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Honor Roll / Recognizing the accomplishments of Western New Yorkers

Sister Jeanne Eberle, principal of St. Mark School in North Buffalo, was given the Ned Mathias "Unsung Hero" award recently by the Friends of the West Side Rowing Club.

The award, presented annually by the group, recognizes community leaders who fail to get the praise or thanks they deserve.

Sister Jeanne was honored for her tireless work at the school and in the community, and her unending devotion to the kids and families who depend on her.

She received her award during the Friends' annual dinner at the Rowing Club.

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Fredonia State College has landed five 2007 Chancellor's Awards for Excellence. The honorees: Christina S. Jarvis, associate professor of English; Keary J. Howard, associate professor of mathematical sciences; Reneta Barneva, professor of computer science; Michele Notte, director of the Youngerman Center for Communication Disorders; and Marianne B. Eimer, librarian and head of Research and Instruction at the Daniel A. Reed Library.

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Bill O'Connell, executive director of the Homeless Alliance of Western New York, has won the Sister Jeanne Frank Award. The award is named for the late nun who served the first lunches in Buffalo's St. Vincent de Paul dining room -- seeing the face of God, she said, in the impoverished." The award is given to the person, like Sister Jeanne Frank, who demonstrated persistence, a strong sense of social justice and willingness to go many extra miles for the causes of homeless men, women and children. Since O'Connell became executive director six years ago, the Homeless Alliance has grown, "partnering" with 70 agencies serving homeless and at-risk people, and has brought in over $52 million of federal funds to Buffalo and Erie County for homeless services.

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Raymond Wolniewicz has been awarded the Cheektowaga Chamber of Commerce's 2007 Citizen of the Year Award. Wolniewicz is currently president of the Cheektowaga Patriotic Commission and d also served as vice president and board member of the organization. Among Wolniewicz's any activities, the World War II Army Air Forces veteran is a member and trustee of the Cheektowaga Veterans Committee. He is known for his compassion, his willingness to help others and his ability to get the job done.

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U.S. Army Cavalry Scout Spc. Anthony J. Solina, a 2005 Frontier High School graduate, has been awarded the traditional cavalry silver-spurs honor. Spec. Solina earned them during a "spur ride," a four-day event that featured long marches, runs, heavy physical training and little sleep. Solina, following a stint in Germany, will be on leave next month, then will be stationed in Baghdad for 15 months. His spurs then will be upgraded to gold for serving honorably in a combat zone. Solina's commitment to excellence began in school where never missed a day from kindergarten through 12th grade.

"My son passed on a college scholarship, and joined the Army," said his dad, Scott Solina, product engineer in the Moog Commercial Aircraft Group. "He's been focused on it since Sept. 11; he's very patriotic.

"His goal -- three years in the Army, serving in Iraq, come home for college, get married and start a family," he added. "His Iraq assignment extends his enlistment by about nine months and puts college off a little longer."

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State Sen. Mary Lou Rath R-Williamsville, has named Margaret Kiesel, founder and director of the Little Red Schoolhouse, an early childhood education center in Williamsville, as a 2007 New York State "Woman of Distinction."

"Her powerful work ethic, strong sense of duty and justice and selfless generosity have earned the respect of her neighbors, colleagues and friends," said Rath. The Women of Distinction program was started nearly a decade ago to honor those who exemplify personal excellence, or whose professional achievements or acts of courage, selflessness, integrity, or perseverance serve as an example to all New Yorkers.

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Buffalo Seminary has inducted Sally J. Munschauer into its Sports Hall of Fame. Munschauer, who graduated from Buffalo Seminary in 1943, is known for her lifelong athletic ability, tenacity and spirit. During her years at Sem, Munschauer was a lettered athlete in baseball, basketball and field hockey. As a senior, she also was captain of the Hornets, one of Sem's two intramural teams. Since then, she has been an avid skier, having skied in both North America and Europe for over 60 years. She also played tennis or most of her adult life.

e-mail: lcontinelli@buffnews.com

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