July 2023 Getzville, New York.    Concept Construction is honored to begin the reconstruction work on West Herr Automotive Group’s North Corporate Offices, located at 2635 Millersport Highway in Getzville, NY.  Once completed the newly renovated building’s exterior will be consistent with the company’s overall corporate style.  “We are very happy to be working with the team at West Herr again,” says Vince Ricotta, (Concept’s VP of Business Development).  The building upgrades and new façade has been designed to complement the Group’s ever current corporate vision. Work to begin shortly.

For more information on this project or to find out more about Concept Construction and its services please contact Vince Ricotta at [email protected] or visit our website at www.conceptconstruction.com

Local Franchisee Offering Exclusive Promotions and Offers for Guests Week of Opening

Hamburg, NY – Tropical Smoothie Cafe, a national fast-casual cafe concept inspiring a healthier lifestyle serving better-for-you smoothies, wraps, sandwiches and flatbreads, announced the opening of its newest cafe in Tonawanda. The restaurant is owned and operated by a Buffalo native, Jim Breidenstein, a multi-unit franchisee. Jim and his District Manager, Julie Roman, are excited to open its doors to the community on Saturday, August 12th in the thriving retail block at 3670 McKinley Parkway, in the TJ Maxx plaza.

To celebrate the opening, the Hamburg location is offering exclusive promotions to guests during its grand opening weekend June 24th and 25th. The celebrations will start with free smoothies for a year* to the first 50 guests in line on Saturday, August 12th. Other daily deals for dine-in guests at this location will include $1.99 smoothies on August 12th and Buy One Get One Half Off any food or smoothie item on Sunday August 13th.  There will also be giveaways all weekend long as well as fun events like face painting, temporary tattooing, hula hoop contests, and many more surprises for the loyal “Trop-ers!”

Jim will match all tips given during opening week, yes the entire week,  and donate them  to members of VIA, the Visually Impaired Association of Buffalo, where Jim and his family are loyal supporters.

“We are excited to bring the Tropical Smoothie Cafe brand to Hamburg,” said Breidenstein. “This brand brings better-for-you eating options in a fast-casual, grab-and-go environment which is an element that the community has little exposure to. The Tropical Smoothie Cafe brand compliments our portfolio and offers products that keep guests coming back. Being a native to the area, I felt it was important to give back to our loyal fans and celebrate this momentous location.”

“We are pleased to announce the opening of our latest location,” said Charles Watson, CEO of Tropical Smoothie Café, LLC. “Jim is an exceptional franchisee, and we are confident that he will continue to build a loyal fanbase and amazing guest experience here in his community. His determination and passion for the brand and his family makes him a great leader, and his staff loves him for it.”


For more information about the FRANdata TopScore awards, go to


About Tropical Smoothie Cafe®

Tropical Smoothie Cafe is a national fast-casual restaurant brand built on a mission to Inspire Better®, a commitment that starts with our better-for-you food and smoothies and extends to inspiring better in the communities we serve. Born on a beach in 1997, today Tropical Smoothie Cafe has more than 1,235 locations in 44 states. For the third year in a row, the brand was ranked #1 in the Smoothie/Juice Category by Entrepreneur Franchisee 500. For 10 consecutive years the brand has received the Franchise Times Fast and Serious award, and for 2022 the brand received a FUND Score of 920, the highest in the QSR segment by FRANdata.


*Limit one free smoothie per week for 52 weeks. Valid with purchase of 24oz smoothie, and only in-cafe at the 3611 Delaware Ave location. Not valid with any other offer or discount, third party services, online orders or the Tropical Smoothie Cafe® app. Must present original card at time of purchase. Copies not accepted. See cafe for details.


Lackawanna, NY – Recently the Southtowns Regional Chamber of Commerce was made aware of an opportunity to adopt a Blood Drive through the American Red Cross. Wendy Evenden, Account Manager, Donor Recruitment at the American Red Cross has taken charge of a new opportunity for Chambers across WNY to support the need for blood donations throughout our community. Wendy has headed up the “Chamber Challenge”, where local Chamber’s adopt a blood drive, creating a healthy competition to see who can help donate the most blood in 2023.

The Southtowns Regional Chamber of Commerce has decided to adopt a blood drive coming up on Tuesday, June 6th 2023 from 12pm-5pm at VFW Post 898 in Lackawanna. As part of the blood drive, each donor will receive a $5 Gift Cert to the Hamburg Farmers Market, a $10 Gift Card by email for the merchant of their choice and will be entered to win a backyard home theater package.

The Southtowns Regional Chamber of Commerce is continuously striving to provide support in the communities that we serve. We hope that our community members will join us in our efforts to raise awareness and donate the most blood in 2023.

Appointments can be made directly online at redcrossblood.org using code LACKAWANNANY or by calling 1-800-Red-Cross.


The Southtowns Regional Chamber of Commerce is a 501 (c)(6) nonpartisan business membership organization. As the largest Chamber in WNY, we strive to strengthen our members and promote the region. For more information visit www.southtownsregionalchamber.org or contact Events Coordinator Felicia Grassia at [email protected]



Hamburg, NY – The Southtowns Regional Chamber of Commerce is seeking additional Board Members for their new fiscal year that begins July 2023! The Chamber is seeking qualified candidates for a maximum of seven board seats to serve starting July 1, 2023 through June 30, 2026.

The Chamber is looking to continue strengthening the Chamber’s influence, reach and dedication to local businesses, and promotion of the Southtowns region as a tourist destination. With the help of active board members, they seek to improve the quality of life and doing business in Hamburg, Lake View, Lackawanna, Angola, Evans, Boston, and Blasdell.

Applicants will be considered who work for or own a company that already is or will become a Southtowns Regional Chamber of Commerce Member, want to be more involved in the promotion of the WNY Southtowns, and have a genuine appetite for nurturing the Chamber’s mission.

Interested candidates can send a brief professional biography, updated resume, headshot, relevant personal information, and why you feel you would be a fit for the organization. Summary should be a maximum of about 600 words. The deadline to submit information to be considered is April 21, 2023. Accordingly, to Chamber bylaws, the board can consist of a minimum of 15 filled board seats with a maximum of 23. The terms are for three years with the ability to re-run for election again for a second consecutive term.

Many of the 18 current board members were new to the organization this past July with a few long-standing members terming out this June.

For more details, please reach out directly to Jamie Decker, Executive Director at [email protected]

The Southtowns Regional Chamber of Commerce is a 501 (c)(6) nonpartisan business membership organization. As the largest Chamber in WNY, the Chamber strives to strengthen its members and promote the region. For more information visit www.southtownsregionalchamber.org

Hamburg, NY – On Sunday, March 26th 2023, The Southtowns Regional Chamber of Commerce will host The Southtowns Wedding Showcase from 11am-3pm at Michael’s Catering and Banquets.

As the Southtowns Chamber strives to support businesses & tourism throughout the Southtowns, the idea of a Wedding Show provided the perfect opportunity to fill a void within our community. Traditionally, similar events are held in Downtown Buffalo or throughout the Northtowns. Therefore, the SRCC created this one-of-a-kind event in the Southtowns for both businesses and community members to enjoy!

This event will feature a variety of wedding related vendors including DJ’s, Salons, Caterers, Bridal Shops and Photographers. Unique vendors such as mobile bars, horse drawn carriages and handcrafted wooden floral arrangements will also be in attendance!

This event is FREE for the public to attend and the first 100 guests will receive a complimentary swag bag. Guests will also have the opportunity to partake in samplings, giveaways, demonstrations and more.

A special thanks to our sponsors: The Loft Salon 716, Thee Mercantile, Simply Sarah Photography, Michael’s Catering & Banquets and Christina Lowman, Nutrition & Healthy Living.


Throughout the year, the SRCC hosts over 20 networking, business and community events. To learn more about the Chamber and other events, visit the Events Calendar on  www.southtownsregionalchamber.org.


The Southtowns Regional Chamber of Commerce is a 501 (c)(6) nonpartisan business membership organization. As the largest Chamber in WNY, we strive to strengthen our members and promote the region. For more information visit www.southtownsregionalchamber.org or contact Events Coordinator Felicia Grassia at [email protected]

HAMBURG, NEW YORK – Looking for a summer camp?  How about Erie County Fair Camp, a two-and-a-half-day county fair experience for children ages 8-10 and an accompanying parent/guardian. Under the supervision of trained Camp Counselors, children will gain first-hand experience in raising, caring for and showing livestock, working in a food Concession stand, as well as receive a “behind the scenes” look of the Fair.

The Camp hosts two sessions, one each week of the Fair (Friday-Sunday, August 11-13 and 18-20). Campers and a parent/guardian stay on the Fairgrounds (Friday evening to Sunday afternoon) during the session in our “hay loft” located inside the Agriculture Discovery Center.  Number of participants for each session is limited to six children and an accompanying parent. Small groups ensure each child and parent/guardian enjoy a unique experience and personal attention.

Children interested in participating are required to apply no later than May 10, 2023. Applications are available online at www.ECFair.org. There is no cost to attend Fair Camp, including fair admittance, meals and entertainment, as the program is underwritten by the Erie County Agricultural Society.  Due to the limited spots, we do encourage applications to showcase the child’s interest in being a part of this experience.

The goal of the award-winning Fair Camp program is to encourage an interest in agriculture, a passion for learning and to foster a love of the Erie County Fair.  Past participants have heralded Fair Camp as “one of the best experiences my daughter and I have shared.”  Many past campers have returned to the Fair to show animals and joined their local chapters of 4-H.

A complete schedule for the camp can be found at Fair Camp (ecfair.org).  Questions may be directed to the Fair’s Agriculture Education Office at (716)649-3900 ext 6413 or by emailing [email protected].

About the Erie County Fair

The Erie County Agricultural Society is a private not-for-profit membership organization. Established in 1819, the Society is the oldest civic organization in Western New York. The mission of the Erie County Agricultural Society (ECAS), sponsors of the Erie County Fair, is to preserve and enhance, by educational endeavors, the agricultural and historical legacy of New York State. The Fair strives to fulfill appropriate aspects of the agricultural, educational, entertainment and recreational needs of Western New York.  The 180th Erie County Fair will be held August 9th to 20th, 2023.  (www.ECFair.org).

Harmonia Collaborates to Support Caregivers

Valerie Nowak, LMHC, MPA

CEO – Harmonia Collaborative Care

A Health Foundation for Western and Central New York (HFWCNY) Aging by Design study found that 90% of seniors want to remain in their homes for as long as possible.  In addition, 32% see living independently as their highest priority. Caregivers play an essential role in supporting senior care recipient needs and wishes.

Harmonia Collaborative Care is collaborating on a three-year project, called “Pathways for Caregivers”, to support Caregivers and their loved ones. “Harmonia has served seniors from our inception.  We understand the day-to-day challenges of seniors and those who care for them. We are excited to be part of this innovative project”, noted Valerie Nowak, LMHC, MPA, Harmonia CEO.

Harmonia, a long-time member of Network in Aging, offers mental health and senior care services to those in need of support in semi-rural southern Erie County since 1971. Harmonia operates out of a main location in Derby, with a satellite location in Hamburg.

Often caregivers suffer from extreme stress and mental health concerns. Research has also found that in their role supporting a loved one many do not recognize themselves as caregivers. An AARP study reported that 17-35% of responding family caregivers considered their health to be fair to poor. The challenge of caring for a loved one can be a rewarding experience while simultaneously being emotionally draining and physically exhausting.

To address these issues, the Health Foundation for Western and Central New York, the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation and the Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation came together to create an innovative family caregiver initiative called Exhale. These visionary funders recognized that supporting caregivers and their family member would also positively impact the larger community. Their fundamental driving principle is that family caregivers provide essential support for many older adults living in the community who need extra support and compassion. A respite from their duties is a welcome opportunity for self-care.

Respite programs take many forms in the community. Respite can be more traditional in-home care and companionship, day-care programs or non-traditional community programming that engage the arts, dance and music.

This expanded approach to respite, led to the foundations funding three respite pilot programs as part of their first 2019-2023 Cohort Resources and Learning Community.  The effort funds development program activities, timeline, and learning community activities as well as organization project administration. The goal is to help funded organizations work towards sustainability.

The Exhale 2022 – 2025 Cohort Resources and Learning Community includes a collaboration in which Harmonia will work with Cradle Beach and Lisa Rood, an Older Adults Program Developer & Implementation Consultant.

A geographic neighbor to Harmonia, Cradle Beach will act as the lead coordinating agency and provide expertise in respite services at their 66-acre campus on Lake Erie. “Pathways for Caregivers” delivered at Cradle Beach will include activities and support for both caregivers and their loved ones. Lisa Rood will bring her experience in informed respite programming, coordinate recreational, educational and/or fun outings for caregivers and their loved ones and conduct Train-the-Trainer sessions.

Beginning in March 2023, monthly, four-hour, respite sessions will allow family caregivers the choice to remain at Cradle Beach’s relaxing campus or leave Cradle Beach to have time to themselves.  Trained volunteers offer activities and individual care to loved one’s during this respite time.  Cradle Beach’s Campus offers a beautiful and safe oasis filled with nature greenery, trails, activities and the most beautiful lakeshore views.

“Cradle Beach is thrilled to expand our longstanding and relied upon respite program to serve caregivers of aging loved ones.  The cumulative strengths and expertise offered by Cradle Beach, Harmonia and Lisa Rood provide a one-of-a-kind respite opportunity in the Southtowns for caregivers to take a breath, access peer support and nourish their own health and wellness”, offered Ann-Marie Orlowski, LMSW and CEO of Cradle Beach.

Valerie Nowak is a graduate of the HFWCNY’s Health Leadership Fellows Program and Ann-Marie Orlowski is slated to graduate as a Health Fellow in the Fall of 2023.

Harmonia’s involvement in “Pathways for Caregivers” will be led by Director of Senior Services, Jennifer Gunia. Jennifer is the 2021 Network in Aging Dr. Evan Calkins Meritorious Award recipient, sits on the Hamburg Senior Advisory Board and has 19 years of experience in senior services in southern Erie County.  The Exhale collaboration will tap into Harmonia’s Senior case management services which provide monitoring and linkages to community services; and CarePanion program which provides in home non-medical care and support allowing seniors to remain independent in their homes. Harmonia will conduct a support group for caregivers at the Cradle Beach site while their loved ones are engaged in other activities.  The group will be facilitated by a professional mental health clinician from the agency. Additionally, Harmonia’s clinical team, including a geriatric psychologist, are well-trained in providing out-patient treatment in person or via telehealth to individuals, families, and groups.

“Harmonia’s professional staff takes pride in providing empathic care to help bring balance into the lives of our clients,” shared Valerie Nowak.

The NIH National Institute on Aging report on Aging in Place: Growing Older at Home report, identified that assistance with personal care, household chores, meals, money management and healthcare allow seniors to stay in their homes and save money. “Harmonia greatly understands the importance of supporting caregivers and is dedicated to identifying and implementing collaborative solutions, while offering knowledge and expertise to meet the needs of the community,” said Jennifer Gunia.

Follow our Exhale “Pathways for Caregivers” initiatives at www.harmonia-care.org or on social media @harmoniacc.

Hamburg, NY – On Saturday, February 4th, the Southtowns Regional Chamber of Commerce hosted their Food Bank February Meat Raffle in an effort to support local food banks over the winter.

With over 200 people in attendance and sponsorships from H.R. Dils Sales & Service, Route 75 Imprints, Lake Shore Federal Credit Union, Barks-n-Meows, Mathnasium of the Southtowns, Bulldog Tile Contractors & Chiro First Wellness Center, the SRCC was able to donate a total of $1,500 to Food Banks in their communities. The benefitting food banks are The Friendship Food Pantry WNY (Blasdell), Operation Good Neighbor (Evans), and The Lackawanna Food Bank.

Although the Southtowns Regional Chamber of Commerce is a business focused organization, they strive to work with communities in their territories to promote tourism, economic growth and philanthropic efforts in their townships & villages.

Throughout the year, the SRCC hosts over 20 networking, business and community events. To learn more about the Chamber and other events, visit the Events Calendar on  www.southtownsregionalchamber.org.

The Southtowns Regional Chamber of Commerce is a 501 (c)(6) nonpartisan business membership organization. As the largest Chamber in WNY, we strive to strengthen our members and promote the region. For more information visit www.southtownsregionalchamber.org or contact Events Coordinator Felicia Grassia at [email protected]


Local business giving back with free Product!

Hamburg, NY – Attention all kettle corn lovers! KO Kettle Corn’s annual free corn day is returning on January 21st, 2023, at the corner of Parker Rd and Rt. 20A in Hamburg, NY. This event is completely free, and no purchase is necessary. KO’s is a local small business that gives back to their community as much as they can by doing multiple things over the years including volunteering, donating, and a scholarship giveaway.  This annual giveaway is just another way they want to give thanks to the support they have received building their business in the area.

All are welcome to come enjoy a delicious and complimentary bag of kettle corn, freshly popped on site for your enjoyment. This is a family-friendly event, and we encourage everyone to come out and celebrate with us. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram for more details about the event. One bag per customer or five bags per car load, not to be combined with any other offers.

December 20th, 2022 from 4-6 PM

6722 Erie Road (Route 5) Derby, NY 14047


Harmonia Collaborative Care is a growing human services organization with a vision of empowering individuals to be healthy and fulfilled. If you care about people and want to make a difference in your community and the lives of seniors, our CarePanion Program offers the opportunity to perform meaningful work for your neighbors.

It takes a special kind of person to be a CarePanion:

-CarePanions provide comfort and companionship

-CarePanions focus on interactive caregiving and provide personalized, in-home support to help seniors remain independent and safe

-CarePanions find a sense of fulfillment in helping to make lives of seniors more manageable by running routine errands, assisting with meal preparation, and performing light housekeeping

-The CarePanion program is about more than just completing a to-do list. We offer care that helps seniors enjoy their time and improve their quality of life

Flexible schedule- set your own hours!

Part time positions available– $15/hour!

Can’t attend? Please send cover letter & resume to [email protected]