Amy Kuschel is a fashion designer and entrepreneur in San Francisco, but her roots are in Dunkirk, which inspired her to donate her designer mask to the region and throughout the country.
Graduating from Dunkirk High School in 1986, Kuschel took up fashion design at the New York Fashion Technology Institute, where he also graduated. Over the years, Kuschel was designed for several companies in New York and California, before starting its own fashion line.
With a pandemic affecting everyone in the country and the world, Keschel felt inspired to start making masks to sell on its website and contribute. For donation purposes, Kuschel began the GoFundMe journey with the aim of raising enough money to produce 2,500 masks. Fundraising has grown, so Kuschel is able to donate more masks than previously planned. Some people even send personal checks directly to Kuschel to donate to funds.
“With our inventory of materials, attitudes to do, and so much support from the community, we have made and donated more than 4,000 masks to outstanding people throughout the country,” said Kuschel. “We have 1,000 other masks plus work now, thank you for the additional donations that have entered.”
Cloth masks that fit the N95 masks that have been worn by health professionals, extend their effective life during periods of greatest need and scarce supply. Masks can also be used alone to prevent the spread of the virus when it comes out in public places.
“We donate to firefighters, paramedics, police officers, doctors, nurses of course, people who work in senior centers, and anyone who feels that mask donations will be appropriate,” said Kuschel.
Donations were also made to western New York facilities, including nurses at Brooks Memorial Hospital, caregivers at the Chautauqua Nursing & Rehab Center, and Chautauqua Center clinics.
Kuschel also makes “Let’s face it” masks, which are being sold on their website to the general public. “They really helped support our small business. This is a great way for us to stay afloat during this period of time.” she says. “It’s also a great way for us to stay safe and protect each other by wearing it when we go to the grocery store, or to our doctor’s appointment.”
Kuschel and his team worked hard to get the design, fit, and material perfect for masks. The mask can be reused, with the outer layer of hemp and organic cotton, and the double inner layer of natural organic cotton poplin finely woven. They even have metal coatings on the top and bottom of the mask to achieve perfection around the nose, cheeks, and chin.
In a raving review about the mask, one person, Hollie writes online: “My husband likes this mask. He was an important worker and hated the cheap masks the company gave him. We found your website and fell in love with style and material. That’s so valuable! They are comfortable and fit the face; there is no gap so it doesn’t cover the glasses. We even made a second order before it was sold out. “
Kuschel is happy to be reconnected with West New York, “Reconnecting with old friends, family, and clients – as well as meeting strangers who are willing to help – have been in the sun during this uncertain time.”
Child Care Provider Award Day was forced to adapt to the coronavirus pandemic. To thank these important workers, a parade was led throughout the Chautauqua Region to thank them for the service they provided even during the pandemic.
On Friday, Child Care Provider Award Day is celebrated throughout the Chautauqua Region. Special marches set out to thank these important workers starting in Jamestown and ending Irving. Along the way, the parade is driven by child care facilities in Mayville, Westfield, Fredonia, Dunkirk, Silver Creek, and Sheridan.
The march made a lengthy pit stop in Irving, where state Senator George Borrello held a press conference emphasizing the importance of our child care providers. Even in the midst of a coronavirus pandemic, these important workers continue to prove how important they are to the frontline workforce. At Borrello’s press conference, he asked Governor Andrew Cuomo to disburse $ 133.4 million in emergency assistance to the childcare system allocated under the CARES Law.
“We want to talk about money allocated by the federal government to the state of New York through the CARES Act,” said Borrello. “Emergency funding to support a center like this [Lake Shore Family Center], so far of $ 163.4 million, only $ 30 million has been allocated by the state and no one is here in West New York. Well we are here to bring awareness that money is very much needed and day care centers such as Lake Shore Family Center and others throughout the state. “
“At present, the Child Care Center is closing at an alarming rate. They were tense before this crisis and now between the lack of funds and the lack of support they need to maintain their services, we see many of them closing down and never reopening. So this money needs to be allocated immediately, which is the purpose of this fund to get started. “
The Child Care Provider Award Day began in 1996 as a way to honor the contributions of providers who care for the children of working parents. In difficult times like these, child care providers are far more important with frontline workers fighting the COVID-19 pandemic. The march walked past the daycare centers and child care facilities to thank them.
“While Child Care Provider Award Day has been celebrated for more than two decades, this year’s event has taken a deeper meaning in light of the COVID-19 pandemic and the extraordinary way our registered child care providers have stepped forward to provide children with crisis-related care to the frontline. and important workers, “ said Borrello. “Many of these small businesses struggle financially from losing registration related to the crisis, but operate to help our important workers and because they care about our children and community. Today is about thanking them for their extraordinary contribution and asking that the state use the remaining CARES Act funds to help retain these service providers so that they can continue to provide quality care that is needed and appropriate for parents and children. “
Child care providers have stated how proud they are to help at times like this, especially those who are fighting the corona virus on the front lines.
“We are very proud to be considered an important business and serve important workers,” said Virginia Miller the director of the Lake Shore Family Center. “It’s important now that we get help to stay open and continue to serve the states of New York and Chautauqua County in the high-quality centers that we have.”
According to Miller, the Lake Shore Family Center is only open to important workers who are considered important by the governor and there are some Early Chief children.
Children at facilities such as the Lake Shore Family Center can thank important workers on Friday during the parade. In some locations, children make thanks to important workers, including emergency services. Children at the Lake Shore Family Center roared with excitement when two Irving Fire trucks and an Irving Fire Truck were paraded by the facility.
To keep the workforce important, this child care facility will need this financial assistance, officials noted.
“This is a very difficult time financially,” Miller said. “Child care has been financially tested before this crisis.”
Friday, a decision expected by many local sports fans was completed, because NYSPHSAA finally announced the cancellation of the spring school middle school sports season. Governor Andrew Cuomo’s decision not to have a personal school resume this year makes the return of spring sports impossible.
“As soon as [Gov. Cuomo] making an announcement, I texted the whole team, “ said softball coach Fredonia Jesse Beers. “I told them whatever I might give them, they paid me ten times more.”
That decision hit the most difficult seniors, because their last season of middle school sports ended before it even began.
“Softball is a season that I look forward to every year. Of course I also like basketball and soccer, but the softball season is the best season. The bonds we made drove the bus, got wings on Wednesday, and ate orange gummy bears before the game was priceless. It is sad that I have been playing since I was a child and the last year that I had with all my friends and my father was unfair and disappointing, “ said Fredonia senior Kazlin Beers.
He was far from the only senior who was disappointed with the decision.
“It feels terrible not to have another year with the team. It sucks not being able to go there and play part of something bigger than anyone on the team, “ said senior pitcher Dunkirk Peyton Ahlstrom.
Signed to play at Finger Lakes Community College next year, Ahlstrom’s baseball career is not over, but his time at Dunkirk is officially over. It offers a unique perspective on how this impacts on playing opportunities at the next level.
“As I expected, I can have one more year to show how I grew up during the offseason, I feel bad for juniors this year who lost what might be their most important recruitment year. I know where I will be playing the next few years, but the fact that they are not scary enough to think about. Overall, this situation is dire, “ said Ahlstrom.
In addition to the players, the coach is also affected. This situation is more difficult for Coach Beers, because his daughter, Kazlin, is set to play his final year as a member of his team, having grown up playing for him for years.
“For me personally, this is more difficult for me than because of my daughter. I always think that we have one more round, another year of practice and play, “ said Coach Beers.
“I feel it, but also all seniors. For them, this is the culmination of what they have achieved. This is their goal of working, and now they won’t have it, “ he added.
Many players, coaches, and spectators are frustrated by the season cancellation process. While many states made the decision to cancel the sport last week, NY State athletes were forced to wait in hopes of good news that never came.
“I honestly think the wait is the hardest part. No closure makes me have false hopes that we will have a season after all. I’ve been doing a lot of sitting around listening to the news not giving the information I’ve been waiting for, “ said Kazlin Beers. “The realization was devastated today when they finally announced that the school was over. Softball season and graduation are the first things that come to mind. I know we will be a great team this year. I know it.”
His father offered a perspective on the situation as a whole, although acknowledging he might not see it the same way if he wore his daughter’s shoes.
“It’s definitely disappointing, but it’s as difficult as now, you have to keep this in perspective,” said Coach Beers. “We cannot think of how difficult it is for us, when it can be far worse. So many people deal with things that are far more serious than this.”
Coach Beers added that his ability to take a step back from it all was something that came with time. “I can have a perspective on that now, but if I were 16 or 17, I would feel robbed,” she says.
Even though the ending came prematurely, the journey shared by Coach Beers and his team will still be remembered with great affection.
“15 years from now, they will remember the music we listened to during practice. They will remember stopping by at McDonald’s on their way home, “ said Coach Beers. “That’s what they remember the most, all that experience. Especially for children, which actually is the pleasure they have with their friends. There is nothing like that.”
Now officially over, Kazlin Beers looks back at his time playing at Fredonia as one of the most beautiful high school memories.
“Playing for Fredonia is an amazing experience. Both my father and [assistant coach Tim] Wright has a great passion for sports that makes playing fun. It is always a great feeling to carry out what they teach us. I will not exchange them with other coaches in the world, “ she says. “Their passion has pushed me as a player. I always want to win not only for me and the team, but for them. My teammates and I are always the closest to the softball field because we share a desire to win. It’s rare to find a player who loves this sport just like you. And when you have nine players on the field who want to win as much as you do, it makes the team unstoppable. Playing Dunkirk and hearing your name on the radio are two feelings that cannot be replaced. It is sad that I will never be able to experience it again. “
OBSERVER Staff Report
Allegheny Highlands Scout of America chose this week to suspend live events and activities in its two camps for much of the summer of 2020 due to fears of a coronavirus pandemic.
The council – which serves reconnaissance in the five-county area on the New York-Pennsylvania border – operates at Camp Merz on Lake Chautauqua for Scouts and in the Elk Scout Scout Reserve in Smethport, South Africa, for Cub Scouts.
“Ensuring the health and safety of our youth is paramount in this decision,” said Nathaniel Thornton, executive of the scout board. “We cannot determine with certainty that the ongoing social distance guidelines and health department regulations can be adequately met this summer and do not want to risk the health of Scouts and their families amid this uncertainty.”
In reaching its decision, the Board of Commissioners reviewed the report from the Corporate, Camping and Financial Risk Management committee, and noted that the decision did not affect Calumet Camporee International, which was scheduled for August 14-16.
“Traditional summer camps are the most important thing from the Scouting experience, so the decision of the council is very difficult,” said Michael Kelley, president of the Allegheny Plateau Council Council. “Our commitment now is to involve our Scout and Scout families in as many virtual and home-based campsites as possible during May, June and July, to maintain the spirit of Scouts that are normally fostered in a summer camp environment.”
A virtual council camp is planned for the end of May, and lookouts are encouraged to participate in the Boy Scouts of America National Camp-In, which is scheduled for this Saturday.
The next council resolution called for the development of the Super-Camporee, which included Cub Scouts and BSA Scouts in October if the COVID-19 crisis allowed for large-scale meetings at that time.
The deposit already paid by the campers and their families for the 2020 season at Elk Lick and Camp Merz will be fully refunded, unless the campers want something else, Thornton said.
Scout camps in Pennsylvania and New York remain closed, according to state mandates, and it is unknown when they will be allowed to open. After the camp can be reopened, individual units asking to use the camp will be considered on a case-by-case basis, reconnaissance executives said.
Additional information is available at alleghenyhighlands.org or by contacting the board’s office at 665-2697.
GOWANDA – On Friday, exactly three weeks have passed since class at the last Gowanda Central School in the session. While many have discussed the challenges faced by teachers when creating an online curriculum, at home, Principal Carrie Dzierba Elementary School has focused on the unique challenges facing its students.
“With us having the youngest children, we know that they are experiencing tremendous difficulties because of losing their teachers and friends,” Dzierba told OBSERVER in a telephone interview. “They lose the normality of what we do. We want to make sure they know how much we miss them and think about them, so we want to do something special.”
While teachers have been checking with their students online and by telephone, Dzierba acknowledges that there is no substitute for face-to-face interaction. Because students cannot come to school, Dzierba, school social worker Carmen Muscarella, Ben Shields School Resources Officer and Gowanda Police Chief Dennis Feldman decided to bring the school to students in an attractive but safe way.
The group formed a parade – a car parade – for teachers and elementary school staff to drive their own vehicles throughout the community to share waves and smiles with students from a safe distance. “Dennis Feldman is a wonderful man,” Shields said. “Whatever we need, he is there. He puts a parade route together with elementary school staff and shares it with the public.”
Early last week, the district shared planned parade routes through social media and encouraged families to come out and wave as the procession went. “The most important,” district writing Facebook page, “There should be no groups gathering along the route so that social distance is maintained.”
On Friday morning at 10 am, teachers and elementary school staff leave the parking lot by car “Panther Pride.” Shields led the march, while Feldman and other officers “Leapfrogged” along the route to drive traffic. The march traveled along Route 438 and continued into the Seneca State area before turning to enter the village via Buffalo Street. In total, the parade covers more than a dozen streets and lasts about one and a half hours.
Michele Sprague’s parents took her two daughters to the parade. “My oldest is in kindergarten. This is a very confusing time for him and us, “ she says. “As we waited, we got trucks to beep and wave as they passed. There were two other friends there, and all of them were two cars away from each other … All the children near us jumped and waved and shouted at the teachers they knew. Most of the mothers cry. Many teachers too. “
Dzierba said, “That was one of the best things I’ve ever done in my career. My daughter is in the car with me. He recorded a video while I was driving – it was a tear jerker, for sure. People ran to the end of the driveway screaming, blowing kisses and waving. “
Shields also noted the extraordinary response from the community. “People who drive around are blocked by eager parades, waving and honking their horns,” he noted. “There is no anger or anger on the road – just support. Honestly, I like this place; the positivity is truly extraordinary. “
According to Dzierba, “Every constituent in our building is represented in the cars: from maintenance to food preparation to teaching assistants to teachers.” Shields said the procession of nearly a mile covered 70 vehicles – far from the 30 or so he had expected to participate.
He noted that the parade is an important impetus for both students and staff. “I’ve seen physical tears from staff because of this,” he said about closing the school. “Very often, people assume that people do things just for a salary. For the past five years working in the school district, friend, do teachers really care about their students. “
Dzierba agrees. “We just need to lift the real spirit,” she says. “You don’t know what you have until you don’t have it. That’s where we found ourselves. The general things we are used to doing and how much we take for granted the opportunity and freedom – we are certainly grateful for those things in our lives.
Shields, who has two children registered in the district, noted the strong role of schools in the community and that the effects of closure were felt by everyone. From sports events, clubs, concerts and dramas, “This is a lifestyle,” he pondered. “You take it for granted, even as a student, until the items are not there because the carpet is pulled out from under you. Many children work with me regularly, they are the first children to say,” I hate school. ” totally skipping school! This is really the essence of any small rural community. “