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by Lynne Belluscio

The LeRoy Historical Society is a United Way agency and can be chosen as a designated recipient of your United Way donations. When you designate your money, you are guaranteed that your donation will go to the agency that you have specified. However, you must make sure that you have a designation form and that you identify the agency of your choice.  Of course, you can also make a donation without specifying and United Way will use the money for any of their worthwhile causes.   We just received notice of those people who designated the Historical Society to receive their donations. We would like to thank the following people for their generous support:  Ed Henry, Khamkevane Vorasane, Jean Wood, Keith Zemaitis, Mickey Hyde, Richard Lathan, Margaret Murphy, Cynthia Osborne, Michelle Panepento, Michael Perry, Michael Riggi, John Sherman, Ray and Shelley Stein, Brenda Carlson, Shelley Carlson, James Carr, Roxanne Coleman, Kirstan Crowe, Patricia Daansen, Thomas Dintruff, Anne Fox, and the Genesee-Wyoming Railroad.

 The United Way of Genesee County, had a fundraiser in LeRoy last Sunday at Mercygrove.  About a hundred folks attended their Summer Serenade. The weather was beautiful and the setting on the back lawn of Don Woodward’s estate was serene.  S. Shade Zajac, Music Director and Conductor of the Genesee Symphony Orchestra offered a selection of music.  The program began with Haydn’s Concerto for Cello and Orchestra in C Major. The second selection was Mozart’s Symphony No. 31 in D Major  “Paris.”  Mozart is a challenge, and the orchestra did a great job.  This classical music was followed by an arrangement of George Gershwin’s 1935 Porgy and Bess. Zajac inserted a beautiful contemporary piece “Dusk” by Steve Bryant before concluding with Leonard Bernstein’s West Side Story.  United Way’s Director Eric Fix had introduced the evening with a reference to a song from Bernstein’s masterpiece, and I think I heard him singing along with the orchestra on a couple of the songs. Marjorie Fulmer from LeRoy was in the orchestra.  It was a beautiful setting for a musical evening. Next year, I hope to see more people from LeRoy in the audience.

 Historically, there have been many musical programs at Mercy Grove.  The huge estate was built by Don Woodward, the youngest son in the Jell-O family.  Florence Woodward, who was Donald Woodward’s first wife, lived in the house in the 1930s and 40s. .  Ironically, she and Donald were going through divorce when the estate was being built, and Donald - - who paid for the construction - - never lived there.  When plans were made for the house, it included the installation of a huge pipe organ.  The keyboard console is in the large room between the living room and dining room.  The pipes are throughout the house.  Some are in a room off the hall on the third floor...





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