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Honor Roll / Recognizing the accomplishments of Western New Yorkers

Twenty-one Erie County Home volunteers have received the President's Service Award. The award was created in 2003 as a way to honor Americans who, by their commitment and example, inspire others to engage in volunteer service. Volunteers are recognized based on hours of service in a 12-month period.

Gold award winners and hours served are: Marie Young, 1,005.25 hours; William Meiss, 751.5 hours; and Eugene Smith, 522.5 hours. Young is a Lifetime Service Award Winner, having volunteered well over 4,000 hours during her nearly 30 years at the Erie County Home.

Silver award winners are: Alice Szyjakowski, 295.50 hours; Harry Fry, 269.50 hours, also a Lifetime Service Award winner; Brian Levy, 286.50 hours; and Nancy Taylor, 261 hours.

Those earning the bronze award are: Dorothy Grucella, 239.5 hours; Marilyn Sowinski, 200 hours; Jerry Sowinski, 199.75 hours; Rita Galbreath, 180.75 hours; Ramona Wery, 177 hours; Joann G. Costlow, 136.75 hours; Marlene Smith, 136 hours; Cathy Pudlewski, 130 hours; Dorothy Szrama, 121.25 hours; Bill Obermeier, 118.25 hours; Barbara Smyton, 116.50 hours; Mary Young, 109 hours; Ann Obermeier, 104 hours; and Judy Rivard, 100.75. hours. Winners received a certificate, lapel pin and letter signed by President Bush.

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Peter Siedlecki, professor of English at Daemen College and director of the college's Honors Program, has been appointed to a three-year term on the Small College Committee of the National Collegiate Honors Council. Siedlecki holds a Ph.D. from the University at Buffalo and bachelor's and master's degrees from Niagara University.

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Charlie Garfinkel, Buffalo News racket sports writer, has recently been inducted into his ninth hall of fame, when he made the Bennett High School Alumni Honor Roll. He's also a member of the Bennett High Sports Hall of Fame, which has more than 80 members, and is reported to be the only Bennett graduate to be a member of the school's Alumni Honor Roll and Sports Hall of Fame. Garfinkel, a 1956 Bennett graduate, is also the author of two racquetball books, "Racquetball the Easy Way," which went to a fourth printing, and "Racquetball for the Serious Player."

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The Daemen College/Rosary Hill Alumni Association has named its distinguished alumni for 2008. They are Eileen Rimar Hettich, of the class of 1974, recognized for outstanding service to the community for her 38 years of volunteerism; Clifford Pyne, of the class of 1993, who put in more than 21 years of active service in the U.S. Navy as a nurse practitioner; Fran McDonald of the class of 1982, a physical therapist for nearly 20 years; JoAnne Rogers Szwejbka, of the class of 1961, for her volunteer service to Daemen; and Annemarie George, of the class of 1966; and the late Phyllis Krathaus of the class of 1998, both honored for long involvement with the alumni association.

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New Directions Youth and Family Services recently named new officers and members to its board of trustees. Thomas A. Sy, a board member for seven years, was elected president. David G. Messinger, a board member for a dozen years, has been elected secretary. New board members are Shirley J. Brittin, Lisa Napier, Lisa Smith and Christine Weeks. Nancy Kasprzak-Whitmore served on the board from 1991 to 2007 and returns for a new term. New Directions is a nonprofit agency that helps children with emotional and behavioral problems, along with their families.

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Junior Achievement of Western New York will hold its annual Business Leadership Hall of Fame Awards Dinner on Oct. 28 in the Hyatt Regency Buffalo. The event, sponsored by M&T Bank, will highlight JA's accomplishments over the past five decades. Alphonso O'Neil-White will receive the top award as the group's 2008 Hall of Fame Laureate. Russell J. Salvatore will be honored as Entrepreneur of Year, and Muriel Howard will be honored as Educator of the Year.

e-mail: lcontinelli@buffnews.com

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