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Federation for Just Communities will bestow honors at banquet

The National Federation for Just Communities of Western New York will hold its 2010 Citation Banquet at 6 p.m. March 24 in the Hyatt Regency Buffalo.

The human-relations organization has been working to combat racism and other discrimination in the area since it was founded as a branch of the National Conference of Christians and Jews in 1951.

Among those slated to be honored by the organization this year are Donald K. Boswell, president and chief executive officer of the Western New York Public Broadcasting Association; Dr. Michael W. Cropp, president and chief executive officer of Independent Health; Bishop Edward U. Kmiec of the Catholic Diocese of Buffalo; the Koessler family; and Dr. L. Nelson Hopkins, professor and chairman of neurosurgery at the University at Buffalo.

Boswell, of Amherst, has won several awards, including four Emmys for national programming. He is civically active and is a member of several boards of directors, including the boards of PBS, Albright-Knox Art Gallery and the Darwin Martin House Restoration Corp.

Cropp, of Amherst, began his career as a family physician more than 25 years ago. As the head of Independent Health, he has worked to change how health insurance companies work with their clients in order to improve access to health care and reduce consumer costs. He earned his bachelor's and medical degrees from Brown University, Providence, R.I., and is founding chairman of the board of the P2 Collaborative of Western New York.

Kmiec was named bishop of Buffalo by Pope John Paul II and was installed Oct. 28, 2004. His memberships have included the Bishop's Secretariat for Catholic-Jewish Relations, the Secretariat for Catholic-Orthodox Relations and the Bishop's Committees on Human Values, Pastoral Research and Practices. He is active with the Catholic League of Religious Assistance to Poland.

The Koessler family will be honored for its philanthropy, which spans generations, dating to the founding of Greater Buffalo Press by brothers Walter and Kenneth Koessler in 1928. The family's charitable endeavors have been directed toward schools, churches, hospitals, theaters, museums, the arts, research and support centers.

Hopkins, a teacher, surgeon, researcher and author, is involved in clinical trials for new technologies and medicines at the Toshiba Stroke Research Center. He earned his undergraduate degree at Rutgers University, New Brunswick, N.J., and his medical degree from Albany Medical College. He serves on the boards of the YMCA, Buffalo Philharmonic and Albright-Knox Art Gallery.

The co-chairman of this year's banquet are Amy J. Habib, chairwoman of the board of Petri Baking Products, and Christopher H. Koch, chief executive officer of New Era Cap Co.

e-mail: citydesk@buffnews.com

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