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'A little bit of everything'

*What it's like:

Centered on South Park Avenue and Big Tree Road in Hamburg, Big Tree is a mostly residential neighborhood that includes a few commercial areas. Housing ranges from subdivisions to senior living to mobile home parks. The Big Tree Volunteer Fire Company is there, and the neighborhood is part of the Frontier School District.

*What makes it unique:

Because of its location, the area contains a cross-section of housing, stores and commercial properties, featuring what some residents call "a little bit of everything."

*Where to go:

As part of the Town of Hamburg, residents have access to shopping that ranges from small shops, restaurants and strip plazas. The neighborhood is just minutes from the McKinley Mall and all the restaurants near there.

*A person you should know:

Jamie-Lynn Winkler is a life-long resident of the Big Tree neighborhood, living just a block away from where she grew up. Her mother and brother still live nearby.

A medical-surgical nurse, she has worked at Roswell Park Cancer Institute for 12 years. She was also a member of the the 914th Aeromedical Staging Squadron for 16 years, during which missions took her to Germany, Iraq and Kuwait. She recently transferred to the Navy Reserve, where she is a lieutenant junior grade. She has also been a member of the Big Tree Volunteer Fire Company, where she serves as a paramedic, for 12 years.

In her spare time, she works on her master's degree in nursing at D'Youville College. Next Monday, she will go "Bald for Bucks" in support of cancer research.

>Q: How do you find the time to do all that you do?

A: It's time management. It's the love of the things that I do. Love of the community. Love of my country. It is always that desire to help others. It's embedded in you. Everything I do is service-orientated.

>Q: Was it difficult being accepted in the fire department?

A: I didn't have such a rough transition. I came with a military background. I came with an understanding of ranking. I already had a strong medical background. That didn't scare me, but don't let anyone tell you going to your first fire isn't scary. I'm on the short side at 5-foot-1, and that doesn't work very well when you're trying to put up a ladder. It comes down to priorities: your family, your faith, your friends and the fire service. When you keep your life in that order, everything just flows easy.

>Q: You've lived in this area all your life. How has the neighborhood changed over the years?

A: It has grown and expanded. There are stores and businesses there now that didn't even exist before. Frontier High School has doubled in size. Big Tree Elementary didn't even exist.

Do you live in an interesting community? Send your nomination to citydesk@buffnews.com.

email: hjones@buffnews.com