* Buffalo natives Larry and Sharon Levite were honored Monday as the 2005 recipients of the Jewish Federation of Greater Buffalo's Nathan Benderson Community Service Award.
The presentation was made at the 2006 United Jewish Fund campaign kick-off dinner in the Hyatt Regency Buffalo.
The award is given annually to "the person or persons whose extraordinary service and commitment to the Buffalo Jewish community exemplifies the leadership of Nathan Benderson."
Benderson made the presentation.
Past recipients include Ann H. Cohn, Harold S. and Fanette Goldman, Gordon R. Cross, Irving M. and Marilyn C. Shuman, Ruth Kahn Stovroff, Haskell Stovroff, James Stovroff, Milton and Amy Zeckhauser, Rose H. and Leonard H. Frank, Donald S. Day and Shirley T. Joseph. Benderson also is a past recipient.
Known for their long-standing advocacy for Israel by raising funds, leading missions and urging others to support the Jewish state, Larry Levite has taken 20 trips to Israel in 25 years. Sharon Levite has taken 12 trips to Israel during the same time.
Larry Levite is president, chairman and the owner of David Laurence Publications Inc., with 22 publications including Buffalo Spree magazine, Forever Young and 17 theater playbills.
He founded and was president of Algonquin Broadcasting Corp., which was the parent company of WBEN-AM and WMJQ-FM radio. He was executive vice president and general manager of Queen City Radio Corp. (WEBR-AM & FM), which he sold to WNY Public Radio in 1977.
Sharon Levite has chaired two annual meetings of the Federation and two Super Sunday phone-a-thons. She is a member of the Jewish Federation Cemetery Corporation and has served as president, vice president and secretary at Jewish Family Service.
The Levites are members of Temple Beth Zion.
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* Stella Smith, who graduated from City Honors School in 1985 and from the Air Force Academy in 1989, has been promoted to lieutenant colonel.
Her mother, Moya Smith of Clarence, attended the ceremony and reception for Smith in Washington.
Smith, an aircraft maintenance officer who has served in South Korea and Iraq, is serving as a congressional liaison officer for the Air Force in the House of Representatives. Her duties also require participation in worldwide congressional fact-finding and oversight missions.
Her bachelor of science degree from the Air Force Academy was in Soviet area studies. She received a master of science degree in maintenance management from the Air Force Institute of Technology in 1994.
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* Wesley J. Serra of Cuba was named Allegany County Bar Association attorney of the year Sept. 13.
Senior partner in Serra and Fogarty of Belmont, he is a past president of the bar association, a Rotary Club Paul Harris Fellow and a life member of the American Legion.
Bar association President Daniel Guiney praised Serra's pro bono work, his representation of non-profit organizations and diverse charitable contributions in his citation.
Serra began his career as a patent attorney for Foster Wheeler Corp. before opening his private practice in Allegany County.
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* A team from the University at Buffalo School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences is one of three finalists in the National Community Pharmacists Association's Pruitt-Schutte student business plan competition.
Teams from Mercer University in Georgia and the University of the Pacific will join the UB team in the competition to be held at the association's 107th annual convention Oct. 15-19 in Fort Lauderdale, Fla..
UB team members are Kevin DiGiacomo of Cheektowaga, Evan Fleishman of Albany, Charley Greenberg of Amherst and Mike Spino of South Wales.
The winning team will receive $3,000 for its NCPA student chapter and $3,000 for its school to promote independent pharmacy practice.
The national association represents the nation's community pharmacists, including the owners of more than 24,000 pharmacies. The nation's independent pharmacists, independent pharmacy franchises and independent chains represent an $84 billion marketplace, dispensing nearly half of the nation's retail prescription medicines.
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* Matt Bala of Amherst has been appointed engineering director for the Brockport State College student radio station, WBSU-FM 89.1 The Point, for the fall semester.
Bala, a 2004 graduate of Amherst High School, previously was an on-air announcer at the station, which has won 12 awards from state and national organizations in the last 17 years.