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LaBella in the Community (LINC) – Summer 2023 Roundup


LaBella in the Community (LINC) is our employee-led, grassroots, committee-based service program that organizes volunteer opportunities to build and advance community partnerships. LINC was very busy this summer and we’d like to take a moment to highlight some of the activities the group planned and coordinated throughout the local communities where we live and work.

More details about the organizations that LINC partnered with can be found by clicking the links below. To learn more about what LINC has been up to, keep scrolling!


United Way Day of Caring

Organization: United Way
Event Date: June 9, 2023
Event Location: Elmira, NY

Event Description: The United Way’s Day of Caring event is a community-wide effort that brings together volunteers and local businesses to provide short-term, project-focused volunteer service with non-profit and public organizations.

This year, a team of LaBellans (Katie Austin, Randy Heard, Michelle Philip, Jennifer Vaughn, Gary King, and Connor Dahl) volunteered their time to help paint fences as part of the United Way’s Day of Caring.

J.P. Morgan Chase Corporate Challenge

Organization: J.P. Morgan Chase Corporate – Buffalo
Event Date: June 15, 2023
Event Location: Delaware Park – Buffalo, NY

Event Description: The J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge is the world’s largest corporate running event. Powered by fitness, friendly competition, and fun, Company Teams of all speeds and abilities complete a 3.5-mile race while spending quality time together outside of work. This year marked the 41st running of the J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge in Buffalo.

LaBella’s team of participants this year included Andrew Benkleman, Bryan Morlock, Don Hoefler, Jill Sawyer, Allison Leet, Ellie Gaiser, Deborah Urban, Charlie Raimondo, Tim Petranchuk, Kevin Krone, Stanley Smykowski, Ross Workman, Kelli Goliber, and Manuel Rivera.

Buffalo Bowl

Organization: Special Olympics New York
Event Date: June 17, 2023
Event Location: Buffalo, NY

Event Description: Held at Highmark Stadium, the Buffalo Bowl is an annual event benefiting Special Olympics New York, an organization that provides inclusive opportunities for people with intellectual disabilities to discover and unleash the champion within. Not only is this a great event to support a great organization, but also a great chance to score a touchdown in the Buffalo Bills’ stadium!

This year, LaBella sponsored two teams – one captained by Anthony Sanganetti and one was captained by Gabe Antenucci – for a 6-on-6 flag football tournament (with 60 teams and 6 leagues). The teams were able to play on the Bills field at Highmark Stadium, visit the team’s locker room, and be announced while running through the tunnel.

Anthony’s team, which finished with 2 wins and 1 loss, included Brian Ringenwald, Michael Pietrantoni, Tybarius Harter, Deshawn Henry, Drew Brantner, Ryan Yuhas, Josh Lawrence, Matt Malvasi, James Butkevitch, Mackenzie Keehfus, and Ronald Sanganetti. Gabe’s team, which ended up winning their division, included Kevin Rademacher, Wil Pieters, Andrew Quin, Brett Driscoll, Paul Vogel, Spencer Reed, Nathan Antenucci, and Ryan McDermott).

Juneteenth Festival of Buffalo

Organization: Juneteenth Festival Inc.
Event Date: June 19, 2023
Event Location: Buffalo, NY

Event Description: Sometimes called Freedom Day or Emancipation Day, Juneteenth is a day to recognize and celebrate the end of slavery in the United States. While the Emancipation Proclamation was issued in 1863, it was not until the Union army enforced the proclamation over two years later – on June 19, 1865 – that slaves were freed. Juneteenth is a milestone in formally recognizing the end of slavery in the US.

The Juneteenth Festival of Buffalo has been running since 1976 and is the second largest celebration in the US. At this year’s festival, held in Martin Luther King Jr. Park, LaBella’s Buffalo team hosted a tent alongside the New York State Department of Transportation’s Kensington Expressway outreach tent to support and inform the community about the Kensington Expressway project.

This project aims to transform the current Kensington Expressway (now known as Route 33) and reunite communities that were divided by the construction of the current Kensington Highway, laying the foundation for a more equitable future for Buffalo’s east side. The Kensington Expressway project was awarded $55 million through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act’s Reconnecting Communities Program and is among the first in the nation to tap into these resources to reconnect neighborhoods.

Fostering a Litter of Kittens

Organization: Greece Residents Assisting Stray Pets (GRASP)
Event Date: June 23, 2023 – October 1, 2023
Event Location: Greece, NY

Event Description: GRASP is committed to reducing the number of homeless pets in Greece New York by decreasing dog and cat reproduction, promoting responsible pet ownership, and placing homeless dogs and cats into compatible, loving, permanent homes. As part of this program, a LaBella employee is fostering a litter of kittens in her home and several other LaBellans along with their families visited the kittens to help socialize them.

11 Day Power Play Community Shift

Organization: The 11 Day Power Play
Event Date:
June 30, 2023
Event Location: Buffalo, NY

Event Description: On June 30th, 17 of LaBella’s finest hockey players hit the ice at 6 a.m. to play three hours of hockey at the HarborCenter in Buffalo, New York, as part of an 11-day event where teams from all over Western NY play hockey for 24 hours a day and raise money to fight cancer. This year’s team was comprised of Tim Webber, Dave Engert, Sara Piekunka, Jason Ebbs. Joseph Hall, Jared Pristach, Aaron Schauger, Brittany Dunn, Aaron Kirchhoff, Tim Howland, Mike Barbasch, Jerry DeRomanis, Chris Bayer, Andrew Benkleman, Jake Bower, Jeffrey Kloetzer, and Corey Rothfuss.

The team raised $13,880 in total, and overall, the event raised more than $1.5 million this year. Proceeds from the event will support cutting-edge cancer research and wellness programs at Roswell Park, Make-A-Wish WNY, Camp Good Days, and Oishei Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders Program.

Eyeglasses Drive

Organization: Lions Club
Event Date: Month of June 2023
Event Location: Rochester, NY

Event Description: During June 2023, pairs of eyeglasses were collected at the Rochester office for donation to Lions Club, a social welfare organization that aims to improve health and well-being, strengthen communities, and support those in need through humanitarian services and grants.

The purpose of this drive was to collect used eyeglasses, including prescription, non-prescription, reading, sunglasses, and children’s styles. In total, 54 pairs of eyeglasses were collected and donated. These will be cleaned and packaged for distribution to needy groups and individuals throughout the world.

EcologiGALS Career Mentor Panel: Waste Management

Organization: Sustainability Matters
Event Date: July 10, 2023
Event Location: Virtual

Event Description: Jenny Johnson and Crystal Stapley joined a panel of Women in Waste Management and spoke to a group of young women participating in the “EcologiGALS” program provided by Sustainability Matters. Jenny and Crystal presented the waste industry and its multivariant career paths to these young women and answered questions posed by the girls.

Sustainability Matters is an environmental nonprofit based in Virginia’s rural Northern Shenandoah Valley and creator of Making Trash Bloom, an initiative that reclaims “dead” land by planting native pollinator and wildlife habitat at landfills. Through bringing conservation to the most unexpected place of all, the organization builds community engagement around environmental transformation. EcologiGALS is an education program aimed at exposing young women to ecology through the Making Trash Bloom initiative.

Beach Cleanup

Organization: Drink Local, Drink Tap, Inc.
Event Date: July 31, 2023
Event Location: Cleveland, OH

Event Description: Drink Local. Drink Tap. (DLDT) is an international non-profit organization focused on solving water equity and quality issues. The organization does this through education, advocacy, and creating affordable, safe clean water sources and sanitation facilities.

LaBella has partnered with DLDT by sponsoring and volunteering in a local beach cleanup every year for the past 5 years! We are very proud of this ongoing relationship. In fact, LaBella helped DLDT navigate and inform the entire beach cleanup program from inception!

During this cleanup at Perkins Beach in Edgewater Park, the LaBella group was able to collect and remove over 42 pounds of trash from the beach in just over an hour!

Camp Good Days Fundraiser Weekend 2023

Organization: Camp Good Days
Event Date: August 4-5, 2023
Event Location: Mount Morris, NY

Event Description: LaBella participated in Camp Good Day’s weekend fundraising event held at The Ridge Campground. Camp Good Days is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for children, adults, and families whose lives are touched by cancer and other life challenges.

The fundraising event featured food, live music, a bike/car cruise and show, a cake and pie auction, and a raffle ticket drawing for donated baskets. This year’s event raised a total of $46,525 for the organization.

Annual Sporting Clay Contest

Organization: ACE Mentor Program of Rochester
Event Date: August 8, 2023
Event Location: Rochester, NY

Event Description: Two teams of LaBellans participated in ACE Mentor Program of Rochester’s annual sporting clay contest. Team 1 consisted of Ben Schmidt, Joe Livecchi, Tony Sanganetti, Taylor Kinne, and Nick Harkola; and Team 2 comprised Don Lucas, Waylon Lunn, Chad Scorse, Glenn Rowan, and John Lanz. Proceeds from this event will benefit the upcoming ACE Mentor Program of Rochester program year as well as support two other existing programs – the Playhouse Program and the Community Parks Program.

The ACE Mentor Program of Rochester introduces high school students in the Rochester area to the wide range of career opportunities available in the architecture, construction, and engineering fields. At weekly meetings, industry professionals from leading area firms volunteer their time to work directly with and mentor student teams as they design hypothetical projects and gain hands-on experience in solving the types of design, engineering, and construction challenges industry professionals confront every day.