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Brian F. Costello wears many hats. He's a husband, father, president of a local company and an active volunteer in the community.

One more hat will be added Saturday when he is presented the Citizen of the Year Award by the Eastern Niagara Chamber of Commerce at its annual dinner and dance Saturday.

According to David R. Kinyon of the Eastern Niagara Chamber of Commerce, "Brian Costello has quietly earned the respect of those who have worked with him both professionally and in his many volunteer capacities."

Costello has been a member of the Kenan Center board of governors and was president of the board in 1998. He presently heads its long-range planning committee.

His volunteerism extends to such organizations as Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Niagara County and Opportunities Unlimited of Niagara, where he serves on its Year 2000 Capital Campaign. He is also a member of the Lockport Exchange Club and has worked with the Eastern Niagara United Way.

Costello, a Lockport native and president of Diversified Manufacturing, a local company, downplays his role in the community.

"It's nice being honored, but I think it's my duty to give back, to give the time, to make the time, especially those organizations involving children," he said.

Costello credits both his family -- wife Kathy and children Zachary, 9, Cassandra, 7, and Sara, 3 -- and his professional contacts for his desire to help his community.

"I've been very blessed from a family standpoint and from an employment standpoint with the kind of company I work for and the guys I work for."

The Costello spirit is reflected in Diversified Manufacturing, which was named Business of the Year by the Chamber of Commerce a few years ago.

Costello sees the spirit of volunteerism fading.

"I see the same people being asked all the time. You get on a committee and you see the same faces all the time," he said. "I think everyone should help out some way, somehow, should make the time."

He feels that there are others who deserve the Citizen of the Year Award more than he.

"Through being a part of these organizations and volunteering, I probably know 50 to 100 people more deserving of this award than I am. It's the people behind the scenes that are really doing the nuts-and-bolts work every day, especially those that are underpaid, the not-for-profits that are really getting the work done. It's people like me they like to put up there and honor, but there's other people that put in a tremendous amount of time that deserve to be recognized," said Costello.

Costello will share the limelight Saturday with Newfane Inter-Community Memorial Hospital, which will receive the Business of the Year Award. The hospital, whose slogan is "Healthcare With Heart," was founded by independent physicians in 1958.

Inter-Community came to the aid of Lockport Memorial last year, providing $2 million to help Lockport Memorial's long-standing credit problems and saving hundreds of jobs in the process.

Inter-Community Hospital employees were active in numerous community fund-raising efforts, and the hospital has been praised for developing new service delivery systems as evidenced by the construction of Founders Clinics in Wrights Corners and Gasport. Inter-Community also operates Newfane Rehabilitation and Health Care Center Newfane Home Care.

Gooding Co. will be honored with the Industry of the Year Award.

Gooding Co., founded in 1876, recently moved from its site on Gooding Street in Lockport to anchor the Ulrich Business Park, located on Davison Road.

According to Kinyon, "The new 17,000-square-foot manufacturing facility on its 1.5-acre site in the Town of Lockport is a great reflection on the leadership of company owner Gerald Hace and the supportive business environment of the community."

The annual dinner and dance of the Eastern Niagara Chamber of Commerce, sponsored by HSBC Bank, will be held in Pendleton House Banquet Facility, 6886 S. Transit Road. Tickets are $45 per person, and reservations are required and can be made by calling the Chamber at 433-3828.

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