Catholic Charities Tioga Outreach Center receives two grant awards

Catholic Charities Tioga Outreach Center located at 139 Roki Blvd. in Nichols, N.Y. is pleased to announce that the Tioga County United Way awarded a grant to help provide services to low and moderate income families.

Additionally, they are thankful to the United Way for applying on their behalf to the Taren Family Fund of the Community Foundation of South Central New York to help fill the food pantry shelves.

They would like to extend their sincere thanks to the Taren Family Fund of the Community Foundation for granting the award of $625 for the food pantry.

Community Care Network of Nichols is expanding

Community Care Network of Nichols (CCNN) was awarded the Dick and Marion Meltzer Fund of the Community Foundation for South Central New York. The fund will allow CCNN to explore the possibility of expanding its boundaries to create satellites of CCNN in the communities of Tioga Center/Smithboro and the Barton area. These satellites would provide the same primary services as CCNN: friendly visits, reassuring phone calls, transportation to appointments, as well as information and referral services. These services would be provided to the elderly, disabled and chronically ill of these communities at no cost.

In order to accomplish this goal, CCNN will be hosting community meetings, as well as conducting a community needs assessment within each area to better understand these needs. There will be a meeting on July 16, at 6 p.m. at the Barton United Methodist Church. In Tioga Center, the meeting will be on July 18, at 6 p.m. at the Tioga Center United Methodist Church.

The Mildred Truman Faulkner Foundation provided a grant to support community meetings in Barton, Tioga Center/Smithboro and Southside Owego to further CCNN expansion efforts. There will be a meeting with the Southside satellite at a later date. These meetings will help to identify leadership and volunteers, as well as identify individuals in need of these vital services.

If you would like to know more about these community meetings, how to become a volunteer, and/or live in one of these communities, contact CCNN at (607) 414-1018.

Dog obedience classes scheduled

Carol Meyer, volunteer dog obedience instructor for Stray Haven Humane Society & S.P.C.A., announces the beginning of obedience classes starting Monday, Aug. 12, at 6 p.m. for adult dogs and puppies. There will also be a class starting Wednesday, Aug. 14, at 11 a.m. for dogs of all ages.

Orientation for Monday's class will be held Aug. 12 at 6 p.m. and orientation for Wednesday's class will be held Aug. 14 at 11 a.m. Both orientations are dog less. At the time of orientation, information will be given and data sheets handed out. It is mandatory for all to be present at the orientation meeting in order to take the class.

There will be a fee for the class that includes collar and lead.

You must pre-register your dog by Aug. 5.

For more information or to request an application, call Lynn or Tina at Stray Haven at (607) 565-2859.

Summer open house planned at Stray Haven

On Sunday, July 21 from 1 to 4 p.m., Stray Haven Humane Society will be holding a summer open house at the shelter located at 194 Shepard Rd. in Waverly, N.Y. The action-packed event is open to the public and all are encouraged to come.

Bring your dirty dog along for a dog wash, then have a professional image taken of him or her by Red Door Photography from 1 to 3 p.m. Stop by Judee Burrell's kissing booth and get a big, wet kiss from one of her Mastiffs. Randanimals Facepainting will be on hand for incredible face painting, and balloon animals will be made throughout the event.

Entertainment from Bobby K is being provided by Kyle Ball and includes a dunking tank, a bounce house/slide combination, and other games. Perhaps the most fun will be the opportunity to 'lock' up your friend or other guest in their doghouse until someone posts bail.

Guest speakers will include obedience trainers and the cruelty officer. Refreshments will be provided by Waverly Pudgies, Pepsi Bottling group, and Josiah Frank's hotdogs and sausages. There will also be an ongoing bake sale, 50/50 raffle, auction items and gift baskets, Stray Haven memorabilia and a coloring contest. Music will be provided by DJ Jeana Harris.

There is no admission fee to the event. Tickets can be purchased on entry to the event for activities. The amount of tickets required per station varies. All proceeds will benefit Stray Haven. Pet photos are $5 per pet. Proof or rabies vaccination and a maximum of a 6-foot leash is required for animals attending.

Tioga Journeys Tours 2013 kicks off new season schedule

Another summer has begun in Tioga County, and Tioga Journeys has returned in full force. The bus, walking, and kayak tours will once again take tourists and local residents all over the county to visit a wide variety of attractions and sites. The tours take advantage of both natural beauty and man-made curiosities with adventures appropriate for the whole family.

Highlights of this year's schedule include "Days of the Pioneers" on Saturday, July 20, where visitors will see how the pioneers lived, from black powder shooting to pre-1840 campsites; and "Plantation Sensation" on Saturday, Aug. 10, which travels into Cornell University's campus to give a guided tour of their 50-acre arboretum and botanical gardens. "Charmingly Owego" tours the homes in the historic district of Owego, N.Y., displaying how architecture and history has shaped this beautiful community's character. Many other tours are available.

This year, Tioga Journeys is pleased to offer a kayak tour that travels down the serene Susquehanna on Saturday, Aug. 24. This relaxingly paced 6-mile trip is well-suited to larger groups. First-time kayakers and water sport enthusiasts alike will enjoy a safety orientation and kayak lesson at the beginning of the tour. To reserve a spot for this unique Tioga journeys experience, call (607) 220-3642. Due to the special nature of this tour, tickets will be sold at $50 per person.

Most guided tours begin at 10 a.m., and unless otherwise noted, meet at the Tourism Office Visit Center at 80 North Ave. in Owego, N.Y. The length of each tour varies. Space is limited, so reservations are recommended. Walk-ons are accepted if space allows.

Tioga Journeys aims to make every experience enjoyable and affordable. Adult tickets are $12 each, while seniors (62 and older) are $10. Children (12 and under) are $7.

No matter what your hobbies and passions include, the 2013 Tioga Journeys Tours have an adventure for you.

More information is available on the Tioga County Tourism website, www.visittioga.com/Walking-/-Bus-Tours/, or you can call 1-800-671-7772 or email them at info@visittioga.com to request a brochure and make a reservation.

Tioga United Way announces Student Engagement Award recipients

Eight Tioga County students were selected to participate in the Tioga United Way Student Engagement Program. They are Michael Yanchus, James Felice, and Ralph LeDuc from Owego Free Academy; James Kline and Jordan Obregon from Newark Valley High School; Barbara Pralat and Deanna Hutchison from Tioga Central High School; and Bailey Tryon from Waverly High School.

These "rising seniors," selected by the schools, will spend July and August working with Tioga United Way Partner Agencies and other County non-profits to include the Tioga County Boys & Girls Club, A New Hope Center, Newark Valley School Age Child Care (SACC), Franziska-Racker Center, Community Care Network of Nichols, and Cooperative Extension Family Resource Center. Student stipends to help defray transportation and other costs were provided by a grant from the Community Foundation for the Twin Tiers.

"These students will gain valuable insight into the workings of a non-profit, and the significance of philanthropy in supporting the important missions of these agencies," said Brian Eldridge, executive director of the Tioga United Way. "This is the first year of what will be an ongoing and growing program to increase student awareness and involvement," he added.

To learn more about Tioga United Way, you can call their office at (607) 687-4028, or visit them online at tiogaunitedway.com.

Pig and Wiener Dog races highlight 2nd Annual Hot Dog Weekend at Tioga Downs

When pigs fly! Pigs won't exactly fly but they will race at Tioga Downs on Sunday as they highlight of the track's 2nd annual Hot Dog Weekend.

The pigs will be joined by dachshunds, also known as "wiener dogs," for exhibition races in between the regular horse races.

The pigs and wiener dogs will race on their own miniature course that will be set up adjacent to the horse track.

Hot Dog Weekend will also feature $1 hot dogs Sunday during the races and a free toppings bar to spice up the dollar dogs.

On Saturday, guests were able to enter the Tioga Downs Hot Dog Eating contest with a first place prize of $100.

"Nothing says summer like being outside and having a couple hot dogs on the grill, so we're trying to take that to a whole new level," said Justin Horowitz, regional racing marketing manager for Tioga Downs. "Plus, those pig and wiener dog races will be an absolute riot for our fans to watch, just like the camels and ostriches we had here last month, only a little smaller."

Racing will begin at 1:30 p.m. on Sunday.

Admission and general parking are always free at Tioga Downs.