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Jean Knox of East Aurora has been named chairwoman of the Niagara Frontier State Parks Commission, Gov. George E. Pataki announced Wednesday.

The State Senate confirmed her as a member of the regional commission Jan. 13 for a seven-year term. As chairwoman, she will sit on the state Council of Parks, which is made up of the 11 regional chairmen.

The widow of Seymour H. Knox III, president of the Buffalo Sabres, last year oversaw the $5.15 million sale of 635 acres of the Knoxes' Ess Kay Farms in East Aurora for use as a state park and equestrian center. The Knox family retained 80 acres of the property.

Mrs. Knox had hoped to keep the farm as open space and suggested the sale to state Parks Commissioner Bernadette Castro in a letter three years ago. She previously served on the Adirondack Park Agency.

The seven-member commission, which is unpaid, has an advisory role on the administration of all state parks in Erie and Niagara counties.

"Jean is a thoughtful, giving and caring individual who has dedicated her life to helping others and her community. Her spirit and commitment will make her an active and visible leader of this commission," Castro said.

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