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Free library events planned

The Buffalo and Erie County Public Library is pulling out all the stops next week.


To celebrate National Library Week April 14 through April 20, the library will offer free activities at each branch. Activities include crafts, story times, speakers, author meet and greets and more.


Here's a brief listing of events provided by the library:


Alden Ewell Free Library – Make and Take Bookmark (Thurs., April 18)

Angola Public Library – Preschool Story Time (Wed., April 17)

Main Library at Audubon – Harry Potter w/ Matt James (Wed., April 17); Creating a Japanese Rock Garden (Sat., April 20) 

Aurora Town Library – Intro to Twitter (Fri., April 19), Prepare for College (Sat., April 20)

Boston Free Library- Various programs during the week 

Central downtown Library – Imagine Buffalo Series & Social Justice Series speakers,

(Tues., Wed., April 16 & 17),

Primate Sanctuary (Sat., April 20), 

Library Tours (Mon., Tues., Fri., & Sat., April 15, 16, 19, 20),

Rare Book Room Display – all month

Clarence Public Library – Editing Digital Photos (Mon. April 15), World of Beatrix Potter (Fri., April 19)

Clearfield Branch Library – Super Heroes (Mon, April 15), Family Movie (Fri., April 19)

Town of Collins Public Library – Quilting with Florence (Wed., April 17) 

Concord Public Library- Corduroy at the Zoo: Young Child Week - story & crafts (Thurs., April 18)

Crane Branch Library – Book Club (Thurs., April 18)

Dudley Branch Library – Trace Family Roots w/Ancestry Library Edition Training (Thurs., April 18) 

East Clinton Branch Library– Homework Help (Mon. Wed., Fri., April 15, 17, 19)

East Delavan Branch Library- Jazzy Dancers (Mon, April 15), Science Firsthand (Wed., & Thurs. April 17 & 18)

Eden Library - Used Book Sale (Wed., - Sat., April 17 – 20), Author talks (Mon., April 15 & Sat., April 20)

Eggertsville–Snyder Branch Library - Gardening with Perennials (Wed., April 17)

Elma Public Library – Sing & Read w/Nan Hoffman (Mon., April 15), Movie (Fri., April 19)

Grand Island Library – Movie & Crafts (Sat., April 13)

Hamburg Public Library – Book Club & Cook Book Club (Fri., April 19), Soil Test Clinic (Sat., April 20) 

Kenilworth Branch Library- Local Author Visit Jane Marinsky (Mon., April 15)

Kenmore Branch Library – Tax Assistance (Mon., April 15), Kids Book Club (Sat., April 20)

Lackawanna Public Library –Teen Book Club (Mon., April 15), Movies Based on Books (Thurs., April 18)

Lakeshore Public Library – Chess Club (Mon., April 15), eBooks & eReaders Workshop (Sat., April 20)

Lancaster Public Library –Book & Bake Sale (Thurs. – Sun., April 18 - 21), Teen gaming (Fri., April 19)

Marilla Free Library – 100 year Celebration Open House (Wed., April 17), programs all week

Frank E. Merriweather, Jr., Branch Library – Letter from Birmingham Jail Readings (Tues., April 16), Tell Me A Story (Sat., April 20) 

Newstead Public Library – Gravitational Bull Juggling (Wed., April 17),

American Girl Club (Sat., April 20)

Niagara Branch Library – Open House: Meet the Library (Fri., April 19)

North Collins Public Library – Sunday Café (Sun. April 14 & 21), Editing Digital Photos (Wed., April 17) 

North Park Branch Library –Wii Fridays & Lunch Bunch (Fri. April 19), Crazy Crafts (Sat., April 20)

Orchard Park Public Library – Froggy Program (Tues., April 16), In Jest (Sat., April 20)

Riverside Branch Library – The Wondermakers performance & Library Open House (Sat., April 20)

Anna Reinstein Memorial Library – Zoo Fun, Preschool Story Hour (Mon., & Tues. April 15 & 16)

Julia Boyer Reinstein Library – Computer Training Classes (Mon., Thurs., & Fri. April 14, 18, 19)

City of Tonawanda Public Library –Toddler & Preschool Stories (Mon., & Thurs., April 15 & 18)

West Seneca Public Library – National Library Week Game Night for Teens (Wed., April 17)

Williamsville Branch Library – Lunch Bunch (Mon., April 15), Reminisce Saturdays (Sat., April 20)

One man's free piano saga


Today's MoneySmart story brings to mind something I saw on Craigslist a few years ago.


It was a (very funny, creative) ad for a free piano. It included very detailed instructions and rules for the person picking it up:


Here's how it will work. You and as many of your strong friends that you can Tom Sawyer into this job will come by and move the piano off my second floor (1 set of straight stairs) into a vehicle of yours. I'm not lifting it, or providing a vehicle for it. I will help you gently guide it through my house so that I still have walls after you leave.

Now here's the part that I know will be hard for people to understand:

I'm not holding it for anyone without a $100 deposit for every week you want me to hold it. Not even if you ask really nicely.

The first person to show up and take it gets it. This piano was listed once before, and you wouldn't believe the number of homeless dying one-legged Mongolian orphans that just needed a piano to make life better. I heard some great sob stories (probably all true!) about why I should hold this piano for this person or that person. Well, I ended up holding it for the first caller, who never got it. Then I held it for someone else, and they never got it. Then everyone was gone, and I still had a piano.

"But wait!" you're saying. "Why should I put down a deposit on something that's free?" Well, if you want me to hold it, you can give me a $100 bill. I'll tape it to the piano. When you get the piano, you get the $100 with it! It's like getting paid $100 to take the piano! You won't find a better way to get your money back - *and* you get a free piano! If you forget, or get run over by a busload of orphans on their way to get a free harpsichord, I'm going to keep the $100. Want me to hold it 2 weeks? That's $200.

"But I don't trust you to keep my $100..." Well, I don't trust you to come back and get this oversized paperweight. I tried that before and it didn't work.

"But I don't have $100 and I really want the free piano!" OK, just come get it! It's really that simple.

"But I don't have $100 and I can't come by with a truck for two weeks..." No piano for you! Life sucks; get a helmet.

I don't really want the piano. It came with the house when I bought it. I play the flute, which I can carry in one hand. I've tried picking up the piano with 1 hand, and I can't quite get a good grip. Please, take my piano.

So, if you want it, show up and take it! Simple, huh?


---Samantha Maziarz Christmann

Back-to-school freebies has rounded up some great freebies for back-to-school, whether you're a student or not:

 OfficeMax coupon -$25 worth of supplies FREE with the purchase of select backpacks. Expires: 8/4. Shop through BeFrugal & get up to 6% Cash Back. 

Staples coupon - FREE $100 Prepaid Visa Card with the purchase of select laptops. Expires: 9/15. Shop through BeFrugal & get up to 5% Cash Back. coupon - FREE backpack with your purchase of select HP Netbooks. Expires soon! Shop through BeFrugal & get up to 10% Cash Back.

HP coupon - FREE Xbox 360 with your $699+ HP PC order. Expires: 9/8. Shop through BeFrugal & get 3% Cash Back.

Cash back rates can change from one day to the next. These rates were valid 7/31/12.

Free kids' haircuts at JC Penney Salon


During the entire month of August, JC Penney is giving away free haircuts for kids in kindergarten through sixth grade.

Just sign up to be a JCP Rewards member, find a JC Penney store with a salon and make an appointment.

---Samantha Maziarz Christmann

Meet Nik Wallenda Sunday

WallendaLooking for something fun and free to do this weekend? Watch the wire walk on ABC tonight, then bring the kids to the Fashion Outlets of Niagara Falls Sunday for a chance to meet daredevil Nik Wallenda. Here's more from the mall:

Two days after daredevil Nik Wallenda makes his historic high-wire walk from the United States to Canada over the Falls, visitors to the Fashion Outlets of Niagara Falls will have an opportunity to meet him in person.

Wallenda will be conducting a free meet and greet at the outlet from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Sunday, June 17. The event will be located in Fashion Avenue inside the mall and is first-come, first served during this limited time-- so get in line early.

KidsThe 33-year-old aerialist from Florida, part of the Flying Wallendas, will walk 1,800 feet across Niagara Falls at 200 feet above the gorge bottom on Friday evening. He will be the first to cross over the brink of the falls. More than 100,000 spectators are anticipated to attend the high-wire walk on both the American and Canadian sides.

The walk, which is scheduled to begin about 10:15 p.m. Friday and take between 30 to 40 minutes to complete, will be televised nationally by ABC. Tickets to attend the event and get a glimpse of the historic walk are no longer available.

However, on Sunday, members of the public will have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to meet Wallenda in person at the Fashion Outlets of Niagara Falls, 1900 Military Road.

Memorial Day freebies and discounts


Have plans this weekend? Check out this great list of freebies and discounts from

1. AAA Tipsy Tow
Plan on partying a wee bit hard this Memorial Day? AAA wants to keep you off the roads by offering a free vehicle tow for all partiers from 6 p.m. Memorial Day until the wee hour of 6 a.m. on Tuesday.

2. Air Shows
Check out the searchable database of airshows scheduled for Memorial Day weekend throughout the country, as offered by the EAA.

3. Bass Pro Shops
Participating stores will help your kids have a ball Saturday and Sunday with crafts, photos, photo contests and their Summer Kickoff Challenge.

4. Blue Star Museums
More than 1,500 museums across the country are offering free admission for active military personnel and up to five family members. Call ahead to see if your local museum is participating.

5. Cabela's
Save anywhere from 20 percent to 60 percent on hundreds of items on Memorial Day, plus receive free shipping.

6. Home Depot
All active duty and retirees receive a 10-percent discount on Memorial Day for purchases of up to $500.

7. Knott's Berry Farm and Soak City Water Parks
Admission is free to active and retired military personnel on Sunday and Monday. You can also purchase up to six discounted admission tickets for members of your immediate family.

8. Lowe's
Active duty military and their family members as well as retired military and VA recipients receive a 10-percent discount on all personal purchases.

9. Parades
VetFriends offers a state-by-state list of Memorial Day parades scheduled throughout the country.

10. Ramada Inns
Escape for the weekend and save 20 percent for three nights or more at participating Ramada Inns across the country.

Free Slurpees Wednesday!

7-Eleven, the convenience store chain which recently bought out Wilson Farms, will host SlurpFREE Day Wednesday.


Each customer will receive one free 7.11-ounce slurpee May 23 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m, while supplies last.


Check with your 7-Eleven to be sure they're participating.


---Samantha Maziarz Christmann

Free admission for military Saturday

The Genesee Country Village and Museum will host Military Heritage Day Saturday, to which all past and present military personnel will gain free entry.

Here's more from the museum:

This brand new event will showcase the importance of the military in the lives of western New Yorkers from the birth of our nation through the modern day. The focus of the day will be showing the public how military technology has evolved since the time of the American Revolution. View demonstrations of patriotic music, static displays of military vehicles, uniforms, equipment, and collectibles spanning our region’s 225+ year history.   On hand will be some of the area’s leading experts on military history and the involvement of western New Yorkers in America’s wars. 
The day’s programming includes special presentations and exhibits from the following groups:

The Military History Society of Rochester

Rochester’s own Army National Guard

Old Fort Niagara

The museum's Civil War Re-enactment host:The 140th New York Volunteer Infantry

Vietnam-Era Veterans Oral History Project booth by The Central Library of Rochester & Monroe County

And many individual collectors and exhibitors!

The public programming schedule* includes:

  • Concerts in the morning - Excelsior Fife and Drum Corps at 10:30 a.m. and the Rochester Scottish Pipes and Drums at 11:30 a.m.
  • A children's militia recruitment and march around the village square! 12 Noon and 1:30 p.m.
  • Live firearms demonstrations: 11:00 a.m., 1:00 p.m., 2:00 p.m., 3:00 p.m.
  • A special "Soldiers Through Time" presentation on the evolution of America's uniforms at 3:30 p.m.
 *All activities and programming features are subject to change and may also be weather dependent. 
To All the Brave Men and Women Who Have Served and Continue to Serve Our Nation…
The Genesee Country Village & Museum is pleased to extend an invitation to all military veterans and active service personnel to be our honored guests at the Museum’s Military Heritage Day event on Saturday, May 19. The Museum will extend free admission for all active military and veterans for this very special program in honor of Armed Forces Day.


Free shakes at Friendly's Saturday


To celebrate its 76 years in business, Friendly's is giving away free 12-ounce Fribbles Saturday from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.

The extra thick, signature milkshakes will be available in chocolate, vanilla and strawberry while supplies last. There is a limit of one per customer.

Click here to find your closest Friendly's location.

Kids eat free on Halloween

At least two restaurants will feed your little goblins for free on Monday:

Kids in costume will eat free after 5 p.m. at Old Country Buffet at 3048 Sheridan Drive in Amherst. When one adult dinner is purchased, up to two costumed kids get free dinner. Call 832-1773.

ApplebeesKids 10 years old and younger can eat free at any Applebee's in Western New York. They can choose from chicken fingers, mini cheeseburger, grilled cheese, macaroni and cheese, fried shrimp or hot dog and will receive a coloring sheet and a free Oreo Cookie Sundae card to be used on their next visit. Up to two kids' meals are free per each adult meal purchase. Costumes are encouraged but not required.

---Samantha Maziarz Christmann

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