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Thanks to those who made Canal Fest great

The board of trustees of the North Tonawanda History Museum extends its congratulations and praise to the board of directors of Canal Fest of the Tonawandas for its 25th annual Canal Fest.

As a three-year-old, not-for-profit organization, we have been proud to be a participating member organization for the last four Canal Fests.
As a native of the City of Tonawanda, born in a house overlooking the Niagara River, who grew up on the Erie County side of the canal and then became a transplant to the Niagara County side as a young wife, I have to confess that both the wonderful Niagara River and Erie Canal were taken for granted in my youth.

As the director of a new museum focusing on the history of the Niagara County side of the canal in the Tonawandas, digging out the history of the relationship of our two communities to the two waterways has proven fascinating.

Because of our appreciation for the history of both the Niagara River and the Erie and the State Barge Canal, and our experiences creating a new not-for-profit organization and working to develop a strong working board, we also have a profound admiration for the current board of directors of Canal Fest of the Tonawandas, its founders and all who helped to start and continue this wonderful celebration of the canal and of the Twin Cities of Tonawanda and North Tonawanda.

We thank you for the opportunity you afford to all of the member organizations to raise vital operating income at Canal Fest. We thank you for the excitement and pleasure we see in the attendees as they come to our booth or pass it. As the museum representative who attends your monthly board meetings, the commitment and dedication of your individual directors and the leadership of the officers never cease to amaze me.

Your year-round efforts as a not-for-profit organization designed to benefit our community as a whole, and the community's not-for-profit organizations, cannot be totally appreciated by those who aren't in regular attendance at those monthly meetings.

We wish to publicly express our thanks to Canal Fest President Larry Denef and the entire board and advisers for this year's event and to all who made the previous 24 possible. We also extend our gratitude to the cities of Tonawanda and North Tonawanda for their continued accommodation of this valuable event.

Donna Zellner Neal, director of the North Tonawanda History Museum

North Tonawanda


Mediterranean Festival a great celebration

The third annual Mediterranean Festival, held July 13 to 15 at St. George Antiochian Orthodox Church in Lewiston, was a wonderful event featuring great food and entertainment and, most importantly, an opportunity for our entire community to come together in fellowship and celebration.

The fact that St. George's has again designated a generous portion of the festival's proceeds to go to Niagara Falls Memorial's Heart Center of Niagara is especially meaningful, as it will touch the lives of literally thousands of patients who benefit from our expanded cardiac services.

On behalf of the entire Memorial Medical Center family, I'd like to thank the entire parish family at St. George's for their dedication and hard work in producing such a spectacular event. Special thanks go to Parish Council President Ricco Slaiman, Festival Chairman Awni Alsous, Public Relations Coordinator Eka Harke and our good friends Rich Chown, Denise Filosofos, Jackie and Shelli Fadel, Ann Salhany and the Rev. Paul Solberg for their inspired leadership and support.

This celebration gets bigger and better every year. We look forward to working alongside our friends from St. George's Church and welcoming the Greater Niagara community to the Fourth Annual Mediterranean Festival in 2008.

Joseph A. Ruffolo, president and CEO,

Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center

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