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Honor Roll / Recognizing the accomplishments of Western New Yorkers

Dick Shaner Jr., senior vice president of Travers Collins & Company, and his wife Jamie, co-owner of Home Solutions of WNY Inc., will serve as this year's honorary hosts for the ninth annual Food & Wine Tasting to benefit the Sisters of St. Francis.

The event, scheduled from 5 to 7 p.m. May 3 in St. Mary of the Angels Chapel in Williamsville, will benefit the sisters' Western New York ministries. It will also be a celebration of the sisters' 150th anniversary of service in the Diocese of Buffalo. The chapel is at 201 Reist St., Williamsville.

Attendees will be able to sample gourmet food and bid on an array of attractive items in silent and live auctions. Thom Diina and Ray Chamberlain will provide live entertainment, and Cash Cunningham will serve as auctioneer for the live auction. All attendees will be given souvenir wine glasses and hors d'oeuvre trays.

Tickets are $40 per person. For more information, please contact Cindy Munschauer at 632-2155, Ext. 687.

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Summit Educational Resources has named Duane Paddock, president of Paddock Chevrolet, honorary chairman of 2011 Summit Walk for Autism Awareness to be held April 30.

Paddock, a major donor to Summit, has pledged to contribute a portion of the proceeds from every vehicle sold in April by his dealership to Summit.

More than 1,000 walkers are expected to help raise awareness of autism as well as funds for Summit Academy.

Summit Educational Resources is a non-profit organization providing educational and therapeutic services to children and young adults with autism, language disorders and related developmental disabilities.

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Rachael Kimberly Tober, 25, of Amherst, has been accepted into the Peace Corps and will depart for Guatemala later this month to begin preservice training. In July, she will be training rural health promoters and educators on health and hygiene and also working with the Guatemalan Ministry of Health in the country's rural highlands.

Tober, the daughter of Alan Tober and Dr. Mary McCourt, is a graduate of Amherst High School and Niagara University, where she earned a bachelor's in international studies in 2008 magna cum laude. Tober previously worked in HIV/AIDS case management at AIDS Community Services in Buffalo and previously worked in Rwanda.

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University at Buffalo mathematician Xiaoging Li has received a Sloan Research Fellowship. The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation annually presents the award to early-career scientists and scholars to recognize their achievement and potential contributions to their fields.

Li is one of 118 fellows from 54 colleges and universities that the foundation selected. The award comes with a $50,000 grant that recipients can use on research projects of their choice.

An assistant professor of mathematics, Li works in number theory, a branch of pure mathematics and one of the oldest areas of study within the discipline. She specializes in automorphic forms and L functions, relating to mathematical physics, algebra and geometry.

The Sloan Foundation is a philanthropic, not-for-profit institution that supports original research and education in science, technology, engineering, mathematics and economic performance.

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Southeast Works of Depew, providing services to adults with developmental disabilities and their families, has appointed new members and officers to its board.

New board members are JoAnne Hudecki, co-founder of Kids Escaping Drugs; Marc Shatkin, partner of Muscato and Shatkin; Peter Savarino, managing partner at Waterbourne Construction Advisors.

Newly elected officers are: president, Karen Tussing, Dr. Gordon P. Tussing's office; vice president, Anne Lavigne, Independent Health; secretary, Margaret Steffan, Independent Health; treasurer, William Stachura.

Southeast Foundation Inc. has elected Kevin Georger a board member. Georger is a commercial branch manager at M&T Bank and oversees operations at the branch at Fountain Plaza.

Newly elected officers for the foundation are: president, Ralph J. Vanner, Vanner Insurance Agency; vice president, Judith A. Shanley, Esq.; treasurer, William B. Stachura.

Southeast Works is a non-profit organization founded by a group of parents in October 1974 to accommodate their adult children with developmental disabilities.

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Saikrishna Yendamuri, M.D., assistant professor in the departments of Surgical Oncology and Thoracic Oncology at Roswell Park Cancer Institute, was awarded a $555,103 grant from the U.S. Army to study lung cancer recurrence after surgery.

Dr. Yendamuri intends to develop a biomarker that can be used to predict whether the cancer is likely to recur. Separating the tumor's components using laser-capture dissection, rather than using whole-tumor tissue, will be key to the marker's novelty. The research will help guide patients with early lung cancer in treatment decisions.

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Paul B. Hurley Jr., Ph.D., president of Trocaire College, was named to 2011 Irish Education 100, a list of 100 education leaders in the U.S. who are of Irish descent and display a commitment to excellence. The list is compiled by the Irish Voice, a New York City based weekly newspaper.

Hurley, the first lay president at Trocaire College, is a commissioner of the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, secretary/treasurer for the Western New York Consortium of College Presidents and is an active member and board member of the Rotary Club of Buffalo. He has received several recognitions, including the Distinguished Alumni Award from Canisius College.

Hurley traces his Irish heritage to his grandparents from the City of Cork and County of Kilkenny, Ireland.

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Jeffrey Folckemer of Gasport, who worked with a volunteer firefighter to save the life of a man who had a heart attack in a local gym, donated five automatic heart defibrillators to the City of Lockport last week.

Folckemer, chief executive officer of the Local Edge, which publishes what used to be called the Talking Phone Book, joined Joseph Kaltenbacher of the South Lockport Fire Company in using a unit to help save the life of Wayne Shutt of Lockport. He collapsed Feb. 5 in the Lockport Athletic & Fitness Club.

Mayor Michael W. Tucker said the defibrillators will be installed in City Hall and at the Community Pool, the Highway Department garage, the Youth Bureau in Altro Park and either the water or wastewater plant. The Red Cross will train employees to use them, Tucker said.

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Six students won trophies at the 2011 Niagara Region PTA 4th & 5th Grade Spelling Bee held April 9 in Tonawanda High School. Eighty-four fourth- and fifth-grade students participated, representing PTA's from Albion, Barker, Grand Island, Holley, Lyndonville, Medina, Newfane, Royalton-Hartland, Starpoint, Tonawanda, and four Lockport elementary schools.

Niagara Region Spelling Bee Chairwoman Julie Brounscheidel emceed the event. Assisting her was word pronouncer Michael Campbell, judges Ron Moore, MaryBeth Carroll, Lynnette Haley, John Madden, Terri Emmert, and Christine Kennedy. Audience monitors were Lisa Drmacich, Sue Quinn, Tonawanda Central PTSA President Betsy Olka, and several Tonawanda High School volunteers.

Fourth-grade winners were Madison Dunn, first place (Newfane); Jamie Bower, second place (Royalton-Hartland); and Jocelyn Plummer, third place (Lyndonville).

Fifth-grade winners were Noah Thornton, first place (Newfane); Jackson Slahta, second place (William Kaegebein in Grand Island); and Kali Beutler, third place (Tonawanda).

In addition to their trophies, first-place winners also received a $100 savings bond. Second-place winners received a $50 savings bond. LCTV taped the event and will broadcast the competition in the near future.

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