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Now if you two don’t mind I’m going to bed before either of you come up with another clever idea to get us killed, or worse, expelled!” she turns on her heel and shuts the door, and with expert timing Ron Weasley says: “She needs to sort out her priorities.” It’s one of the best lines of the Harry Potter franchise, and will live on as a definitive moment. Here we’re truly getting to know Hermione Granger, a girl as brilliant as she is brave. It’s a funny moment in the film but it rings true to who Hermione is as a character. She’s a young woman who thinks facing death while side by side with her friends is preferable to losing her prized education. What lies underneath Ron’s humorous comments is something unspoken and worthy of extra thought. When we see someone making decisions or living differently than we think they should we often cite their priorities. Priorities are a ranking of our values. Ideally it’s where we spend our time and energy. And when we don’t agree with other people, we get judgmental and assume their ranking order is incorrect. I had an acquaintance over to my home recently and he pointed to the large colorful picture above my mantle: “Are you a big Beatles fan, or do you just like the pretty picture?” The print has a quote from a Beatles song amidst vibrant watercolor. When someone asks a question in this way- it feels like a trap. If I say I’m a huge Beatles fan I’m lying, but if I say I’m not I just like the picture I’m a frivolous idiot. The truth is I like the Beatles as much as the next person, but it’s not why I bought the print. I bought it because I thought it
WOUNY.COM • MARCH 2016
By Molly Lizzio, MA, LPMFT
was beautiful. When I said this answer to my guest he made a face as if to say: “I knew it”. I felt like I’d been shammed about something, but what? The impression I got was this person thought it was senseless to have typographic art in my home that didn’t deeply resonate with me. But the thing is that a value I hold dearly is beautiful and creative things. I work hard to make my home as ascetically pleasing as possible. When I found this print I knew it’d be perfect for my living room. Had it said something I didn’t like I wouldn’t have bought it, but the overall image was what made me hang it so prominently in my home. For no other reason than because it’s very beautiful. And yet in the moment in my own living room I felt like my reason wasn’t good enough. How is that choosing decor for its beauty any less valuable than being a big fan of iconic lyrics? It’s not, at least not to me. And that’s based on my priorities on how I choose to decorate. One of the reasons we all get so judgey when it comes to other people’s priorities is because we’ve all been victim to feeling excluded by the priorities of someone who we love. These are some of the deepest hurts humankind can know. Whether it be parents, spouses, or best friends, we’re all familiar with that hurt of feeling like we don’t rank to someone we care about. We know what it’s like for career, hobbies, or drugs and alcohol to come before us to someone we care deeply about. A situation I see often in my work with couples is a husband and wife are feeling disconnected. She thinks all he cares about
is work and his boat, and believes she doesn’t even come in second or third to him. What this wife might not realize is how her husband interprets his role. Often times in society being a good husband and showing care is seen as being a good provider. Spending time working hard and bringing in more money is often the highest form of love a husband like this knows how to show. And when he comes home and she wants more attention or affection he’s left feeling like his efforts are never enough. The truth is this is all just a big misunderstanding. This couple needs communication around what is important to them, and how each of them go about showing it. He might learn what she believes is actually a good husband for her. They can both adjust how they give to one another and show care and appreciation. Instead what so often I see are attacks on one another. This is what happens when we feel hurt by others. We start to see it wherever we go, but instead of being the victim of that hurt again, we go on the offensive and make it about the other person and what’s wrong with what they’re doing. So we blame their priorities. Demand they reevaluate and change according to our own values. This allows us some reprieve from the fear of being hurt by other’s priorities. Where this runs into trouble is that people in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones. Here’s a good activity to evaluate your own priorities. Make a list of your values, and take careful consideration to see what comes in the top two or three. Most people say their family is first. Then prioritize other things like friends, work, hobbies etc. afterward.
Now break down your day by hour and see where your hours are spent. If you add up all those days you begin to see a picture of what the year looks like. Most people will have a big bulk of their time spent at work. Then if we’re lucky there’s 6-8 hours of sleep in a perfect world. That could be about 16 hours of a day gone- on work and sleep. That’s not even counting commute time, showers or other things that we’re doing to get ready for that 16 hours. Now how are you spending the few remain precious hours at home with your highest values? Add up the time spent watching TV, or on Facebook or other social media. If you add up your time and realize that you’re spending time on things that don’t align with your highest priorities you can take a long hard look at the breakdown and can find areas to make alterations. Granted most of us aren’t fortunate enough to stop working or sleeping, but maybe it means giving up a mediocre TV show, or putting your phone down to charge and leaving it till morning. The fact is we always have time for the things we actually make a priority. Make sure what you think your priorities are actually line up with your behavior. When you have a handle on you priorities, have the courage and conviction to stand behind them. No one can truly understand your situation unless they’re in it. When you’re the one hurt by not feeling like a high enough priority to someone you love, there’s a conversation that can take place to shine light on that hurt, instead of shooting that hurt out to others. And when someone is shooting judgment at you for something they don’t understand about your values, your job is to be as brave as Hermione Granger and stand up for those values. If you’ve evaluated how your time and values line up it’s always solid ground to stand on. WOUNY.COM • MARCH 2016
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THIS LATEST SKIN TREATMENT WILL HAVE YOU ON PINS AND NEEDLES!!
MICRO-NEEDLING By: Beth Phillips, RPAC
n the ongoing pursuit of beauty, most will agree that great skin goes a long way! We see younger people and their vibrant skin and realize how much the quality of your skin affects the age that people perceive you to be. Micro-needling is one of the latest innovations in skin rejuvenation. As we age, we lose collagen in our skin and this accounts for much of the change in texture and fullness. There are many skin treatments that attempt to reverse the signs of aging in our skin. Laser treatments, chemical peels, and countless number of products all affect the skin to varying degrees. Procedures vary widely in cost and downtime. The introduction of micro-needling into the world of beauty seems to deliver excellent results at a reasonable cost with very little downtime. Micro-needling, also called collagen induction therapy (CIT), or percutaneous collagen induction (PCI). This is a minimally invasive procedure that uses very fine needles to penetrate the skin. This causes controlled injuries to the skin that the body wants to heal. Your body will produce collagen to repair the micro-injuries. These microscopic amounts of scar tissue will improve skin firmness and texture. Along with the mechanical injury caused by the needles, various substances can be introduced into the skin via the punctures. Hyaluronic acid, a naturally occurring substance in the body involved in tissue repair, is commonly placed on the skin during the procedure to allow for deeper penetration. Other chemicals, such as vitamin C, topical growth factors and even Botox are sometimes used in conjunction with the procedure.
A newer technique, sometimes referred to as a “vampire facial”, introduces a substance known as PRP (platelet rich plasma) to further stimulate collagen production. PRP contains several growth factors that promote healing. It is widely used in orthopedics to promote repair and regeneration of tissue in various injuries. It is also being studied as a treatment for hair regrowth. PRP is harvested by drawing a patient’s blood and processing it using a centrifuge and special collection devices to separate the plasma from the red blood cells. Micro-needling can be used in a variety of different body areas and skin types (such as darker pigmented skin) that sometimes cannot be treated with lasers. The needle depth is often adjusted to treat different areas. There is also no risk of burning. It can be used for acne scars, fine lines, and skin tightening and some practitioners believe it can achieve reduction in pore size. The procedure is well tolerated. Topical anesthetic cream can be used, but often is not needed. For most patients, a series of treatments spaced 4-6 weeks apart is recommended. Most people can have the procedure done one day and be out in public later that same day, or certainly by the next day. Micro-needling jump starts the body to create its own younger looking skin by stimulating its ability to heal itself. It is a procedure that may just “point” you in the direction of more youthful looking skin! For additional information on Micro-needling and other procedures offered at CNY Cosmetic and Reconstructive Surgery visit: www.plasticsurgeryofsyracuse.com.
WOUNY.COM • MARCH 2016
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WOUNY.COM â€˘ MARCH 2016
Fresh Faces of Upstate New York
A college student with chestnut-brown hair styled in long, loose spirals and a flowered dress the color of tangerines shares a small couch placed against the far wall of the dining room at Mohegan Manor in Baldwinsville. Her friend, whose straight hair matches in color but stops at her shoulders, wears a plum-colored romper with teardrop-shaped gems framing the neckline. Another girl with long, reddish curls and a dress with a silver snake-skinpattern occupies a chair beside them, positioned in front of the fireplace. A year ago, they all competed for their first times in the Miss Syracuse Pageant. A few months ago, in November 2015, they all returned to win titles as contestants in the same pageant, in the ballroom in this same restaurant. They had been on stage, holding hands, and then hugging, as each of their names were called. First was Jessica Brosofsky, the one with straight hair, as Miss Erie Canal. Then Meghan Cahill, the one with the silvery dress, was crowned Miss Salt City. Finally, they announced that
Meghan Sinisi, with the long, brown hair, won the Miss Syracuse title.
The three will travel to Staten Island to participate in the Miss New York Pageant at the end of May, and that winner will advance to the Miss America Pageant in September. Although the girls all want the crown, they tend to forget they are in competition. “Miss Syracuse is all about empowering each other and building each other up,” Sinisi says. “That’s something that I really value about the Miss America system because that resonates from Miss America all the way down to local Miss Syracuse.” In the dressing room, while prepping for pageants, they help fix each other’s hair and put on fake eyelashes. Off-stage, Sinisi cries watching Brosofsky sing during the talent competition. But the pageant is just one night of a reign that lasts an entire year. Now, as titleholders, they support each other’s platforms and represent the Miss Syracuse Organization together at community events. WOUNY.COM • MARCH 2016
Jessica Brosofsky Miss Erie Canal 2016 W
By Tory Russo
hen Jessica Brosofsky wore her crown and sash to Big Brothers Big Sisters, a youth mentoring program, her excited “little sisters” tried to grab the meticulously pinned crown off of her head. “Knowing that what I’m doing with my title is going to make a difference in their lives, that’s the biggest accomplishment so far,” says Brosofsky, the third winner of the Miss Erie Canal title, which the Miss Syracuse Organization established in 2014. As part of her platform, “Reading is Fundamental”, she raises money to buy new hardback books for inner-city schools. She also visits bookstores like Barnes and Noble to read to students, a program called Reader Leaders. Working in these environments and witnessing the lack of literacy in local schools motivated her to help. “I had the privilege of going to really great public schools where I had books at home and I was reading all the time,” Brosofsky says. “There definitely is an education gap for students with low-income families.” She is planning a fund raiser for April to raise money to purchase new books, which cost three dollars each, to donate to schools in Syracuse. Brosofsky, originally from Pensacola, Florida, came to Syracuse because of the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, and because her father attended the University. During her first days at the school, she heard an inspirational young woman, Allie Curtis speak at an event. Curtis, who was crowned Miss Rhode Island 2015, became an instant role model to Brosofsky. She mentored her in Student Association, the University’s student government, and encouraged her to try the Miss Syracuse pageant. Brosofsky competed in a handful of others before returning to the Miss Syracuse stage last November, when she won her crown. She decided the night before that she would compete, after contemplating if she would have enough time between
WOUNY.COM • MARCH 2016
studying for the LSAT and serving as president of her sorority. In addition to her busy schedule, Brosofsky suffered from tonsillitis, which challenged her ability to sing during the talent portion of the competition. She still won a title, but it forced her to determine the amount of time she could commit to each responsibility. “It’s really hard to make sure that [I’m] keeping my grades up, staying a good leader for my chapter and a good titleholder for my community,” says Brosofsky, a double major in policy studies and international relations.
on a platform,” she says.
She wants to pursue a career in politics and believes her experience as Miss Erie Canal has helped her towards this goal, by improving her interpersonal and interview skills, as well as establishing her as a public figure. To reflect the importance of being well-rounded, Brosofsky thinks the on-stage question, which is only five percent of a contestant’s score, should be more heavily weighted. “When you are Miss America, or Miss New York, or a local titleholder, you’re speaking. I’m not going and walking around in a bikini, and I’m not singing all the time, but I’m talking to people and I’m advocating for things on a stage,
In addition to “Reading is Fundamental”, Brosofsky feels passionately about women in politics and leadership roles in the community. Next semester, she will reestablish Elect Her, an initiative that provides free training to prepare women to run for office. “A lot of times women do not feel comfortable enough, or feel like they’re qualified enough to be in positions of leadership, or owning their own businesses,” Brosofsky says. “So hopefully that will get some traction and get women at the university-level, or even young adults, to get geared up to be their own leaders.”
Miss Syracuse 2016 By Tory Russo
pectators often approach Meghan Sinisi, featured twirler at Syracuse University, to ask her questions like “How do you spin the baton around your neck?” Sinisi always keeps a small, sparkly one in her bag to let kids practice the moves. She knows this ability to talk to anyone who approaches her has helped her through the first months of her reign as Miss Syracuse 2016, which presents a unique challenge for the Altoona, Pennsylvania native. Community members have asked her about her qualifications to represent the city-specific title. “I feel like a lot of people doubt that ability that we have to impact our communities because we’re not natives of New York, but something that I always lived by is it’s not about where you are, but how you’re raised,” says Sinisi. “I know that all three of us have been raised with the qualities that our parents have instilled in us with everything that we need to know to be successful anywhere we end up.” Sinisi has proved that she can excel as a twirler and has continued to do so with pageantry. The Syracuse University junior competed in her first pageant just last year in Cortland, where she won the title of Miss Liberty. She knew before she started that she wanted the Miss Syracuse title, because of its historic legacy that dates back to 1922 and the possibility of becoming Miss New York, then Miss America, like Vanessa Williams in 1983-4 and Nina Davuluri in 2013-4. As Miss Syracuse, Sinisi advocates for autism acceptance with a platform called “Different Pieces to the Same Puzzle: Autism
Awareness”. She wants to educate others about autism, and currently takes special education and inclusive education courses as part of her degree in communications sciences and disorders. She plans to host an event in April, which is Autism Awareness month, to fund raise for a local autism self-advocacy network. “You do so much for others and that makes anyone grow as a person. I strongly believe a life worthwhile is a life lived for others.” In the future, Sinisi wants to work as a speech pathologist and continue to inspire an acceptance of autism. She believes that educating children will promote a lifelong understanding. Sinisi supports other causes, like STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math), which the Miss American Organization also promotes. She stresses that the pageant comprises just one piece of the title or reign, and that the girls commit to an entire year of service. Sinisi suggests that hosting a press conference after announcing the winner at local and state competitions, which happens at the Miss America level, could make a positive change in how the public views pageants. “Don’t just look at what’s broad casted on television for that two hour competition, that you only see the big hair, the big make-up, the fake eyelashes, and all that,” Sinisi says. “It’s much more than what meets the eye. There’s so much work that goes into it behind the scenes.” She hopes to improve the perception of pageantry, highlighting the private interview with the judges and the time spent volunteering and promoting local businesses. WOUNY.COM • MARCH 2016
Meghan Cahill Miss Salt City 2016 By Tory Russo
ittle kids who have seen Meghan Cahill wearing her crown have asked if she lives in a castle or has a maid to clean for her. In an effort to entertain them, but also educate them, Cahill usually responds with a playful “sort of ” before explaining her work as Miss Salt City 2016. “Being a role model is definitely one of my favorite jobs that comes along with the title,” Cahill says. She started competing in pageants after she was diagnosed with chronic lyme disease in 2012, during her senior year of high school. She decided to do everything she wanted to, and after years of watching the Miss America pageant, she entered into competition for herself. She served on the 2013 Albany Tulip Queen Court, acting as an ambassador to the city. Then she won the pageant at the Altamont State Fair. That title made her eligible for the Miss New York Pageant. She participated in two more, and won the second, when she became Miss Salt City. “I feel like going out there I was so vulnerable, because it’s just me talking, dressed in a mermaid costume,” says Cahill, who changed her talent performance from a martial arts routine to an original comedic monologue. “But I was really proud, it went over really well and now I love it.” With her current title, Cahill promotes her personal platform “1 for Change: Combating Relationship Violence”. She works with the One Love Foundation, founded in honor of the lacrosse player at the University of Virginia, Yeardley Love, who was killed by her ex-boyfriend in 2010. To spread awareness about the warning signs of unhealthy relationships, Cahill hosts workshops where participants view a 50 minute video about a
WOUNY.COM • MARCH 2016
relationship that grows increasingly violent. Then they discuss what bystanders could have done to intervene. She hopes to expand the program from colleges into high schools in Albany and Syracuse. Cahill frequently commutes between the cities, because she lives in Albany and studies social work as a senior at Saint Rose College, but completes service projects in both places. “I would encourage that person who’s questioning [pageantry] to take a step back and look at that individual as a person, without the crown, without the sash, without the gowns,” Cahill says. “See that person’s heart, rather than the stereotypes.” She considers compassion to be her best quality, a trait she assumedly inherited from her biggest role model, her mom. Cahill describes her mother as hardworking, caring and passionate, which are some of the qualities that seem to have helped Cahill to win the crown and shine as a representative of the Miss Syracuse Organization. She remembers growing up, watching the Miss America Pageant with her mom, and expressing her doubts about being able to compete, but her mom always encouraged her to try. Cahill admits she can be too self-critical, and has been reminding herself to relax, so she can enjoy her year as Miss Salt City. “You can do anything that you put the work into. It’s not an easy position,” Cahill says. “It’s not something that you just walk into and it definitely requires work, but it’s so worth it. There’s very few things in life that I can compare to being a titleholder.”
Be a Scavenger for Good Health By Linda Quinn, MS, RDN
here are several definitions for the word Scavenger. After meeting an amazing performance artist and aerialist who called herself a Scavenger, I decided this term could also apply to me. The definition: To search through a place for useful items. Think: roses among the thorns or buried gems among the rocks. Or more importantly, the freshest, tastiest plant foods I can find. Feeding yourself healthy requires real “scavenger skills”. The estimated number of items in the average grocery store is over 35,000! How do you choose the healthiest items? How do you keep yourself from buying foods that are not useful to your body? Or worse, are deleterious. Start simply. Buy whole raw fruits and vegetables. Whether you are at the grocery store or farmer’s market, aim for the real deal, no packaging. Look, smell, sample and buy the best of the best. You will always add in some packaged items but make them the accent and not the focus. Although I will be the first to say that most of the items in the grocery store are unnecessary, you don’t always realize how much you miss it all until it is gone. That is the case for me now! Living on a tropical island is certainly dreamy and magical, but it can also be dirty, hard, and limited. That is what makes life on an island so bittersweet. You appreciate the beauty even more because living here is more a mastery in survival than an endless vacation. I revel in every sunset and sunrise but the rest of the time I am searching for the foods that nourish me and actively moving to keep my body functioning optimally. I am all about “life basics” living here. There is no Wegmans or Trader Joe’s. There is no Target or Walmart. There are no big stores or malls to distract you into buying stuff.
WOUNY.COM • MARCH 2016
In order to survive, you need to use your skills! I realize that although I am scavenging to find the items I need, most people have to scavenge and avoid the items they don’t need. When you are faced with thousands of choices, decision making is hard. In fact, research shows that all the choices the average American faces can derail success, tax the brain and literally make some of us unhappy. Life on the island is the polar opposite. Choices are limited and so you scavenge to find what you like, need and want. The amazing thing for me is that I take a certain amount of pride when I have found all the foods I want for the week. Our two grocery stores are called supermacados. They are very small in relation to the supermarkets we have in Upstate New York. Finding a box of high fiber cereal can be a real task. You have to go on the right day at the right time. Because of this, you learn where to find what you need. There are colmodos or corner stores located throughout the island. There is a small farmer’s market and a health food store. I literally devote a whole day to food procurement on farmer market day. Although some days it only takes a couple of hours, other days it can be an “all day” affair. Here was my experience when I arrived on Thanksgiving 2015. The Farmer’s Market, a small produce stand and artisanal bakery, was not going to be open until Tuesday. I was sad to think about what I would eat for the next 5 days. This is when I really turned my Scavenger skills on. The Search for Fresh There is a great farm to table restaurant on the Island called Tin Box. It is literally a tin structure situated in the jungle with a farm behind it. When I ate the fresh aru-
gula salad Friday night I realized that there was definitely some fresh local greens to be had. After talking to my dining partner and waitress about possibly buying some of this beautiful produce I made my way the following morning to the farm behind Tin Box. There I met Rasta who is the caretaker of the plants. Hector “Rasta” is a man who lives close to the ground and tends to the beautiful greens, tomatoes, peppers, herbs, and okra. I went to him and told him that I had no vegetables to eat. He told me I did not need to tell him about myself. He would know me by my words and my deeds. He walked me around the garden and cut the vegetables while I held a bucket. I told him about my husband’s garden in Upstate New York and how he and my husband both had a love for the earth. I made a friend that day. With my bag of fresh greens, herbs and tomatoes I felt like I had won the lottery. I would now have fresh, local salad to eat. The rest would fill itself in. As I made my way around the island that weekend, I secured my first coconut, a very important part of my diet here! * I saw from my roof beautiful avocados which my neighbor gave me and I met a man on the side of the road who sold Sicilian eggplant and lantern peppers. Being in “search mode” opened my eyes. I saw every tree and plant differently. Who can give me some fruit? What can I eat until farm market day? I stopped at the health food store in town and my two local colmados to find the nuts, seeds, cereals and legumes that would sustain me. I was truly a Scavenger. I was proud of my accomplishments and I felt so good eating what I had procured. Living off the Land and Loving it! My friend Rasta had told me that if I really wanted to eat fresh he would help
Cuckoo for Coconuts!
me plant my first Vieques garden. With his help and knowledge, I now have a lovely little garden of fresh arugula, mustard greens and tiny cherry tomatoes. With the tropical climate my little garden has grown in just a short few weeks. The most amazing thing I learned from Rasta is how he literally lays over the garden and touches all the plants. Putting new dirt on and then brushing off the tiny sprouts. He taught me to water the plants like a soft rain. Nice and gentle. The care that he spends with his farm is amazing and you can taste it in the salad. That is how I want my salads to taste: Fresh, loved and real.
from sun up to sun down and he loves it. There is something special about living closer to the ground. To see the plants and animals as they are. Research shows that the more time we can spend in green spaces, the better we feel and the healthier we are. Find your green space. Eat some greens. Become a scavenger for the best, highest quality ingredients.
Rasta told me he doesnâ€™t have time to be mad at people, or to judge them or even to get caught up in gossip or news. He works
Linda Quinn is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and fitness instructor. Follow her on Facebook at Island Girl Living.
Once you hone your scavenger skills you will take pride in your focus of protecting your health at any cost. It makes a difference. Plants are our saviors. Let them save you.
To say I love coconut is an understatement. Ever since my sister Cheryl and I were young we loved coconut. If you named the food, and it contained coconut, we loved it. Now I live where coconuts are free. They lay on the beach waiting for someone to open the magic. The local residents drink coconut water, which is from green or young coconuts. The meat in these is gel like and not very sweet. As coconuts age the water is absorbed and the meat sweetens. The only thing is these coconuts are hard to open. Thatâ€™s where my Cocoteros come in. Cocoteros are men who open coconuts with a machete. This is a special skill so finding a good cocotero can be a task. I am fortunate to have three cocoteros who I can employ to open my coconuts. I am their Cocotera: girl who eats the coconuts. It is no wonder that the house I bought here in Vieques was named El Cocotero. It was fate and I am home.
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Ginny Donohue Opening Minds & College Doors By: Kristen Penfield
n Point for College, Inc. has one mission, education and to open the door to higher education for the inner-city youth. Ginny Donohue has a goal, which is to break down the barriers that hinder potential students from entering college; and to provide support that empowers them to succeed. I saw it. I felt it, the entire staff of On Point for College…the love, respect, desire and success. The selflessness and energy all around and within minutes, it is understood that everyone, no matter the position within the company, has the desire to help the helpless succeed. To date, they have helped over 5,500 students get into college and succeed. There are 2,254 students currently enrolled, and with a staff of 22 in Syracuse along with 5 in the Utica facility. Some of her own staff are students who have graduated from college with Donohue’s assistance. They have 180 volunteers who work with over 220 different colleges. A Passion Discovered: Founder and President of On Point for College, Inc., Ginny Donohue, discovered her passion for helping underprivileged kids sixteen years ago. At the time, she was a CFO for a local technology com-
pany and a VP of a national distribution company, but felt she could do more. “My daughter had asked me to help a friend get into college,” Donohue said. “He was homeless, and had no adult support. I helped him through the bureaucratic process of getting into college. That led to helping more kids.” Donohue’s reputation began to grow and on weekends, she helped kids figure out the college en-
try process. She literally worked from the trunk of her car. “A turning point in my life was when a student I helped graduated from Purchase College, Conservatory of Music said that I helped him make his dream come true. ‘This is my dream,’ he said. He then asked me, ‘what is your dream, Ginny?’ Donohue knew what she had to do. After a year and a half of helping many kids, she quit her corporate job,
and began her non-profit organization, On Point for College. Donohue now runs her successful company with an office in the Catholic Charities Building on West Onondaga Street. Finding the Students: On Point finds students in high schools, community centers, public housing complexes and GED sites. “We want to make college accessible to low-income youth who have the desire to continue their education,” said Donohue. “Many kids who would otherwise ‘fall through the cracks’ thinking college is out of reach. Some for economic or academic reasons, but parental involvement and income strongly influence their decision not to attend college. We want them to know that college is possible,” she added. Donohue noted that 30% of the students they help have no parents to rely upon, and 98% of their students are the first in their family to go to college. “These students have the will to succeed, but not the means. They need opportunity, but more importantly they need guidance,” “We help them not only with the paperwork, but help them to solve problems and get through obstacles. We provide resources to help them survive and WOUNY.COM • MARCH 2016
Candace Gregory recipient of Ginny’s Program & Ginny Donohue
succeed. We will drive them to colleges, visit them and help them stay on track. We love attending their graduations and afterwards help them get jobs,” she added. If someone from On Point is not available on campus Donohue says, “We always find an employee on each campus who is our designated ‘campus angel’ to whom our student can go to for any reason,” Students are coached with on time-management, study skills, roommate issues and other skills. Nothing is overlooked. Each student is supplied with bedding, clothing and other necessities.
with On Point for College was recognized by Traditional Home magazine. In 2008, she was awarded the Spirit of Lantern award, with a portrait of Ginny among her students being hung in Hendricks Chapel at Syracuse University.
Always Looking for Help:
Experts who have conducted studies regarding On Point and its results, concluded that On Point for College Inc. had a remarkable record of success. Over 84 percent of two-year college graduates, continued for their bachelor’s degree, with a high rate of graduates. Donohue’s relentless desire to help kids succeed has earned her the 2004 Post Standard Achievement Award; the 2003 Martin Luther King “Unsung Hero” Award from Syracuse University, and the Caring and Sharing Award from the Boys’ and Girls’ Clubs of Syracuse. In 2004, she was one of five finalists for the national Ben & Jerry’s “Citizen Cool” award and featured in their movie, The Difference. In 2006, her work
Ginny Donohue will be forever connected to her passion. This fall her longtime friend and Program Director Sam Rowser will be appointed Executive Director. Rowser has been with Donohue’s since beginning and was chosen the Onondaga County Youth Professional of the Year in 2007; he is also the recipient of the Racial Justice award in 2008. In 2011, Sam earned the Dr. David B. Swedlow Memorial College Access Staff Award of Excellence from the National College Access Network.
WOUNY.COM • MARCH 2016
In 2013, Donohue met with President Barack Obama when he visited Syracuse to address the cost of higher education. After a speech at Binghamton University, he met with Donohue, and thanked her for the work she has done in helping so many young kids succeed.
Donohue gives approximately 150 speeches a year across CNY to raise money and volunteers. She is unstoppable. Donohue
said, “I will always be connected with my students. It is time to see more of my family. Recently, my out-of-state grandson, Dillon who is 9, had asked me to spend more time with him for his birthday - and made me promise. I will happily follow-through with my promise.” On Point for College Inc. is funded through private donations and grants. They are always seeking caring volunteers and contributions (either monetary or college supplies) that’s what helps them succeed! They can be made with direct individual support, bequests, employers, organizations, mentoring, and in-kind services. If you would like to volunteer, contact 315-362-5003 or email courtneyblack@ onpointforcollege.org. Donations can be made on their website at www.onpointforcollege.org, or you can donate the following supplies: Alarm clocks, dictionaries, index cards, five-subject notebooks with pockets, calculators, combs, USB thumb drives, highlighters, pens, pencils, deodorant, shampoo, conditioner, soap, lotion, bedding (twin or twin XL), towels, etc.!
VACATION PLANNING I
By Mary Ann Pierce, CLU MARATHON FINANCIAL ADVISORS, INC.
thought it might be a nice idea this month while we’re in the midst of winter, to write about taking a vacation! Maybe somewhere warm, with hot sand and blue water; or maybe your idea of a vacation is to travel to another country, with exotic food and historical sights to see! Many of my friends have been talking to me about these wonderful trips they are taking which are costing them next to nothing out of pocket. How is this possible, I asked? This is what I found out from talking with several people, who are either traveling within the U.S. or abroad: If you are on a flight and they offer you an airline credit card with bonus miles if you sign up right then and there, take it! (of course, only if you know that you will use the card responsibly – you want it to benefit you, not the credit card company!). You can often receive up to 50,000 airline miles just for signing up, and additional bonus miles when you activate and use the card. For example, one friend knew that she was going to charge the cost of an upcoming trip on a credit card she already had. In this case she signed up for the new card and got the bonus miles. She then charged her trip, received more miles, and paid it off. She told me that the final cost of her flight was only $15!!! There are websites devoted to comparing the best deals for airline miles credit cards. It is definitely worth a look. Another friend let me know that she is enrolled in several hotels’ rewards programs. She travels extensively for business, and really racks up the rewards. She will save these up and often has accumulated enough rewards to pay some or all of her lodging costs when she is ready to go on vacation. I am enrolled in one rewards program and I am often able to upgrade to a better room, or even add “lounge” access (translation – “free snacks” in the evening,
which I love!). Again, check the hotels’ websites, or even call to see exactly what the rewards program offers. During our discussion, someone else mentioned that if she is going to a place to sightsee and really does not care about the accommodations (other than that they must be clean and safe) she will check into hostels in the area. Many will provide a bed and bathroom/shower arrangements; some even will provide a meal. She has traveled extensively using hostels, and has toured many beautiful places with minimal cost for her stay. After all, how much time do we really want to spend in our room, if we are there to see the sights and sample the cuisine? What a great idea! However, there is a caveat to this arrangement - if you are averse to sharing a room and bathroom with strangers, this might not be for you. Hostels tend to be set up “dormitory style”, which many of us remember less than fondly from college. As with the airline miles, there are many websites available for researching inexpensive accommodations, best deals for airline tickets, and coupons or other deals for entertainment, meals and activities for our vacations. The best advice I can give is to plan your vacation well ahead of time to take advantage of all the discounts, miles, rewards, etc. that are available. After all, the planning and saving money can be part of the fun of the vacation; and the money you save on travel and accommodations might then be spent “guilt-free” on that wonderful souvenir of your stay!
Securities and investment advice offered through Cadaret, Grant & Co., Inc. Member FINRA/SIPC Marathon Financial Advisors, Inc. and Cadaret, Grant & CO., Inc. are separate entities. WOUNY.COM • MARCH 2016
Embracing All Odds! A Story of Perseverance!
ife was a struggle, from the moment I was born. I was crippled, cross-eyed and partially deaf. My childhood was also chaotic and filled with neglect and abuse. My way to deal with it was to find comfort with the use on Seconal and unfortunately developed an addiction to it. For me my middle name was “failure”. So much chaos and too much to bear I literally fell to my knees and said God Help Me! He did and that was seven years ago. It was a struggle building a new life, and achieving new goals that would bring me success was foreign. Slowly, but surely I took baby steps by processing, virtually every moment of my past life by dealing and healing. I created several groups and invited people who had similar journeys.
I learned that I was not alone and that we could work together to achieve our common goal. I went back to school for Medical Billing, which brought me to two television commercial spots. One for a hearing aide company and the other for Counseling services. Along with that I sold my home, paid my bills and put my credit back in order. I surrounded myself with loving, positive and successful people and my confidence was boosted. My journey took me through hundreds of experiences, a Déjà vu, flooded with memories of days gone by. Admittedly, it was bittersweet at times, but in the long run it was ultimately very rewarding. I gave many things away and discovered that giving to others is not only rewarding but got me out of my own head.
Against all odds, I dreamed of having my own store that would have items that are reasonably priced, unique and would bring joy to others. I am now able to fulfill that dream because I never gave up. I continued to believe and embraced my journey and created Dianne’s Déjà vu. I am sharing this with you because no matter what life brings you, you can conquer it move forward and be successful. The store is part of my empathy towards others and is geared to having affordable prices and to be successful. It is my gift to others who may be experiencing what I did. Stop in and see what’s inside. There is something for everyone.
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Giving her regards to old Broadway
Geva-Odd Couple WOUNY.COM â€˘ MARCH 2016
By Christine Vickers • Photography Ken A. Huth
s a young girl growing up in Henrietta, NY Jennifer Cody acted out all the great Barbara Streisand songs. Her mother was a big fan and soon young Jennifer was too. It wasn’t until she made a trip to Manhattan and attended a production of Noises Off with a drama group from Roth High School (now known as Rush – Henrietta High School) that Jennifer realized she could actually act, dance and sing for a living. Then, she could not imagine doing anything else. She spent many years studying competitive dance and later attended The State University at Fredonia majoring in acting. Jennifer notes that it was at Fredonia that she was able to gain leadership skills that would serve her well navigating the often brutal waters of her chosen profession. “I taught in the dance department and had to be very focused with my classes. The position empowered me. I’m 4’11”, she laughs, “and that kind of responsibility gave me the confidence to go out and jump right into acting roles. It made me as much of the person I am today as the degree I obtained.” Upon graduating in the early 90’s, Jennifer landed a part in a national tour of Gypsy. Her career took off from there and hasn’t slowed down since. After Gypsy, there came another national
WOUNY.COM • MARCH 2016
tour, this time for a role in CATS. During the show’s run she met her husband, Hunter Foster, a fellow actor, singer and now director/ playwright. They have been partners for 22 years performing together in three Broadway shows and numerous off Broadway and regional theatre productions. The pair’s latest creative endeavor is directing and choreographing a production of Grease for a North Carolina Theatre company. Jennifer and Hunter both starred in the 1994 Tony-nominated Broadway revival of Grease for several years. Jennifer credit’s her relationship with her husband as an important key to her success. “My foundation has been really strong. Being together for all these years keeps everything in perspective for me. We grew up doing shows together. We were both just in Rochester doing Spamalot playing opposite each other and we had a blast! We’re very happy with our careers and have been fortunate that we haven’t had to encounter competition or jealousy. Sure, we feel it sometimes,” shares Jennifer, “but not to the extent where it hurts our marriage.” Jennifer notes the staunch support that she has always felt from her parents and shares that her marriage in conjunction with this grounding has made a potentially challenging career path easier. “This foundation allows me to fail and
not judge myself for it.” Acting is certainly a family affair as Jennifer’s sister- in- law Sutton Foster is a Tony award winning actress, singer and dancer. “It’s talent vs. timing vs. ambition/drive and it’s a perfect storm when it works”, Jennifer says. “We have all been so fortunate. Because of all of our success, my family sometimes forgets that it can just be such a hard industry. “ Broadway Baby Indeed, Jennifer has had wonderful success as a working (primarily) theatre actor in New York. In addition to Grease, her Broadway credits include, No, No Nanette, Beauty & The Beast, Suessical, Urinetown, Taboo, The Pajama Game and Shrek the Musical. Off Broad way roles have included productions adapted from popular children’s books; Henry and Mudge, (for which she received a Drama League nomination) and Junie B. Jones. Of the late author Barbara Parks popular series she had this to say, “I read all the Junie B. books and I fell in love with her spunk, wit and honesty. I felt like we found her essence with this show. I still meet parents who tell me that when their kids read Junie B., they hear my voice as the character. To me that’s exciting! It’s just fun to play an iconic role like that.” Other notable awards received include
“Find what’s unique about you and blow it up” Geva-Women in Jeopardy an Annie Award for Outstanding Voice Acting in the 2009 feature film production of The Princess and the Frog and a Kevin Kline award for outstanding Supporting Actress for her work in a regional production of Hello Dolly. When asked about her experience performing in front of a live audience, Jennifer enthusiastically shares, “It is thrilling; there is simply nothing like it. I did Grease for three years and though the show was the same night after night, it was different because the audience was different. You get an immediate response from the audience that you can play with; that is just the whole science of comedy. And it is why I find theatre more fulfilling than television.” Funny Girls Jennifer notes that she has always gravitated towards funny women as role models. “When I did Grease I had a comic role. With comedy, you can either hear it or you can’t. Being a dancer, I think always helped me hear it. I used to love to watch Sally Struthers, she would just build comedy blocks and I could see it and hear it. I always say I learned the most from her. I’ve worked with Rosie O’Donnell seven times; I love her! I think she is a comedic genius. “ One occasion, and not a laughing matter to Jennifer, was when she signed on to be part of a production called, All Shook Up. “I had to
sing eleven songs. That was more than I had ever done and I was terrified. It was Rock and Roll and I’m classically trained. I kept thinking I’m just not good enough. It was a scary moment that ended up being wonderful. I think what drives a successful performer is that you are always scared and you are always thrilled to be scared!”
quality that has been essential to her longevity and success as an actor. “The people I came to New York with were all super talented. Talent is just part of it. You get horrible things said to you; you’re not pretty enough; you’re too skinny or you’re too fat and so on. You learn very quickly that it has very little to do with you.” She shares that rejection can be very difficult to deal with noting that she very rarely isn’t working and estimates that for every twenty auditions she attends she gets a job. “Some people might go on fifty-sixty calls or more before getting a role, through a process that can be devastating.” Local Love
Advice for the Aspiring Jennifer has conducted master classes at Nazareth College and other Universities and some gold nugget advice she always shares includes, “Find what’s unique about you and blow it up. I wish someone had told me years ago. You are the only Jen Cody; just be a great one. For a long time I thought, I’m too tiny and I can’t do a certain type of role etc. But then I thought, there is nobody who can do what I can do! I found that the minute I embraced who I was instead of trying to sing, act, dance like someone else, I started to get ahead.” Jennifer also identifies her “thick skin” as a
Like most Central New York natives, Jennifer has a special affinity for Wegmans. Growing up in the Rochester area, it was simply the place to be in town. “I worked at Wegmans as did all my friends. It was a huge part of my life. I remember leaving the Junior Prom and heading to Wegmans so we all could take pictures there. When we’re in town that’s the first place my husband wants go!” Jennifer Cody’s pictures now appear in playbills and on marquees in New York City and around the country. The lullaby continues to be sweet for this Broadway baby! Connect with Jennifer on Twitter @ Jen_Cody WOUNY.COM • MARCH 2016
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Have you ever heard the expression that if you do what you love, the money will follow? How many people do you know that can actually do that? Myself included. I don’t know that many. However, through the venue of interviewing Upstate New York’s artists, I have found that there are more out there than I ever expected. The artist, the dreamer, follows their love and the rest somehow seems to fall into place. WOUNY.COM • MARCH 2016
ristin Boutin is one of those lucky people. Her business is painting and creating whimsical items for young children. She has a studio in her store and is very excited about it. People can see her work, enjoy her playful designs and watch her create as they shop. Her store is located in New Hartford, NY. The shop and studio are in a space called store-in-store. Kristin is formally educated but not in art. She is a self-taught artist. I asked her what started all of this, and she told me it was because she was frustrated by the lack of funky, colorful clothes for her boys. Kristin had three small boys to outfit. Being a stay at home mom at the time, she decided to do something about it. She began embellishing their clothing using any medium she could find, making their blankies, and painting on their walls with positive and fun artwork. She said before she knew it, other moms were commenting on their clothes and blankies. Kristin decided when someone wanted to buy the shirt off her son’s back and when two of her blankies were stolen out of her son’s stroller that she must be onto something
WOUNY.COM • MARCH 2016
By: Audrey Levinson and from there, she never looked back. Kristin was one of those kids who may have worn two different socks on purpose, or stripes and plaid that don’t exactly match and praises her mother for letting her walk out of the door in what made her happy. She shared something familiar with me, and it’s one of her favorite memories. When she recieved a new box of 64 crayons she would hug the box while inhaling that new crayon smell that so many of us are fond of. She apparently connects with her inner child who is an artist. In my communications with her, I have found her elated about her job, with a bubbly personality and a bright, quick Witt. The recognizable style she paints in is truly inspired by a child’s eye of the world. She wants children to get out of what she paints a feeling of creating a happy, stimulating, celebratory environment. She wants to balance the negativity that our world puts forth to anyone who watches. That is satisfying to her. In my opinion, we need more of this type of visual artist for our children. Kristin is a smart designer who watches color trends and adapts them
to her artistry. She has also developed a very stylish baby moccasin called “Boutease” that is made of soft leather and will grow with the baby comfortably. They have been safety tested and approved and are currently patent-pending. Her pieces have been in high-end baby stores, fine art shows, and had premiered in show rooms representing her work. Kristin owned an interior-design firm where she handled children’s rooms and spaces naturally. Her style soon became recognizable when she began larger paintings in churches, medical groups, and children’s wards in hospitals. She found success, but it wasn’t quite right. She decided that the corporate world was not what she was about. She needed a broader creative outlet. Fewer borders. Kristin said, “My brain is always “on,” there is no “off switch”...I am constantly designing and creating products in my head...I get very little sleep and have sketch books and notebooks all over the house!!” Her brand name is Kid & Kaboutle and she is her own boss in a business that she loves. For more information email Kristinboutindesigns@gmail.com
Whimsical and Fun
WOUNY.COM • MARCH 2016
SJC Remodeling Design & Build Firm 315-254-1724 www.scjremodeling.com
Meet this month’s Realtor:
Jean Hill of Hunt Real Estate
On Selling your Home
pring is just around the corner and many of us are thinking about downsizing, relocating or we are just ready to move on to another home. What remains true in this business is that Location, Condition and Price are the motivating factors in buying and selling a property. It takes expertise to navigate through this process. First impressions will either make or break a buyer’s opinion of your home, so make sure you put your best foot forward. Curb Appeal Take the time to enhance the curb appeal and exterior of the home, power wash the exterior, freshen up the landscaping and paint the front door. These are just some suggestions that will entice the buyer into wanting to see more. Clean, Declutter and Freshen up the interior. You are selling your home, not yourself, so put away photos of your family or children’s artwork so that they do not become distracting to any potential buyers. Buyers need to visualize themselves living in the home, not you. You are moving, so start packing. Less is more in today’s market. Decluttering can make a room size double in space. Square footage sells homes. Removing some of the furniture and paintings can be an inexpensive way to brighten up a space. It is also a great way to get rid of the many things you may have accumulated and no longer use. What a perfect time for a “Moving Sale” and to make some extra cash.
Price it right. No matter how well your home is advertised, if it’s not priced right, it won’t sell. Pricing depends on the type of market strategy my clients and I decide works best for them. Above or below market values are different market strategies. Always be ready to show. Selling a house is a full-time job. Many potential buyers may want to walk through at any time, so do your best to keep your home in showing condition. Keep it clean and free of any objects that may cause someone to trip. IE: toys, animal toys or bones.
Time is money when selling or buying a home and I would love the opportunity to share my knowledge and experience with new clients. With over 30 years of experience as a Real Estate Broker Associate in the Central New York area I am truly committed to excellent service and the joy of making a difference in people’s lives. Please contact me if I can be of service to you! 315-729-9011 email@example.com Jean P. Hill , Associate Broker Hunt Real Estate , 6849 E. Genesee Street Fayetteville NY 13066
Share your thoughts on what attracted you to the location of your home. Is it the school system, convenience or access to major highways? It will allow the buyer insight on the area of your home. When you are ready to sell it is impo rtant for you to know that part of my job as a Realtor is to be up to date on the new banking regulations, contracts, housing prices and the latest trends in getting your home sold quickly.
WOUNY.COM • MARCH 2016
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315-479-2886 2735 Erie Blvd. E, Syracuse Some discounts, coverages, payment plans and features are not available in all states or in all GEICO companies. See geico.com for more details. GEICO and Affiliates. Washington DC 20076. GEICO Gecko image ÂŠ 1999-2015. ÂŠ 2015 GEICO.
Protecting your Assets!
enting an apartment, house or condo is something many choose over having to deal with a home. Whether you’re an empty nester or like the mobility of renting one thing is for sure, you need to protect your assets. When you rent, the responsibility of maintenance belongs to the owner of the property. He is required to take care of the lawn, make sure the structure is up to code, fix anything that breaks and provides insurance for it. Did you know that his insurance policy covers the building against fire or vandalism as it relates to his property, not yours? As a tenant, you probably have the same assets as a homeowner, jewelry, vintage items, furniture, and other valuables. Should a fire, theft or other catastrophe occur, and you think that it is covered under your landlord’s policy, you are mistaken. Many renters make this mistake after something happens. They think they can fall back on the policy of the property owner. When they find out that this is not the case, they are left with nothing. The cost of replacing what you have could be thousands of dollars, you will also need living expenses while your apartment is being repaired and after such an event, it can be very traumatic. The best way to protect yourself is to buy a Renter’s Insurance Policy. These policies can protect your possessions, additional living expenses and Liability. They will protect you against fire, smoke, lightning, vandalism, theft, explosion, or windstorms. If your apartment is in a flood zone, you will need supplemental coverage for that. So how much coverage do you need? The best way to determine the amount of coverage is to make a list or inventory of all of your possessions. Determine how much it would cost to replace each of them. This way if you lose everything, you will have enough money to replace your items. Additionally, most Renter’s policies will also provide liability coverage. If you or a family member causes injury or damages someone else’s property you may be covered. It does not cover damage you cause to your living space. Additional Living Expenses will kick in if the home you are living in is destroyed by a disaster. It will cover hotel bills, temporary rentals, meals and other expenses. All of us want peace of mind and the best way to have it is to protect what we have worked so hard to get. Renter Insurance Policies are great security and affordable. If you would like more information or a quote, give us a call. Our local GEICO office is conveniently located on Erie Blvd E. with over seven agents to assist you with any questions you may have. Stop by or call us at 315-479-2886.
WOUNY.COM • MARCH 2016
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THE SELLERS ATTORNEY
D E S O CL
By: Jeffrey Lee Drimer, Attorney at Law
o you’ve decided to sell your house. It is, in a majority of families, the most valuable asset that they own. You want to make sure that the closing is done correctly, and you will want as few complications as possible. You also want to make sure that you are paid exactly what you should be paid per your contract. There is only one way to do this! Hire an experienced Real Estate lawyer. Without question. You will need someone who will do what has to be done to close the transaction and who will be available if something goes wrong. Referrals are usually best. Talk to your friends, family and broker making sure to hire someone who is both experienced and accessible.
explain it to you and extricate you from it if your interests have not been fully protected. Once the contract has been approved there are many provisions within the contract that creates obligations for the Seller. Among these obligations is updating the Abstract of Title, re-dating the Survey and obtaining a Tax search. All of these will be addressed by your lawyer who will make sure that these things are done quickly by competent professionals at a fair cost to you.
In this article, we will consider having an attorney for what needs to be done to close; in the next article, we can consider what happens if things go wrong. In an ideal world, you will have hired your Real Estate lawyer before you signed your listing agreement with a Broker, but that is often not the case and usually not a problem. In any event, your attorney will be available to explain any provision of the listing agreement to you should you have questions and get you off on the right foot on the sale. When an offer finally comes in as a form of a signed “Purchase Offer” (usually prepared by the Broker) your attorney will be asked to approve or disapprove of the contract. This is a complicated legal document, and your lawyer will be able to
Your lawyer will ultimately be responsible to convey your property free of liens and encumbrances. If there are liens on your property or mortgages that need to be paid off at closing your lawyer will address these impediments to closing either prior to closing or be prepared to do so at closing. In order to convey your property at closing your lawyer will have to prepare a Deed, Equalization & Assessment form, Capital Gains Tax Affidavit, Carbon
Monoxide and Smoke Detectors Affidavits for your execution all of which are necessary to accomplish the transfer of your title to your Buyer. Your lawyer will also prepare your Statement of Sale, setting forth the figures that will determine the exact amount due to you at closing. The Statement of Sale will take into account such things as pre-paid taxes, broker’s commissions, mortgage payoffs, state taxes on the transactions all credits due to the buyer at closing and all credits due to you, the Seller. You will go into closing knowing exactly what you’re going to get and why because of your Real Estate lawyer. Your attorney will then schedule a closing for you that involves buyers, their lawyers, the Buyers Mortgage lender, their attorneys and the brokers all in consideration of when you can move out of your house and be on your way to your future. This is no small accomplishment of scheduling. At the closing itself documents will be passed by you so quickly you will find yourself in a blur of paperwork, and your signature will be affixed to what looks like very important documents. They are and you shouldn’t sign them unless your Real Estate lawyer is there to protect you and tells you they are accurate, appropriate and necessary to the conclusion of the transaction. If you have the right Real Estate lawyer with you at closing you can slide your keys across the table, pick up your check and be confident that the sale was properly “closed.” WOUNY.COM • MARCH 2016
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By: Mary McCandless Story -Photography
magine if you could take that trip of a lifetime for less than you would expect. Would you do it? Last July I decided to have a yard sale. I set up my yard, pulled out a chair to wait for customers. While relaxing I checked my mail on my phone. There in my in-box was an email from American Airlines updating me on my dividend miles. I opened the email to find that I had about 76,000 miles. I was curious to see where I could go with the miles. I went to AA.com and scrolled through the reservation’s screens, and places I wanted to go. So,I plugged in dates and locations only to find it would require more miles than I had. I went out one month, two months and nothing. The trip for me was Italy. I decided to try dates in January or February and found that I could get to Rome for 30,000 miles round trip. Hmmm? I have 46,000 more miles, and I can bring someone else. Later that morning my niece showed up with her fiancé and friend to add some of their items to my yard sale. I told her what I was doing and asked her, what her thoughts were about going to Europe. She said, “Really, are you serious? “ I said absolutely. We would have to make a few stops to get to our destination, which meant three planes, Syracuse to Philadelphia, then to London and finally Rome. London? Interesting, a four-hour layover at Heathrow, I wonder if we can kick the flight out a day and sightsee. After playing around with flights, we could stay a day and a half in London too. The trip was set! This was the beginning of our planning. However, before I go on any further I want to share with you tips on pulling off the first leg of your journey. I was able to accumulate additional frequent-flyer miles from a previous trip.
WOUNY.COM • MARCH 2016
How can you get miles? 1.If you travel for pleasure or business sign up for frequent-flyer miles with the airline that you use. Each time you fly you will earn miles that you can use in the future. Even if your employer is flying you to meetings the tickets are in your name and in most cases, you can still receive miles. 2.Some people who have Credit Cards will earn miles with every purchase that they make. I do not recommend getting a card just to earn miles and then buying things you do not need. Your personal bank may also offer the same benefits. 3.If you have fixed expenses that you pay each month, whether they are household or business, you could use your card to pay them, then pay off the card. Do not let balances carry over. 4.You may have a relative who has miles that they do not plan on using. You can ask them if they will gift them to you. What a great present that would be! Now, if you can do any of the above this is the beginning of your dream trip. It will take some time to build miles, and to save for the next half of planning your trip - accommodations. I decided to set money aside each week, along with loose change in a jug. I cut down on my personal expenses, buying daily cups of coffee and eating out. It all adds up. Back to the trip. As I mentioned earlier we could spend a day and half in London. We arrived in London at 9:30 am and could do an early check in at our hotel, which was close to the airport. It was
a cold and crisp day, about 45 degrees but felt colder. We wanted to catch the Tube (their subway) to take us into London. Unfortunately, we had to go back to the airport to do this, and that ate up about an hour of our time. That is what happens when you explore new places. When we finally arrived in downtown London, got off at the wrong stop but did get to see some of the city. It takes getting used to cars driving on the wrong side of the street you need to look right for oncoming traffic. The essence of London reminded me of a European NYC. Kensington Gardens was beautiful with its openness, many joggers, people out for a morning stroll and students playing soccer. It was reminiscent of Central Park. We did get to see some sites during the time that we had. We strolled past the famous Harrods, walked to Buckingham Palace, Royal Albert Hall and Big Ben, which is beautiful and lit up the sky at dusk. It also is the second largest four faced chiming clock in the world. Although we did not see everything London had to offer, it was much better than sitting at the airport. The layover gave us an experience we otherwise would not have had. This is part one of what I will share to help you pay very little for your dream vacation. Results may not be the same nor is it guaranteed that you will save as much as we did. However you can take away from our experience what we did to make our trip less than a thousand dollars for two. Stay tuned for part two in our April issue.
The Streets of Kensington, London
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GOLF The Game Of A Lifetime!
or over 400 years, golfers have made golf a part of their lives. Currently, there are 25 million golfers in the US. The PGA of America, the largest sports organization in the world with 28000 members, and is celebrating its 100th anniversary. Golf returns to The Olympics in 2016 for the first time since 1904. So why should you be playing this game? Most importantly IT’S FUN! Surprisingly, some people choose to disagree. They consider the game a source of frustration. Some may say it takes too much time. It is expensive, or they just feel out of place on the golf course. Let’s take a look at what golf offers anyone who chooses to participate. As a child, golf doesn’t say you’re not good enough to make a team. The game only asks that you accept the challenge. In return, it teaches life’s basic skills, playing by the rules, honesty, integrity, structure, and above all, a level of self-esteem lost by sitting on the bench or never being picked at all. 99% of all kids who play baseball, football, basketball, hockey, or lacrosse will not touch those sports again on a competitive basis the instant that high school diploma is in their hands. They can play the game of golf their entire lives. In today’s “30-second world” where kids are consumed with a smart device or social media, the family unit has deteriorated, if not been ripped apart. You may recall Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. As individuals, we all seek self-actualization and
By: Brad Patterson, Golf Instructor esteem. However, all too often the most crucial step of Love & Belonging through family is lost or severely lacking. Golf brings families back together. Golf teaches those life skills sorely lacking in the 19-34 age group. So many companies in the Upstate New York area participate in several golf events yearly. You may be one who is expected to be involved. Up until now, you’ve felt out of place on the course or maybe passed on participating. Why? The PGAs Get Golf Ready Program offers everything you need to know as a beginner or novice. Instruction happens in a small group once per week for five weeks on every facet of the game and includes play on the golf course. When it’s done you’ll feel like you’ve been playing for years! Families can also form their own Get Golf Ready class and learn together. Many golfers in Upstate New York participate in a weekly league. Many of them wonder why they are not improving. Some are actually getting worse. There’s a reason this is happening. After the long winter layoff, the snow disappears and immediately leagues begin play. There’s simply no time to rejuvenate a golf swing. Golfers assume play on the golf course is a practice. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Some will attempt driving range practice but without good professional advice the golfer is just guessing! The season suddenly comes to an end, and so many people will toss the clubs in the closet until next
spring. However, there’s still two more months of great golf weather you should be taking advantage of ! There is a much simpler way. League players owe it to their partner to put forth their best effort. League players can join other league teams and create their own Get Golf Ready class just like described earlier. Now there’s a bonus. Your teacher has a second set of eyes to help your team become great. It is YOU! The teacher tells you what to watch for in your partner when you’re playing together or practicing. The benefit of taking golf instruction in this manner just became exponentially greater. You say the cost of golf has kept you away? That simply is not true. A complete set of NEW clubs can be purchased under $200. The Get Golf Ready program is $99. There are many courses in this region that offer twilight specials where costs are greatly reduced. You can join a league or weekly social golf group cheaper than going out to dinner. You’ll enjoy a good low level cardio activity in walking 2-5 miles every time you play. All that remains is to make the decision that golf is now YOUR game, and you cannot wait for all the fun it will give you in return. Brad Patterson is a 30 year Class A PGA Professional. Look for golf tips from Brad in upcoming issues. For more information, contact Brad at 315-405-5756 WOUNY.COM • MARCH 2016
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Monotony, please keep right. The Audi Q3 is nothing you'd expect from a crossover. Its distinct and dynamic design stands out amongst the crowd. Its luxurious interior seats five comfortably, with plenty of room for your gear in the back. Yet its impressive agility and available quattro® all-wheel drive gives you the confidence to handle it on virtually any road.* So why settle for the same old thing, when you can simply outmaneuver it? The agile Audi Q3. Stray the course. Starting at $33,700.**
Audi Cicero at Driver's Village The Crossroads of Central NY at the intersection of Routes 81 and 481 (888) 440-2286 www.audicicero.com *Always obey speed and traffic laws. When driving in cold, snowy, or icy conditions, ensure that your vehicle is equipped with appropriate all-season or winter tires. **Starting MSRP of $33,700 for a 2016 Audi Q3 Premium Plus 2.0 TFSI® with six-speed Tiptronic® automatic transmission. Model shown is a 2016 Audi Q3 Premium Plus 2.0 TFSI quattro with six-speed Tiptronic automatic transmission and optional 19Ý wheels in available metallic paint, starting MSRP of $37,175. Prices exclude transportation, taxes, title, other options and dealer charges. Dealer sets actual price. “Audi,” “quattro,” “TFSI,” “Truth in Engineering,” all model names, and the four rings logo are registered trademarks of AUDI AG. ©2015 Audi of America, Inc.