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ON STAGE

*The Park School will present "A Night of Improv with the Comedy Cats" at 7:30 p.m. next Thursday, May 20 and 21 in the school's Helen Long Building, 4625 Harlem Road, Snyder. Tickets are $5-$8. For information, call 839-1243, Ext. 109.

*Students from the elementary and middle school campuses of the Catholic Academy of Niagara Falls will present "The Magical Land of Oz" at 7 p.m. Friday and 2 p.m. Saturday at the elementary school, 1055 N. Military Road, Niagara Falls. Cost is $2-$3. For information, call 283-1455.

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LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE

Luke Touma, a sophomore at Canisius High School, has been selected to participate in the National Student Leadership Conference on sports and entertainment management this summer at Fordham University.

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OUTDOOR EVENTS

"Dig With the Experts" will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at Penn Dixie Paleontological Outdoor Education Center in Hamburg. Preregistration is encouraged; call 627-4560. Also on Saturday, beginning at 7:30 p.m. telescopes will be available to scan the skies. For information, call 627-4560 or visit www.penndixie.org.

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CONTEST FINALIST

Lexi Keller, 11, of Lockport, has been named one of 25 finalists from around the country in the Build-A-Bear Workshop Huggable Heroes Contest. Lexi, a heart-transplant recipient, raises awareness for Upstate New York Transplant Services (UNYTS) by organizing community blood drives. She also speaks at seminars, hospitals and community event about the importance of organ and blood donation.

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CONCERT

A Legends of Jazz Concert featuring jazz violinist Regina Carter will be held at 7 p.m. next Thursday in Williamsville East High School, 151 Paradise Road, East Amherst. Tickets are $13 or $23 including spaghetti dinner at 5 p.m. For information, call 626-8425.

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PIANO SCHOLARSHIPS

The following piano students of Mary Handley have been awarded scholarships: Victoria Ruggiero of Lancaster; Jarod Yap of Clarence; Johanna Fritzinger of Williamsville; Michael McClure of Kenmore; Connie Yap of Clarence; James Oh of Clarence; and Griffin Kramer of Snyder.

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HELP THE EARTH

The state Department of Environmental Conservation is inviting the public to spend Saturday helping to clean up Reinstein Woods, 93 Honorine Drive, Cheektowaga. For information, call 683-5959 or visit www.dec.ny.gov.

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AUDITIONS

The ABC Bel Canto Choirs are holding open auditions at 6 p.m. (for grades 6-11, high voices) and 8 p.m. (grades 8-11, all voices) today; 4:30 p.m. Monday (for grades 3-5) and 6 to 9 p.m. next Thursday (open to anyone) at Christ United Methodist Church, 350 Saratoga Road, Amherst. For information, call Sue Fay Allen, 759-6428.

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FAIRY TALE TEA

The Alden Christian Theatre Society, 1470 Church St., Alden, will host a Fairy Tale Tea from 1 to 3 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $10-$12. Reservations required; call 937-7770.

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ART SHOW

An opening reception was held last week for the Lancaster Academy of the Visual and Performing Arts' senior exhibit at 11 W. Main St., Lancaster. Hours are 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesdays through May 24. Above, Derick Kessler talks about his artwork, "Sci Fi Solitaire," with Jessica Kim, whose work is also on display.

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ESSAY CONTEST WINNER

Caitlin Dewey, a former NeXt correspondent who is a senior in the Newhouse School of Journalism at Syracuse University, is the winner of Modern Love: College Essay Contest sponsored by the New York Times. Dewey's winning essay, "Even in Real Life, There Were Screens Between Us," was published in the New York Times on May 1. It beat more than 1,400 entries from 370 colleges and universities.