students. The students must fill out an application and adhere strictly to the program that is based on three principals - love, accountability, and consistency. “Many of them don’t know love. Most have never been hugged or heard ‘I love you’ from a male adult. Love comes first,” he states. To find out more information on Roland Williams, visit www.Rolandwilliams.com. For more information on the Champion Academy in Rochester and how you can sponsor, donate, volunteer, or become a mentor, visit www.ChampionAcademyRochester.org

finds ::FAB





::FAB Maybe it began with one guy who was too lazy to shave his face. Maybe it started with no-shave November. One thing is for sure: The facial hair craze has made its way to Syracuse. Long beards, short bears, mustaches and goatees. You name, we’ve seen it. Inspired by this hairy topic, SWM Editor Alyssa LaFaro researched and discovered a passion for facial hair in Central New York. From balms to shaves and cuts to entire councils dedicated to the preservation of hair on the face, the support for shaggy smiles here in Syracuse is phenomenal. SYRACUSE BEARD COUNCIL facebook.com/SYRbeardlife

The Syracuse Beard Council is “a beard collective that promotes the many debonair, distinguished and delightful beards of Syracuse.” The organization formed in 2013 with the hope to bring together community members who have a love for beards, staches and the like. And each year, in honor of hairy faces everywhere, the SBC hosts a variety of celebrations including its annual Festival of the Fantastical Facial Follicle. This year’s festival featured an eight-category facial hair contest, live music, live trimming and the “Milk Mustache”— a themed drink special with vodka, coffee liqueur and cream. Photos courtesy of Inspiration Studios.

DR. BUDA’S BEARD OILS drbudasbeard.com

In need of a cure for dry, wild, itchy or dull whiskers? Dr. Buda has a solution. Started by Jeremy Buda and his girlfriend Stephanie Diak, Dr. Buda’s Beard Oils has “developed a series of renowned tonics that have been attributed to everything from taming the whiskers in the rowdiest of inns, to providing extra luster in the follicles of industrialists and statesmen.” Whether it’s a balm, oil, wax, salve or the “Dapper Fellow” handmade wooden beard comb, Dr. Buda has the answer to men’s beard needs. “We make an effort to stay on top of what guys are looking for,” says Stephanie. “The combs and grooming stations are a direct result of customer feedback and quickly became a passion for Jeremy, who had never done any type of artistic woodworking before. We think of our combs and grooming stations as functional art.”

SALT CITY OILS saltcityoils.com

Pick your poison from Salt City Oils’ collection of scented beard and shave oils. Try the Lake Effect, Vanilla Bean, Daily Grind, Citrus Blast or Adirondack. They also offer a mustache wax. The company is currently in the process of developing soaps, scrubs and a new line of beard washes. “In preparation for the warm weather — which brings out the razors and smooth faces — we needed to find ways to continue growing as a small business,” explains Owner Michael Hellenburger. This month, Salt City Oils hopes to start selling essential oil and dead sea salt-infused bath bombs and body scrubs. The soaps are still in production, but Michael hopes to have them ready by end of summer.

HALL OF FAME BARBERSHOP halloffamedowntown.com

Whether you need a scissor cut, straight razor shave or shampoo, Hall of Fame is the place to visit. This sports-themed barbershop opened three years ago and, today, has two locations — one on Walton Street in Armory Square and the second on Pickwick Drive in DeWitt. Although beards seem to be trending now, owner Matt Hughes says they have always been a big part of the barber business. Because at least 50 percent or more of his customers, today, have beards or other facial hair, Hall of Fame offers “shaving creams, aftershaves, beard wax, beard oils, mustache wax, shave soaps — whatever you can think of we have it or can get it,” says Matt.

SAVING FACE BARBERSHOP savingfacebarbershop.com

Customers pay for the experience when visiting Saving Face Barbershop in Camillus — they can enjoy a game of pool, four flatscreen TVs and a cup of coffee as they wait for their haircut or shave. “About 15 to 20 percent of our business comes from beards alone,” says the 25-yearold owner Anthony Nappa. “But about 50 percent of our clients get something done to their facial hair along with their haircut. Beards are really taking all shapes and sizes. A lot of guys are growing out their beards very long, but keeping tight lines. Others like it short, but still lined up.” To accommodate men with large beards, the shop recently started carrying oils, which help with conditioning, keep beards smelling fresh and maintain a healthy look.



Gabriel Deng, a former lost boy of Sudan, starts a school in Ariang






::SPECIAL BY ANNA DUSSING I PHOTOS COURTESY OF ELIZABETH & GABRIEL DENG Gabriel Deng is a former lost boy of Sudan. He was brought to America in 2001 through the Refugee Resettlement Program, with the hope for a brighter future. He attended college while here with much success, and born from it is a desire for other children in Sudan to have the same opportunity. In 2007, he founded the HOPE for Ariang Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing South Sudanese with inclusive access to education, opportunities, and resources, with a special focus on women and girls.


When Gabriel was just 10 years old, his village of Ariang, Sudan, was attacked by North Sudanese Murahileen militiamen due to the Second Sudanese Civil War at the time. Since he was herding cattle on the outskirts of his village, he was able to flee the area with thousands of other boys ranging in age, from 6-year-olds to teenagers, and survive with the help of refugee camps. “No one plans to lose their mother and father at the young age of 10,” Gabriel explains. “When my village was attacked in 1987, I was forced to flee and make a long four-month journey across the desert, Nile River and finally to a refugee camp. These were very difficult times in my life, but I’m thankful for the strong foundation that my mother and father instilled in me from a very young age. They taught me the value of hard work, perseverance, hope and to never give up.” Upon arriving at the refugee camp, since he didn’t have to worry about survival, he was able to focus his energy on his future through education. In 2001, after studying at refugee camps in Ethiopia and Kenya, he was able to come to the United States, specifically Central New York, to continue his education. He enrolled at Onondaga Community College and eventually transferred to Le Moyne College. He received his bachelor’s degree in 2007. After graduating, he traveled to Ariang — for the first time in 20 years — to, primarily, find his family. Upon arrival, however, Gabriel quickly realized the need for a school. “I think he really believed that it was his calling and destiny because he was able to survive such horrific circumstances,” says Gabriel’s wife, Elizabeth. “It’s because he was given these opportunities to get an education that he felt the need to provide the same opportunity for kids in Ariang.”


Gabriel believed wholeheartedly in his mission to open a school and began selling t-shirts to fund the project. The school began with 50 students, primarily young boys, who would gather under a tree to attend class. But he strived to build an actual school house, and for young girls to attend the school as well. Thousands of t-shirts later, construction of the Ariang School finished in May 2011. Today, multiple water wells surround the area so young women may attend the school. In Ariang, it is the girls’ job to fetch water for their families; a job that involves walking hours to fresh water, followed by walking hours back with a very heavy jug. Because Gabriel had wells installed close to the school and their homes, these young girls are now able to attend as students. Thanks to this incredible change, 250 out of the 650 students attending the school are female. Freshwater wells and a school building are not the only progressions that the money raised by the HOPE for Ariang Foundation has provided. The funds also help purchase books, fresh food, teacher salaries, and keeping up with building renovations, explains Elizabeth. All the money donated goes directly to the village and the school.


Gabriel and Elizabeth have made many trips to Ariang over the past several years. Gabriel makes two to three trips each year. While there, Gabriel helps administrate the school, hire teachers, provide supplies, start new projects, and speak with the government officials and people of the town to make sure that he is providing the services people need. While Gabriel is in Syracuse, he focuses on fundraising and making his story aware to the public through both the help of the foundation and Elizabeth. He has spoken at colleges, churches, high schools and, basically, to anyone else willing to hear his story. Elizabeth says that he challenges people to apply these ideas and his story to their own life and their own struggles, and to find it in their heart to donate to children who are experiencing major hardships. The Dengs also express that the school is indirectly giving back to the community of Ariang. Since this is the first generation to receive an education in this town, the education of these children is an investment in the future for this area. It changes their culture as well. It’s not uncommon for the women of Ariang to be married off at a young age. But now, since they are getting educated and staying in school longer, they are more likely to go on to higher education, which changes the way women in this village are living. Furthermore, the school helps the parents of the children attending because they learn as their child learns. In the future, the foundation plans to build a garden so students can grow and sell fresh food, while providing the school with fresh lunches. They also hope to enroll more students and teachers, especially female students and teachers. They hope that the students graduating will go on to higher education and come back to teach the next generation. Academically, they wish to create a library to provide books and services to the school and the community, as well as night classes for adults. Lastly, they hope to create a second school to reach more students in the future and to build a girls’ dormitory, so young women can have a place to stay while furthering their education. “The people of Ariang and South Sudan, in general, are resilient and hardworking,” says Gabriel proudly. “In spite of the devastating Civil War of Liberation, in which they lost many of their loved ones — and much material wealth — the people of Ariang are determined to rebuild their villages, to create better and dignified lives, and to create brighter futures for their children.” Learn more about Gabriel’s journey to rebuild his home village at 6 p.m. on June 18, at the ArtRage Gallery, which will be screening his award-winning documentary, “Rebuilding Hope,” by Jen Marlowe. For more information, visit hopeforariang.org.






Joint replacement differences for men and women Some of the most common procedures performed in the United States, and increasing in frequency as the baby boomers “boom,” are total joint replacements. As our population ages, and our desire to maintain an active lifestyle intensifies, so do the occurrence of these procedures. We are not accepting of limitations like our parents or grandparents. Today’s active people want to walk the golf course, ride the bike, hike the Adirondacks and keep up with the grandchildren. Turns out that total hip and total knee replacement surgery, arguably two of the most successful operations that exist, are the most common procedures performed to sustain activity. The need for total knee replacement — the most common joint replaced — occurs three times more frequently in women than men. Ironically, although occurring more frequently in women, statistics tell us that they underutilize knee replacement three times less than men. Additionally, not only do women underutilize this surgical option, women wait significantly longer for joint replacement and experience a greater level of disability at the time the surgery actually occurs. Women seem much more accepting of disability than their male counterparts.


There have been design differences in both hip and knee implants that manufacturers have touted as “gender-better.” Slightly different shapes, curves or sizes have been designed to theoretically better suit a man or a woman. Studies have shown that clinical outcomes with these genderspecific implants are no better than traditional unisex designs. The result of all the marketing associated with these male/female implants was simply more sizes were then available to accommodate the anatomical variations in men and women.


As technology has improved, we all search for the greatest, newest, longest lasting, least invasive, most accurate way of replacing hips and knees. We hear about materials such as ceramic, titanium, cobalt chrome and highdensity plastics, all touted as the greatest. Patients, friends and potential joint replacement consumers ask about minimally invasive surgery. There 22 JUNE 2015 :: SYRACUSEWOMANMAG.COM

are new “muscle sparing” approaches (the way that the incision is made to gain access to the joint) to the hip that speed up recovery; and, of course, everyone wants that surgery regardless of whether or not it is the best procedure for the individual. The latest and greatest craze is robotic surgery. It’s a robot, so it must be better, right? Much to the wise, as one of our mentors Dr. David Murray used to say: “Don’t be the first, nor be the last to jump on new ideas.” Metal on metal hip replacement was believed to be the savior for longevity of the joint. In many people, however, a tissue reaction to the metal particles generated can occur, resulting in the need to modify or redo the hip much earlier than expected. This became an especially prominent issue for females, more so than males. Computer assisted joint replacement surgery — more accurate and better results? The studies have not supported that to be true. There are surgical situations in which this technology is extremely helpful, however, for the average surgery, there is no difference in the results. Robotics. It’s plastered on billboards, in the newspaper, and flashing on social media, but is it better? The theory is that there is more accurate placement of the implants during a partial knee replacement and, therefore, better results. The robotic technology assists the doctor to color (operate) within lines of correctness. For those of us who have done hundreds of these specific procedures throughout the years, it will most likely make no difference, but for those surgeons with less experience, it may be of benefit.


We, as surgeons, are always searching for greater accuracy. Although there are some gender differences as well as anatomical differences, both men and women can expect a dramatic improvement in their quality of life post hip or knee replacement. Experience matters most with these procedures. Utilizing all the available technological and procedural advancements and improvements may be of benefit to some patients, but nothing should be blindly followed until the “proof” is in. Brothers Seth and Brett Greenky are both partners at Syracuse Orthopedic Specialists, co-executive directors of Operation Walk Syracuse, and associate clinical professors of orthopedics at SUNY Update Medical Center. For more information on Syracuse Orthopedic Specialists, visit sosbones.com.

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Caring for CNY for 60+ years

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Visit us at one of the following locations: North Medical Center 5100 West Taft Road | Suite 4A Liverpool 315.458.2211

Upstate at Community General Hospital POB North | Suite 4C Syracuse 315.492.5860

See our website for the complete list of conditions we treat: www.colonrectalhealth.com

With 15+ years combined experience in colon and rectal surgery


June 6 Rosamond Gifford Zoo

Community Day

June 13 Everson Museum of Art

Butterfly Chase

June 20 Baltimore Woods Nature Center

Elephant & Piggie’s “We Are In A Play!” June 5 - 13 Coyne Center for the Performing Arts at Le Moyne College For more events from around CNY gotocnyarts.org

cause ::FOR A GOOD


Micheal DeSalvo & Nick Orth provide comfort in life’s last moments Having support and a comfortable environment during your last moments in life is something many people with a terminal illness hope for. For some, circumstances like lack of healthcare, poverty, mental illness or homelessness make having this impossible. This is where the Friends of Dorothy Catholic Worker House comes in. In the 1980s, Michael DeSalvo, owner of Hairanoia salon, was doing jail ministry when he met a prisoner who had been diagnosed with HIV. He explained that, in these institutions, no one wanted to work with people who were HIV positive because of the stigma and fear that went along with the disease. “So I started the first HIV support groups and that’s what kind of put me on my path,” says Michael. He and his partner, Nick Orth, decided in the early ’90s to start a house of hospitality because there weren’t many places that would take in people who were dying of AIDS. “We started taking them to our house, and that’s how it started. Once we took the first one, they kept calling with the next one and the next one,” explains Michael. “We took in people that none of the other agencies would take.” The Friends of Dorothy House, located on 212 Wayne St., has two rooms for hospitality in addition to a small attached apartment used for supportive housing. This house is also Michael and Nick’s home. The couple, along with a handful of volunteers, provides hospice care to guests of the house, working closely with the Upstate Hospital Infectious Disease Clinic to find people who can use their services. Since the two began taking people in 23 years ago, Michael estimates nearly 50 people have passed away peacefully under their care. Each time

a person dies, a commemorative tile is made in their honor and placed in the front hallway of the house. “It’s just our way of having remembrance in the house,” says Michael. Although the house started out providing a place of care for people dying of HIV/AIDS, Michael adds that it’s open to anyone with an illness or who is looking to get their life together. Friends of Dorothy House is named after Catholic Worker activist Dorothy Day. As Catholic Workers, Michael and Nick hope to use this model to emulate the services and goals of the original movement. “It’s not about just volunteering — it’s about living in the community you’re serving. It’s about love and acceptance and tolerance,” explains Michael. “We couldn’t do it without our faith.” At other hospice facilities, many people are turned away because they don’t meet certain requirements. Michael said that Friends of Dorothy House does not receive any government funding or grants to prevent this and relies on individual donations. Friends of Dorothy House hosts eight dinners per year on the last Wednesday of the month during the spring and fall. Recently, the dinner has moved to a new location at the Harrison Center near All Saints Church on Lancaster Avenue. “The dinner starts at $0, so anybody is welcome. You’ll get people looking for a meal and people who are there to be supportive to the house. So it’s a real mix,” says Michael. In addition to receiving donations at monthly dinners, Friends of Dorothy House host events throughout the year by working with The Bear Garden, Rarely Done Production Group and Armory Square Players to put on fundraising events. This year, the organization will be participating in the Philanthropic Foodies Fourth Annual Culinary Showcase for Charity from 4 to 8 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 2, at SKY Armory. For more information on Friends of Dorothy House, go to facebook.com and search “Friends of Dorothy House.”


story ::COVER


“For every $1 you spend at a local independent business, more than four times the amount of that dollar stays in the local economy, as opposed to spending that same dollar at a chain or big box store.”

Handshakes, hugs and high-fives. That’s what my Friday evening with Chris Fowler consisted of. Each block we walked along Armory Square, someone would break up our conversation with hellos and how-are-yas. I wouldn’t expect anything less from the founder of SyracuseFirst, a nonprofit that strives to “shift the community to buy local as frequently as possible.” Chris believes that, by working to connect local businesses, he can build a community foundation that strives to better Syracuse. “For every $1 you spend at a local independent business, more than four times the amount of that dollar stays in the local economy, as opposed to spending that same dollar at a chain or big box store,” he tells me. “In Onondaga County,” he continues, “if we are able to shift 10 percent of our spending to local independents, we could create $130 million in local activity, a $24 million tax dollar impact and 1,200 new jobs. This shift could be done through your banking, consumables, energy provider and more.” Chris is famous for those statistics, which he tells almost anyone he comes across on his days spent “knocking on doors and screaming

on sidewalks.” He’s a leader in the community. Most people know him because, well, he’s managed to be everywhere. Social media is his best friend and core source for spreading “buy local” knowledge. Chris also cohosts a radio show called “The Townie Hour: Local Matters” with Judith Cowden of AmeriCU, and organizes an array of events throughout the year like the well-known Buy Local Bash, The New Economy Summit, Tech Meets Taste, Cuse Mobs and the monthly networking event Syracuse Thirst.

But, the truth is, so many people know Chris because he’s physically on the streets of Syracuse, forming relationships with local business owners, organization leaders and community members. He can be found at various local events throughout the week and making his rounds around Armory Square on Friday and Saturday evenings. And although it’s hard to imagine Chris doing anything else with his life, it’s true that he didn’t graduate from college shouting “Syracuse rules!” from the rooftops. It was a career in politics that lead him back to our amazing city. And thank goodness for that.


Having played lacrosse all through high school (he attended Jamesville-Dewitt), Chris attended Salisbury University in Maryland with the hope to become a sports broadcaster. However, upon graduating with a degree in communications, he began work with a congressman from Baltimore on Capitol Hill. Not much time had passed before he transitioned down to K Street, where he worked as a lobbyist for the horse industry and, eventually, moved to Austin to work on John Kerry’s presidential campaign. But what astounded Chris more than the possibility of being on the winning side during the 2004 presidential election was the city of Austin itself. “When I was in Austin,” he remembers, “I had a life-changing experience. I was living in this community that had a tremendous sense of pride and connection — and people were so happy to live there. I had never experienced that before.” Life certainly wasn’t like that in Washington, D.C. Life there is transient, explains Chris, and no one is really from Washington. Everyone comes there for work opportunities, to expand their careers. And even the people who work there just do it part-time. Congress and the federal government is a constantly changing institution. “But Austin,” he continues, “that was the first time I had lived in a city like that. It changed the way I thought about communities. It made me think more about why people decide to live where they live. It flipped the way I thought about economic development, too. There were two things going on: the personal experience and the policy side of it. What is going on that’s driving this interest







in this community, I thought. Is it happening organically or purposefully? What’s the driver of this?” And Chris would continue to think about it. Determined to bring his newfound knowledge home with him, he returned to Syracuse in 2006, and ran for a seat in the State Assembly. “I lost, but it gave me a real opportunity to engage with people in CNY about what was going on, what people were interested in, what they cared about, what our opportunities were here, how to attract people, how to develop our economy, how we protect and utilize natural resources.” He began working for a local assemblywoman and furthered his research on what this area was missing. His conclusion? “A formal way to engage citizens in this really complicated thing called economic development, job creation and building a healthy, sustainable community.” Thoughts of Austin and local organizations like 40 Below Syracuse — a nonprofit of young professionals who want to revitalize the area — inspired him to not only find a voice for the city of Syracuse, but tools to help businesses make a profound impact on the community. He began with conference calls to other organizations that were already established, but shared his goals, like the Business Alliance for Local Live-In Economies in Bellingham, Wash., and the American Independent Business Alliance in Bozeman, Mont. Then, he met with Syracuse-based business owners. “I wanted to give business owners the steps they could take to have actual and profound impacts in the community they live in,” explains Chris. “The idea of buying from local independent businesses is one of — if not the most important — tools individuals in our community have. People can articulate what their values are by the kind of things they are choosing to align themselves with, whether it’s a cup of coffee or a bank where they have their checking account.” The response to Chris’s concept was phenomenal. SyracuseFirst officially became a nonprofit on June 6, 2009. “We had a party and started the fun,” says Chris.


Now, each morning, Chris gets out of bed with the purpose and the passion to help people through SyracuseFirst. Today, the organization is a well-oiled machine, with its more than 370 members, four annual events and continuous support of the community. “I think my purpose and my passion is to help people,” he says, “and I feel like the local movement is a movement about people. It’s about empowering and inspiring people to be their best selves. I like to think that having the chance to have some little micro part of that in any way, shape or form is, to me, the most rewarding thing. It really is what fulfills me.” Chris finds joy in seeing organization members find ways to work together. For example, the Woodbrine Group Hotels — the Genesee Grande, Hotel Skyler and ParkView — all use Café Kubal coffee as their house coffee. “It’s a small example, but not insignificant,” says Chris. In turn, others find pleasure in seeing the lovable, charismatic city supporter succeed. “Subtle, calm, collected” — that’s how Showoffs Boutique Owner Kellie Gingold describes Chris. “He focuses on his passion for Syracuse and the people who live here. With the development of SyracuseFirst, he has changed the way people view and consider the way they shop, eat and play. Chris has made dollars count and educated the public as to how their hard-earned dollars can and will make a difference within the community. Kellie, a longtime Armory Square resident, commends Chris for his support — and also for his involvement in local charities. “Not only does he celebrate each November with the highly anticipated Buy Local Bash, which brings together the finest of Syracuse businesses,” she explains, “but he has participated in fundraising and raising awareness for numerous causes.” He raised money for breast cancer as a Susan G. Komen Pink Tie Guy and modeled for ovarian cancer awareness at a Hope for Heather fashion show, all the while

continuing to propel local traffic to Armory Square. Chris finds himself so inspired by gestures and comments similar to those mentioned above, that he has decided to run for the city’s Common Council this year. “I can’t help myself,” he laughs. “If I think there’s a way to improve something, if I think there’s an injustice or disservice that’s happening, I have a hard time accepting it. For good or bad, my instincts are to get involved with things. If there is a piece of garbage on the ground, I don’t feel good about walking by it, hoping someone else will do something about it. I put it in the garbage. There is such a great opportunity that exists in our city. And the only thing I am afraid of is inaction. The issues we have been focused on through SyracuseFirst align with the things we can do from a policy standpoint and a pragmatic standpoint — sustainability, transportation, infrastructure.” Chris creatively compares the inner workings of municipal government to that of a coffee shop. “A coffee shop is predictable,” he says. “You know what you’re getting, you know that you’re paying for something and getting something in return. The price isn’t any different for Joe than it is for Sally. When you have questions you know you’re going to get a response. And everybody participates. You don’t need a secret card to get in. If you’re not a coffee drinker, you can get hot chocolate or tea. And if you don’t like the coffee you’re getting, you can go down the street and get it there. It’s understanding that there is some predictability in the system, there are expectations, and it’s give and take.”


Chris would like to see SyracuseFirst create a cultural shift in Central New York, where it’s not the exception but the rule that local independent businesses become a larger part of everyone’s choice for commercial activity. “We have a real sense of pride and integrity and enthusiasm about the community we live in,” says Chris. “We have an optimistic approach to the way we engage with other residents and other citizens and the place itself. We really value place. As a result of that, our economy is stronger, we are creating jobs, we are building wealth, we are empowering people to be their best selves, and we are attracting new people who see this as a place to make a living and a life.” If elected councilor, he will try to align his SyracuseFirst values with those of the city. He hopes Syracuse will become an example for other cities on how to build healthy, walkable, sustainable, engaged communities thinking about traditional challenges in brand new ways. He wants to give locals the support they need and help their businesses push forward. “I don’t know how I got so lucky where my purpose and my work have come together in the same place,” he concludes. “Every day I can’t believe how fortunate I am that people actually have an interest in anything I have to say. To be able to nurture relationships, help people in some way shape or form and help change the way people view the city — I can’t think of anything more satisfying or rewarding than that. I count my blessings every day. I have a chance to do that as a living.” For more information about SyracuseFirst or to become a member, visit syracusefirst.org.


Band: Los Blancos Charity: Habitat for Humanity Coffee shop: Recess Coffee, Café Kubal and Mello Velo Festival: Jazz & Wine Festival Men’s clothing store: Mr. Shop & Designer Warehouse Nearby small town: Cazenovia Outdoor activity: Playing basketball or cycling Restaurant: Otro Cinco, LOFO, Empire Brewing Street: Westcott Street Theatre: CNY Playhouse

suppo busine

locally O 1999



Your Local Home, Away From Home

A fitness oasis, located in downtown Syracuse offering a little something for everyone. All of our workouts are classbased and led by the areas top instructors.

Urban Life CrossFit | Urban Life Spin Urban Life HIT Visit us at www.urbanlifeathletics. com to learn more!

Produce Dairy Meat and Fish Vegan/Vegetarian Baked Goods Bulk Grocery Deli Craft Beer Coffee Gluten Free

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To let us host your next event, or join us on Friday, June 19th for a Slow Supper in the park Contact: cafemanager@opheliasplace.org || 315.451.5855

The Nantucket Cat Builders of Fine Cat Furniture Purveyors of Wonderful Things for Cats & Cat Lovers

Shop Local REAL MEN LOVE CATS. Custom designed, men’s neck ties and dashing bow ties, for the man in your life.

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7153 East Genesee Street • Suite 4 • Rear Entrance Fayetteville • NY • 315.857.4467 Book online too! www.chelseasestheticboutique.com

The Savvy ChiCk A Co-op Boutique Supporting & Empowering Women Artists & Entrepreneurs. Gift • Accessories • Home Decor • Sweets & So Much More One W. Genesee Street 315-416-4556 Baldwinsville NY 13027 Follow us on FB @ the Savvy Chick Hours of Operation Tues - Sat 11-5 www.thesavvychickboutique.com

Blushing Rose Boutique Celebrating two years in beautiful Cazenovia!

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drums} arts


Dave Hanlon


his way to success



Dave Hanlon picked up drumsticks for the first time when he was just 14 — and he hasn’t set them down since. Today, at 67, the awardwinning band leader and local real estate broker can be found most weekends playing the drums in his band Dave Hanlon’s Cookbook at various clubs, pubs, eateries and outdoor music festivals.

Although Cookbook does weekend gigs and is not professional, hearing the magic it creates and Ava’s soulful voice floating over the crowd like smooth velvet, you could just as easily think you are in a club on Frenchmen Street in New Orleans. It’s no wonder why both the band and Dave have achieved much recognition.

The smooth, soulful tunes of this five-member rhythm and blues band pull listeners out of their chairs and onto the dance floor. Formed in 1983, the band began with lead singer Ava Andrews and Dave on the drums. Dave says it’s uncanny how he and Ava can now predict one another’s every move, choosing the same songs or knowing what song they will move on to before the other even knows it themselves.

Dave Hanlon’s Cookbook received three SAMMY awards, the latter two for the band’s second and third CDs — Live at the Dinosaur BBQ (2004) and Hot and Sweet (2011). Dave has five SAMMYS in total, some of which he has won for his personal efforts and others through the bands Cookbook and C.R.A.C. in 1999. Dave received a personal SAMMY Hall of Fame award in 2005, and was also inducted into the Rochester Music Hall of Fame in 2014 with members of the band Duke Jupiter.

Although Ava has been a mainstay to the group for the past 30 years, the band as a whole — which includes Lee Tiffault on guitar, bassist and vocalist Jimmy Spivey, and Ed Vivenzio on keyboard — has been together for about 10 years now.


Dave attended Eastern Michigan University in the late ’60s, playing in numerous bands throughout his time there. Upon his return to Syracuse in 1970, he got his first taste of life as a full-time musician, playing six nights a week with Rick Cua and the late Larry Arlotta for about a year. During the days, he kept his other passion alive: teaching. He taught accounting and business math at Baker High School in Baldwinsville, and actually looks forward to the opportunity to teach again, as he hopes to soon offer private drumming lessons. After being hired at Baker High, Dave continued to perform with Rick and Larry throughout the week and eventually the trio formed the band Dove. Dave moved to Los Angeles and gave the professional music gig a go for 13 years with a variety of bands both in L.A. and Syracuse. Among them are C.R.A.C., Duke Jupiter, Dove and Dave Hanlon’s Funky Jazz Band and, today, Cookbook and the Apple Jazz Band. When Dave returned to the Syracuse area from L.A. in 1975, he started the Funky Jazz Band. This was his first real experience as a band leader, a position he does not take lightly. The band leader is not only responsible for keeping the band’s morale, but also booking gigs, marketing the band and coordinating musicians. Eventually, after 13 years of relying on his passion as his living — a trying time for himself and his family — Dave decided it was time to make music a hobby rather than a career. Just after starting Cookbook, he became a full-time real estate agent and also taught private drumming lessons on the side. Today, he considers himself fortunate to play and enjoy the music rather than having to worry about the hassles associated with making a career of performing. “We do it for the love of the music,” he shares. “It’s nice to put aside a few extra dollars, but it’s more about the enjoyment of the music, while the other career pays the mortgage and puts the kids through college.”

Despite his success, Hanlon is modest about his achievements. “It was very humbling and certainly an honor, both of them,” he says about his hall of fame inductions. At his 2005 induction, his former drumming student, Jon Fishman of the band Phish, presented Dave’s award and gave him the sheet music that Dave had given him in his first lesson. “It blew my mind,” remembers Dave. “It’s amazing to see his success, and he’s the nicest guy in the world. A real family man with no airs about him.” Dave has enjoyed much success in his full-time gig as a real estate broker as well, having been recently voted in as president-elect of the Greater Syracuse Association of Realtors for 2016.


Hanlon stressed his main band is Cookbook, though he is also looking to start a jazz project that would replicate the energy and music of the first band he formed, the Funky Jazz Band. He envisions his new band as instrumental and funky, though he is still seeking musicians. Dave is also involved in online “studio jams” sessions, which are professionally taped studio sessions recorded in Philadelphia. He describes these jam sessions, which can be viewed online on YouTube, as a unique opportunity to get exposure. The exposure is a “great tool,” says Dave, especially for younger players to see musicians arranging and structuring songs. He advises anyone who is striving to be a professional musician to give it all they have, traveling to New York, Nashville or Los Angeles to connect with serious players in the industry. In August, he will perform with Fishman — something he’s very excited about. Another piece of advice: “Make sure to always give it your all and if it doesn’t work out you can look at yourself and say, ‘Hey, I tried.’” Dave adds that even if music does not become a profession, maintaining it on the side is a different application of one’s passion — one that can be more fulfilling and sustaining in the long run. For more information on Dave Hanlon’s Cookbook or for a list of upcoming performances, visit davehanlonscookbook.com.


Chocolate Milk,




Eric Hinman’s journey to the Ironman World Championship Running toward the finish line of the Ironman World Championship in Hawaii, after nine-and-a-half hours amidst the heat, humidity and wind, all Eric Hinman can think is “chocolate milk.” Drained after swimming 2.4 miles, biking 112, and running 26.2, he breaks through the finish line at Kona. “Refuel, chocolate milk, slice of pizza, cookie,” he thinks. Eric, 38, with shaggy, dirty blond hair and scruff, and a thin build but lots of muscle, has completed the Ironman Lake Placid triathlon three times and the World Championship in Kona twice. Out of shape in his mid-20s and focused on building an insurance business, Eric hired a personal trainer and signed up for a 15k, a 9.3-mile race. He hadn’t run since high school and wanted to get back on the horse. “I looked like I was in great shape,” he shares. “And I ran it, I finished it, but I was just absolutely crushed afterward. I could barely stand.” To gain cardio ability, Eric took up running, and soon biking, before signing up for the Ironman 70.3 in Syracuse. Barely making it through the swim, he passed competitors on the bike, his favorite segment, and the run. “I have always been really competitive — not so much against other people but always myself.” After finishing this race, Eric was hooked. “I got addicted to the numbers; I got addicted to the selfimprovement aspect,” he explains. “When you accomplish one thing, you want to see what your body is capable of to achieve the next thing.” Hiring a competitor as his coach, he was taught the correct way to train, accelerating his performance. “I was simply exercising, and I was exercising a lot. But none of it really had a purpose,” he adds. Eric learned to pace his running by controlling

his heart rate and slowing down, allowing him to run longer and faster. He trains about 15 to 25 hours a week. This includes up to four bike rides, six runs and four swims. He also strength trains, completes two longer bike rides — nearly five hours — and one long run, about twoand-a-half hours. “In training, there needs to be a time when you go hard — you go hard when it’s time to go hard. And then when it’s time to go easy, you go really easy so you can recover,” he says. “It’s all about consistency in triathlons. Just doing it day in and day out.” Though challenging for the time it takes up, this philosophy gives Eric direct results. With triathlons, you not only see improvement during races, but also every day in training. Eric suggests getting a coach and practicing consistently for beginners hoping to progress. For veterans, he recommends strength training — an ingredient many people avoid. To build his own strength, Eric has shifted his focus to Crossfit, a new sport that allows him to see his gains all over again. “The nice thing about triathlon is it’s given me the confidence that you can do anything if you put your mind to it, stay focused and consistent, and have a plan.” That’s exactly what Eric did in both getting to Kona and during the competition. He qualified for the race by finishing within the top four of his age division at Lake Placid. During Kona, as his body cut through the Hawaiian water, Eric’s thoughts became singular as the race went on, breaking down the remainder by aid stations, where he could grab fluids. By mile 18 of the run, he found himself determined and focused on one thing: “chocolate milk,” the only consistent thought in his mind that propelled him toward the finish.

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words feature ::IN HIS OWN ::SPECIAL






ManliustoMt. Marcy


It’s not that I don’t shed tears. I do. Just not often and, usually, not at the start of a bike race. But that’s what I did several years ago, as I was standing in Chittenango Falls prior to the start of the Cazenovia Hillbender. Before me stood two wonderful, youthful, exuberant boys with no visible signs of the affliction that was slowly robbing them of their strength. In front of hundreds of grown adults, twins Jack and Nolan Willis spoke with confidence and resolve that I rarely see in people twice their age. They spoke about the disease — Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, a fatal genetic disorder — and how it had snuck into their lives, slowly cheating them of the movement they deserved. They explained the progression of things. Years earlier, they could play all day. Then it became a partial play, partial rest. Soon it was more time resting than playing and, eventually, it was calmly forecasted that their lives would be confined to a chair. On a brighter note, time is still on their side. Even if an absolute cure can’t be found, some sort of delay of this disease is within reach.


The mission was clear, but the journey needed to be shaped. Enter Phil McCarthy and Syracuse Bicycle Co-Owners Trish Dugan and Paul Komanecky, who were all instrumental in the success of this journey. All four of us are no strangers to CNY outdoor winter training. A cyclocross bike and proper clothing make it quite enjoyable most days. The problem became the “monumentality” of a ride to Lake Placid. It didn’t quite seem significant enough. Sure, to the uninitiated it may seem like a tall task to ride your bike from Central New York to Lake Placid in the middle of winter, but for endurance junkies, it’s definitely not far from normal. To rectify this “normalcy” issue, it was decided we should put an exclamation point on the journey with a hike up Mt. Marcy after we arrived in Placid. It was decided that Phil and Paul would take on support duties for the ride (we all agreed 16 hours in a car, following me on a bike, was more tortuous than actually riding), and then they, too, would take to the mountain for the final push. It would be a single journey, but for two very cool kids. It didn’t take long to figure a name out: “One Journey for Two Smiles,” inspired by the name of the Willis family’s nonprofit foundation Two Smiles One Hope, which strives to end Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. The 206-mile journey began at the Manlius Nice N Easy (thank you to the owners who gave free coffee to well-wishers and sent us off with a $50 gift card). And so the event was fully born: “One Journey for Two Smiles, Manlius to Marcy.” As the launch date approached, it became clear that a winter thaw was not going to happen. Good! The farther this event got from “normal,” the better. It wasn’t about sensationalism; it was about raising as much money as possible for Two Smiles One Hope. And people seem to gravitate toward what they perceive as crazy. Not that this was even close to crazy — I promise you it wasn’t — but when it comes to raising money, if my reality and people’s perceptions are at odds, that’s a good thing.



When the morning of the event dawned the weather forecast was calling for -30-degree temps in the North Country. Perfect. The preparation had been done and now my biggest fear — sickness — had been evaded with the help of much finger-crossing; copious amounts of garlic, turmeric and chicken stock; daily cold showers; and, I’m not kidding myself, a good bit of luck! So just before 7 a.m. on Feb. 17, 2015, I shoved off into a picturesque sunlit morning. As an athlete, I can attest to the fact that some days you’re just “on,” and you feel invincible. Thankfully, I was having one of those days. Phil, Paul and I have shared the stories about the journey many times and it seems like each rendition brings out another “Oh yeah, forgot about that.” Like the stop inlet where we chatted with a very amiable convenience store clerk, who outfitted me with a pair of food service gloves (a.k.a. vapor barrier liners). Hot soup seemed to be more prevalent than pedaling itself! Perhaps my favorite, and somewhat telling of the entire trip, was when we pulled into a convenience store and I was lickity split — off the bike, into the trunk, grabbed my JetBoil and soup cache (provided by another great sponsor: Dave’s Diner in Cazenovia) and hightailed it for clear counter space inside. Paul recalls wondering where I was. He hadn’t even gotten out of the car, and I had the Jetboil at full tilt to the glaring eye of a decidedly much less amiable clerk than we encountered some miles back. (I’ll give her the nod, though. It was near midnight, the sign outside the bank we just rode by said it was -28 degrees.)


After 16 hours on the bike, I’d reached Mt. Marcy — the highest point in New York at 5,344 feet. It’s funny how concerned everyone got about the climb. My wife fielded plenty of well-meaning visuals that suggested the mountain might win in those temps. “Aren’t you worried?” everyone seemed to ask. About Marcy? No, not at all. It was pitch black and cold. With numb fingers, I got equipped in the parking lot. But I knew, just a few kilometers up the trail, I would be totally comfortable. I had no fatigue from the ride, and as I made my way up, the weather improved — it was cold but sunny. It felt like any other hike on any another day (without a 206-mile ride first). After reaching the summit, the legs had more to give, so we finished off the adventure with a run down the mountain. I’m pretty familiar with how my body feels in these types of challenges, and it may sound cliché, but I’m certain Jack and Nolan where helping me push those pedals and climb that mountain. (And yes, it was worth it — I raised about $11,000 in total.) I knew I could not get tired on this day. Let’s hope Jack and Nolan Willis can have better energy days, too. Tim O’Shea is a Cazenovia-based fitness coach and founder of coaching company Pointway Performance. This summer, he plans to complete 100 miles of biking and 100 miles of running between Cazenovia and Skaneateles to further raise money for One Journey Two Smiles.

business ::LEADING MAN IN

“Time is the hardest thing when you own your own business. You don’t always have a lot of time for yourself. Try to appreciate it. I think the hardest thing is balancing it all.”







On the morning of Stanley Dydo’s death in 1975, his 13-year-old grandson Matthew visited his barbershop. Frankie, one of the barbers, handed Matthew two boxes. “Frankie, who was like an uncle to me, said, ‘Your grandfather was hoping that you would try these someday.’ I opened the boxes and inside were two pairs of electric clippers. And that was it. I knew what I wanted to do. I didn’t hesitate. That really launched my career.”

This past April, Matthews Salon Spa celebrated its 27th anniversary. Owner Matthew Dydo owes much of his success to his fantastic employees, many of which are like family to him. “I have cultivated a great team,” he says. “I feel a happy employee will stay with you and will embrace your work culture. I think that’s the biggest thing because when you own your own business, it’s not a job but a family-like culture. There’s a real sense of pride in taking care of your employees. I get to help other people, and I feel very responsible for them. You need your employees to help you with your success. It’s a win-win situation. I’m really proud of my staff. They’re extremely professional and talented.”


Matthew’s grandfather immigrated to the United States from Poland when he was 15. “The Russian army came into his village and killed my grandfather’s brother,” explains Matthew. “He had a sister in New Hampshire. So his parents said it was time for him to leave. He made it to Ellis Island, got to Boston and walked from Boston to New Hampshire.” In New Hampshire, Matthew’s grandfather apprenticed as a barber. He eventually went into business with a partner, and then branched off on his own with Stanley’s Barbershop. Matthew, the youngest of five, spent his childhood in his grandfather’s shop. “I used to just live in that barbershop,” he admits. “I’d hang out, eat lollipops and read comics.” All the while Matthew picked up on the business, until his grandfather passed away unexpectedly of a heart attack. Matthew left his childhood home in New Hampshire and attended beauty school in Syracuse. He then worked in a salon for almost six years. When he turned 27, he opened his first salon on Fayette Street. Today, there are two Matthews Salon Spa locations — one on Erie Boulevard East in DeWitt and the other on Lincklaen Street in Cazenovia.


Matthew credits the “Matthews Difference” for what has made Matthews Salon Spa successful over the past 27 years. Each client is provided with the Matthews Difference experience at the salon. “You can open up the yellow pages and find a salon and get a phenomenal haircut because there are many talented hair dressers in the area,” says Matthew. “So why do customers choose Matthews? Because we create the Matthews Difference. It’s an experience for them. When our clients come in they are greeted properly. New clients get a salon tour, fill out a

questionnaire about their personal hair needs, meet me, receive a stress relieving scalp massage and a shampoo. It’s their 45 minutes of pleasure. We really care. I’m a real ‘yes’ man. We have a salon commitment to do whatever it takes to make the client happy. I have this saying: It’s not just about the beauty self; it’s about the whole self.” Matthew emphasizes that commitment to a passion is what brings success to new business owners. “You have a great idea,” Matthew says, referring to entrepreneurs, “and it sounds really fun, but unless you put it on paper and are willing to take the risk and make this sacrifice of your own personal time and family time, you won’t be successful. Once you quit, you’re going to wake up the next morning and say, ‘What do I do now?’” Moments like that can make the journey rougher than anticipated. Matthew notes that success doesn’t come without road bumps. “We went through some very challenging times in 2008 and 2009. But you just never give up. You never give up, and if you have a great staff to support you, you can make it through.” As a parent and a business owner, Matthew has learned to balance his family and work life, but also how to blend the two together when need be. “I have three wonderful boys — Elliot, Harry and Tanner — and an amazing wife, Colette, who works extremely hard,” says Matthew. “Sometimes what happens is, as a parent, you feel like you’re not available enough, but at the same time I feel like I’m giving my children life lessons. Those lessons are about hard work and about doing your best. I think that’s a real gift I’ve been able to give to my boys.” When asked about the most difficult part of his job, Matthew said it’s spinning all of the plates as a business owner, stylist and family man. “I have a craft that I really enjoy and that’s the best part of my job. But then there’s the operations, the hiring, the firing, the billing, the finances. What you end up doing is spinning all the plates and it takes a lot of time. Time is the hardest thing when you own your own business. You don’t always have a lot of time for yourself. Try to appreciate it. I think the hardest thing is balancing it all.”


While Matthew’s business continues to thrive, he continues to cherish the memories of the man who inspired him to get where he is now. “My grandfather was born in 1896,” Matthew said. “He had a silver dollar he didn’t want to spend because it had his birth date on it. That was his lucky charm and I own it today, which is really special. “I was one of the fortunate ones to know at a very young age what I wanted to do, and I love what I do,” he concludes. “It’s not a hobby, it’s a lifestyle.” For more information about Matthews Salon Spa, visit matthewssalonspa.com.



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Program Director, Syracuse Challenger Baseball BY FARAH F. JADRAN I PHOTO BY GERARD H. GASKIN

Kids love baseball and, perhaps even more, they love baseball’s idols — Derek Jeter, Chase Utley and Giancarlo Stanton. They love suiting up for the big game and high-fiving their teammates. They love to round the bases on a beautiful day.

Each spring, all around the country, kids count down the days until opening day. It’s a given in most places — in fact, it’s expected — and it’s generally never in question. But for more than 200 Central New York children, prime weather and field conditions are not always promised. More than 10 years ago, Dom and Valerie Cambareri’s son Domenico started to play in the Syracuse Challenger Baseball League, a program started in the ’80s by parents who wanted their children to play baseball. Dom has been the league president since 2004. “Domenico is the reason I got involved in this,” says Dom, a proud dad to two boys playing in the league. “This was a good way to get him involved and help him get physical.”

Domenico, who has autism, is now 20 and has been working to enhance his fine complex motor movements through playing baseball. “He had difficulty holding the bat, running or walking the bases straight and throwing and catching,” explains Dom. With the support of Domenico’s parents, teammates and coaches, he has come into his own with his baseball skills. Today, 12 of the team’s players — who are between the ages of 5 and 21— have various special needs, physical challenges and developmental delays. Dom and Valerie’s other son Antonio, 12, is also a baseball player in the program. Through the years, there was always one major issue on deck — the Syracuse Challenger Baseball program did not have a home field. When Dom took over the league he called a meeting with all the coaches and the deputy program director, Dee Perkins, to discuss the opportunity to expand the league and allow more players in. “Everyone was for it,” he says. If you told Dom 10 years ago that this field of dreams would come to fruition, he might not have believed it. “It really is incredible,” he admits. “It is truly amazing, my God.” While the league has made it possible for kids of all abilities to play ball over the past years, there was still one more dream. “The Challenger kids are unable to play side-by-side with their peers in the regular little league season,” explains Dom. “Then, they wait to play on the fields when their season is over.” Starting in the middle of the summer means extreme heat, and summer rain means muddy or flooded conditions on the fields made available to the Challenger players. “The heat index is unbearable. We have kids on medicines or with conditions that won’t allow them to play in the heat and humidity.” The team also has kids using wheelchairs, braces and Canadian crutches. “Some of those borrowed fields became mud pits,” says Dom. “It’s difficult to navigate the bases and for a wheelchair to access them.” (continued on page 46)




“The biggest way we’ve helped Syracuse is by changing attitudes about it, and if that’s what we’ve accomplished at the end of the day, then we’ve done our job.”




John DeSantis has a dream. His main objective: To transform the public opinion about Greater Syracuse. With this goal in mind, he’s spent the past two years utilizing his community organizing background to develop a social media campaign that promotes the positive features of Syracuse and cultivates civic engagement within the community. The culmination of his efforts is an organization called Believe in Syracuse. “In the ’80s and ’90s, Syracuse got knocked down, but now it’s getting back up,” says John. “I believe it’s a city on the rise and see so many encouraging signs that our children will find it in better shape than we did.” The Believe in Syracuse social media campaign began on Facebook and Twitter in January 2013. Today, the organization also has a presence on Instagram and LinkedIn. Although social media “remains a core component of what we do now,” says John, it marked just the beginning for Believe in Syracuse. That spring, John developed a board for the organization and, by the end of summer, it officially became a 501c3 non-profit organization. One of Believe in Syracuse’s main goals is to transform the negative thinking about Syracuse into positive commentary. Social media is used to ask locals what they love about the city they live in, and their comments help promote Syracuse online. John also strives “to change the conversation about Syracuse.” Changing the opinions and discussions about the city will make Syracuse a better place to visit, live in and talk about regularly. Before Believe in Syracuse celebrates its five-year anniversary, John hopes the organization will physically expand and that its current membership — of which there are more than 130 members — will increase. “In the next three years,” he says, “I envision us opening a headquarters and becoming more of an established pillar in the community.” John also hopes to increase the organization’s local impact and expand programs. Today, the organization focuses on its four committees: Education/ Community Service, Pro-Syracuse, Neighborhood and Marketing/ Development. The Education/Community Service Committee supports the Syracuse City School District. “Currently, we are supporting the Latin School for gifted kids and are working to set up community service projects with Mary Nelson and Say Yes to Education,” explains John. The Pro-Syracuse Committee retains and attracts talented people to the local workforce. “An initial project of this committee was the ‘Light Up Syracuse’ campaign that helped light up the city skyline when the NCAA Basketball Tournament was taking place in Syracuse. “The Neighborhood Committee promotes grassroots community organizing to improve neighborhoods, and highlights the unique qualities those neighborhoods have to offer,” he continues. “The Marketing/Development Committee raises awareness about Believe (continued on page 46)




“In my perfect world I would be a musician and a barista and a light bulb changer. And be able to ride my Harley whenever I wanted to.”


DAN CLAUSEN Wearer of Many Hats


Maintenance man. Drummer. Support system. Dan Clausen is all of these things and more. Most people know Dan’s wife, MaryEllen, the charming founder of Ophelia’s Place and Café at 407 in Liverpool. But many don’t know Dan, who plays a major role behind the scenes. “Pretty much since we’ve owned the building, I’ve taken care of facility maintenance,” he tells me. “I make sure the lights come on when you flip the switch. I help coordinate the building contractors, make sure the space is safe and check to see if the IT stuff works. Any of the nuts and bolts. Just the other night I built and installed a shelf to hold silverware.” Keep in mind that the café and Ophelia’s Place aren’t even Dan’s fulltime job. He spends his days as the manager of technical training and development with Liftech Equipment Companies in East Syracuse. But, when he and MaryEllen purchased the current café location, he’d spend his nights there, working as late as 1 a.m. painting. And for the first six weeks after opening, he’d head there after work to wash dishes until close. “That was the new normal for me,” he laughs, “but I really wouldn’t have it any other way. I can’t imagine my life being any different.” Dan’s role with Ophelia’s Place, however, began much earlier than the café opening. He was the support system for MaryEllen when their daughters were battling eating disorders. He was the person to bounce ideas off of when she became inspired to start an organization that would help her children, and others like them, overcome body dissatisfaction. “It started at our kitchen table,” he says. And Dan was there for all of it. When not working at Lifetech or hanging out in the café, Dan can be found at local restaurants, bars and festivals playing the drums in one of two bands — Alibi and the Christopher Ames Band. “When I was 8 years old, I saw The Beatles play on ‘The Ed Sullivan Show.’ I wanted to be Ringo,” he remembers. Dan began practicing when he was 10 and played through his junior year of high school, when his older band mates all left for college. He wouldn’t pick up his sticks again until almost 30 years later, when his high school band got together for a small reunion. “We just started jamming and playing music,” he says. Dan’s passion to play the drums again really came full circle through Ophelia’s Place and Café at 407. In 2006, Christopher Ames and his wife Lori spoke at a conference at Ophelia’s Place. “They eventually relocated to Syracuse,” explains Dan. “Chris was a touring musician, and Lori came to work at Ophelia’s Place. MaryEllen, in her infinite wisdom, said to Chis: ‘You’re a musician? My husband’s a drummer. You two should get together.’” They have been playing together since 2007. The current lineup includes Chris on guitar and vocals, JB McKinstry on bass, and Dan on drums and vocals. One of Dan’s roles at the café when it first opened was finding and scheduling the live music acts that would play there three nights a (continued on page 46) SYRACUSEWOMANMAG.COM :: JUNE 2015





Over the past three years, Dom, the team families and community supporters have come together to find the ballpark’s site and to fundraise for the Carrier Park Challenger Field of Dreams. After sharing his dream with community members, the field is now becoming a reality.

in Syracuse and our message, as well as funds to increase our capacity to make a difference in CNY.”

week. That’s when Dan hired Sam Vulcano and Tony Micaroni, an acoustic duo. “They invited me to sit in with them one night,” shares Dan. “They had this band called Alibi that had come and gone a few times. We resurrected it in 2012.” Today, Alibi is a classic rock outfit with Sam Vulcano and Tony Micaroni on guitar and vocals, Rich Depoe on bass and vocals, and Dan on drums.




To date, the program has raised $2.5 million in cash, pledges, grants and in-kind contractor service donations. Most recently, a $4 million bond was secured through Key Bank, which brings the project closer to its $10 million goal. The group is looking to complete the majority of the project during this year. “We’re making a difference for all the children and adults by building something very special for them,” says Dom. The new fields and envisioned sports complex located adjacent to the Carrier Corporation in East Syracuse will not only be home to the Challenger Baseball players, but it will be available for other sporting events and an eventual site for adults with special needs to experience wellness and possibly even train for Special Olympics competitions. “We need to educate the community and the public. More people are going to realize that this is such a win-win for the community,” he concludes. “If you build it, people will see it and they will love it. They will embrace its uniqueness and they will come.” For more information on the Challenger Baseball Field, visit challengerfieldofdreams.org.




But why does John personally believe in Syracuse? “It’s not too big, not too small,” he says. “I love that you can be in Armory Square and then drive for 15 minutes and be in an apple orchard in Lafayette. Syracuse has the culture and excitement of a city, the suburban quality of life, and the quiet and beautiful natural landscape. It’s also one of the most affordable places to live in the country. We have a great quality of life here.” Although there is much positivity and community support surrounding the nonprofit, it still faces challenges. John admits that being an all-volunteer organization, having to apply for grants and doing the work to cultivate donations is difficult, but the positive changes he’s seen in the community make it all worth it. “For example, our ‘Neighborhood Night’ at Beer Belly Deli brought more than 60 attendees together to celebrate Syracuse and help Beer Belly, a new business that was struggling because of nearby street construction. We’re happy to see that they are doing well now. “The biggest way we’ve helped Syracuse is by changing attitudes about it,” concludes John, “and if that’s what we’ve accomplished at the end of the day, then we’ve done our job.” For more information, visit believeinsyracuse.org, like the “Believe in Syracuse” Facebook page, or follow @BelieveInSYR on Twitter.


When I asked Dan what gets him out of bed each morning, he says one word: MaryEllen. “I know that sounds corny, but it’s true,” he says genuinely. “She has this way of making people want to get on board. For example, she asked me to marry her. We went out to dinner for my 35th birthday in June 1990. She slid a box across the table and inside was a key ring that had my initials engraved on it. She told me to turn it over. It said, ‘Will you marry me?’ with a date. I didn’t answer until her birthday in August. I bought the same key ring and got ‘yes’ inscribed on it. We were married in September. I knew that I was in love with her way before I could ever admit it.” The couple will celebrate 25 years of marriage this year. He hopes to have many more years with MaryEllen, and looks forward to life slowing down in the future. “In my perfect world I would be a musician and a barista and a light bulb changer. And be able to ride my Harley whenever I wanted to.”


Enjoy tastings of signature food and drink while learning about the hunger relief mission of Food Bank of Central New York.

Laci’s Tapas Bar Wednesday, June 17 5:30pm - 7:00pm

Empire Brewing Company Wednesday, July 8 5:30pm - 7:00pm

Small Plates Thursday, August 13 5:30pm - 7:00pm

Space is limited - make your reservation today! JOIN US FOR: one event: $30.00 two events: $55.00 all three events: $75.00 Call (315) 437-1899 x247 or visit foodbankcny.org for more information


LONG BRANCH PARK, LIVERPOOL 2, 10, 20, 40 and 62 mile bike rides • 5K USATF certified run PRESENTING SPONSOR




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share’n is care’n @mrkylemac

Register today at RideAndRun.org

Syracuse Woman Magazine



Women of all ages gathered at Liz Lanza’s Salon on Saturday, April 25, for Stupid Dumb Breast Cancer’s first-ever Diva for a Day, an event with the goal to raise the spirits of women living with cancer and make them feel beautiful again. About 30 women at all stages attended the event and enjoyed henna tattoos, massages, Reiki, areola repigmentation consultations, mini manicures and pedicures, wig styling, hair styling/cuts, facials, breast prosthesis fittings and makeup sessions. CureDiva, a personalized lifestyle solutions online shop that provides women at every breast cancer treatment phase with all of their lifestyle needs, sponsored the event and provided each woman in attendance with a gift card. Photos courtesy of The Molly Project.


On Saturday, May 2, Farah Jadran and Niko Tamurian tied the knot. The couple exchanged vows at St. Matthew’s Catholic Church in East Syracuse, followed by a reception at The Oncenter. Guests enjoyed sweets from DivaLicious Desserts, and live music from The Blacklites and tunes from DJ Rick Roberts. The bride shopped local for her bridal gown and accessories with Bliss Bridal and Elisha Joy Jewelry. The couple highlighted their love for ‘Cuse sports with a post ceremony shoot inside the Carrier Dome and a few photos on the Syracuse University campus. There were many special details in their wedding, including the couple’s decision to make a donation to Hope for Heather Ovarian Cancer Awareness in lieu of wedding favors. Check out more photos from Farah and Niko’s wedding at facebook.com/SyracuseWomanMagazine. Photos courtesy of Alterimage Photography.

Look and Feel Better From The Inside Out! Manual Lymphatic Drainage Vodder Method Certified Specializing In • Pre/Post Surgery Preparation and Healing • Lymphedema Latency and Improvement Phase • Cosmetic Surgery Preparation and Healing • Pain Relief • Full Body Detox • Cancer Care

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30 Years of Helping People Live Home & Live Well • • • • • •

Cerec Is Used In Producing Our Fillings, Crowns And Veneers. It requires only ONE appointment and produces a quality, long lasting, metal-free and best of all the most cost effective restoration available today.


Dental Implants Are Used For Supporting Dentures And Replacing A Single Tooth.

Medical Equipment Home Health Care Oxygen & CPAP Lifeline Medical Alert In-Home Senior Services Medication Dispensing Service


Six Month Smiles Uses Clear Unique Ceramic Braces For Adults Giving You A Beautiful Smile In 6 Months.

Your Choice for Beautiful Healthy Teeth! Dr. Shafey Sayed, DDS

Franciscan Companies is an affiliate of St. Joseph’s Hospital Health Center

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8382 Elta Drive Cicero, NY • www.cicerofamilydentist.com



WHAT: Join Joseph’s House for its first annual golf tournament, “Birdies for Babies,” with the format of Captain and Crew. The cost is $125 per person and includes a round of golf, cart, lunch, foursome photos and dinner. WHERE: Drumlins Country Club, 800 Nottingham Road, Syracuse INFO: For more information, contact Kitty Spinelli at 315-288-0319 or kitty@jhfw.org.


ANNUAL ROSE DAY WHEN: noon to 3 p.m.

WHAT: Enjoy a variety of roses in bloom at the Annual Rose Day, hosted by the Syracuse Department of Parks and Recreation and Syracuse Rose Society. Light refreshments will be provided or bring a picnic lunch. Musical entertainment by Dixieland Update. WHERE: E.M. Mills Memorial Rose Garden, Thornden Park, Syracuse INFO: For more information, visit syracuserosesociety.org.


RIDE & RUN FOR THE RESCUE WHEN: 6 a.m. to 2 p.m.

WHAT: Rescue Mission’s Ride & Run for the Rescue is a fun event for everyone! Run, ride, walk — or do it all. Choose from a 2-mile family fun ride; 10-mile, 20-mile, 40-mile and 62-mile bike ride; or a 5k run. Proceeds go to ending hunger in our community. WHERE: Long Branch Park, Liverpool INFO: For more information or to register, visit rideandrun.org.



july 7

WHAT: The Golf Open is played in a captain and crew format, and welcomes players of all skill levels. Proceeds to benefit Food Bank of Central New York, the largest hunger-relief agency serving 11 counties of central and northern New York. WHERE: Camillus Country Club, 5690 Bennetts Corners Road, Camillus INFO: For more information, visit foodbankcny.org.

Breast Care

and Surgery

Specializing in Breast Disease and Treatment

Compassionate. Comprehensive. Coordinated Breast Care. .

• More than 15 years serving the CNY community • Highly skilled team of physicians lead by Kara C. Kort, MD, medical director • Breast cancer evaluation and treatment planning for diseases of the breast • Multi-specialty approach ensures coordination of care between surgery, radiology, pathology, medical, and radiation oncology • Genetic counseling and testing • Nurse Navigators guide and support each patient through treatment and the survivorship process

FAYETTEVILLE 4117 Medical Center Dr., Fayetteville, NY 13066 | 315.744.1551 | www.sjhsyr.org/breastcare St. Joseph’s Physicians is an affiliate of St. Joseph’s Hospital Health Center

ThaT awkward parT of seeing your docTor:

testicular cancer screening By: Alex Filipski, DO St. Joseph’s Physicians The Heritage Group

The leading cause of cancer amongst men age 15-34 is testicular cancer. Fortunately, this form of cancer is curable. Even when discovered at the advanced stages it is nearly 100% curable. During a routine health visit, men within this age group should expect questioning about monthly self-testicular exams as well as a clinical examination.

While there is some controversy surrounding the recommendations for or against screening, one should have a discussion with their primary care. If you have risk factors, you should pursue a discussion about the screening examinations and your personal preferences. Who is at risk here? The primary risk factors include family history, especially with father or brother having had an undescended testicle, abnormal development of the testicles, a personal history of testicular cancer, and being white.

to let your doctor know BEFORE you’ve started treatment whether or not you wish to do so. What can you do? Men should feel comfortable about performing a self-examination, or asking how it is done at any routine health visit. A physician visit should be scheduled promptly if you find any abnormalities.

Is there blood work for this? There is no specific screening test for testicular cancer. However, if you are exhibiting any of the [above symptoms], a testicular sonogram, as well as follow up blood work if anything abnormal was uncovered is recommended. What’s the treatment for testicular cancer? Treatment is based upon three factors: the type of cancer found, the risk it could return, and whether the cancer has spread outside the testis. Treatment options include chemotherapy, radiation therapy, surgery to remove the testis and surrounding lymph nodes, and close follow up using CT scans. Can I still have a family? Sperm banking is the most effective way to ensure the ability to have children at a later date. It is important

How to Perform Monthly Testicular Self-Exams 1. Examine the testis during a warm shower to relax the scrotum and allow testis to descend. It is normal for one testicle to be larger than the other and one to “hang” lower than the other. Become familiar with the normal size, shape, and weight of each testicle. 2. Support each testicle with one hand and examine the entire testicle with the other hand. Gently roll each testicle between the thumb and fingers, you should notice that the testicle is firm and smooth like a hardboiled egg. 3. Look for firm masses, lumps, or nodules in the testicle. 4. Call your doctor if you find any changes. If you’ve noticed a painless lump or swelling in either testicle, a change in how the testicle feels, a dull ache within your lower abdomen or groin, sudden build up (swelling) in the scrotum, and/or pain or discomfort in a testicle or in the scrotum.

The heriTage group is pleased To welcome... •

Comprehensive care for the entire family from pediatrics to geriatrics

Women’s health care including pregnancy care and delivery

Evening and Saturday appointments available

On-site laboratory services

alex filipski, do

the heritage group 132 ½ Albany St. Cazenovia, NY 13035 315.655.8171

Vanessa lalleyDeMong, do

Brian kline, Md

the heritage group 4104 Medical Center dr. Fayetteville, NY 13066 315.663.0059


St. Joseph’s Physicians is an affiliate of St. Joseph’s Hospital Health Center.


MSRP $31,295

$2293 Down


299 MSRP $35,525

$3213 Down

MSRP $42,225

$2973 Down Expires 6/30/2015.

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