The Niagara Award recognizes individuals whose actions have inspired opportunities in Niagara County for women's growth, leadership and empowerment. They were recently bestowed for this year. The honorees exemplify the shared vision of peace, justice, freedom and the belief that all people have inherent worth and dignity.
In 1996, a group of 62 women across Niagara County came together representing business, industry, education, nonprofit organizations, government, health professions and human services to organize the first Niagara Award event. At that time, there were no events that recognized women and their accomplishments on behalf of other women anywhere in the county. Today, it is the only recognition event for women in Niagara County. The first Niagara Award was held in 1997.
Since then, the YWCA of Niagara has honored more than 50 outstanding women and recognized more than 160 others. This is the only major fundraising event sponsored by the YWCA board of directors and took place last month in Niagara Falls. Proceeds from the gathering will benefit ongoing programs for women and children at Carolyn's House in Niagara Falls.
The 2007 Niagara Award recipients are: Anita Harless, Music School of Niagara, Public Service Award; Sue Neidlinger, owner of the The Shoppe on Main in Newfane, Entrepreneur Award; Margaret Truax, a community volunteer, Lifetime Achievement Award; Connie Brown, Opportunities Unlimited of Niagara, Management Award; Barbara Iannarelli, Niagara University, Education Award; Mary Ann Cox, Niagara Community Action Program, Health & Human Services Award; and Michele Schaffer, a student at Duquesne University, Youth Award.
*Patterson Dental was recently presented the Niagara Cerebral Palsy Community Relations Award. The award is given annually to recognize a community partner who supports Niagara Cerebral Palsy and the people the agency serves. Patterson Dental has provided dental supplies and guidance to the Niagara Dental Clinic during the past several years.
*Artpark & Company recently thanked the team at Hard Rock Cafe in Niagara Falls for the restaurant's contributions to Artpark's summer programming.
Hard Rock Cafe's team of ambassadors launched a recycling project during this summer's 13-week Tuesday in the Park concert series, with the proceeds directed back to Artpark's children's programs for next season. Each Tuesday night, Hard Rock staff collected, sorted and bagged thousands of cans and bottles at the conclusion of each concert.
Oct. 12, the Niagara Falls Hard Rock celebrated its new memorabilia redecoration with a special concert featuring Lifehouse. Proceeds from this "re-dec" party, again, were directed to Artpark's children's programming, with a check for $4,000 presented before the concert.
Artpark thanked Hard Rock Cafe's Allison Appolloney, Bob Bloom, Laura Muto and the other staff who coordinated the summer recycling program at Artpark and the cafe's new general manager, Dominic Verni, as well as Susan Swiatowski, who coordinated October event efforts for Artpark.
"Artpark's summer is heavily dependent on season sponsors and patrons. The amazing strides that have been made at the park over the past five years have been accomplished through the support of this community and superstar sponsors like the Hard Rock Cafe Niagara Falls," said Maureen Kellick, Artpark director of marketing, public relations and development.
*The Niagara Career and Technical Education Center inducted eight students last week into the National Technical Honor Society. They are Britny Caskinett, Jacob Dorpfeld, Thorton Haag-Wolf, Jaclyn Kammerdeiner, Nicholas Leffler, Andrew Ritz, Aaron Sarles and Alexis Willard.
The honor society was founded in 1984 to honor the achievement of students in vocational and technical education. Skills adviser Donna Quinn said members have to be good, honest, responsible student-citizens who have made a personal commitment to excellence and agree to uphold honor society standards. Quinn said that requires excellent attendance, at least a 90 average for all quarters at the Career and Tech Center, and at least an 85 average at the home school. There also is a community service requirement.
Orleans/Niagara BOCES decided to establish the affiliation with the national organization last school year.
*Army National Guard Pfc. Zachary M. Killion has graduated from Basic Combat Training at Fort Knox, Ky.
During the nine-week training period, Killion received instruction in drill and ceremony, weapons, rifle marksmanship and bayonet training, chemical warfare, field training and tactical exercises, armed and unarmed combat, military courtesy, military justice, physical fitness, first aid, and Army history, traditions and core values.
He is the son of Thomas Killion of Lockport and Kathy Willis of Tampa, Fla.
*The Head Cook of North Tonawanda Meals on Wheels has left after five years.
Don Hornquist originally was hired as assistant cook in September 2002 and became head cook in June 2005. He is moving to North Carolina.
Hornquist had been responsible for the daily preparation of about 120 hot meals each weekday.
"Don has been very creative in preparing a wide variety of meals," said Joy Welch, coordinator of North Tonawanda Meals on Wheels. . . . We will miss him terribly."
To become a kitchen volunteer, a meal delivery volunteer or to get more information about the local Meals on Wheels, call 693-1663.
*Niagara University's Office of Admissions Web site has been recognized among the most highly rated in the country by the National Center for College and University Admissions' ninth annual Enrollment Power Index. Niagara was ranked as one of the top 10 institutions in the North and in the top 10 for Catholic institutions.
The index is a research-based analysis that rates how well the functionality and design of college and university Web sites provide information to potential students to take them from prospect to applicant. The study graded the sites for each institution on a 100-point scale.
Niagara was one of 140 institutions to receive an "A" grade.
"This data underscores the effectiveness of our site and reinforces the true merit of this award," said Harry Gong, director of admissions at Niagara University.
Last year, one-third of all Niagara applicants applied online.
Niagara's admissions Web site is at www.niagara.edu/admissions.