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The 77-year-old Niagara County Historical Society's annual dinner and volunteer recognition Oct. 14 will feature a cruise on the Erie Canal and a visit from Benjamin Franklin.

The event will be held at the Lockport Locks and Canal Cruises on Market Street, Lockport. The cruise will be held from 5 to 6 p.m., with appetizers and a cash bar from 6 to 6:30 p.m. Dinner follows, highlighted by a visit from Benjamin Franklin, in the person of re-creator Paul Stillman.

"He is excellent," said Melissa Dunlap, the Historical Society's executive director. "He will come in character and remain in character throughout the evening. He'll talk about Benjamin Franklin's life and his personality."

The historical society's volunteers will also be recognized during the dinner, with special honors for 23 volunteers who have each donated more than 50 hours.

The volunteer corps of about 40 helps the society in a variety of ways, according to Ms. Dunlap. "They work as docents, giving tours to school children and other groups; they work in the office and at the Col. William Bond House on Ontario Avenue, our 1823 National Register home; they help in the gift shop, do research and do a lot of repairs."

Ms. Dunlap added, "I'm always looking for volunteers, especially to give school tours and do filing."

The cost of the dinner program, including the cruise, is $20 per person. Reservations may be made before Oct. 5 by calling 434-7433.

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