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Fostering a sense of community

*What it's like

The Village of Williamsville can be described in many ways: It's small, at one square mile, historic, quaint and picturesque. But if there is one overriding feeling that you come away with after spending any time with its residents, it would be a strong sense of community. It has a large base of volunteers, who are passionate about their neighborhoods, a solid commercial district, and is a walkable community. The residential neighborhoods generally are made up of older homes and tree-lined streets.

*What makes it unique:

It's a modern community with all the amenities that entails, yet it maintains strong traditional values. Its residents are multigenerational, with many residents who were raised in the village returning there to raise their own families.

*Places to go:

Restaurants, including the historic Eagle House and Creekview, the Irishman Pub and Eatery and the Glen Park Tavern. The historic Williamsville Meeting House and Williamsville Mill. Glen, Island and Garrison parks. The Williamsville branch of the Buffalo and Erie County Public Library. Shops, boutiques and stores. Events including Old Home Days, Taste of Williamsville, Christmas Day in the Village, Easter Egg Hunts, the Farmers Market and a street hockey tournament.

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*A person you should know:

Stay-at-home mom Amy Alexander is such a strong advocate for her community that last summer she spearheaded a committee, the Friends of the Village of Williamsville, to stop an effort to dissolve the village. At the public vote in August, Williamsville residents overwhelmingly voted down the proposal. She has lived in the village for 12 years, is married and the mother of a 4-year-old son.

>Q: What made you move to the Village of Williamsville?

A: I grew up in Elma, but it was my dream to live in the village, which was my first choice after college when we decided to buy a house. I chose the village because of my grandparents, who lived there when I was growing up. I have such wonderful memories of visiting them as a kid and always wanted to live there. I'm happy here. I'll never leave.

>Q: What made you get involved in the dissolution issue?

A: I think there is a lot of value to living in the village. It's more than a place, it's a lifestyle. We walk everywhere: my son goes to nursery school in the village, we walk to the park, the library, the pool. I knew that any effort I put into it would be worth it in the end regardless of the outcome. It was challenging, it was time-consuming, but it was something that certainly my heart was in. I found a lot of value in doing that.

>Q: What is your favorite part of living here?

A: My husband and I love the village so much because it fosters a sense of community. Raising my son here has shown us that we can raise him in an environment where everyone is your neighbor, everyone is friendly. We value being able to raise our son in a place that has such a strong sense of community.

e-mail: hjones@buffnews.com

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