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Honor Roll / Recognizing the accomplishments of Western New Yorkers

The Women for Human Rights and Dignity will honor those battling local poverty at its 28th annual forum and luncheon July 14 in the Millennium Airport Hotel, Cheektowaga.

Honorees are: Carolyn B. Thomas, who helped start the Buffalo Food Bank; the Rev. Darius G. Pridgen, pastor of True Bethel Baptist Church; and Good Neighborhood Health Clinic, which provides free medical services.

Also scheduled to be honored are: Thomas McLaughlin, executive director of the Buffalo City Mission; Florence Baugh, a community activist and former Buffalo School Board member; and Harvest House, a faith-based charitable organization.

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Five graduates of Buffalo's Emerson School of Hospitality have been awarded scholarships totaling $50,000 by the Statler Foundation to continue their studies in college hospitality programs. They are: Zackary Beenau, Brittany Chapman, Kayla Jones, Chanel Saleh and Nakia Walker, all of whom plan to attend Erie Community College in the fall.

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Erin Whitehead, a member of Niagara County Community College's women's basketball and softball teams, has won the NCCC President's Cup, awarded annually for excellence in academics and athletics.

In 2005-06 she earned First Team All Conference, 3rd Team All Regional honors, and was the team's Most Valuable Player in softball. In 2006-07 she was named to the Western New York Conference 3rd Team. Whitehead was named NCCC Athlete of the Week twice in both academic years.

Also recognized from the college were team Most Valuable Players: volleyball, Candice Durkin; men's soccer, Kevin Morse; fall baseball, Steven Julian; spring baseball, Matt Milliman; women's basketball, Whitehead; men's basketball, Ezra Scott; wrestling and golf, Dale DeBacco; and softball, Jennifer Rott. Coaches awards went to Pamela Haick, volleyball; Danielle Winiecki, women's soccer; Stephen Stewart, men's soccer; Vinnie Cuviello, baseball; Whitley Johnson, women's basketball; Sean Sittnick, men's basketball; Matt Bunce, wrestling; Katie Foels and Lisa Batt, softball; and Shannon Malik, golf.

Wrestler and golfer DeBacco was named the 2006-07 NCCC Freshman Athlete of the Year. DeBacco has also received the All-American Award. He was named to the Region III 1st Team and Western New York Conference 1st Team. In golf, DeBacco qualified for the regionals, placed third in the conference championship and was named NCCC Athlete of the Week in the spring, all while maintaining an excellent academic record in the liberal arts, mathematics and science program.

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Oreen Cohen, a University at Buffalo fine arts major, was selected to receive the Evelyn Rumsey Summer Scholarship.

Named after Buffalo painter Evelyn Rumsey Lord, the award is used for summer travel or study. Cohen is using the award to travel to Berlin.

She also received a fall 2006 Morrison Scholarship, awarded to talented art majors to help support them toward completion of their degrees.

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Jessica Rauscher of Cheektowaga, a UB visual studies studio student, and Nathan Draear, a UB student painter, have won the Philip C. Elliott and Virginia Cuthbert Elliott Painting Scholarship for their ability and interest in artistic painting.

The scholarship was established with a grant from the late Virginia Cuthbert Elliott.

She and her late husband, Philip C. Elliott, served for 30 years as artists and art educators in Western New York, including lengthy tenures at the Albright Art School and at its successor, the UB Department of Art.

Draear also received a spring 2007 Morrison Scholarship, awarded to talented art majors to help support them toward completion of their degrees.

Jacqueline Spicer, a UB student in studio art, has received the Carl E. Sentz and Virginia W. Sentz Memorial Award. Spicer also is a recipient of the Alan E. Cober Award recognizing excellence in drawing skills and concepts. That award is named for the late illustrator Cober, who taught at UB from 1987-96.

e-mail: lcontinelli@buffnews.com

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