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School Visits
Author, Therese Forton-Barnes has been taking her show on the road. See the School Visits page for stories and photos!
Here Comes the Bride...
Photographer: Katie Schneider
The latest installment in the Zaki and Venus book series, Zaki and Venus Get Married has been released. A beautiful bride, a dashing groom, guests, flowers and wedding cake - Zaki and Venus' very special day is chronicled with photos and rhyme.

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Therese Forton-Barnes,
(better known as "Tee")

Therese went to Nardin Academy elementary in Buffalo, and then continued on to the high school and graduated in 1981. She continued her education at Ithaca College and graduated in 1985, with a BS in Business and a minor in Health with intentions of opening her own Health Food Store. She studied abroad in London, England in 1983.

Once out of college, and a stint with a brokerage firm, she found her true love of work when hired at an events planning company in Buffalo. A few years later, she formed her own business, Events to a Tee. She has planned over 450 events in the Buffalo area. Some of the larger more notable clients/events are 23 years of events for Jim Kelly, including his wedding, retirement roast, Super Bowl parties, and his annual golf tournaments; the wedding of Ellen Rigas(daughter of the former owner of the Buffalo Sabres);ten years of planning Thursday at the Square(once known as Thursday in the Park); Friendship Festival, and Curtain Up. She also planned events for various corporations, such as Ingram Micro, Rich Products, HBO Sports, Hodgson Russ, AAA, The Buffalo Sabres, The Buffalo Bills, and Ryan Millers’ charity, The Steadfast Foundation(Catwalk for a Charity) to name a few and coordinated many large weddings.

Therese is writing children’s books and the first one, Zaki and Venus go to the Beach, was published in April, 2007, and the second one Zaki and Venus get married, published May 2010. www.ZakiandVenus.com . She is married to Tom Barnes, a native of Buffalo, and share a home with their two labradors, Zaki and Venus. Tom has two sons, Connor, a graduate Syracuse University ‘07 and Ryan, a graduate of University of Wisconsin ‘10.

A new project that she started is “Carvings for a Cause”. www.carvingsforacause.com After the October ‘06 rare storm, she coordinated with local municipalities to save and collect some of the large tree trunks from the Olmsted Parks and surrounding communities that are being carved into historical or important figures from our region. ie: Frederick Law Olmsted, Frank Lloyd Wright, Asa Harris, Red Jacket etc. Other sculptures will be locally significant symbols….such as a Buffalo, a bass fish, or even sports figures. Carvings for a Cause is a non profit organization and a certified 501©3

She has been advocating healthy living for most of her life. She is a member of a CSA (community supported Agriculture) and eats mostly organic foods and is an advocate for non-toxic living. She has recently been doing home toxin assessments, where she will come to your house and advise you on all the areas that toxic poisons could be lurking in your home and entering your body. Her website for this new venture is: www.greenlivingtoatee.com. She also does public speaking engagements on green living and detoxing your home.

Therese is a firm believer in giving back to the community. She volunteers for many different not for profits and various events in the Western New York area. She is a Vice President on the board of the Greater Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame Board and has donated much time to Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy, and raised the funds and renovated the historic Soldiers Circle in 1999 in Buffalo, NY. She is also very interested in Historic Preservation, and their 110 year home in Buffalo was featured on Home and Garden Television(HGTV), Restore America, for the preservation and restoration of their home. She is very active in her alma maters and believes in giving back to her high school and college. When in Buffalo and not working, Therese is usually spending time with her family and friends. She devotes a lot of time to them, which is a big reason why she has decided to live in Buffalo. Otherwise, she can be found walking her dogs or cruising in her turquoise 1971 Cutlass Oldsmobile Supreme Convertible. Therese enjoys most: travel; all kinds of music; wine; cooking; exercising; walking on the beach; boating; skiing; biking; horseback riding; all sports especially football and hockey, and exploring new things!


Breed: Yellow Lab
Height: 1 ft. 11 inches
Weight: 70 lbs.
Birthdate: December 22, 2002
Hometown: Buffalo, NY
How Acquired: Adopted as an 8 week old puppy


Breed: Black Lab
Height: 1 ft. 9 inches
Weight: 65 lbs.
Birthdate: June 27, 2006
Hometown: Buffalo, NY
How Acquired: Adopted at age 3. She was a show dog
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