George Hawley was the Batavia Magic Club’s secretary that fateful night in 1947. George, the unwavering steward of the magical arts that he was, ensured that MAWNY would continue through the years until his passing on July 21, 2000. Then Dick and Nancy Bentley, very good friends of Gene Gordon, chaired MAWNY until 2012 when it was handed over to Mike Dedee and Keith Randolph. In 2019, Mike Dedee moved on to other life endeavors and Bill Gormont joined Keith Randolph as the MAWNY Co-chair coordinating team.
On January 21, 1947, a magical surprise birthday party was held in Batavia for Bill Russell. Fifty-two magicians from this area attended the celebration despite severe weather conditions. It was at this party that Gene Gordon suggested a reorganization of a Western New York Magician’s Alliance.
The Batavia Magic Club which was organized July 18, 1935, took the reins and mailed out a flyer which scheduled the first jamboree of the new Western New York Magician's Alliance on April 20, 1947. It was announced at that at this first jamboree, a vote would be taken to name our newly organized alliance. Gene Gordon suggested it be called the Magician's Alliance of Western New York (MAWNY) and the attendees all welcomed the new name.
George Hawley and Gene Gordon
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