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Melody Fair owner Ed Smith Wednesday was elected chairman of the Niagara Falls Convention and Visitors Bureau, succeeding Doreen O'Connor, manager of the Comfort Inn the Pointe, who completed her third term.

With five new members and a new executive team, the board voted to make up to $25,000 available to aid the Niagara Falls Coalition for Casino Gaming in its effort to bring casino gaming to Niagara Falls.

The board also voted to allow the coalition to use bureau office space at 310 Fourth St.

In other business, the bureau elected Waldorf Niagara Motor Lodge owner Janet Farulla board secretary; David Fleck Jr. of Howard Johnson's on Main Street, treasurer; and Phillip Villella, owner of Howard Johnson's Motor Lodge on Niagara Falls Boulevard, member-at-large.

Lou Ricciuti of the Niagara Conference Center was elected assistant secretary. Julie Clark, owner of the Knights Inn on Niagara Falls Boulevard, was elected assistant treasurer. Executive board members serve one-year terms.

Mrs. O'Connor will remain a member of the bureau's board, but board rules preclude her from serving a fourth consecutive term as an executive board member.

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