November 2015

Page 1


sw inspire


new in the cuse


special feature


LIZZY SCOLLO-CHOCK From Cuse Pit Crew to “Pit Bulls & Parolees”




The Crouse Institute for Robotic Surgery

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Gynecology/Oncology Mary Cunningham, MD Douglas Bunn, MD Rinki Agarwal, MD

Gynecology Sargon Bebla, MD Carla Liberatore, MD Navpriya Oberoi, MD

General Surgery Brian Anderson, MD Jeffrey DeSimone, MD Kenneth Cooper, DO

Urology David Albala, MD Po Lam, MD Harvey Sauer, MD

Colorectal David Nesbitt, MD John Nicholson, MD

November 10


Letter from the Editor 6 Out & About 7 Fashion Forward: Office Chick to Party Chic 8 Platter Chatter: Beer Belly Deli & Pub 10 In All Honesty: Every Day is Thanksgiving 12 WISE Woman: Sandy Rosecrans 14 Special Feature: Ronald McDonald House 16 In Her Own Words: Bennie Mae Edwards-Rucker 18 New in the Cuse: ATMs for Good 20 SW Inspire: Lauren Kochian 26 SW Inspire: Joanna Jewett 28 SW Inspire: Carole Brzozowski 30 Cover Story: Lizzy Scollo-Chock 34 Special Feature: The Patience Project 42 Modern Day Wonder Woman: Friendship 44 WBOC Leading Woman: Kelly DiCarlo 46 Special Feature: Matron Elsie Klocek 48 For a Good Cause: SU Charity Sports Auction 52 Take Your Voice Back: In Business 54 CNY Latina: Olga Otero 56 SWM Winter Fun 60 Healthy Woman: Alzheimer’s Disease 62 SWM Events & Calendar 64








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10/20/15 4:30 PM

Letter from the Editor

This month’s SW Inspires are all active philanthropists who constantly put others before themselves in our community. After 30 years of service, Carole Brzozowski left Syracuse University’s College of Visual and Performing Arts to pursue her first love — baking. Today, she is Café at 407’s general manager, a title she earned after spending six months volunteering with the Liverpool eatery that supports Ophelia’s Place, a nonprofit that helps girls with eating disorders and their families.

FOR THE LOVE OF GIVING “It’s not about how much we give, but how much love we put into giving.” One of the wisest people in the world, Mother Theresa, is right. And this issue, I have to admit, overflows with love this month. In this issue, November cover woman and animal advocate Lizzy Scollo-Chock shares her story of a small town girl falling in love with a big city boy. A lover of pit bulls, Lizzy was an avid volunteer for Cuse Pit Crew, a Syracuse-based nonprofit that teaches the public about pit bulls through outreach and educational programming. When the organization collaborated with New Orleans-based Villalobos Rescue Center — the subject of Animal Planet’s “Pit Bulls & Parolees” — a few years ago, Lizzy hit it off with the owner’s son, Moe Chock. And the two fell in love. They tied the knot this past September, and today, Lizzy works at Villalobos, taking care of any medical needs the dogs housed there have. Kathryn Bolster, owner of Syracuse ATM, felt the spirit of giving in her heart when she came up with the concept for ATMs for Good, this month’s New in the Cuse. The purpose of this new feature is simple: An ATM associated with a local nonprofit is placed in an area business, which chooses the nonprofit to which it wants to donate. A portion of the surcharge from each transaction is then directly deposited into the account of the nonprofit. It’s a win-win for all involved. Emily Doucet and Nastasha Faust love animals. That’s why they started the Patience Project, a nonprofit Facebook page dedicated to showcasing dogs in Central New York that have been patiently waiting in shelters for weeks, months or even years to find a forever home. Both discuss the history behind the project and its evolution in this month’s Special Feature.

This month’s second SW Inspire, Joanna Jewett, raises awareness for the efforts put forth by The Centers at St. Camillus, a nursing home and medical facility. As the director of communications, marketing and public relations, Joanna organizes events to raise money for The Centers — something she’s done so well and with such grace that she was recently honored with a Successful Business Woman Award for community achievement from BizEventz. SW Inspire Lauren Kochian has spent the last three-and-a-half years as the director of marketing and development for Arc of Onondaga, a community-based organization that assists individuals with developmental disabilities achieve their fullest potential. Today, she strives to help society learn, grow and become more accepting of people’s differences; and lives for a future where we can all learn from one another and celebrate those differences. I apologize if this letter comes off overly corny with its “gift of giving” holiday vibe, but I think the point is that the community in which we live is, in fact, quite atypical. Syracuse is like one big family with its arms open wide to anyone who wants to be a part of it — even pit bulls. There are people here working hard every day to make it an even better place than it already is. And this month’s issue, in particular, highlights that. The proof is in the figgy pudding. Happy Holidays,

Alyssa LaFaro ON OUR COVER

Lizzy Scollo-Chock was photographed at her wedding on location in Louisana by Rita Earl Blackwell photography.


Kelly Breuer Barbara McSpadden


Barbara McSpadden


Alyssa LaFaro


PHOTOGRAPHY Gerard H. Gaskin Steven J. Pallone Alice G. Patterson Solon Quinn Laiza Semidey Chris Szulwach

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Jonathan Anderson Drew Broderick Jill Burress Hayleigh Gowans Alison Grimes Sarah Hall Kayla Isaacs Catherine James Kailyn Jennings Paige Kelly Kate D. Mahoney Joleene Moody Bennie Mae Edwards-Rucker Lindsey Smith Ann Marie Stonecypher Russ Tarby


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


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

CONTACT OUR HOME OFFICE 315.434.8889 2501 James Street, Suite 100 Syracuse, NY 13206


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.



Join YWCA Syracuse and Onondaga County from 5:30 to 8 p.m. on Nov. 5, at Drumlins Country Club as they celebrate and honor women who, through their careers and personal lives, have forged new pathways for the next generation of women.


By The Sea – 11/13

By the Sea follows an American writer named Roland and his wife, Vanessa, who arrive in a tranquil and picturesque seaside resort in 1970s France, their marriage in apparent crisis. As they spend time with fellow travelers, including young newlyweds Lea and François, and village locals Michel and Patrice, the couple begins to come to terms with unresolved issues in their own lives.

Mockingjay Part 2 – 11/20 Teamed with a group of her closest friends – including Gale, Finnick, and Peeta – Katniss goes off on a mission with the unit from District 13 as they risk their lives to stage an assassination attempt on President Snow who has become obsessed with destroying her. The mortal traps, enemies, and moral choices that await Katniss will challenge her more than any arena she faced in The Hunger Games.

Spotlight – 11/20 The film tells the riveting true story of the Boston Globe’s Spotlight investigation team who uncovered a scandal that would rock the city and shock the world. For years, whispers of the Boston Archdiocese’s cover up of sexual abuse within the Catholic church were largely ignored by the media, the police and the legal system. Against all odds, the spotlight team fought to expose the truth.

Creed – 11/25 A story that finds Rocky Balboa acting as a trainer and mentor to the grandson of his fellow boxing alumni, Apollo Creed.

Spirit of American Women is also a fundraiser that celebrates the power of individual philanthropy. Guests hear from women who have changed their lives with support from YWCA Syracuse and Onondaga County, and discover how their gift benefits women and girls in our community. This event encourages philanthropy among women and provides an opportunity to network with others from diverse social, ethnic, economic, educational and cultural backgrounds. Spirit of American Women provides participants with the opportunity to learn about the YWCA, an organization dedicated to eliminating racism, empowering women, and promoting peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all. For more information, visit


Kick off your holiday shopping with the Junior League of Syracuse’s (JLS) 20th annual Holiday Shoppes, a three-day holiday marketplace to be held this year Nov. 13-15, at the New York State Fairgrounds. Holiday Shoppes offers boutique shopping at its best, featuring an impressive array of nearly 200 unique and distinctive merchants. Each year, the event attracts more than 5,000 shoppers, and proceeds are used to fund the JLS’s community impact and leadership development efforts. The Junior League of Syracuse is an organization of women committed to promoting voluntarism, developing the potential of women and improving the community through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers. Its purpose is exclusively educational and charitable. For more information, visit


Save the date for Franciscan Northside Ministries’ Sweet Sensations XI, to be held Saturday, Nov. 14, at St. Daniel’s Auditorium. This year’s theme? BROADWAY! This cabaret style evening of entertainment will feature Musical Director Brad Ozinsky and a brand new all-star cast of some of the finest musicians in Central New York. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.; the show begins at 7:30 p.m. Enjoy a sampling of desserts, pastries and confections, along with fruit, cheeses and a variety of coffees and teas. Admission is $25 per person. Franciscan Northside Ministries provides a collection of programs and services designed to meet the needs of the underserved and marginalized in our community through an active and dedicated volunteer corps whose impact on the community is vital. For more information, visit



forward ::FASHION


holiday dressing in a flash


The holidays are fast approaching and there will be times when the daytime you and the nighttime you have mere minutes to make an appearance. With a few simple flips, swipes and swaps you can go from office chick to party chic — and no one will be the wiser. You probably have a stack of invites, virtual and paper, enticing you to this holiday function and that — some of them barely getting you from behind the computer to bartender pour me a Bailey’s in enough time to say, “Mistletoe.” The good news is you are a tote bag (and a quick trip to the ladies’ room) away from looking like you spent hours getting ready for your shindig. I have long extolled the virtues of the little black dress (the LBD), but it is going to make your holiday season a piece of fruitcake. Here’s what to put in your holiday tote bag for your sparkly presto change-o: jewelry like crystals, pearls, rhinestones or diamonds; accessories such as an evening bag and high heels (pumps or strappy sandals, depending on the weather); makeup items like blotting papers, powder, lip color, eyeliner, false lashes; and hair spray or texturizing spray, as well as other various hair accessories.


Our model Catherine is wearing a simple LBD and a blazer as her work (before) attire. With just a few simple changes, her look transforms into evening elegant with the items that were in her tote bag. How we amped up Catherine’s look: Removing the blazer and swapping out her daytime shoe for a sparkly evening shoe was a snap. We twisted up her hair with sticks for a quick, elegant look. Next, we blotted her face with 8


blotting paper. These papers are inexpensive (only $1 or $2 at drug/cosmetics stores) and great for touch-ups because they absorb excess oil from your face without disrupting your make up. We also added a plum lip color — don’t go red if it feels garish; pick a color that suits you. We finished with extra eyeliner and shadow. An alternative makeup style could include a super-shiny nude lip paired with a dramatic smoky eye. For the skilled makeup connoisseur, add false lashes to this look. A note of warning: Do not try false eyelashes for the first time at work, or they may find you slumped over the copy machine the next day with a lash glue hangover.


We finished with some sparkle on her hand and throat by adding a shiny floral ring and lovely back drape necklace. Catherine hits the nail on the head here — she went from workstation to wow, and who would know? Fifteen minutes to fabulous is easy with this holiday tote stashed in your car or under your desk for the season, so never fear those last-minute e-vites. Even if you aren’t wearing an LBD, you can spiff up any outfit (and yourself) quickly with these tips. The bottom line is this: Don’t say no to an invitation because you don’t have time to look fabulous. Looking fab on the fly is in the bag, you just have to know what to put in it. Ann Marie Stonecypher is an award-winning businesswoman and the owner of AMS Models & Talent. She is also a stylist, inspirational speaker, two-time breast cancer survivor and freelance writer; and lives in the Syracuse area with her children Taylor and Steven, and her dog Cocoa. Model Catherine Hunter courtesy of AMS Models & Talent, with styling by Ann Marie Stonecypher. Please send questions or comments to

129 Walton Street

Armory Square’s Fashion Favorites!

124 Walton Street

317 South Franklin Street

chatter ::PLATTER

Beer Belly Deli & Pub Where your sandwich will make you smile





Lauren Monforte loves sandwiches. “Meat and cheese in-between bread,” she hypes. “It’s an excellent way to feed yourself.” Six years ago, this lawyer’s fixation was in sync with her friend, Brandon Roe, who managed Papa Gallo and then Pastabilities. Brandon, now Lauren’s business partner, always wanted to open a casual, comfort food establishment. Lauren, since she was 16 years old, dreamed of opening a restaurant called the Beer Belly Deli & Pub. “We found this space and all of the stars aligned,” explains Lauren. Together, they founded the restaurant located at 510 Wescott St. in 2012. The Beer Belly Deli & Pub offers its own take on classic sandwiches with high-quality, homemade ingredients, in addition to its late-night bar serving beer and wine. With ingredients roasted in-house and its hand-carved meats, each dish receives attentive care. Sandwiches — like the roasted turkey, which is marinated in red wine for 24 hours and served with a spicy cranberry aioli — leave customers content. “I’ve seen people cheers their sandwiches,” says Lauren. “It’s the sandwich that makes you happy.” The burger selections are also customer favorites, like the Curd Burger, with candied bacon and deep-fried cheese curds. A vast collection of bottles and cans adds to the deli’s menu. “Our beer selection is probably number-one,” she adds. “We have five draft lines that rotate constantly.” Reflecting the seasons with both the kitchen and bar, the Beer Belly Deli & Pub also offers new weekly specials. For holidays like Thanksgiving, the deli creates stuffing, potatoes and provides a separate Thanksgiving plate. When the duo first bought the deli, it lacked electric, plumbing, a bathroom, walls and even a door. For a year, they reconstructed the rectangular space, adding booths and tables against the brick walls, along with a bar facing the kitchen. The now scattered pictures and light bulbs that sit in mason jar glasses suspended from the ceiling, elicit an ease that the owners envisioned. “I really wanted to create a space in the neighborhood where people felt comfortable coming with their families, but students felt comfortable at as well,” says Lauren. “When people walk through the door, I really feel like I’m welcoming them into my house.” A spacious back courtyard lends space to host a variety of events. They have football and basketball specials, while Monday nights showcase live jazz and Tuesday’s “Queer and Beer” night. For Thursday nights, Lauren and Brandon are looking to create their own geeky trivia. “Everyone watches ‘The Walking Dead,’ ‘Game of Thrones’ and that sort of thing, and we show it at the deli,” says Lauren. Trivia night is based, in part, on staff suggestions, which are taken into close consideration by Brandon and Lauren. “When we opened it was really a focus on the food and the beer and the customer experience,” notes Lauren. “But at this point, we have 25 employees. It’s become a real family within the restaurant and that’s become very, very important to me as well.” Much of the staff has been with the deli since it opened, part of why they care so much about good customer experience. Despite the separate roles that Lauren and Brandon fulfill at Beer Belly Deli & Pub, they work as a pair to keep the restaurant on-trend and up-to-date, considering ways to advance business like larger to-go meals, event catering and selling their meats deli style. For the two, who often bond with regulars, they feel that customers show their support should, in turn, receive the deli’s support. It’s this vibe that allows the restaurant’s vision to be brought forth, making the Beer Belly Deli & Pub everything it was intended to be. “It’s about comfort,” concludes Lauren, “and it’s about a sense of home.” Beer Belly Deli & Pub is open from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. Monday through Sunday. For more information, visit, like “Beer Belly Deli & Pub” on Facebook, or follow @BeerBellyDeli on Twitter and Instagram. SYRACUSEWOMANMAG.COM :: NOVEMBER 2015


honesty ::IN ALL






“True happiness is to enjoy the present, without anxious dependence upon the future, not to amuse ourselves with either hopes or fears but to rest satisfied with what we have, which is sufficient, for he that is so wants nothing. The greatest blessings of mankind are within us and within our reach. A wise man is content with his lot, whatever it may be, without wishing for what he has not.” --Seneca Bare-knuckled driving to midnight sales and searching for the perfect present because you didn’t anticipate that trip to the ER for the glue gun burns — you just had to make everyone their own Pinterest wreaths, after all! You know there are people who have no parents or homes or shoes, but somewhere between a canker sore and stitch-worthy paper cuts for the sake of the holiday newsletter, you will snail mail because it proves you care more, you are seemingly nestled in seasonal spirit. Is this really how you know you’re living? It’s about balance. I love to honor my relationships with a festive note, but you know what? I sent out last year’s holiday card this past August. Someday maybe I’ll have it all together. Probably not, and I’m okay with that. Days and time had no meaning in the cyclical path of my parents’ respective illnesses. We learned not to set ourselves up for the failure of planning an event on a specific date only to have it fall through because of disease. When you do that, you let the distractions of life win, losing yourself in the marathon for the sake of the sprint. Or with miracles for that matter, when you focus on what you think the big one is, you miss out on all the little ones along the way. I’m only now getting back to following a traditional calendar, and it’s as challenging as it is lackluster. No spontaneity. This season, if you have burdened yourself with holiday “to-dos,” take your calendar out and look ahead. You’re going to end up in a new year with a

new normal at some point anyway. It could start tomorrow. You don’t know. Block some time for the things in your life that make you feel connected to your holiday spirit, whatever that looks like. If you want to volunteer at a homeless shelter, soup kitchen, care facility — and you can do it this month — wonderful! Do you want to try your hand at some sort of homemade nut brittle? Great! Or do you want to sing carols to sick kids? Look at you! That’s admirable. But what if you can’t fit it all in? Will you carry the blame for your failure to save all of humanity and yourself in the six weeks allotted for merriment and giving? Wow. That sounds awesome. Who’s going to play you in the movie? S e r i o u s l y, give yourself permission to lighten the load and live in the season not in spite of it. Poverty, violence and hunger exist for many people all the time. Do what you are able every day, for yourself and others, and the joy of the season can last a lifetime. I’ve lived an incredibly privileged life, one in which I have always had love, safety, shelter, food, clothing. It’s not been an easy road, but my basic needs have been met. Of my best days, I can’t tell you that one was a holiday on the calendar. The boundaries aren’t in our spirit, just our planners. We don’t really know in our hearts whether it’s a holiday or Tuesday. We have the ability to control the narrative. Give and receive every day, and every day can be about thanksgiving. Kate D. Mahoney is a professional storyteller, actorvist and author who travels the country to share anecdotes from life as patient and caregiver — it’s crisis, but with jazz hands. Kate currently lives in Syracuse. Please email to schedule a speaking engagement.


woman ::WISE


President and CEO, City Electric Co., Inc.


hen Sandy Rosecrans joined the workforce directly following high school, she didn’t follow a traditional career path. Working in operations at Sysco Foods, Sandy developed a strong skill set in logistics such as ordering, receivables and deliveries. When a former colleague approached her about taking a new job at a previously family-owned company— City Electric Co., Inc.—she wasn’t quite sure at first. After visiting and taking a closer look at the company, Sandy decided that she’d join the business with one condition—that she wanted to be part owner—which the owner agreed to.

To make the partnership possible and grow her ownership stake, Sandy invested in herself by taking the riskier route of bonus and stock options instead of cash. She continued to do that for 10 years until the owner was ready to sell the business. Sandy mortgaged her house, maxed out credit cards and took a loan out on her husband’s life insurance to make the financing possible. After taking over majority ownership (which eventually became full ownership), she began to investigate opportunities for growth and opening stores in strategic locations across Central New York. “I’m a strong believer in independent business,” says Sandy. “We can react quicker, stay closer to our customers and make decisions faster.”

What began as one distribution center in Syracuse with less than 10 employees is now located in ten markets across the state, employing over 100 individuals. While she could relocate anywhere, her team decided to buy and renovate a building near downtown Syracuse to remain close to the city. Sandy offers regular training opportunities for all employees and holds an annual meeting where she shows all employees her budget and where every dollar is going. “It doesn’t matter what business you’re in, you should understand how the company makes money (if you’re for profit) and ask how your job affects the bottom line,” says Sandy. As the business reaches its 100-year celebration, Sandy is a firm believer in constant growth and training, which she also encourages of her employees. Recently, she made an appointment at the WISE Women’s Business Center to learn more about the government procurement process and has since met with a resource provider who is helping her to create a strategy to grow her business through her WBE certification. “I want people to know that we’re a great business that just happens to be owned by a woman,” says Sandy.

wise words of wisdom… “Inspect what you expect. Nothing measured, nothing gained.”


– Sandy Rosecrans

WISE WISE HAPPENINGS: HAPPENINGS: Check out for a complete list of upcoming events!

{ Special Event: Little Black Dress: Fundraiser for WISE WBC Nov. 12, 6-10PM @ SKY Armory } Women in Creative Businesses Roundtable Discussion

The Building Blocks for Starting a Business

November 5, 12:00 - 1:00PM November 12, 12:00 - 1:00PM

November 3, 12:00 - 1:00PM November 18, 5:30 - 7:00PM

Ask the Attorney: Congrats— You Need Help! Best Practices for Bringing Workers Into Your Expanding Business

Funding Your Business Growth: What Lender’s are Looking for Within Your Business Plan

Ask the Expert Office Hours: Is My Business Plan Lender Ready? November 19, 11:30AM - 1:00PM

November 17, 5:30 - 7:00PM

November 17, 12:00 - 1:30PM

A PROGRAM OF THE FALCONE CENTER FOR ENTREPRENEURSHIP AT SYRACUSE UNIVERSITY Funded in part through a Cooperative Agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration. All opinions, conclusions or recommendations expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Small Business Administration. Reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities will be made if requested at least 2 weeks in advance. Call (315) 443-8634.



Murphy’s Specialized Pastry cakes, cupcakes, cream pies, cheesecakes, cookies & more


We Can Cater Your Holiday Party Too!

315.692.4229 VISIT US AT:

feature ::SPECIAL


Happens Together

BY LINDSEY SMITH I PHOTOS COURTESY OF RONALD MCDONALD HOUSE Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central New York is a “home away from home” for parents and families whose children are seriously ill, receiving treatment or undergoing procedures at Syracuse-area hospitals and medical centers. The house helps families who live at least 15 miles from Syracuse stay close to medical facilities, and provides a place for children to rest and recover while being surrounded by family. Nearby, the Regional Perinatal Center gives women with high-risk pregnancies access to the most comprehensive and advanced medical care.

the CNY Ronald McDonald House, and in some cases, the mothers had been treated by the Regional Perinatal Center because the pregnancy was classified as high-risk. That same year, Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central New York was about to open the doors to a new, larger and fully handicap-accessible house on East Genesee Street. The new house offers expanded services to serve more women with high-risk pregnancies who were previously unable to stay at the house due to structural limitations. It features wider hallways, an elevator and wheelchair-accessible bathrooms to help mothers who are awaiting delivery or who recently delivered by cesarean section move about with greater ease.

Together, the organizations help women who travel to Syracuse for specialized prenatal care because of a high-risk pregnancy — women like Amanda Krantz.

Since 2012, the number of high-risk expectant mothers who have stayed at the house has more than doubled.

Amanda, a Buffalo native, was 26 weeks pregnant with her third child when her obstetrician detected that her unborn baby had a potential heart defect. At 35 weeks, she was referred to the Regional Perinatal Center because her baby would require treatment in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) upon arrival. At 38 weeks, she traveled to Syracuse to await delivery and stay at the CNY Ronald McDonald House, a place she would call “home” for two weeks. In June 2015, Amanda gave birth to a daughter. She returned to the House for about a week while her daughter’s heart was repaired in the NICU.

“Every person at the CNY Ronald McDonald House, from the staff to the volunteers, was amazing,” says Amanda. “They made being scared and in a strange place that much easier by offering a safe and comfortable environment. I never felt like a guest. I felt like family.”

“The CNY Ronald McDonald House and the Regional Perinatal Center made me feel like I was at home and helped me through what could have otherwise been a terrifying experience,” shares Amanda. “I would never want to go through what I did again, but they made it easier.” The organizations began working together in 2012 to better serve women with high-risk pregnancies before and after they deliver. At the time, families with neonatal infants were already one of the largest populations served by 16


Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central New York will honor the Regional Perinatal Center at its annual “Many Hearts One Home Celebration” on Saturday, Nov. 14. The event will take place at the SRC Arena and Events Center at Onondaga Community College at 6:30 p.m. The evening will feature live and silent auctions, cocktails, hors d’oeuvres and food stations. To learn more about Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central New York, visit or like them on Facebook at For more information about the Regional Perinatal Center, visit healthcare/perinatal/.

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my journey with



I am a recovering addict.

I am one of those addicts that some people in the recovery process would call a “functional addict.” I could go to work and live life like it’s okay, but it really isn’t. I jumped in and out of using alcohol and drugs like it was normal. I thought I could stop what I was doing and be okay. Then, one day, when I was jobless, on unemployment and going back to school, I learned that there was something else I needed instead of self-medication. I have been a member of the YWCA’s Women’s Residence Program for more than a year. Since joining, the team there has helped me to create a stable home environment and build integrity within myself to help me become stronger. The program has helped me regain what I lost. This program has given me structure and the guidance I needed to help myself.


I was born and raised in the heart of Syracuse 46 years ago. I was born to a mother and father who were also born and raised here. I have one sibling by my mother and step-father, who helped raise me. I am told that I have a few siblings by my biological father. I attended the local schools and had a good life for the most part. But, I still had a lot of obstacles and hurdles to jump over. I was raped as a child, and I was involved in a few violent relationships. Some of them were harder struggles than others. But the hardest was probably being homeless. A little over five years ago, my family and I lost our apartment. Our only option was to move in with my uncles, along with their other boarders, due to a domestic situation that arrived. At that time we had nowhere else to go. My other child returned to live on-campus; he was in college. Things began to look up for me and my family after that. I began to recover from my addiction. I found a place to move into — a place where my mom, one of my children and I could live. I started to work again. Life had improved. But that life only lasted for a little while. The job didn’t work out, and my daughter went off to Job Corps. My mother and I ended up losing our place because we couldn’t afford it. My mom moved in with a friend. But I had nowhere to go. I was homeless. But I managed to stay clean — and still am to this day.


There were too many things coming my way, and I really needed to make a decision. I decided to continue attending meetings and stop being homeless. I had a lot of support to help me stay clean through it all. During this time, I was hopping around from shelter to shelter, without any real place to call home. But with the guidance of friends and loved ones, I was able to get into the YWCA’s Women’s Residence Program, which I learned about through my volunteer efforts with a local organization. Once I enrolled in the program, I was told there was one really important thing that I had to work on — my recovery. And that was the one thing I had on my side already. Sometimes, people need guidance. They need terms and conditions to help them learn how to become better people. The YWCA set out clear guidelines for what was expected of me to remain in the program. Those guidelines made it very easy for me to survive in this environment. When I first came into the YWCA, I needed to be reintroduced to how to live alone and budget my money. I have learned some new things about myself, and it has helped me become a better person. I have accomplished one of my biggest goals — to get a job — and the YWCA helped me through that. Today, I am the administrative assistant for the YWCA’s main office. I think the most important gifts I gained from the YWCA’s program are the people I work and live with. They have become my family and my support system. Since joining the program, I have truly had the pleasure of meeting some fabulous people — and I get help from each and every person there equally. These people have helped me set longand short-term goals for myself and others. The YWCA has truly helped me become a more positive member of my community, and I hope to get as much knowledge as they can give me to continue my growth as a woman. I could not be more grateful for the YWCA Women’s Residence Program. On Thursday, Nov. 5, the YWCA will host its annual Spirit of American Women event, which supports the women, girls and families served through YWCA programs such as Girls Inc., the Women’s Residence Program and the after school program. These programs enrich the lives of women and girls in the community. This small plate mixer and silent auction will take place at Drumlins Country Club from 5:30 to 8 p.m. Tickets cost $50/ person. For more information about the event, call the Syracuse YWCA at 315-424-0040. To learn more about the YWCA, visit, like them on Facebook at or follow @ywcasyracuse on Twitter.

I was in a downward spiral in life. But I continued to keep myself clean and sober. I knew I needed to make more change, but how? SYRACUSEWOMANMAG.COM :: NOVEMBER 2015


cuse ::NEW IN THE 20





ATMs for Good



Benefits Local Nonprofits BY SARAH HALL

Many people balk at the idea of paying a hefty surcharge at the ATM. But what if a portion of that surcharge went to a good cause? That’s the idea behind ATMs for Good, a project of Syracuse ATM. Kathryn Bolster, who owns Syracuse ATM, said she thought of the program as a way to bring more meaning to her work. “Having successfully managed Syracuse ATM for the last decade, I wanted to find a way to transform the things that are important to me — creating community, supporting each other and building relationships — into a working model that we could continue to build our business on,” she explains. “It’s all about taking something mundane and tweaking it just a little to transform it into something meaningful.” The idea behind ATMs for Good is simple: An ATM associated with a local nonprofit is placed in an area business. The business chooses the nonprofit to which it wants to donate. Every time you use the machine, a portion of the surcharge is directly deposited into the account of the nonprofit. The surcharge can be split three ways: part goes to Syracuse ATM to pay for the maintenance of the machine, part goes to the nonprofit and part to the business, though the business can choose to donate its portion back to the nonprofit. That’s what the owners of the B’ville Diner chose to do with their portion. Jim and Laura Orlando put in an ATM for Good this past June, opting to help out the Baldwinsville-based Maureen’s Hope, which provides services to people living with cancer or others facing a life-altering diagnosis. “My sister-in-law passed away from cancer, so we got to know Sue [Bertrand, founder of Maureen’s Hope], and what she does firsthand. She’s got a great organization, and it meant a lot to my sister-in-law and to my wife while she was taking care of her in the end,” says Jim. “Syracuse ATM is another group we do business with, and they mentioned they were doing this ATMs for Good, and we decided to put one in the diner.” Jim says it was important for the diner to make sure every cent possible went to Maureen’s Hope. “The diner waived our [portion of the surcharge] so everything goes to Maureen’s Hope, because it’s all about raising money for her [Sue Bertrand].”

B’ville Diner customers to join us,” hopes Sue. “Each time a surcharge occurs at the ATM, a portion of that surcharge will be directly deposited into the Maureen’s Hope Foundation’s bank account. It’s that simple.” And the B’ville Diner isn’t the only local business to feature the service. Basta on the River has also installed an ATM for Good; this one, too, benefits Maureen’s Hope. “You know where your money is going,” says Basta co-owner Jason Rieth. Like the B’ville Diner, Basta is giving its share of the surcharge to Maureen’s Hope. “With a lot of charities, maybe 10 to 12 percent is going to, let’s call it, ‘the end user.’ That’s not going to do much. But with Maureen’s Hope, you know it’s going to the right place, and it’s helping people who need it.” While the B’ville area businesses have focused on Maureen’s Hope, other nonprofits have also benefited from ATMs for Good. The Rescue Mission, Ophelia’s Place, Griffin’s Guardians, the Syracuse Poster Project, Paige’s Butterfly Run, and The Boys and Girls Club are all receiving funds from the project. ATMs have been installed at Café Kubal, Funk N Waffles and Pascale’s Italian Bistro at Drumlins. Kathryn says everyone stands to benefit from ATMs for Good, from nonprofits to businesses to members of the community. “The nonprofits receive the benefit of a steady revenue stream that doesn’t require any ongoing effort on the part of their staff or volunteers,” she details. “They also have the benefit of driving awareness of their mission to new audiences. Businesses benefit by increasing foot traffic, lowering credit card fees and inspiring customer community involvement and awareness. “Customers benefit by getting the cash in hand they need and having an easy way to learn more about and contribute to the community,” continues Kathryn. “It’s a brilliantly simple way to contribute to the community in a positive way.” Jim Orlando says it offers businesses a more concrete way to give back to the people that support them every day. “You need to help the people that support your business. That’s critical. That’s what makes the world go ‘round. They support the diner, so the diner supports them in whatever we can. In most cases, it’s supporting teams or little leagues. It’s nice to be able to help a local organization.”

Sue explains that she found out about ATMs for Good at a women’s business conference this past winter, when she and Kathryn struck up a conversation. They met a few weeks later about partnering up to help Maureen’s Hope. Shortly thereafter, she approached the Orlandos, who were looking for another way to help the foundation. They installed the ATM, complete with a Maureen’s Hope wrap, in June.

Jason Rieth hopes more people take advantage of the ATMs for Good. “Instead of going to the bank or to the gas station, if you’re going to go to the ATM, I think people should know this option is there. People don’t mind paying that little bit extra if they know it’s going to help people in the community.”

“In addition to raising funds for our mission, this will also increase awareness about the work of Maureen’s Hope and perhaps inspire

To learn more or to sign up your business or nonprofit, visit or, or contact Kathryn Bolster at kathryn@syracuseatm. com or by calling 315-657-7376.

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inspire ::SW 26






Director of Marketing & Development, Arc of Onondaga BY KAILYN JENNINGS I PHOTO BY STEVEN J. PALLONE To inspire is to fill someone with the urge or ability to do or feel something. We feel inspired after buzzer-beater game wins, when those previously paralyzed walk, while listening to motivational speakers. We tend to look at the bigger pictures — those moments broadcasted on national television or written about in books. But we forget that our biggest sources of inspiration often come from those around us. Arc of Onondaga, a nonprofit, community-based organization, provides services for people with developmental disabilities in Onondaga County. It serves thousands of individuals throughout Onondaga County through services including residential, day, employment, clinical and recreation programs, employing 500 people. Its mission is to assist individuals with developmental disabilities to achieve their fullest potential. Its vision is for all people to be respected, contributing citizens who can achieve their highest potential for independence and inclusion within their communities. Lauren Kochian got involved with Arc Of Onondaga three-and-a-half years ago. With a background in sports and entertainment marketing, she had previously worked with Syracuse Stage, a nonprofit professional theatre in Central New York. A Syracuse Stage funder told her about Arc, and she went in knowing nothing about the $27 million nonprofit and $2.5 million foundation. “A lot of people don’t know what Arc is unless someone they know is involved,” says Lauren. After her tour, though, Lauren knew she wanted to work there. “I think what stuck out is how it was so great to see people with disabilities living a good life,” she says. “They have jobs. They have nice homes. They have all the support they need to live the way all human beings should. Caring for those who may not be able to care for themselves is our entire society’s responsibility, and I wanted to be a part of that.” She is now Arc’s director of marketing and development, and she handles public relations, marketing, advertising and fundraising. And although Syracuse Stage aligned more with her background, Lauren enjoys her work with Arc more because it enhances people’s day-today lives. “Theater is wonderful, and art is so important, but at Arc you are fundraising for a way of life,” explains Lauren. “It’s rewarding and fun and nice to be involved and help people that need it.” Lauren’s favorite part of her job is the people for whom she fundraises. “We support more than 1,000 people with developmental disabilities, anything diagnosed from autism to Down syndrome,” she details. “We support some of the highest functioning people who are working and taking classes and living independently all the way to people who need 24/7 care and are in wheelchairs and nonverbal. “They are all wonderful people,” she continues. “They appreciate each and every day as a gift. They enjoy family and trying new things.” Lauren says she gets as much from them as they get from her. They inspire her. “I truly enjoy going to work every day. Hundreds of people make it their career to support people with disabilities. But

I don’t know if I could do that,” she says of the direct support staff. “It’s very challenging.” The people who support Arc inspire Lauren, as well. Lauren says she helps raise hundreds of thousands of dollars every year within the community. “Someone who may not know anyone Arc supports comes to our events and donates money because they understand how important it is to support others. It’s out of the goodness of their hearts. That’s what our society should be.”


In March, Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month, Lauren says Arc does extra things in the community to spread awareness. Last March, Arc had three people with developmental disabilities speak at East Syracuse Minoa, Jamesville DeWitt and West Genesee high schools about how the word “retard” is a form of bullying and offensive. They spoke in front of roughly 1,000 high school students. “That’s not easy for anyone to do,” note Lauren, adding that the bravery it took to speak and how receptive the students were made the presentations more powerful than expected. “Everyone that day took away a little something,” she says. At Arc’s 2015 Athletes in Tandem race on Sept. 12, Lauren says 12 runners pushed people with developmental disabilities in adult strollers. For many, it was their first race experience. They received race bibs and completed a half marathon like all the other athletes. “There were 1,500 runners cheering them on the whole way,” she says. “I’m perpetually humbled by this support.” Lauren believes the future is bright for the people Arc supports. “It seems that every day our society learns and grows and becomes more accepting and inclusive, not only accepting people’s differences, but supporting and celebrating them. I hope for a future where our individuals and community benefit and learn from one another.” For Arc, she says she hopes it continues to grow and expand, as well, but that it also continues to remain adept at facing the challenges of supporting people with developmental disabilities and their family members. “As our individuals grow and evolve,” says Laruen, “I hope that Arc does, as well.” As for Lauren’s future, she hopes to continue working in the nonprofit sector. “I think a lot about what I do. I enjoy being able to give back in my career. I hope to stay at Arc for a long time. The field that we are in is changing, so I hope that I stay and adapt and grow with those changes.” Lauren would like to advance her career, though. She can see herself overseeing a larger foundation or as an executive director of a nonprofit. “There’s no shortage of nonprofits in Central New York. If I could, I’d be involved with more of them.”In the end, though, Lauren says nothing brings her greater joy than seeing people accomplish their goals and dreams. “I expect that, in the future, this will only be made easier by a community of people in support of all that entails.” For more information about Arc of Onondaga, visit, like them on Facebook at or follow @ ArcofOnondaga on Twitter. SYRACUSEWOMANMAG.COM :: NOVEMBER 2015 27

inspire ::SW 28





Director of Communications, Marketing & Public Relations, The Centers at St. Camillus BY PAIGE KELLY I PHOTO BY STEVEN J. PALLONE “There’s a palpable feeling of camaraderie among the people I know who work for nonprofit organizations,” says Joanna Jewett, the director of communications, marketing and public relations for The Centers at St. Camillus. “We all face similar challenges.”

Joanna hopes to sell out all 675 seats at the theater, which she believes she will do — especially with the buzz that surrounded the event last year and the fan base each artist brings with them. New this year is a happy hour of beer and hard cider before the show, as well as four additional performers.

With an associate’s degree in graphic art and a bachelor’s degree in art, Joanna began her career in print sales and as a media account executive in radio sales before going into the communications field. “Honestly, I was just happy to find a job after college,” she admits. “I had no experience in sales, but I was attracted to the design side of print advertisement sales and grew to enjoy the industry. It’s all about building relationships, and I like to think that is one of my skills.”

“Last year, while Dave Frisina from Rebel 105.9 was on stage, he quoted ‘Forrest Gump,’ saying the event was like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re going to get. And it’s true. We had jazz, rock alternative, folk, country and soul. You name it, we really had it. And it’s just as diverse this year.”

Five years ago, Joanna assumed her role at St. Camillus and, since, has excelled in her career. In fact, Joanna was recently recognized with the Community Achievement Award at the 2015 Successful Business Women Awards this past September. Joanna is responsible for creating the marketing budget, producing nearly all the copywriting for advertisements and commercials, placing all of St. Camillus’ media and creating and running fundraising events. “Luckily I have a great team,” she says. “I have a director of creative services who creates all the images in our publications, ads, etc. And we recently added a relationship development coordinator whose goal is to deepen and strengthen our connections and relationships with people who have experience at St. Camillus, whether they are a patient or they have a loved one who is patient or a resident.” Through her fundraising work at St. Camillus, Joanna has made lasting relationships. Yearly fundraising events include Red, White & Brew — a beer- and wine-tasting day at Coleman’s Authentic Irish Pub — and the Celebration of Giving Gala.


One of Joanna’s most successful fundraising events for St. Camillus is RESPECT: CNY Celebrates Women in Music, held for the first time last November at The Palace Theater in Eastwood. The event showcased 18 female performers of Central New York, each of which sang two songs from artists that inspired them in their music careers. “I just woke up with the idea last February,” laughs Joanna. “I wish I could say it was a lot of strategizing and planning, but it wasn’t. “I thought, How great would it be to assemble many female artists from the area and to really spotlight women, especially women in music? A lot of us never had met before, but very quickly there became a real feeling of sisterhood, and now it continues into its second year.” Joanna hopes to expand this year’s event, which will be held Friday, Nov. 13. “I come from a sales background so I have no problem asking for financial support for what we do here, especially for St. Camillus because we do great work,” she explains. “We genuinely help people.”




The house band for RESPECT is Joanna’s own band, Funkadelphia. Joanna is the lead singer and plays with Kristopher Heels, Andy Rudy, Frank Neubert and Ken Satterfield, all whom Joanna describes as truly gifted and wonderful gentlemen. Joanna characterizes her cover band, which has performed at weddings and local events for the past few years, as having a funky and soulful feel. Joanna is also the lead singer for an acoustic trio called The Mix Tapes; acoustic guitarist Kristopher Heels and drummer Frank Neubert are her partners. The trio is looking to produce some original work within the next six months to a year, but as of now preforms covers. “It’s not necessarily songs you would think of as acoustic songs,” she explains. “We try to take songs that were performed by much bigger groups and strip them down and make it work for our format.” Joanna’s passion for music shines through her work — and so does her love of the organization she works for. She truly strives to inform the community about what The Centers at St. Camillus does. “A lot of people in CNY might know one service or one aspect,” she says. “They might know we’re a skilled nursing facility or about our rehabilitation, but they might not know about our home care, adult day care programs or our brain injury rehabilitation programs. “So for me,” she continues, “being out there and letting people know about the services we provide; and how committed we are to keeping people well and keeping them independent — and maximizing their independence, whether they’re at home or in a facility — is the most rewarding part. I think we’re committed to helping people age as well as they can.” She adds: “I think people are more health minded than they’ve ever been. We offer programs that are preventative in nature, like memory loss and how to help people age and keep their minds sharp. It’s great for me to be able to let the public know that there are services available to help them.” For more information about The Centers at St. Camillus, visit or like them on Facebook at To purchase tickets for RESPECT or learn more, visit To learn more about Funkadelphia and The MixTapes, check out and








CAROLE BRZOZOWSKI Manager, Café at 407

BY RUSS TARBY I PHOTO BY ALICE G. PATTERSON Baking inspires Carole Brzozowski (pronounced Briz-ZOW-ski). After three decades working at Syracuse University, Carole left the ivory tower of academe last year and returned to her bake house roots here in the Village of Liverpool. Now in her late 50s, Carole’s enjoying her new job as manager of Café at 407 at Ophelia’s Place, located at 407 Tulip St. During her college days in the 1970s, Carole worked in the bakery at the old Cherry Valley Room restaurant at Edwards department store on South Salina Street. “I got up super early,” she remembers, “baked for four or five hours, and then took the bus first up to Onondaga Community College and later up to the Music School at Syracuse University for class.” She was a voice major, a singer of sacred songs from the early Baroque and French Romantic periods. After graduating in 1981, Carole worked clerical jobs at the university and eventually rose to the position of dean of the College of Visual and Performing Arts, a job she held for eight years. Then, from 2009 to 2014, she became a university performing arts presenter for SU’s visionary Arts Engage program established by former Syracuse University Chancellor Nancy Cantor. When new SU Chancellor Kent Syverud eliminated the program in April 2014, Carole retired.


A few weeks later, she was named one of 18 founding Cultural Agents of the U.S. Department of Arts and Culture. In the world of arts education, Carole is clearly a heavy hitter.

in the morning down in Armory Square. I was sitting next to Mary Ellen Clausen [the founder of Ophelia’s Place], and we started talking about these kinds of difficult transitions. A partnership of leadership was born.”


Carole, who lives on the east side of the city, volunteered at the café for six months before accepting a regular position in January, which allowed her to bake in the kitchen while overseeing the entire café as its general manager. She replaced a gifted young chef, Laura Hahn, who now works for Elderberry Pond Country Foods near Skaneateles. Becoming café manager made sense to Carole for two reasons. “I thought it was a good way to learn the business without having to invest in a culinary arts/management course of study. I was right.” And she could also utilize her leadership experience. “Someone with my administrative background, notfor-profit experience and baking skill can make a transition like this, especially with someone like Mary Ellen by my side, someone willing to take a risk on someone like me.” Carole admits that managing the café is far different than her SU gigs, but the new job convinced her “that leadership skill is transferable across disciplines and business types.” And, she says frankly, “The more I hear about the political maneuvering of the new regime [at SU] and the working environment up there, the happier I am that my biggest worry in the morning is if the kitchen is warm enough for the brioche dough to rise, and if all of the staff will come in on time, and if people will choose us today for coffee, lunch or baked goods.

During her tenure at VPA, the college moved its programs in advertising design and communications design to The Warehouse — a former Dunk and Bright Furniture Company on Lafayette Avenue that the university transformed into a classroom, gallery and studio. Carole personally oversaw the transition to new leadership at Syracuse Stage and the SU Department of Drama; and she and the college played a key role in creating SU’s Partnership for Better Education with the Syracuse City School District, promoting literacy in city schools by infusing arts into the curricula.

“I’m not wielding a big budget and managing a popular and effective program,” she continues, “but somehow it feels just as important to be in the ‘café with a cause’ every day.”

But she could never quite shake the love of baking.

And with Carole’s resume ranging from sacred music to academic administration to community arts engagement, that’s saying a lot. Sometimes a good carrot cake can be as satisfying as a sold-out symphony.

“I’d always thought that, someday, I might want to own a restaurant or bakery,” she writes in a recent email. “Last year, when I ‘retired’ from SU, I did some baking for Linda Mortimer and Lauren Bristol at Sparkytown on Burnet Avenue. That was a tremendously healing moment that reminded me of my love for the art of food and the joy that hospitality can bring to the community.” Then, one day, Carole reluctantly attended a women’s breakfast at the request of Heidi Holtz, the director of research and projects at the Rosamond Gifford Foundation. “I introduced myself as ‘recently retired’ but thinking about buying a food truck and baking croissants

It’s really hard work, she admits, but it’s gratifying. “Like the arts, the answers are not clear and the environments are always changing, especially with people’s tastes and trends,” she says. “This is a tough business, but it’s also about as intellectually challenging as anything I’ve attempted.”

Café at 407 is “A Café with a Cause” in support of Ophelia’s Place, a local non-profit that redefines health by empowering individuals, families and communities impacted by eating disorders, disordered eating and body dissatisfaction. For more information, visit, like them on Facebook at or follow @Cafeat407 on Twitter. To learn more about Ophelia’s Place, visit, like them on Facebook at or follow @OpheliasPL on Twitter. SYRACUSEWOMANMAG.COM :: NOVEMBER 2015


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lizzy scollo-chock



Lizzy’s Scollo-Chock’s brother, Vinny, wanted to get a pit bull when she was 13 years old. “He had done the reading, had gone to the bookstore,” she says. “He wanted to convince my mom. He told us about this place he had heard of where they lived outside, and he felt so bad. We went and had to get one. We saw this puppy and saw something special in him. We didn’t want him to grow up on a chain. He was the first pit bull we had, and he changed my whole life.” Lizzy says many people misunderstand pit bulls. “They’re really, really great dogs, and there are so many of them. They need people to fight for them,” she stresses. “I think a lot of people just view them as these guard dogs, and that’s not how they are. They’re very welcoming to people — wiggling their butts, wagging their tails, excited to see you every day.”


As a child, Lizzy wanted to work at Animal Ark Veterinary Hospital and Kennel in Baldwinsville — and that’s exactly what she did when she grew old enough. In college, she fostered a pit bull in the apartment she rented even though her landlord didn’t allow pets. At 25, Lizzy volunteered with Cuse Pit Crew, a nonprofit organization in Syracuse advocating for pit bulls through community outreach and educational programming. “I was going to school and knew I wanted to be involved,” she explains. “I came across Cuse Pit Crew on Facebook and signed up as a volunteer.” She became a board member after a couple months. Lizzy organized Cuse Pit Crew’s events. She also went to inner city schools in Syracuse to talk to students about how to treat animals, dogfighting and what to do if they see a stray animal. “Going into the schools and teaching the kids, that’s the most important thing: teaching generations after us how to treat animals,” she says. “That was the most fulfilling for me. Preventing abuse is the most important thing we can do.” On April 28, 2013, Cuse Pit Crew had a table at a Syracuse Skychiefs game. It hosted Villalobos Rescue Center, a rescue, rehabilitation and placement facility for abused and abandoned pit bulls in New Orleans, Lousiana. Lizzy went to the game that day and met Keli’i “Moe” Chock, who works for Villalobos. After members from both groups had dinner that night, Moe and Lizzy stayed in touch and began dating. “There’s something about him that is hard to put in words,” admits Lizzy. “He gives off energy that deep down to his core he is a good person. He has a gentleness and kindness, and even though he might not always show it, I see it. “He has so much confidence in us as a couple,” she adds. “He helped me have that confidence, as well. He has this magic to him.”


About two years ago, Lizzy moved to New Orleans to be with Moe. “I had been applying for jobs, and a couple days before I made the move, he called me and said his mom could use help with dog walking because they were losing an employee,” she says. Moe’s mom, Tia Torres, owns Villalobos Rescue Center. She says she started the rescue because, as a domestic violence survivor, she knew the pain of human violence. “For years, I felt the pain of broken bones and a bruised face,” shares Tia. “Never knowing what I did wrong, I always apologized for him beating me. I would crawl back wagging my tail and forgive. So to say I can relate to what the pit bull dog is put through is putting it mildly. No matter how horrible I was treated, I always went back for more. Like the pit bull, I became my own worst enemy until I finally broke away and took off with my kids. But sadly, a dog can’t just pack up and leave. So I stepped in to do just that. Years ago, I was able to save myself, and now I want to do the same for these dogs.” She says pit bulls constantly have to fight for their lives, and not only in the dog-fighting ring, but to find their place in society and to be accepted as opposed to being mistreated and misunderstood. “No matter how cruel humans treat them,” says Tia, “they always forgive and crawl back with such a thirst for acceptance that it almost feels like an apology that they shouldn’t be giving in the first place.”


Tia says she owes everything to the wolves. “I began as a rescue for wolves and wolf-dog mixes, which became popular during the movie ‘White Fang.’ Talk about a controversial animal — and also one that had been persecuted for years and years through books, movie, folklore,” explains Tia. “Wolves are nothing like society has portrayed them to be. They are actually shy and gentle and very, very sweet.” When given the chance to visit a shelter in Los Angeles County, Tia saw a pit bull brought in from a drug raid and double-homicide scene. “It was as though they were bringing in Hannibal Lector, and when she broke free from her leash and charged across the yard to my then very young daughter, I about had a heart attack,” she remembers. “But within seconds, little girls giggling was all I heard as this pit bull shoved her tongue down their ears and washed their faces clean. Right then and there I fell in love with the breed. That pit bull became the start of Villalobos ‘Pit Bull’ Rescue Center.” Tia says she loves that Villalobos has turned into a place where underdogs, both humans and animals, can be themselves and be accepted for what they are. Now, Lizzy is a part of that. She takes care of the dogs’ medical needs at Villalobos. “I’m kind of like a vet tech. I’m not certified, but I do everything a vet tech would do,” she says. “We don’t always stick to a specific role. If someone needs help, we jump in.”

story ::COVER

“Being in the South, the heartworm disease became our biggest enemy,” says Tia. “Tackling this disease with the amount of dogs we have is a full-time job for one person. Then add to that the other medical issues that come up on a daily basis. Lizzy is doing the job of five people. There is no way that VRC could continue to function the way that it does without Lizzy. She is a crucial element to the organization. “Lizzy carries a big load for the rescue,” continues Tia. “Not only in the dog sense, but as a new family member, as well. I know it’s pretty obvious, but we are not a traditional type of family, so we’re a tough pill to swallow. My son Moe can be challenging because he has this insight into people and life in general. I told Lizzy when she committed herself to moving to Louisiana and in with Moe: ‘Oh girl, you got your hands full with him.’ Between the humans and dogs of VRC, Lizzy passed with flying colors. She became just as warped as we were.” Moe proposed to Lizzy in front of Villalobos after her first successful home check and adoption. “It was one of the most amazing moments of my life,” she reflects. “I was completely caught off guard and wasn’t expecting anything. We were just going with the flow. And to have him do it around Christmas time and around our friends and family, and filmed for my friends back home, was amazing. Surrounded by dogs in front of the center was really, really special.”

PART OF THE FAMILY Lizzy and Moe tied the knot September 19, 2015.

“My wedding day — I know a lot of people use the word ‘perfect,’ but it really was,” she says. “There was so much love and support from my family and friends in New Orleans and New York. Everything about it was completely blissful.” They ended their wedding night with everyone holding heart-shaped sparklers. Lizzy and Moe had sparklers in the shape of a “J” for their dog Jack, who passed away before their wedding. The song “I Can See Clearly Now” by Johnny Nash played as tribute. Today, Lizzy is an official member of the Villalobos family and fully acclimated to New Orleans culture. Reflecting back, though, she admits that the transition from Syracuse to New Orleans wasn’t an easy one. “It was a big deal moving to this new city from my home I’d been all my life,” she shares. “The most difficult thing to adjust to is the level of abuse in New Orleans. There are people here who love and adore their dogs, but there’s also a lack of resources, and people in certain situations don’t view dogs like we do — as our family. People tie dogs to our gates who are skinny and emaciated with no hair. I knew that type of abuse existed, but seeing it as often as we see it, there’s no getting used to it.” The abuse surprises Lizzy every time. “It’s the amount of dogs in the country that we get that have gunshot wounds. I can’t comprehend the idea that somebody could actually shoot a dog. Fortunately, we are able to get these dogs to the vet,” 36


she says. “Why would anyone in the world have a reason to shoot these dogs?” Villalobos has a television show on Animal Planet called “Pit Bulls and Parolees,” where ex-convicts and pit bulls come together to strengthen each other. Tia tries to positively change the prison community and dog world by rescuing pit bulls and giving parolees a chance to repair their lives. “To be able to speak our minds and just be natural and not giving a crap what people have to say about us in empowering,” says Tia. “And although having a TV show gives us the outlet to tell our story, it also has its drawbacks. The amount of calls and emails we now get is staggering, so much that we cannot keep up with the physical work that it takes to actually run the rescue itself. Being in the spotlight — we have to balance the good with the bad, and at the same time, realize that it also brings attention to our cause by showing our dogs in a different light. For the parolees, we always hope that someone, somewhere out there will see the good in some of them and this will open up doors they never thought possible. So yeah, I guess you could say it’s got its perks, but also has its setbacks. We just roll with it.” Lizzy said the show has helped more of their dogs get adopted, and the national support helps with donations that the rescue relies on to keep functioning. The community has responded differently to the show and organization, though. “Some people respond really, really well to us and are open to our help,” she says, adding that some people come in with dogs they want to keep, but aren’t sure if they need a vaccine or have worms. They need help, and Villalobos finds a way for them to keep their dogs. “Other people respond like they are just going to tie their dog to our gate. Some might be a little defensive, as well, depending on the situation.” One day, Lizzy saw a dog running around and followed him home to make sure a car didn’t hit him. The owner said she accused him of not caring for his dog. “We see that a lot, letting a dog run around the neighborhood,” says Lizzy. “We don’t really condone that because we don’t want to see dogs get hit by cars or picked up by the wrong person.” Despite the hardships, Lizzy sees herself staying with Villalobos. “I have a really strong interest in the medical aspect of things,” she explains. “I see myself staying on the road I’m on, helping homeless animals. I don’t see myself doing anything else. I’ve always had other jobs, but had something more I was looking for. And with this job, it will never be about me. It’s an extra motivation when you have dogs relying on you. “I’m interested in expanding and going into schools and teaching here, but other than that I’ll stick with Villalobos as long as it’s around,” she continues. “We all are so close and have each other’s backs. We all have the most important things in common: We’re all loyal to each other, and so passionate about the dogs we bring in,

story ::COVER whether they are pit bulls, poodles or border collies. It’s why we work so hard to do what we do. “I’m extremely grateful to my family and friends in Syracuse and to the family and friends I gained here who have always supported me and always made me feel so loved and special,” she adds. “I want them to know how much I appreciate them.” Her new family appreciates her, too. “Lizzy’s love of dogs is off the chart. I’m serious,” says Tia. “I think if she hadn’t married my son she would’ve ended up getting hitched to a VRC dog. She adores them that much. She first came to the rescue eyes wide open. I mean, it’s a lot to take in. But she held it together and grew thick skin, and she turned out to be such a good balance of kindness and compassion, but also assertiveness and tough at the same time. VRC is a very difficult place to work. It’s very physically draining, but emotionally, it will suck the life out of you. Lizzy has what it takes to stand strong.” Lizzy’s strong will and love for not only dogs but people makes her invaluable at the rescue. “Without our little Yankee,” concludes Tia, “we wouldn’t make it through the day.” Villalobos Rescue Center is a rescue, rehabilitation and placement facility for abused and abandoned pit bulls — and the subject of Animal Planet’s “Pit Bulls and Parolees.” For more information about the center, visit, like them on Facebook at VillalobosRescueCenter or follow @VRC_Pitbull on Twitter. 38


“[Pit bulls] need people to fight for them. I think a lot of people just view them as these guard dogs, and that’s not how they are. They’re very welcoming to people — wiggling their butts, wagging their tails, excited to see you every day.” — Lizzy Scollo-Chock



Villalobos Rescue Center is a non-profit rescue, rehabilitation and placement facility for abused and abandoned Pit Bulls. VRC is also featured on Animal Planets “Pit Bulls & Parolees airing on Saturday nights..

VRC works ceaselessly to give Pit Bulls another chance in life. Each and EVERY dog taken in, gets spayed or neutered, and given any medical treatment necessary. We work patiently to re-acclimatize fearful dogs to the loving care of a human, so that they may eventually be adopted. In some cases, these dogs have never had a kind word or touch, and it is a slow process. After determining temperaments and compatibility factors, we begin that long search for the perfect home.

Visit for more information on how to donate and other ways you can help the cause.



The Patience Project seeks homes for longtime shelter dogs

GOOD THINGS COME TO THOSE WHO WAIT STORY AND PHOTO BY SARAH HALL No one had even looked at Duke for more than a year. The 3-year-old Rottweiler-shepherd mix had sat in the kennels at CNY Veterinary Services in Clay since he was 6 months old. His chances for adoption looked grim. Then Duke’s photo was featured on Facebook on a page dedicated to dogs like him who have spent months or even years in shelters. The Patience Project’s picture was shared on one page after another and ultimately made its way to Gerry Ioannone in Rochester. “My cousin forwarded his picture to me on Facebook,” he says. “I kept saying we were never getting another dog, because we’d just lost our other dog on May 6. But I kept coming back to that picture, because he reminded me of a dog we used to have.” Finally, Gerry agreed to go look at Duke, and he and his family made the drive out from Rochester to Clay. They spent a couple of hours getting to know Duke. “He was really funny,” explains Gerry, “very precocious. He wanted to constantly be petted and have his belly rubbed. Very sweet.” With that, any reservations Gerry might have had about getting another dog went out the window. On June 22, just two weeks after being featured by The Patience Project, volunteers drove Duke to his new home. After two-and-half years in a shelter, Duke now has a (human) bed to sleep in every night. The Patience Project founders Emily Doucet and Nastasha Faust hope Duke is just the first of many dogs to find a permanent home. “People don’t realize how many dogs are in a shelter,” says Emily. “Because [shelters] rotate who they give exposure to, some of those dogs might have been there months or even years. They just haven’t had time to promote them again. They kind of get forgotten. We wanted to bring attention to some of those dogs that have been overlooked time and time again.” Both Emily and Natasha regularly volunteer with Cuse Pit Crew, a local organization that advocates for pit bulls through humane education and community outreach. They also work with other area shelters. Natasha says 42


she was inspired to start the page after seeing how many dogs had been in shelters for weeks, months or years. “A lot of people aren’t aware that there’s so many, and a lot of people don’t know how many shelters there are,” she explains. “We wanted to get that out there.” Natasha went to Emily for help building the Facebook page and reaching out to the community. They launched the page on June 7, featuring Duke as their first dog. Since then, the page has garnered more than 1,700 likes and found a home for more than 20 dogs. At the moment, they’re only working with dogs, but they’re looking into the possibility of starting another page for cats. The site regularly features dogs from DeWitt Animal Hospital and Shelter, CNY SPCA, Humane CNY, CNY Veterinary Services, Wanderers Rest and Humane Society of Rome, though they’ve also showcased animals being sheltered at more faraway locations, like the Potsdam Humane Society, the Herkimer Humane Society and the Finger Lakes SPCA. “It’s notorious that black dogs, larger dogs, pit mixes, Rottweiler mixes, older dogs, they tend to sit in the shelter the longest,” says Emily. “We knew there was this whole population that people were reluctant to look at. When they come in they have an idea already in their head [of dogs they don’t want]. So we’re just trying to say, when you come in, these dog have all these great qualities, at least just go meet them. Maybe they’re not the dogs for you, but give them a shot. “We believe that there are enough homes out there,” concludes Emily. “It’s just that people don’t know that these dogs are there. And there are people that will [walk into a shelter and say], ‘I want the dog that’s been here the longest,’ or ‘I want the oldest dog.’ There are good people out there. We’re just trying to connect them with these good dogs.” For more information about The Patience Project or to see the dogs featured, visit

wonder woman ::MODERN DAY

The Importance of


wonder woman



BY JILL BURRESS I PHOTO BY Step outside and smell that crisp air and those falling leaves? Take a moment to let that rejuvenating feeling sink in because it won’t last long. The holidays are almost here! Our family went to an ice cream store a couple months ago and behind the store was a giant hill. Do you remember when you were a kid and you rolled head over heels down a hill? Well, that’s exactly what we did, so this feeling of chin tucked rolling midway down the hill with a “no turning back now” feeling is very fresh in my mind. When I think of the holiday season and Christmas, it feels like it’s approaching so quickly just as if I were head over feet rolling to the bottom of that hill! Can any of you relate to that lingering sensation of dizziness as your head spins through the holiday season? Well, ladies, we are tumbling head over heels into the holiday season and there’s no stopping it! By the time we know it the tree will be up and silver bells will be ringing! But wait, don’t rush past the one time of the year we celebrate a very important holiday to be thankful for what we have: THANKSGIVING! Here at Syracuse Woman Magazine, we just recognized Breast Cancer Awareness Month in our October issue. It got me thinking that with the disease of cancer or any terminal disease for that matter, I’m grateful for support groups and for friendships. For those who give of their time to help others because they want to show love and support. I’m thankful we don’t have to face life’s hardships alone. The holiday season can be very difficult for some people in more ways than finding that perfect gift. Some find it a very lonely time of year. I’ve heard someone say that there can be 20 people sitting at the dinner table at Thanksgiving and “I feel so alone.” If that is you, let me encourage you with this: We were not designed to go through life alone. Solomon once said, “Two are better than one because a good return comes when two work together. If one of them falls, the other can help him up. But who will help the pitiful person who falls down alone?” Let me sum this up…there are people who love you and want to do life with you! God is saying many things in this passage to encourage us to be relational. He is expressing the innate need for us to be surrounded by people who love us and support us. We need to be actively seeking relationships with others, but how? In all the busyness of life, how do we truly find time to enjoy real friendships? There are opportunities all around us, we just need to find

what we enjoy doing and look for friends to do it with! Please, ladies, get out there and do what you are passionate about, no matter if you are your only friend in the room. Do you know what it’s like to show up to something and you are nervous because you don’t know anyone? I just sat here for 15 minutes brainstorming with my husband about something that I have attended as an example for you and I can’t think of one place I have gone and didn’t know at least one person. I am involved in so many different organizations and activities and everywhere I go, I have at least one friendly face to welcome me. This I say to you not to brag but to encourage you in making friends. It doesn’t happen by accident. To have friends, we must show ourselves friendly. So let’s get started…do you enjoy reading, how about joining a book club? Are you a young mother, well there is a MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) group out there with young women like yourself who would love to share baby and toddler stories of diaper changes and nursing struggles. That was a huge support for me when my children were young because I realized that through sharing stories, I wasn’t alone in my feelings or trials. Are you looking to get yourself healthy and fit? If you are like me, you seek to keep yourself in shape, but have fun while doing it. For me, fitness is more than a focus on my own body but a chance to catch up with friends at the gym. We have a shared passion that keeps us coming back for more. Can I hear a “woo-hoo” from those of you ladies who know what I mean when I say, “friends who sweat together, stay together!” These are just a few thoughts to encourage you to start looking inward to find your passions and then look outward for someone to share them with! I’m thankful for those who love me and enjoy doing life with me, not just through the good times. I’m thankful that I don’t have to go through life alone. The good news is that you don’t have to fly solo. If you don’t know where to start, check out where you will find a gazillion things to be involved in for free. You can also send me a message on Facebook. I love inspiring and guiding women to find a place where they belong because when women find their niche, they will be happy, productive and fulfilled. Don’t let fear and loneliness hold you back. There is a whole world out there of women who have troubles, struggles and joys to share just like you do. In the end, rolling down the hill with friends is so much better than tumbling through life’s paths alone!



BY KAYLA ISAACS I PHOTO BY GERARD H. GASKIN When Kelly DiCarlo bought her first puppy, Lexi, a mixed breed, in 2005, she never wanted to leave her side. Energized, the pup required daily walks to the park, where Kelly met and soon joined ranks with a professional pet sitter. But three years later her partner changed course. Kelly, with two more dogs of her own, chose to take the business into her own hands, wanting more control, igniting All Paws Are Walking. “I wanted to stay in the field because I got to have my three dogs with me, all day, every day,” she says. “It’s truly what makes me happy.” After researching, and talking with friends, family and other business owners, Kelly began caring for pets — dogs and cats, exotic and farm animals, and even smaller creatures like rabbits or ferrets — through All Paws Are Walking. Kelly figured out the business elements she needed, hiring a lawyer and an accountant, and even Facebook messaged pet sitting groups to see what worked for them. Born and raised in the area, Kelly attended Onondaga Community College for elementary education. Though she didn’t finish her degree, Kelly worked as a children’s nanny before transitioning to a pet caretaker, and a few years into her business, digitally earned a veterinary assistant degree, which today gives her an advantage with clients. But her real entrepreneurial push came one year ago when Kelly’s cousin, Stacey Chilbert, told her about the WBOC (Women Business Opportunities Connections). An entrepreneur herself and vice president of the organization, Stacey suggested Kelly attend a meeting. Almost immediately, Kelly was sold and signed up for a membership. “After every meeting, I’ve learned something new that I didn’t know before,” she says. “Just the vast knowledge and the vast background that all of us come 46


from that is put together in one group. And if you have a problem, somebody’s going to be able to figure it out.” Since joining, Kelly’s business has almost quadrupled. Targeting the professional pet owner, who works all day and goes out for dinner or meetings afterwards, serves as the market that Kelly learned to hone in on. From the get-go, she was also made to realize that her service is special. “I needed to respect myself, which I wasn’t doing because I felt like I needed the client so badly,” she admits. “But now that I’ve learned my worth, I’m getting the people that I want, rather than just taking anybody.” Part of Kelly’s value is the relationship she establishes with the animals. Upon meeting a pet, Kelly makes sure it knows who’s in charge. The emotional connection between the two comes later. By then, the animal readily listens to her. This method allows Kelly to work well with reactive dogs that are often considered aggressive, and thanks to her degree, she has the certification to prescribe medication while understanding an animal’s symptoms and needs. While Kelly sits for a majority of repeat customers and their animals, new ones join in spurts. Using learned tactics from the WBOC, like upping her social media, help. With clients new and old, she makes sure all are well attended. “My slogan is: A pawsitively happy pet is my goal,” explains Kelly. “And that’s really what it all comes down to. Because if the pet is happy, the owner is happy, and then they’re going to use me again.” And for Kelly, this is her satisfaction, all while getting to spend time with her own precious dogs, all day long. Women Business Opportunities Connections (WBOC) is a non-profit organization that has been supporting the Syracuse and CNY area for more than 20 years. To become a member, visit or follow the organization on Twitter at @WBOConnection. Syracuse Woman Magazine is a signature sponsor of the WBOC.

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feature ::SPECIAL

Matron Elsie Klocek

matron elsie klocek



“How are the girls working out?” Captain Harold Griebno, a retired veteran officer who served from 1929 to 1962, asked this question during a 1994 interview with the Onondaga County Sheriff’s Office historian. The question posed an interesting focus upon something that was virtually absent during an era that was only a generation away: women’s role in policing. Attention upon that history would reveal the significant contribution that women have made, and continue to make, upon the law enforcement and correctional professions. The earliest record that research has yet revealed regarding a woman being employed with the sheriff’s office surfaced from a 1914 County Board of Supervisor’s report listing the sheriff’s office staff. At that time, the office employed 10 people. Among them was Mary A. Sleeth, a matron and cook at the county jail. She earned an annual salary of $300. Women have served in other capacities throughout the office’s history. In 1926, Sheriff Lewis Scriber organized the Woman Sheriff Corps. Their original roll listed 24 members, including the Sheriff’s wife. These women served as matrons, juvenile officers and dance hall investigators. In January 1938, Sheriff Edwin Auer appointed Mrs. Ada Logan as the county’s first woman juror deputy. Three female assistant deputies were appointed to assist women jurors. Despite these historical footnotes, women’s roles were still limited. One historical episode, however, would have a dramatic impact upon this trend. Traditionally, sworn women members of the sheriff’s office held the title of “matron” and were assigned to jail duty, guarding women inmates. With the opening of the Public Safety Building Jail in 1964, as many as 17 matrons served in that capacity. On June 24, 1964, Elsie Klocek was hired as one of those matrons. Initially, she was appointed as a part-time “Special Deputy Matron” at the jail, but was eventually offered a full-time position that October.


In July 1972, Matron Klocek realized that she and other matrons were paid at a lesser pay rate than their male counterparts, even though they conducted identical assigned work. During this era,


matrons earned an annual salary of about $7,429. Comparably, male jailers earned an $8,453 annual salary. Upon presenting a case for equal pay, the county rejected the claim, arguing that the pay increase would equate to a promotion. In response, Klocek filed a complaint with the State Division of Human Rights, arguing that matrons were unlawfully discriminated against on that matter. Sheriff Patrick Corbett and the Deputy Sheriff’s Benevolent Association Union supported the complaint. But the county continued its contention regarding the matter. On Oct. 4, 1973, the State Human Rights Division ruled in favor of the discrimination complaint. It’s important to note that the ruling did not find direct fault with any individual county representative. Rather, the ruling faulted the county’s pay scale formula. However, the county appealed the ruling. In March 1974, the State’s Human Rights Appeal Board unanimously upheld the ruling in favor of the complaint. The county again appealed the case with the State Supreme Court Appellate Division. In August, the Court rendered a decision and upheld the earlier ruling in favor of the discrimination complaint. As a result of those rulings, Matron Klocek and 16 other matrons earned equal compensation, which included back pay since their time of hire, to their male counterparts. Subsequently, the matron position was abolished and sworn female members of the sheriff’s office earned equal terms, conditions and privileges of employment, and the equal title of “deputy” within the Onondaga County Sheriff’s Office. Eventually, women would come to play an increased role and complement the sheriff’s office throughout the police, custody and civil departments, as well as the civilian support staff. Undeniably, their contribution has strengthened and enriched the historical fabric of the agency. Today, members of the Onondaga County Sheriff’s Office can celebrate the spirit of visionaries like Elsie, who challenged traditional status quo, while sharing in facing the demands and challenges of an honored tradition. Lt. Jonathan Anderson is part of the community relations unit with the Onondaga County Sheriff’s Office. He may be reached at



For a Holiday Glow from Head to Toe! Visit the shoppes at 410 East Genesee Street in Fayetteville CHELSEA’S ESTHETIC BOUTIQUE is a quaint, high end skincare spa that tailors treatments specific to the client’s skin type and skin needs. We offer an array of services such as facials, microdermabrasion, LED, chemical peels and more. The staff at Chelsea’s also specialize in full body waxing using hard wax, lash and brow tinting, and individual mink eyelash extensions. We retail Skin Script, GrandeLASH-MD and Relax n’ Wax products. Try Chelsea’s Microdermabrasion/Oxygen infusion treatment. Known as the “Red Carpet Treatment” Oxygen Infusion will leave your skin with a wonderful healthy glow for your upcoming holiday parties! In just one soothing treatment your skin will be exfoliated, look brighter and more luminous. Call or text 315-857-4467 to set up an appointment or book online at

The Andrea Meier Salon has recently moved to a bigger, more convenient location in Fayetteville. In addition to expanding in space, we have expanded our staff. As always we are on the cutting edge of new trends in coloring techniques, superior individualized haircuts and offering the highest quality of professional hair color in Goldwell and Redken. We also specialize in curly hair as a Certified Ouidad Salon. Besides offering the Ouidad carve and slice technique, we also sell the full line of products which are available only at certified salons. In addition we sell Goldwell and Keratherapy products. After settling in we are currently in the process of looking for experienced stylists who can add to the positive, fun atmosphere that we have created with our current staff and our very loyal clientele. If you are looking for a consistent, friendly experience with top notch stylists, please call us at 315-637-3000 to schedule an appointment.

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8512 Route 57 2498 Route 12B After School Programs in Bridgeport, Camillus, Cazenovia & Chittenango

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Syracuse University

The Spirit of Giving at


“I always say it’s the best place to do your Christmas shopping. Everybody is going to walk out with a gift,” Kate Veley explains of the annual Syracuse University Charity Sports Auction. “Plus, you get the chance to help out a local charity in the process. What can be better than that?”

The SU Charity Sports Auction is an annual event to benefit a local charity. It is held in the backcourt of a Syracuse University Men’s Basketball home game, where attendees can choose from more than 550 silent auction items to bid on. Items range from sports memorabilia, toys, food, gift cards, clothes, jewelry, crafts, jerseys and gift baskets, among many others. “You can pretty much name it and we probably have it,” adds Kate, the manager of the career center and event planning with the Syracuse University Falk College of Sport Management. This year marks the 11th year of the event, which will benefit the Salvation A¬¬¬rmy and be held at the Syracuse Orange vs. Wisconsin Badgers men’s basketball game at 7:15 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 2. Doors will open two hours prior to the game, and attendees will have the chance to bid on items all the way until the end of halftime. More than 120 students in the Sport Management Club at Syracuse University work to organize and secure donations for the event each year, which Kate hopes helps to instill the value of giving back to the community. The club and charity auction was started by Kate and her husband Michael, who is the director of the SU Sport Management Department. “When we started the club, it was with the idea that we wanted our students to have a better understanding of philanthropy,” explains Kate. “We want them to understand the importance of giving back to the community that’s home for them for the next four years.”

Each year, the club sets the goal of beating the amount of money raised from the previous year, which Kate says they were able to do in all years but one. Last year, the charity auction raised $59,185 for Make-A-Wish Central New York, so the goal set for this year’s event is to raise at least $60,000 to go to the Salvation Army. “Last year, we made six wishes come true. When we benefitted the Food Bank of CNY, we provided more than 7,000 meals for local families. There’s a room in the Ronald McDonald House that was sponsored by the Sport Management Club; there’s a room in the Golisano Children’s Hospital,” says Kate of the many successes of the auction. “Those are all things that are forever going to be part of this community thanks to a bunch of 18- to 22-year-olds who recognize this is an opportunity to give back.” “I have learned that sports can have a monumental impact on a community,” says Kevin Reese, co-chair of this year’s event. “Seeing more than 30,000 people in one location all helping out for the same cause for the past two years at the auction has been one of the best experiences, not only in college, but my entire life.” In addition to the silent auction, the club also holds an online auction 10 days prior to the live event, where people around the country can bid on unique sport-related items. In the past, these online auction items have included NASCAR hoods, signed Derek Jeter baseballs, pin flags with golf pro signatures and Yankees tickets. “It’s just one more avenue we can use to generate money for the charity we’re benefiting,” concludes Kate. To learn more about the Syracuse University Charity Sports Auction and to view auction items, visit, like them on Facebook at or follow @SPMAuction on Twitter.







in your business



in your business} Take Your Voice Back...


If you run a business, I want you to take a second to read this. Actually, I want you all to read this because it relates to you, too. Yes, you: The one that works with a variety of personalities in a brick-and-mortar building and has to tolerate the nuances of other people that don’t seem to care. I will laser focus on you in a future article, but I know this will serve you right now, too.

So anyway, if you run a business, I’m willing to bet you meet lots of different people you do contract work with. Perhaps, you hire this person over here to do your website or that person over there to do your social media. Or maybe you hire a team in the next county to manage your books or mow the lawn, I don’t know. But you hire people. And if you’re anything like me, you expect them to do what they say. Or, at the very least, call you back. Or email you back. Or send smoke signals back. Or just come back. But they don’t. The work is shoddy, and they aren’t returning your calls. It makes you cry in your soup and want to stab people in the eye. The worst part is, you don’t say anything to them. You tell others about your struggle, but you don’t actually address it with the lawn mower guy. Why? Because we all have this intense need to be liked. And if we try to tell someone they aren’t living up to their word, they may not like us. So we don’t say anything. A hundred years ago, I sang in a band. I wrote my own music and was working with a guy that was recording it for me. I paid in full. He slacked big time on the recording contract. It was horrible. It took me weeks of whining to others before I finally addressed it with the studio owner and the slacker. I was scared out of my mind that they would start a smear campaign all over Central New York that would mar my good name. (Which nobody knew, by the way, but still.) I spoke up anyway. And you know what? They acted like I was the one that was in the wrong.

I know you probably expected me to say: “They learned their lesson, and I got my money back and because I spoke up, the CD turned out better than I could have imagined and then I signed with Virgin Records.” But that’s not what happened. The CD never got finished. This is what happened instead: I learned that not everyone is going to like me or agree with me. I learned that I have no control over the egos of others. I learned that there are people that will never agree with who I am or what I do. But more than this, I learned that by speaking up, I was actually building and toning my courage muscles. I don’t know anyone that doesn’t want to have great, big, gigantic courage muscles. Author James Altucher said: “No matter who you are, no matter what you do, no matter who your audience is, 30 percent will love you, 30 percent will hate you and 30 percent won’t care. Stick with the people who love you and don’t spend a single second on the rest. Life will be better that way.” We can’t know the outcome of any given situation. We can hope for a favorable one, but we don’t always get it. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t speak up for what’s right. I don’t know a lot of things, but I know this: Even if they become angry and throw darts at your picture during lunch, you gave them an invaluable gift. Really. You did. You taught them something. You woke them up to truth. They may never admit that to you, but that doesn’t matter. What matters is that you were brave and you stood up for you. You flexed those muscles. They look good by the way. So right now, today, speak for what you want. Ask for what you need. Take your voice back. And be brave. Every day. Joleene Moody is a comedic, transformational speaker and author residing in Central New York. Visit her at



latina ::CNY





Olga Otero overcomes loss and finds her lifelong passion

Verizon. He brought Olga to Michaels craft store, and she fell in love with the bead isle. So she began to make custombeaded jewelry items.


Then, one day, Olga’s husband said: “I’m going to try to sell these at work.” All of the positive feedback she received from Carlos’ colleagues boosted her confidence, and she eventually grew her inventory to showcase at the Regional Market. Because her gemmed creations continued to sell, she opened a shop — Olga’s Beads Designs (OBD) — at the Regional Market Commons and, eventually, one at Shoppingtown Mall.

There’s something about the holidays that fills the mind and heart with comfort — a combination of experiences, igniting each of our five senses. From family gatherings, generosity, music, decor, meals and holiday desserts, lifelong memories are built upon these heart-warming events, similar to Olga Otero’s career path. Olga Otero, founder and owner of OBD specialty gift shop in Shoppingtown Mall, wasn’t always an entrepreneur. After obtaining her teaching degree, her career began in her hometown of Havana, Cuba, teaching drawing and technology for nine years. “For as long as I can remember, I’ve always had tools surrounding me,” she shares. cny So itlatina was only natural, upon arriving to the U.S. 13 years ago with her 4-year-old daughter Gabriela, that her first purchases were a hammer and screwdriver. As her purchases prove, Olga was ready to start making an impact, but she was faced with difficulty overcoming the language barrier. She accepted work at the Plainville Turkey Farm in Baldwinsville, quickly realizing, “the turkey farm was not for me, so I made improving my English a priority.” She took English courses for a year at the Westside Learning Center while working at the farm. Once she gained enough confidence with the language, Olga put her teaching experience back to good use as a special education teacher’s assistant at Bellevue Elementary. “It felt great to be back in the classroom,” remembers Olga. She loved the challenge and spontaneity of a classroom and, of course, the reward of each parent and student she connected with. Olga poured her heart into her work — until the Syracuse City School District laid off more than 550 teachers and assistants in 2012, Olga being one of them. Devastation set in. “I had never lost a job before,” says Olga, “so this was very difficult for me. I remember my husband encouraging me to find a hobby.”


Olga’s husband Carlos had just completed his master’s degree online through Kaplan before beginning work with



Much to her surprise, in July 2014, two years after being laid off, Olga received a letter from the Syracuse City School District, requesting she submit an application for employment as a teacher’s assistant. With more than 10 years of teaching experience under her belt, Olga faced a tough decision. Over and over again, she asked herself and others what to do. She remembered the people she worked with. She remembered the emotion, the challenge and, most importantly, the reward of each smiling face.

But, one day, her then 9-year-old son George asked her: “Mamá, what do you want? You have to follow your dream mamá.” And so she made a decision. Almost immediately, Olga tore up the letter from the district, and looked forward to her first holiday season and year ahead at Shoppingtown Mall. Now, every day, Olga lives her dream. She enjoys the design process involved in her artwork — not only her semiprecious gem-beaded jewelry, but other specialty creations like her hand-painted kiln-fired ceramics and antique camera lamps. She concludes: “I love the design process and feel comforted when customers find specialty gifts for their friends and loved ones, created by me.” This article was provided by the CNY Latino newspaper, the only Hispanic-oriented publication in Central New York. The Spanish version of this article can be read in this month’s edition of the CNY Latino newspaper, in both the traditional paper version and/or the digital format at



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“Woman put others before themselves. I witness this every day”, states Bristol Mountain Marketing Director, Drew Broderick. “The VIP Gold Lean to Ski program is perfect for women who have put off putting themselves first”, remarks, Broderick. The VIP Gold Learn to Ski program is a four-time program for first-time skiers. It begins with an all-day lesson from 10am-3pm on a weekend or holiday time period and includes lunch in Carver’s Kitchen as a group. Class sizes are comprised of three to five first-time skiers who have the potential to become lifelong ski buddies. The first lesson meets in the Sunset Lodge Learning Center where the group is assembled and they are introduced to their instructor for the day. The next two lessons give the guest the opportunity to come anytime during the week at the published lesson time and meets at the Snowsports Meeting Place sign between the Sunset and Comet Express chairlifts. We suggest that they try to coordinate with a ski buddy from their first lesson if possible. After the third lesson, the VIP Gold instructor will recommend that the student purchase or rent a pair of boots to bring back for the fourth lesson. The reason is that all students will receive a free pair of Elan skis with bindings prior to going out on the snow that day. “Day four is graduation day in the Learning Center and instead of receiving a diploma or a certificate our students receive a free pair of custom designed Elan skis, “ exclaims, Broderick. “In my forty plus years of instructing at Bristol Mountain, we have never had a program that is so empowering for women”, states, ski instructor, Larry Curtis. This program includes four lift tickets, four comprehensive lessons for small groups, three rentals and a free pair of Elan skis with bindings all for just $299. A high percentage of participants go on a purchase a season pass at the conclusion of this program and we saw them 60


a lot throughout the season, beams Curtis. Although this program isn’t just for women it has been very popular with them. Through this initiative, Bristol Mountain, has introduced young professional women to a new sport that can be passionate about. Moms who have been dropping their kids off for weekly Brigades programs are now learning to ski and have the chance to ski as a family with their kids. Last year Bristol Mountain gave away about 100 pairs of free skis through this program and should double that because the age for this program has been lowered from age 18 to age 13+. A Jr. VIP Program Camp has been created for ages 8-12 so now an entire non-skiing family can become a skiing family in one season and purchase the season pass at an introductory rate. The Jr. VIP Camp for ages 8-12 will be offered on the following dates: 1) December 28-31, 2015, 2) January 16, 17, 23, & 24, 2016, 3) February 15-18, 2016. The cost for each camp week is $345 and includes four all-day lessons, four lift tickets, three rentals and a free pair of Elan skis with bindings. Limited quantities of skis available. Restrictions may apply. For those 13 and older there is a one day VIP Learn to Ski and Learn to Snowboard program or first-time skiers or snowboarders for only $99. It includes one five-hour beginner class lesson, one lift ticket, rentals and lunch in Carver’s Kitchen. This program does not include free skis. For more information regarding these programs or to sign up for a VIP Gold session please call 585-374-6000 during regular business hours. Bristol Mountain now has year-round family fun with winter snowsports, Bristol Mountain Aerial Adventures and New Zip Line Canopy Tour (opening weekends this winter), Roseland Waterpark, and the new Roseland Wake Park. Outdoor family fun for everyone at the Adventure Capital of the Finger Lakes! Families can now stay active and have fun together twelve months of the year.

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Alzheimer’s WAR ON WOMEN


“War on women” has fast become one of the most used phrases by pundits and candidates as rhetoric heats up in advance of the 2016 presidential election. While they use it to score points with voters and viewers, the real war on women has been waged for decades and has placed us, as women, at the epicenter of the 21st century’s health crisis: Alzheimer’s disease. The Alzheimer’s Association — the only organization in Central New York and the United States committed to supporting individuals living with the disease and finding a cure for it — estimates that two-thirds of the 5 million seniors in America with Alzheimer’s disease are female and that, at age 65, we have a one in six chance of developing the disease (compared to men that have a one in 11 chance). Alzheimer’s disease swings a double-edged sword at women. Not only do we have a greater chance of developing it; we are also more likely to become an Alzheimer’s caregiver. Recent studies show that women comprise 60 to 70 percent of Alzheimer’s caregivers. Together, more than 13 million women either have Alzheimer’s disease or care for someone with it. Central New York’s large baby boomer population places us in the middle of this crisis. Age remains the numberone risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease. As this generation of 77 million people continues to get older, it is easy to see why words like “crisis,” “epidemic” and “silver tsunami” are used when talking about Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. This disease will loom over Central New York as a major concern and cost-driver for local industry, government, healthcare and families unless an effective prevention, treatment or cure is found. Lapses in memory, judgment and mood, and trouble recalling familiar words or confusion with time and place represent more than just warning signs of Alzheimer’s disease. They represent interruptions in our daily lives that Alzheimer’s fecklessly steals from us. As illustrated by Academy Award winner Julianne Moore in the film “Still Alice,” the impact of Alzheimer’s disease on women is profound 62


and complex. It takes us out of the workforce and changes our personal relationships. It steals our memories and our future. But as she portrayed in the film, it is not a death sentence. We can raise our voices to advocate for improved treatments and preventions. We can use our brains to help solve this problem. History shows that when a nation of women band together we are an unstoppable force, such as the bond formed between PJ Kimmerly and the late Sue Dublin. As members of our early stage support group, they were particularly vocal about how Alzheimer’s disease changed their lives. Many people talk about writing a book of all the things they have learned; they actually did it. PJ and Sue connected with an author named Marjorie Allen, who had been caring for her husband, and together they wrote “A Look Inside Alzheimer’s,” chronicling their journey with Alzheimer’s disease. These courageous women put their brains to work so that others could better understand how life changes because of Alzheimer’s. The Alzheimer’s Association works to enhance care and support for those impacted by a form of dementia and increase concern and awareness for these diseases, providing a 24-hour helpline (800-272-3900), care consultations, free education programs, support groups and safety services. We have also been part of every major research breakthrough for the past 35 years. We are, in essence, your first line of defense in Alzheimer’s war on women. Society has treated Alzheimer’s disease as a fact of aging for decades. Advancements in science and medicine provide medical professionals with the tools they need to diagnose Alzheimer’s earlier and more accurately, offering the person affected an answer to the changes they are noticing. In the end, research will provide us with our ultimate weapon in Alzheimer’s war on women. Catherine James is the chief executive officer of the Alzheimer’s Association, Central New York chapter. For more information on the organization’s efforts, visit, like them on Facebook at, follow @alzcny on Twitter or call 315-472-4201.

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Syracuse Woman Magazine

7TH ANNUAL TEAL RIBBON RUN & WALK Syracuse Woman Magazine proudly attended and supported Hope for Heather’s seventh annual Teal Ribbon Run & Walk at Lewis Park in Minoa on Saturday, Sept. 19. Nearly 1,000 people participated in the walk, run and Kids Teal Dash; and SWM ad sales rep Linda Jabbour set a personal record running the 5K. Local government leaders John Katko and Al Stirpe were also in attendance. The good news doesn’t end there. Hope for Heather raised more than $65,000 for ovarian cancer awareness outreach and research efforts. A post-race family party and festival followed the event with food, music, raffles, games, crafts and more. FIRST-EVER SUCCESSFUL BUSINESS WOMAN AWARDS The first-ever Successful Business Woman Awards — created and produced by BizEvents and hosted by Business Journal News Network — honored 13 women from the Central New York community on Thursday, Sept. 24. Winners were selected by a handful of local judges including SWM Editor Alyssa LaFaro. The 2015 Successful Business Woman Award winners are: Amy Isca, Isca Design Studio; Charlene Vernak, Vernak Farms; Erika Flint, Watertown Urban Mission; Laura Miller, Darco Manufacturing; Julie McMahon, The Post Standard; Laura Hand, CNY Central; Dr. Ednita M. Wright, OCC; Joanne Lenweaver, WISE Women’s Business Center; Fanny Villareal, YWCA; Joanna Jewett, The Centers at St. Camillus; Julie R. Garnsey, Thousand Islands Performing Arts Fund and Clayton Opera House; Bea Gonzalez, University College of Syracuse University; and Cassandra Harrington, Cayuga Lake Wine Trail. Photos courtesy of Ana-Gil Taylor Photography.


WHAT: Join the Miss Syracuse Scholarship Organization as they crown three 2016 titleholders — Miss Syracuse, Miss Salt City and Miss Erie Canal. WHERE: Mohegan Manor, 58 Oswego St., Baldwinsville INFO:


11 a.m. to 2 p.m. 40 UNDER 40 AWARDS WHEN: WHAT: Come to the 18th annual 40 Under 40 Awards Luncheon recognizing 40


people under the age of 40 who have excelled in the workplace and in the community. WHERE: The Oncenter, 800 South State St., Syracuse INFO:

AU CHOCOLAT WHEN: 3 to 9 p.m.

WHAT: This village-wide open house features more than 20 of Baldwinsville’s specialty boutiques, each featuring wonderful holiday shopping deals, hospitality and prizes — and a delicious chocolate snack. WHERE: Village of Baldwinsville INFO:


BUY LOCAL BASH WHEN: 5 to 10 p.m.


WHAT: Going into its sixth year, the Buy Local Bash brings community members and local merchants together for a one-of-a-kind social, shopping and tasting event to highlight the locally owned, independent businesses of Central New York. WHERE: F Shed at The Market, 2100 Park St., Syracuse INFO:

Want to learn how to get started? Make an in-person, phone, or online appointment. Call 315-443-3261 or e-mail We’ll get you started on the journey of a lifetime. ASK US ABOUT Spring 2016 registration begins November 11.

Steve Martin’s The Underpants

NYS residents ask about a 50% tuition scholarship on select programs.

Girls Night Out

November 1 - 8 Syracuse Stage, Syracuse

November 19 Everson Museum of Art, Syracuse

Dorrance Dance: SOUNDspace

Nutcracker with Live Orchestra

New York Connections

Forever Plaid: Plaid Tidings

November 4 Hewitt Union Ballroom, SUNY Oswego November 7 Crouse Hinds Theater, Syracuse

December 11 – 13 Hamilton College, Clinton

December 9 - 23 Merry-Go-Round Playhouse, Auburn


Animals! What’s YOUR Passion?

by Joanne Cronan-Hamoy WRHA Programs & Events Coordinator While many of us are doing the drudgery thing day in and day out you may be thinking about animals - a passion that could make anyone do anything. You may be thinking what can I do to make a difference in an animal’s life? What can you do to calm those voices in your head telling you “I want to be around animals and help." In some cases this time of the year with holidays approaching can be difficult to process for people for different reasons. Volunteering can satisfy it all without changing a thing in your regular routine like daily responsibilities, career and lifestyle.

Animals! What’s your passion? Here at Wanderers’ Rest Humane Association the need is always great for human companions to spend time with our dogs and cats, kittens or puppies! We welcome people from all walks of life. Make a difference and join our diverse team at the shelter. Your talent, time and treasure is exactly what Wanderers’ Rest Humane Association needs. People like you. And it’s always a bonus if you have certain talents to offer. If you are a notable photographer, writer, journalist, nurse, attorney, landscaper, whatever it is there is a good chance your talent and time can help us with some project that need to get done! Want to chill and just pet a shelter cat or dog, cuddle, wash some dishes, or run some laundry

at the shelter? At the same time lower your blood pressure, forget about the problems, bills, world, traffic, television, electronic gadgets, whining, bickering, malls, shopping, holiday stress, and all that drama. Volunteer and shut the noise out. Spend some quality bonding time with an animal in need. You can bet there are some lost and lonely souls out here that will benefit from something only you can offer. Your heart and the love within and a shelter animal that needs you. Wanderers’ Rest Humane Association offers a flexible and rewarding volunteer experience with convenient monthly Orientation Workshops! Please contact Joanne CronanHamoy at or call 315 922-7559 for additional information.

Please visit our offsite adoption centers & consider one of our adorable cats ready for adoption. - Petco -

310 Northern Lights (Route 11), North Syracuse

There are as many as 7.6 million orphan pets looking for a family to love each year. Please join Wanderers’ Rest Humane Association & help homeless animals this holiday season by opening your hearts & homes. Let’s work together & make a difference!

- Pet Supplies Plus 3196 Erie Blvd. East Syracuse

7138 Sutherland Dr. PO Box 535 Canastota, NY 13032

(315) 697-2796

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DREAM BIG LITTLE ONE Jim and DeDe Walsh Family Birth Center

The Jim and DeDe Walsh Family Birth Center provides a safe, quiet, comfortable, and relaxing environment to welcome your new baby into the world. Should your doctor or midwife not be available, we have physicians and neonatal nurse practitioners available in house 24/7 to care for you and your baby. Anesthesia is also on site round-the-clock. The Family Birth Center has six beautifully furnished private labor, delivery and recovery suites that include: • Large Jacuzzi bath tubs • Cable TV with DVD/CD player • Wireless internet access • Comfortable sleeper chair for a guest who wishes to stay overnight After you deliver your baby, you will move to one of 18 private rooms in our mother-baby unit. There you will continue to experience wonderful, personalized care. At Upstate, we support the practice of couplet care, which means mother and baby remain together while in the hospital. The couplet care method promotes stronger family bonding and attachment.


Located at the former Community General Hospital




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