Director Maris Battaglia and students at the American Academy of Ballet once again held their “Ballerinas Wear Pink for Breast Cancer” fundraiser last month. For one week, the students pay $2 to wear anything pink to class. This year the students raised $2,575, bringing their three-year total to more than $6,600. The funds have gone to various organizations, including Roswell Park Cancer Institute, to help in the fight against breast cancer.


The Herschell Carrousel Factory Museum, 180 Thompson St., North Tonawanda, is offering group tours for the holidays. The tours will feature holiday traditions from the 19th and 20th centuries; a story; Victorian-style ornaments; a ride on the carousel; and holiday gifts at the museum store. The tours, which are targeted to pre-K and kindergarten students, can be adapted for any age group. Tours can be scheduled to begin anytime between 1 and 3 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays Nov. 26 to Dec. 13; call 693-1885.


Kay Taylor, the president and CEO of the Y.O.U.T.H. Organization, reports that the recent anti-violence/anti-bullying rally that was held at the Frank E. Merriweather Jr. Library was a huge success. Hundreds of young people and their parents filed in and out of the auditorium to hear a presentation by actor Mike Epps, along with several other performances by local acts.

“We will continue to bring creative anti-violence programs to our city,” Taylor said in a release. “It has been proven we as a community, parents and our children, can come together to spend quality time and receive a positive message all at the same time.”


Festival for Freedom has announced the following winners of $1,600 in prizes in its essay contest. The contest, open to high school seniors in Western New York and some surrounding areas, was based on this topic: “Freedom of conscience is essential to all freedoms, especially the freedom of religion.” The local winners are Emily Sullivan of Cleveland Hill High School, first place; Bethany Lynn Steele of Frewsburg High School, second place; and Joseph Saltarelli of Cardinal O’Hara High School, honorable mention.


The Niagara Regional Theatre Guild will hold auditions for singers 16 and older for its January production of “Broadway in Concert” at 7 p.m. Monday and Tuesday in the Ellicott Creek Playhouse, 530 Ellicott Creek Road, Tonawanda. Auditions also will be held at the same time for actors for its February production of “Inherit the Wind.” For more information, call 284-6358 or visit


Victoria Cabri Ruggiero, a senior at Lancaster High School, will host a concert to benefit the Response to Love Center at 7 p.m. Friday in Blessed John XXIII Church, 1 Arcade St., West Seneca. A reception will follow in the church hall. Several other young music talents will perform. Tickets are $5-$8.


The Amherst High School Drama Club will present “Peter Pan” at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday in the Masterson Auditorium, 4301 Main St., Amherst. Tickets are $5-$9; children under 5 are free. Pictured above, from left, are Ezra Steinfeld, Zoe Appler, Maria Smith and Amanda Borowski.