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Lynne Belluscio of the LeRoy Historical Society was stumped when it came to deciding on a theme for the annual LeRoy Dinner Auction at the LeRoy House.

“I mean, what else is there to do in western New York on March 2,” she said laughing.

But after some Google research, the historian stumbled upon a clever and familiar person to honor.

“This year we set the date and I’m going, ‘Gee, I don’t know of anything really that makes any sense,’ you know, it’s not some historical event in LeRoy,” Belluscio said. “I just started Googling stuff and it turned up that it was Dr. Seuss’s birthday (March 2), so I thought, ‘Oh what the heck, we’ll celebrate Dr. Seuss and make it kind of fun and kind of interesting.’”

Belluscio says there’s no known connection between Theodor Giesel and LeRoy other than everyone in the village has read, or has a connection to his books.

“He had an uncanny way of rhyming words” she said, “and getting kids engaged with reading which I think is really an important thing.”

In her research, Belluscio learned that Giesel was commissioned by Houghton Mifflin Publishing to write a book using 250 words (originally 348) that first graders should recognize. A Life Magazine article in 1954 about children thinking books were too boring spurred the company to take action. That book from Dr. Seuss became The Cat in the Hat.

Belluscio is also fascinated by what are called “Seussisms” like, “Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don’t matter and those matter don’t mind,” or “Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened,” even though attribution to Dr. Seuss is disputed.

Belluscio says Oh, the Places You’ll Go! also continues to be motivational since its 1990 publication.

You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself
any direction you choose.

And will you succeed?
Yes! You will, indeed!
(98 and ¾ percent guaranteed)

Employing a color wheel of red, turquoise and yellow for decor, Belluscio says attendees can also expect some creative food choices as well, including, of course, green eggs and ham.

“We’re going to have roast beast, poodles eating noodles, and we’re going to have yacht in a pot,” Belluscio said. “We’re having a good time naming some of the things we’re going to have on the menu.”

Tickets are still available for the event March 2 and cost $40 a person. Call 768-7433 to attend the dinner and live auction.


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