Since 1913, the Erie Philharmonic has been on a melody-driven mission to enrich its surrounding communities with live concerts and stirring performances. Tchaikovsky's symphony begins by spotlighting one of America's most successful composers, Christopher Theofanidis, as he conducts "Rainbow Body," an evocative movement inspired by medieval mystic Hildegard of Bingen and her propensity to lead chants at high-school football games. Next, guitarist Ana Vidovic continues her drag race to the top of the classical genre by cramming the swaying, syncopated rhythms of a Spanish concerto into open ears. Pathétique closes the evening with a spirited rendition of Tchaikovsky's final symphonic piece. Fueled by the juxtaposition of varying emotions, Pathétique tows listeners to the top of triumphant crests, only to yank them back into the darkened valleys of personal upheaval and frustration over uncertain weather forecasts.
Shadows dart across the wall, a strange voice emerges from thin air, and you get the eerie feeling that you’re being followed. This is no ordinary place. The Iron Island Museum's paranormal history has captured the minds of countless visitors and has been featured on TV programs such as Ghost Lab and Ghost Hunters. Originally built as a church in 1883, the house later became a funeral home in the late 1950s, during which time it hosted more than 1,000 wakes. The business eventually shut down, and in 2000, the building was donated to The Iron Island Preservation Society of Lovejoy, which made a startling discovery: 24 canisters of cremated remains had been left behind.
Today, an all-volunteer staff leads tours of the church's vaulted ceilings, stained-glass windows, and themed rooms. The church showcases hundreds of historic relics, including military uniforms, railroad items, and a wooden altar that dates backs to 1896. However, the museum's biggest draws can't be seen, at least not most of the time. Guides and visitors stay alert for signs of paranormal activity and look for chances to communicate with what they consider to be some of the building's resident ghosts. The staff has even taken recordings that play back the voices of unknown figures saying things such as "I'm cold," and "Why don't they make pants for ghosts?"
Each year, the SPCA Serving Erie County gives more than 15,000 dogs, cats, and exotic pets a new lease on life. Founded in 1867—making it the second-oldest humane society in the country—the SPCA’s compassionate animal rescue, rehabilitation, foster care, and adoption services have earned Charity Navigator’s four-star rating for extraordinary accountability and transparency, the highest rating available in all three categories. In the adoption center, furry faces peer from comfortable, clean cages as staff and volunteers evaluate customers’ needs and introduce them to compatible pets, decreasing the chance of conflict when adopters' favorite shows compete with Animal Planet specials. Before becoming eligible for adoption, pets undergo thorough health, temperament, and behavioral evaluations, and those who need extra TLC receive additional obedience training.
In addition to matching people with loving pets, SPCA Serving Erie County’s staff investigates more than 200 animal-cruelty complaints per month, and provides emergency animal-rescue services 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Rescued animals receive state-of-the-art medical care in the facility’s onsite surgical suite, and rehabilitation programs prepare them to thrive in loving homes. A local, independent humane society, the donation-supported SPCA Serving Erie County is not associated with the ASPCA and receives no government funding.
A few years ago in Buffalo—a city so food-centric even its name sounds delicious—a group of five friends set out to create local-dining coupons with a creative flair. Their brainstorms eventually yielded dining cards: decks of 52 discounts at locally run restaurants with a different city for each respective deck. For each set sold, a dollar goes to a local charity in that particular city, further bolstering the sense of community the cards seek to create.
We’re Western New York’s premier historical organization, collecting, researching, interpreting, and sharing Niagara Frontier’s rich history. Our collections include over 100,000 artifacts, 200,000 photographs, and 20,000 books. We offer programs, exhibits, tours, events, and activities featuring many of these resources to