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Honor Roll / Recognizing the accomplishments of Western New Yorkers

An Orchard Park man whose life was saved by Lancaster Volunteer Ambulance Corps paramedics thanked the crew in person Thursday at corps headquarters on on Embry Place.

Jason Kaese, Eric Burt and Jerren Myers answered a 911 call Nov. 13 for Derek Garner, 56, who was suffering chest pain at a Transit Road restaurant.

Garner was experiencing life-threatening cardiac arrhythmia and the crew defibrillated him five times before the ambulance arrived at Erie County Medical Center. En route, a readout of Garner's heart rhythm was sent to ECMC via cell phone.

"Mr. Garner is alive today because of the crew's quick action and training," Ambulance Corps President Chester Popiolkowski said. "With our technology the hospital was prepared for the patient prior to his arrival."

Garner, whose artery blockages were removed in ECMC's catheterization lab, contacted the Ambulance Corps after he was discharged from the hospital and said he wished to thank the crew that saved his life. The crew was presented a certificate of appreciation. Garner's family, Ambulance Corps board members and representatives from ECMC were on hand.

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Shajuana Smith and Emma Byrd, diabetes educators at Jericho Road Ministries, received diabetes education certification through the National Certification Board for Diabetes Educators after the two passed the national certification exam. The certification is the culmination of a three-year project, funded by the New York State Health Foundation and the Community Health Foundation of Western and Central New York. Jericho Road Ministries and the University at Buffalo's Primary Care Research Institute partnered in a groundbreaking diabetes project to provide diabetes education to minority and low-income communities on Buffalo's East and West Sides. In three years, Smith and Byrd have educated more than 1,500 people living with this chronic disease.

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Rebecca Reile and Gabrielle Walter are the recipients of the 2010-11 DAR Good Citizens Awards, presented by Katharine Pratt Horton and Williams Mills chapters of the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution, respectively. The awards were presented during a special ceremony at the Katharine Pratt Horton chapter house on Delaware Avenue. Rebecca is the daughter of Maria and Peter Reile of South Wales and is a senior at Holland High School. Gabrielle is the daughter of Michele and Paul Walter Jr. of East Amherst and is a senior at Williamsville East High School. The two, chosen to best exemplify qualities of leadership, service, dependability and patriotism, submitted extensive entries and essays to the DAR. Their award packets will progress to district and New York State scholarship competitions. Also recognized as a Good Citizen was Kevin Brown, a Gowanda High School student who is the son of Wendy and Carl Brown of Gowanda.

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Benjamin Tyx recently received the Eagle Scout award. His project was to build benches, plant flowers, install a bird bath and plant a garden in a park in the Village of Alexander, for the residents to enjoy.

He is an assistant scoutmaster of Troop 6650 and has earned 38 merit badges, including a seven-mile swim badge and Boy Scots of America Lifeguard. He is a member of The Order of the Arrow.

Benjamin is a senior at Alexander Central School and the son of James and Laura Tyx of Darien Center.

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The National Association for Health and Fitness, a Buffalo-based organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for individuals through physical fitness, sports and healthy lifestyles, elected Diane H. Hart of Albany president of its board of directors. Other officers: vice president, Stacy Fowler of Colorado; secretary, Jacqui Shumway of Colorado; and treasurer, Ben Schaffer of New Jersey. Philip L. Haberstro serves as executive director.

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The Erie County Farm Bureau was recognized recently as a recipient of the American Farm Bureau Federation's National Farm-City Award for the county's effort in developing a program for agricultural education. Farm-City programs focus on the interdependence of agriculture, the people who grow the food and the people who eat it. Erie County Farm Bureau member Charlene Spoth recently gave a presentation as an agricultural resource for a teacher workshop at the Buffalo Museum of Science. The workshop was attended by approximately 22 teachers, varying in grade levels from elementary school to high school and from all areas of Western New York, city and rural.

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Officers of the Snyder Fire Department were installed Dec. 11 during a dinner held in the department's Main Street headquarters. Christopher M. Sciolino, a 17-year veteran, will begin his first term as department president and Burton L. Bugbee will serve his 23rd consecutive term in the office of captain.

Other officers installed for 2011 are: captains: Brian T. Januszkiewicz, Thomas J. Neuman, Timothy S. Oliver and Dominic N. Creamer; and lieutenants: Bradley E. Chiz, Karen E. Murray, Ryan D. O'Connor, Mark T. Orlowski and Sean M. Wilkinson.

Diana M. Sitarski was installed as vice president. The department's secretary is Frederick W. Balcom and its treasurer is Charles R. Henderson. Eugene F. Kremzier was installed as line clerk.

On the department's board of directors are Michael S. Cessario, Alan L. Craik, Charles W. Pearson, Duane G. Probst and Thomas R. Tiberi. Peter E. Bugiera and Adam K. Johnson are members of the examining board.

The department's Exempt Association officers are Chris Rizzo, president; Geoffrey A. Goodwin, vice president; Scott Linneborn, treasurer; and Kevin Devine, secretary. Officers of the Benevolent Association are Timothy S. Oliver, president; Geoffrey A. Goodwin, vice president; Harold Davis, treasurer; and Michael R. Summers, executive secretary.

Thomas A. Merrill is fire chief. Paul R. Giebner and Michael P. Gugliuzza are assistant fire chiefs.

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The National Press Club has elected Associated Press broadcast journalist Mark Hamrick as its 104th president. Hamrick, who served as the club's vice president, will be sworn in during a black-tie gala on Jan. 29. As president, Hamrick will focus on member recruitment with an emphasis on diversity during his 2011 term in office.

Hamrick has been a national business and financial news journalist for the Associated Press in Washington, D.C. for nearly 25 years. Prior to his first position as a radio reporter and anchor for the Associated Press in Dallas, Hamrick worked in Buffalo as a news anchor at WBEN-AM, WNED-TV and WEBR-AM radio station.

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Chris McIndoo, a member of the AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps team, is completing a 4 1/2 -week project with Boulder Open Space and Mountain Parks. The environmental project consisted of maintaining irrigation structures, conserving habitats and performing forest fire mitigation work. McIndoo, a resident of Kenmore, and his team from the Southwest Region campus in Denver will prepare for their next seven-week project to weatherize and increase energy efficiency in the homes of elderly residents in Oklahoma City.

e-mail: citydesk@buffnews.com