Saving ‘Syb’

LILY DALE – Last month, Sylvia Lileberg, known as “Syb” – was not feeling well. After checking with doctors, she was surprised to learn she needed heart surgery. Still, another unexpected development was in store. Instead of the one scheduled bypass, there were four completed during surgery on Jan. 9, at the Hamot Hospital, Erie, Pa. These days, Syb is on the mend. She’s already able to attend to important tasks like tending her window-sill garden, and Toby the dog.

Meanwhile, the Lily Dale community is sponsoring the spaghetti dinner and fundraiser, a project aimed at helping Syb and husband, Gary Lileberg – longtime Lily Dale Assembly maintenance employee – to cover expenses that are not covered by health insurance. The event is set for 4-6 p.m. Saturday at the Lily Dale Fire Hall on East Street.

“People at Lily Dale and Cassadaga have been so good to us,” said Syb. “Actually, Gary grew up in Lily Dale and lived there for years. And, even though I’ve always been in Cassadaga, I spent a lot of time in Lily Dale visiting my grandparents, Clarence and Florence Sherritt. They lived there for a long time. Come to think about it, my grandfather also was a Lily Dale grounds and maintenance worker.”

In addition to spaghetti, meatballs and salad, many local residents are promising numerous home-baked desserts, including pies. The fundraiser features a unique raffle, offering visitors the opportunity to take home a large variety of prizes. Twenty-three participants will receive readings, to be scheduled with local mediums in the weeks ahead.

Still more awards range from crystal jewelry and a large leaded glass window hanging, valued at more than $200, to a puck signed by Sabres hockey star, Stephen Ott. There are other items as well, signed by additional Sabres and Buffalo Bills players, according to Carol DeChard, in charge of securing donations for giveaways and one of numerous volunteer workers. Raffle tickets will be sold up to 5 p.m., and the awards will be determined, starting at 5:15 p.m.

Takeout meals will be available, said Connie Dutcher, dinner coordinator. “The support we’ve received from our volunteers and from merchants and others in Cassadaga and Lily Dale has been simply fantastic,” she said.

Fees are $7, adults and $5 for children under age of seven. Donations, payable to the Sylvia Lileberg Fund, also may submitted directly to the Community Bank in Cassadaga.