President Ruth invited Dan Heitzenrater to introduce the days speaker, Brian Pender, to talk about the Mayville Winterfestival and Ice Castle, the present status and long and distinguished history. Brian is a Fairport New York native but has local ties, his parents Don and Elsie, founders of the popular and well-known Hogan’s Hut. Brian is a financial professional and president and founder of Fairway Healthcare Partners. He is also the chair and board representative for the Chamber of Commerce in the Mayville, New York area. Brian and his wife, Doctor Erin Pender, own and operate Chautauqua Lake Dental practice in Mayville, New York.

Brian briefly described Chautauqua Lake Dental practice by way of introducing the club to his wife, their partnership, their new facilities, and their appreciation to the entire Mayville region for their warm welcome. Concerning the Winter Festival, February 16, 17, 18 at Lakeside Park in Mayville, Brian described his personal--and the community’s continual--pride and enjoyment in welcoming more than 10,000 people every year for this beautiful and historic event. Unfortunately, as Brian noted, the winter of 2024 has been too mild and uncharacteristically warm to build this year’s ice Castle. Nevertheless, this year’s vendor lineup, an amazing new selection of great entertainment venues, and the growing list of local events has continued to get more exciting every year. Brian also thanked the region’s businesses, entrepreneurs, and advertisers for their ongoing and outstanding support of the Winterfestival, and the town of Mayville itself for sponsoring the always inspiring and spectacular fireworks display. Overall, another goal of the Winterfestival is to highlight Chautauqua County as a true four-season vacation destination attracting guests from across the region and the nation. He also described his own family’s (and especially his grandfather’s) long, multigenerational, and key founding involvement in this Chautauqua County signature event. In conclusion, he challenged us all to honor our own “crazy ideas,” like the improbable, long-ago origins of the Mayville Ice Castle and Winterfestival, as ideas that also might one day become a time-honored tradition living on within the culture of our communities.

President Lundin expressed the appreciation of the entire club for Brian Pender’s time and presentation with a contribution in his name to the Rotary worldwide Polio Eradication project to eliminate polio from Planet Earth.