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Ladies First Quartet performs for PBW

by Dawn M. Myszka,

PBW Historian

Members of The Professional & Business Women of Polonia (PBW) and their guests gathered on May 19 at Kloc's Banquet Facility in West Seneca for the annual membership dinner meeting. Unfortunately this year, because of the pandemic, we were not able to offer our annual scholarship award which would have been presented to the scholarship finalist at our dinner meeting. Next year, the scholarship award will return.

Terry Tucholski, longtime PBW program chair, is stepping down as the program chair. She received a big thank you with flowers and a nice round of applause for her tireless work over the years. She will still remain as the treasurer on the board.

The program chair helps find locations for our dinner meetings and, along with PBW board members, finds guest speakers and musical entertainment. If anyone is interested in becoming the next program chair, please reach out to one of the board members.

PBW recently lost two of our longtime members, Joan Amrozowicz, Ph.D.  and Marian Kasprzak. We enjoyed seeing and talking with them at our meetings. They will be missed.

Sister Johnice's dinner prayer reflected on the war in Ukraine, the people of Poland and the recent tragic shooting at Tops Markets on the East Side. There is too much violence and hatred in the world today as she reminded us that love and prayer is what is needed, not evil.

We were entertained by Ladies First Quartet, a four-part vocal harmony female barbershop quartet whose members are Bonnie Sugrue (lead), Kim Hooker (tenor), Bonnie King (baritone) and Sharon Wolff (bass). Ladies First Quartet sing a cappella (without any musical instruments).  Their voices are their instruments.

There are four vocal parts in singing barbershop harmony. The lead sings the main melody of the song. The tenor sings the highest vocals. The baritone rounds out the quartet's vocals.  The bass is the lowest part of the vocals. When all four vocals are put together, the sound is amazing.

Ladies First Quartet is a member of the Buffalo Gateway Chorus, a Chapter of Sweet Adelines International, Inc., an international organization of women who love to sing barbershop harmony and compete. The Buffalo Gateway Chorus is ranked 10th out of 550 Sweet Adelines International, Inc. female chorus' in the world.

Members and guests tried their own vocals with the song "Let Me Call You Sweetheart" and the theme song from the Mickey Mouse Club to see what range we had.  It seemed like the easiest vocal to sing was the lead.

Ladies First Quartet sang songs from the 1920s to the present including show tunes and spiritual songs. They sang Leonard Cohen's song, "Hallelujah", which gave everyone chills. For all veterans and families of service members, they sang and dedicated the classic Andrews Sisters song "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy." They also sang the song "Fit as a Fiddle" from the movie "Singing in the Rain."

They ended the evening with a set of Frank Sinatra songs "It Had To Be You" and "You Make Me Feel So Young" and a song by the 1960s rock group The Turtles, "Happy Together." This showed that any song can be sung in barbershop harmony.

Our next dinner meeting will be in September, the date, location and guest speaker to be determined.  Have a great summer!

Click here to see more PBW stories on the Am-Pol Eagle newspaper website!

Remembering Sattler’s     from a shoe store to notable department store

by Dawn M. Myszka, PBW Historian

On Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2022 at The Columns Banquets in Elma, Professional & Business Women of Polonia (PBW) members and guests met for dinner and took a walk down memory lane with our presenter for the evening, author Mary Ann Siuta Voorhees and her husband, David. Mary Ann wrote a book titled "The Sattler's Diary - A Love Story Between a Store and Its Community."

Mary Ann is a genealogist and a Buffalo history buff. Her husband, David, is the great-grandson of John G. Sattler. In 1989 at a sidewalk sale at the Eastern Hills Mall, Mary Ann found an antique dealer who was selling three Sattler's pins. She asked if he had any more Sattler's memorabilia.

The gentleman got her in contact with the man who tore down the Sattler's building. That gentleman found eight boxes in the building's walls and sold them to her. In those boxes, she found documents and hundreds of photographs. The only people they could recognize in the photos were David's grandfather, Charles Hahn, and great-grandfather, John G. Sattler. It has taken her over 25 years to find out only a few of the names of other people in those photos. She is still trying to track down names.

In 1889, John G. Sattler, then only 17 years old, opened a one-room shoe store in his mother's home at 998 Broadway in Buffalo called "The Broadway Market Shoe House" across the street from the Broadway Market. He became the largest commodity shoe dealer between Chicago and NYC. That small store expanded to 365,000 square feet and became a landmark department store called "Sattler's." It spanned most of that block. Sattler's sold everything – from clothing, pets, thuringer meat and even houses. You can't forget that "998 Broadway" jingle or "Sandy B. Thrifty," the character in their newspaper ads.

Voorhees said John G. Sattler treated his employees very kindly and generously. Employees received bonuses, life insurance and a pension in retirement. He wanted it to be a family environment for those working for him. Every Wednesday, the store would be closed. All employees got full pay for that day. There was a rooftop garden on top of the store's building where employees could go and play miniature golf, horseshoes or sunbathe. There was also a library in the store just for the employees.

Many famous individuals visited the store, according to Voorhees, including actors Lee Meriwether, James Whitmore, Imogene Coca, Robert Goulet and Buffalo Bob Smith with Howdy Doody to name a few. Singers Andy Williams, Jimmy Durante, and Tony Bennett also stopped in.

In 1934, Sattler's had its first wedding in their store. The entire wedding, from gowns to tuxes and the honeymoon, were paid by Mr. Sattler. In 1935, a second wedding was held at Sattler's.

Sattler's started a Santa Claus parade in 1947 and over 100,000 people attended.

In 1987, Sattler's was torn down and replaced by K-Mart. Today, on a portion of that huge lot, is a parking lot for a closed business. At the other end of that lot is an Aldi's store. Sattler's was truly a big part of Buffalo's history.

Before Mary Ann's presentation, PBW members made donations to benefit The Response to Love Foundation.

PBW member Barbara Strzepka, gave the dinner prayer and reminded everyone that 28 years ago during the month of November, the Professional & Business Women of Polonia was formed. The very first meeting was held in a community room at St. Joseph's Hospital.

Barbara announced that she is a new juried artist member of The Roycroft Arts & Craftsmen Guild. They are having a Christmas holiday art exhibit at a new gallery on the Roycroft Campus in East Aurora from Nov. 18 until Jan. 5. She will have two of her porcelain paintings on display - "Celestial Gold" and "Song of Christmas."

She announced that the Sunflowers of Solidarity II are holding an online auction on their Facebook page from Dec. 5 through Dec. 10 to benefit Ukraine. The staging for the auction will be held here in Buffalo. Barbara has offered a painting of sunflowers for the auction. She said the inspiration was a pastel (chalk) drawing by Stanislaw Wyspianski. The sunflower is the national flower of Ukraine.

PBW News

PBW President, Christine Lukaszewicz Kibler, was honored as the WNY Polish American Citizen of the Year by The General Pulaski Association at a dinner held on Oct. 11 at Kloc's.

We will be resuming our annual PBW Scholarship for 2023. PBW Board member, Barbara Wetzel, is the Scholarship Chair. The amount of our scholarship is $1,500. The deadline to apply is March 1. Applications will soon be available online. We will hold our fundraising for the scholarship in the months ahead.

We are looking for one or two individuals to chair our program committee. We have decided to divide the responsibility into 1) finding the speaker and location; and 2) taking reservations and sitting at the check-in table. PBW Board member, Barbara Wetzel, has graciously volunteered to take reservations and sit at the check-in table. If anyone is interested in helping to find guest speakers and locations, please reach out to our Board. We would appreciate the help.

Our January dinner meeting will be Thursday, Jan. 26 at The Creekside Restaurant. The guest speakers will be certified care managers from C&V Senior Care Specialists. They specialize in dementia, Alzheimer's, rehabilitation and behavioral health issues faced by aging adults. Please join us for what will be a very informative presentation.


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C&V Senior Care Specialists, Inc.

PBW members learn about

healthcare options and terminology

by Dawn Myszka,  PBW Historian

The start of a new year is a good time to reflect on one's past and start planning for one's future. The Professional & Business Women of Polonia (PBW) welcomed Katherine Vanderhorst and Dr. Amy Craven of C&V Senior Care Specialists, Inc. On Jan. 26, 2023 at the Creekside Banquet Facility in Cheektowaga. They talked  about utilizing certified care managers when a loved one is suffering from dementia or Alzheimer's whether at home or in another living setting.   

Sister Mary Johnice gave the dinner prayer before members and guests enjoyed a delicious buffet dinner.

C&V Senior Care Specialists, Inc. was co-founded in 2007 by Katherine and Dr. Verna Carson, a clinical nurse specializing in psychiatric mental health nursing. They discovered there was lack of education and understanding in post acute care for individuals with dementia living at home, in a nursing home, or in assisted living.  They sought to change how people get medical treatment as they aged in those environments.   

Katherine is president of C&V Senior Care Specialists and a board-certified psychiatric nurse with over 30 years of clinical experience in behavioral healthcare and Alzheimer's care.  She co-wrote two guides for caregivers, "Becoming an Alzheimer's Whisperer: A Resource Guide for Family Caregivers" and "Care Giving for Alzheimer's Disease: A Compassionate Guide for Clinicians and Loved Ones," both can be found on Amazon. com.

Dr. Craven is vice president of C&V Senior Care Specialists.  A doctor of physical therapy and a certified case manager specializing in geriatric care with over 30 years of experience, she joined C&V Senior Care Specialists  in 2015.

They talked about navigating the health care system and keeping a loved one safe wherever they may be living. This became especially important during the COVID pandemic where they helped families get their loved ones out of skilled nursing facilities and safely back into their own homes.  

Katherine presented an eye opening statistic.  In the U.S., approximately 10,000 people a day turn age 65.  By 2030, all of the baby boomers will be 65 or older and are projected to outnumber children for the first time in history.  

There are about 6 million individuals of all ages diagnosed with Alzheimer's.  That figure does not take into account those who have not yet been diagnosed with the disease.

Dr. Craven told PBW members and guests to think about their plan as they get older – where do we see ourselves as we age?  

The majority of us want to continue to live in our own home. The cost for care in a nursing home in WNY is  $15,000 to $18,000 a month; assisted living is $5,500 to $7,000 a month; day care about $75 to $90 a day and home care about $22-$30 per hour.

When entering either an assisted living facility or a skilled nursing facility, you will be required to provide all of your financial information (income, assets) to them.

It's also important to know the kind of insurance benefits you have.  Many people do not understand what insurance they have or what it covers. For example, if you are a veteran or a spouse of a veteran, have you looked into applying for those benefits?   

We learned the difference between the words "home care" and "home health."  Although they sound the same, they provide different services.   

"Home care" is nonmedical services  for individuals who need help with their daily activities – meal preparation, bathing, laundry, etc.  This type of service is paid by you out of your own pocket.

"Home health" provides medical services in the home setting – treating wounds, administering medications, etc..  Most insurance programs cover this service.

Having your legal documents (health care proxy, power of attorney) in order before you are in a crisis situation is also important.  Without your legal documents, who will be able to help you?

For more information on C&V Senior Care Specialists, Inc., visit their website at:

Come join us at our next PBW meeting!

Dr. Amy Craven and Katherine Vanderhorst.