Congratulations to the 2016 Corporate Challenge Winners


(JAMESTOWN, NY) — We are pleased to announce team For the Love of Kids the winner of the 2016 Chautauqua Gran Fondo Corporate Challenge.

The team, comprised of 10 motivated men and women, set forth with a mission to raise the most money for the 2016 event and designate Royal Family Kids camp as a benefactor for next year’s Gran Fondo event. 

In addition to naming one of the charities for the 2017 event, all For the Love of Kids team members will receive 50% off their event registration for the 2017 Chautauqua Gran Fondo event.


The Royal Family Kids Camp is a one-week summer camp experience for children ages 7-11 who have been abused, abandoned or neglected. Since 1998, the Bemus Point United Methodist Church has been participating in this national program.

The goal of the camp is to treat campers like royalty and help them see that they are part of God’s royal family. For an entire week, campers are surrounded with unconditional love and are able to experience many things that other children take for granted.

Each counselor is a volunteer who undergoes thorough background checks. Once their training has been completed, they are assigned only two campers to allow the opportunity for the formation of an extra tight camper-counselor bond.

Each day is filled with fun activities, such as swimming, archery, arts and crafts, outdoor games, slip-n-slide, fishing and hiking. Last year the campers went up in a tethered hot air balloon, watched an illusionist, had a petting zoo and enjoyed a bounce house. Each night ends with story time with “grandma” or “grandpa” and the campers get tucked into bed.

The Royal Family Kids Camp is run on donations from area churches, individuals, organizations and businesses.

For more information on opportunities with our local Royal Family Kids Camp, please visit:


The Corporate Challenge, a component of the Chautauqua Gran Fondo introduced in 2016, was designed to bring groups of likeminded people together in an effort to build team spirit, share community pride and raise funds for local charities in a unique, exciting way.  The team that raises the most dollars is granted the opportunity to select one of the charities for the following year’s event. For more information on forming a team, visit:

The Stickers Are Back!

National recording artist The Stickers are back again to get everyone “Countrified” at the second annual Chautauqua Gran Fondo after party on Saturday, Aug. 27 at Webb’s Captain’s Table in Mayville.

“We had a blast last year in Chautauqua,” said John Wodarek, bass player and middle brother of the band. “It is a beautiful area and we met some great people. Our shows are about having fun, and Chautauqua brought that. Chautauqua County is beautiful.”

The band enjoys the area so much that they even vacationed here recently.

“During some down time this summer we came out and spent some time fishing and having fun on the lake,” said Wodarek. “The people are awesome, and you can’t get better scenery.”

The Stickers’ hit single, “Countrified” has been on the airwaves for the past year, reaching as high as #33 on the Music Row Charts. The song was even featured on the hit primetime ABC television show, “Nashville.”

“The ‘Nashville’ TV show experience was surreal,” Wodarek said. “Getting a call from the ‘Nashville’ production team was a huge deal to us… So many good things are happening with our music.”

Their new single, “Ain’t Nothin’ Better” has made the list of most added radio songs at the end of June. Their continued success has put them in venues such as a the Charlotte Motor Speedway for a NASCAR race, a AAA baseball stadium, and even Heinz Field in Pittsburgh.

“It doesn’t matter what the event is, we have the same goal every night we play: to go on stage and entertain the folks that give us their time and attention,” said Wodarek. “We want people to come out and have a good time. Leave the trials and tribulations of daily life and enjoy. If we can do that, we did our job. And we like to have fun while we’re doing it.”

The Stickers are comprised of five members, including three brothers: Joe, lead singer and youngest; Jim, drummer and oldest; and John on bass guitar. Jay Casper is on the keyboards and Mike Ofca rounds out the band on guitar. The band originated in Pennsylvania, and stays true to their roots by performing all over that state each year. The guys are known for their engaging, down-to-earth personalities. The drummer and oldest brother, Jim, is even a black belt in Ninjutsu, which means that he is a ninja. When asked if the brothers can coax their oldest sibling to show his stuff on stage at a show, John replied: “We have been trying to get him to do that, but he is very humble about his skills. Maybe if Chautauqua gets loud enough we can convince him to show us his moves!”

Last year the tent area behind Webb’s Captain’s Table was a great, lively, and family-friendly place to be. People were dancing, bobbing their heads, and enjoying the music while having a good time.

“We love to see the reactions of fans to our material: that is the best. If we can move someone with music, we know we did something right,” said Wodarek. “We want people to come out and have a great time. Get loud. Let loose. Sing along, dance, whatever you want to enjoy the music.”

2015-08-29 03.58.32

The Stickers performing at the 2015 Chautauqua Gran Fondo.

2015-08-29 04.58.54

The Stickers performing at the 2015 Chautauqua Gran Fondo.

The second annual Chautauqua Gran Fondo event is set for Saturday, Aug. 27. The Stickers are headlining the after party, with Deb & the Dynamics to open the show. For more information, or to register, contact Venn Blakely at 716-753-6290, or visit to register online.

“Let’s set an attendance record this year,” Wodarek said. “The party area has a roof, so come out rain or shine and we will guarantee a good time for all!”

Meet The Opening Act: Deb & the Dynamics

New to the Chautauqua Gran Fondo event this year is Florida-centered band Deb & the Dynamics. Making the trek all the way up north to Chautauqua Lake, Deb Biela, can’t be more excited about this adventure.

“Any time we get a chance to take a road trip we’re all on it, Biela said. “It brings the band closer together and we look at it as a group vacation, as well as getting a chance to perform in front of a whole new audience that had never heard us.”

This seven-piece soulful band has been heating up stages in Southwest Florida since 2004. The Dynamics are made up of Biela (bass), Dan Keady (guitar), Don Hulgas (saxophone, percussion), Newt Cole (saxophone, percussion), Michael Baer (keyboard), Matthew Rongstad (saxophone, flute), and Willie Miller (drums). The band has consistently been voted best local band every year, and are known as the hardest working band in the Southwest Florida area.

When asked what the secret to a fun performance is, Biela replied, “When you know everything is sounding good, the band is on, and the people are into it… I want people to walk away happy and for a short time forget any problems they may be having.”


Biela has been playing since age 16, finding herself on the same bill as Etta James, Chuck Berry, The Beach Boys, The Allman Brothers, and Buddy Guy. The rest of the bands resumes are similar. Don Hulgas, horn player, got to play with the 19050s band The Del Vikings at a Doo Wop festival, and even blew the horn solo for the famous song “Come and Go With Me” that night. Newt Cole’s band Newt and the Salamanders opened for the Average White Band. Willie Miller, drummer, toured for four years as the drummer for JP Miles, the opening act for Patti LaBelle, where he shared the stage with Blues icons such as Johnny Taylor, Bobby Womack, and even B.B. King.

This dynamic seven-piece soulful band plays off of the crowd, and enjoys the spontaneity of the performance.

“It’s all about how I’m feeling at the time. I never write a set list for that reason, Biela said. “You never know who you’re going to be playing in front of.”


One thing is for certain: Deb & the Dynamics are ready for a party when they arrive on the lake for the second annual Chautauqua Gran Fondo event on Saturday, August 27, located at Webb’s Captain’s Table in Mayville, NY.

Gran Fondo Adds Corporate Challenge Promotion

(JAMESTOWN, NY) — The second annual Chautauqua Gran Fondo event has a new dimension to it this year with the addition of a corporate challenge promotion.

Area businesses are encouraged to form a team to promote employee wellness, team spirit and community pride. The team that raises the most dollars with receive recognition on stage at the after party at Webb’s Captain’s Table, a photo opportunity with one of the bands, as well as the opportunity to select one of the charities for next year’s event. All riders who participated in the Corporate Challenge will receive a 50 percent discount off the 2017 Chautauqua Gran Fondo registration fee.

Donna Breen, executive administrator at Century 21 Turner Brokers, has organized a team for the Corporate Challenge and said she is hoping that this is the beginning of a yearly tradition for her co-workers.

“I went last year and was impressed. This year we wanted to participate to help bring more bodies to the event,” Breen said. “It’s a team building experience: office camaraderie. Out of the office, out of the grind, and just having fun with each other.”

Teams can also participate in the Muskie Madness competition, which is designed to promote the pride of Chautauqua Lake and its heritage. Costumes should reflect the area in some fun and creative way. Prizes will be awarded for the most creative costumes, unique uniforms, or the most entertaining bike style. For more details, visit the website at


A participant of the 2015 Chautauqua Gran Fondo sports a fun helmet decoration.


Each team should consist of five or more riders, each of whom will receive a $5 discount on their registration fee. All fitness levels and abilities are welcome. Teams are welcome to share their experience along the bicycle routes through their Instagram feeds. Whether it’s a silly selfie or a shot of someone’s favorite scene, the winners of the social media contest will receive a special gift after the event.

“I am thrilled with the registration numbers that we are already realizing with still four weeks to go,” said Michelle Turner, vice-president of sales and marketing at the Chautauqua Region Development Corporation. “We have attracted interest not only from within Chautauqua County, but from tourists attending from distances as far as Ontario, Pittsburgh, Cleveland and even beyond.”

The second annual Chautauqua Gran Fondo is set for Saturday, Aug. 27. The cycling tour kicks off at 9 a.m. at Lakeside Park in Mayville. An after party featuring live music, lunch and refreshments at Webb’s Captain’s Table will follow the cycling event. For more information, or to register, contact Venn Blakely at 753-6290 or to register online.

Afterparty to Feature Make-Your-Own Ice Cream Sundaes

Bring the whole family to the Chautauqua Gran Fondo after-party at Webb’s Captain’s Table on Saturday, August 27 and enjoy the Make-Your-Own Ice Cream Sundae Station courtesy of Tastee Corners & Cafe of Jamestown, NY. For kids only and free-of-charge, we are thrilled to incorporate this delicious and creative treat to our family-friendly event!

_DSC9814 _DSC9571 _DSC9565 _DSC9564 _DSC9561


Chautauqua Gran Fondo Registration Now Being Accepted

(JAMESTOWN, NY)— Registration is now being accepted for the second annual Chautauqua Gran Fondo, which will be Saturday, Aug. 27.

The cycling event kicks off at 9 a.m. at Lakeside Park in Mayville. An after-party featuring live music, lunch and refreshments at Webb’s Captain’s Table will follow the cycling event. The community event is designed to promote health and well-being for cyclists of all skill levels, while raising funds for local nonprofit organizations. The cycling ride, a picnic and live music all are included in the cost of registration.

All participants will have a choice of four cycling routes. The scenic 20-mile social tour is the shortest of the rides looping around the northern end of Chautauqua Lake, and includes a trip across the nostalgic Bemus Point-Stow Ferry. The 40-mile fitness tour loops around Chautauqua Lake with plenty of sights to see and refreshment stops along the way. The 37.3-mile challenge lets riders experience the Chautauqua Ridge with an elevation change in excess of 737 feet with grades of 6 percent. Riders then get to relax on the Bemus Point-Stow Ferry before the ride back to Webb’s Captain’s Table. Lastly, the 58-mile challenge is for the most experienced cyclists: looping up into Westfield and onto Lake Erie’s Barcelona Lighthouse before returning to circle Chautauqua Lake.

A picnic lunch and afternoon of live music at Webb’s Captain’s Table in Mayville will follow the cycling portion of the event. Deb & the Dynamics will take the stage followed by the return of country recording artists The Stickers to provide a family-friendly afternoon of live music.

A group of cyclists enjoy a ride across the lake on the historic Bemus Point-Stow Ferry during the 2015 Chautauqua Gran Fondo.

A group of cyclists enjoy a ride across the lake on the historic Bemus Point-Stow Ferry during the 2015 Chautauqua Gran Fondo.

Vendors are welcome to showcase their products and services outside the main gate of the after-party at Webb’s Captain’s Table.

Proceeds will benefit the SWCS Education Foundation, the Mental Health Association, and the Chautauqua County Veteran’s Endowment Fund. The cost to participate is $30, which includes sag wagon, refreshment stops, safety services, as well as admission to the after-party at Webb’s Captain’s Table following the tour.

For more information, or to register, contact Venn Blakely at 716-753-6290, or visit to register online.

Enter the Corporate Challenge!


(MAYVILLE, NY) — Promote employee wellness, team spirit and community pride at the 2016 Chautauqua Gran Fondo on Saturday, August 27 in Mayville, NY. Participants will enjoy a scenic ride around Chautauqua Lake, with several opportunities to stop and enjoy refreshments along the way. Following the ride, cyclists are invited to the afterparty at Webb’s Captain’s Table to enjoy a picnic lunch and entertainment headlined by The Stickers.

Each team should consist of 5 or more riders, who will each receive a $5 discount off the registration fee. All fitness levels and abilities are welcome to participate in this scenic ride and day of community pride.

Teams are also encouraged to participate in the Corporate Challenge fundraising and team spirit competitions. For details or information on how to register your team, please visit

  Form a Team!


Teaming up with Southwestern Schools Education Foundation

(JAMESTOWN, NY) — Members of the Southwestern Schools Education Foundation (SSEF) met with Michelle Turner, Vice President of Marketing – CCIDA, at Wegman’s this weekend to discuss the upcoming 2016 Chautauqua Gran Fondo.

The SSEF is proud to be chosen as one of the benefactors of this year’s event and encourages residents of the Chautauqua Region to participate in this fantastic, family-friendly event. The Chautauqua Gran Fondo is an event designed for participants of all ages and skill levels to celebrate Chautauqua Lake and the surrounding historic destinations. The event also features an after-party at Webb’s Captain’s Table with live music headlined by The Stickers and a delicious picnic lunch.

With four years’ experience in organizing their own successful Bike Tour around Chautauqua Lake, the SSEF is a vital benefactor for the growth and success of the 2016 Chautauqua Gran Fondo event.


From left: Michelle Turner, Vice President of Marketing CCIDA; Jay Yaggie, Treasurer SSEF; and Lori Radack, President SSEF. 

For more information on the Southwestern Schools Education Foundation, visit

To register, visit:




The Stickers to Return as Headlining Performers for the 2016 Chautauqua Gran Fondo

(MAYVILLE, NY) — The Stickers are back as the headlining act for the 2016 Chautauqua Gran Fondo on Saturday, Aug. 27. The second annual event is a community-led promotion of health and well being for cyclists of all skill levels. The bicycle tour will culminate with an after-party celebration behind Webb’s Captain’s Table in Mayville.


The Stickers are made up of three brothers originally from Pennsylvania. The band currently has a single: “Countrified,” that has been selected to be featured during an episode of the ABC TV show, “Nashville.” The song has also been featured during the NHL All-Star Game, the Daytona 500, is currently airing a video on CMT, and has climbed into the 40s on the Country Music Charts.

Deb & the Dynamics are set to open for The Stickers. This funky, blues seven-piece band is made up of musicians with over 30 years experience performing for audiences.




2016 CHQ Gran Fondo T-Shirt

All participants who register before August 6 will receive this Royal Blue 2016 Chautauqua Gran Fondo T-Shirt. Registrations completed after August 6 will receive a 2016 Chautauqua Gran Fondo water bottle. 



  Register Today!


Reminder! On-line registration will close on August 24th. Registrations will be accepted at the park on the day of the event. 



The Gran Fondo Will Start in...