July 12, 2023, Bath, NY: The Elmira Button Club hosted the annual Western NY button club picnic where approximately thirty collectors and guests from 3 participating clubs – Genesee County, Elmira, and Rochester came to the Centenary United Methodist Church in Bath, NY for the indoor picnic.

The picnic theme “Up, Up and Away With Buttons” was well represented across the afternoon-long festivities. The centerpieces at each table featured colorful hand-made hot-air balloons made of paper mache, decorated with various adorable trims, and filled with wrapped candy (I was lucky enough to be the winner of one).  At the buffet table were decorated (and delicious) cut-out cookies of hot-air balloons and airplanes. At each table setting was a handmade place card with modern wooden buttons – an airplane, a helicopter, and a hot-air balloon being lifted by a space shuttle! So many cute touches!

Members of the Elmira Button Club, led by President Pat Silvernail, organized the picnic and donated items to create several beautiful gift baskets and buttons for a raffle. 

Some members took the opportunity to set up a table to sell buttons, others brought competition cards depicting their interpretation of the theme.  All attendees had the opportunity to vote for their favorite card. 

In between socializing, eating lunch, shopping, and voting on the competition cards, Pat Silvernail thanked everyone for attending and introduced Elmira Button Club member Susan Reding as the guest speaker. Susan conducted a fun, energetic, and very informative trivia game relating to Aviation History in Western NY and the Southern Tier. I personally had forgotten about Eileen Collins; NASA astronaut USAF colonel and the first woman to pilot the Space Shuttle – born and raised in Elmira!

After Susan’s presentation, awards for the competition were given out, and winners of the items for the raffle were announced. It was a fun afternoon for all and great to see button friends.