Several people will be honored this week during the Lewiston Historical Association annual celebration, scheduled for 6 p.m. Wednesday at Niagara Falls Country Club.
"It's the time of year when we get to thank and congratulate our hundreds of volunteers and supporters who have made Lewiston the centerpiece of Western New York's cultural heritage," said Bruce Sutherland, volunteer president of the organization. The 2012 honorees include:
D. George Vanderhoek Award (Board Member of the Year): Leandra Collesano, who has taken on several projects that will define the association's future. She is not only responsible for the group's monthly programs, but has established its Facebook presence.
Josiah Tryon Award (Volunteer of the Year): William and Teresa Peek, who have dedicated countless hours to showcasing the Lewiston Museum to visitors, along with a number of other volunteer pursuits.
The Benjamin Barton Award is bestowed upon community-minded citizens who make outstanding contributions with their time and efforts. This year's award winners include:
*Sharon Low, a Lewiston enthusiast and president of the Garden Club, a community organization that has partnered with the Historical Association on a number of projects, including the gold-embossed Lewiston Welcome sign, the Freedom Crossing Monument and interpretive signs.
*Bill and Joanne Carpenter, local photographers who have donated their professional services by capturing images that will be cherished for hundreds of years.
*Harry and Suzanne Buckholtz, longtime Lewiston residents who have participated in a number of association events and programs, the latest being Flames Through Lewiston. Harry Buckholtz was the first person to sacrifice his life for the Historical Association by volunteering to "die" on Center Street during the Flames re-enactment.
Reuben Lewis Award (War of 1812 Bicentennial): Gerald Ferguson of Wendt's Propane & Oil for donating his company's staff time and equipment in creating the fires that commemorate the burning of Lewiston for the Flames Through Lewiston event.
Nelson Cornell Award (Tour of Homes): Chris Castellani of SuperMarket Liquors for his support and generosity with the Tour of Homes, the association's largest fundraising event of the year.
Calvin Hotchkiss Award (Business of the Year): KeyBank is not only the Historical Association's largest private benefactor, playing key roles in the Freedom Crossing and Tuscarora Heroes monuments, but has taken the lead among private corporations in Western New York in promoting the 1812 Bicentennial. This year, KeyBank will sponsor the Battle of Queenston Heights Commemorative Reception in October.
Friend of History Award: Niagara County Legislator Clyde Burmaster, who has led efforts to protect historical sites and promote heritage programs. This year, in partnership with Legislature Chairman Bill Ross, Burmaster was able to secure the largest grant ever awarded to a local historical society to help commemorate the 1812 Bicentennial.
The dinner is open to the public. Reservations are available for $30 and can be made by calling the Lewiston Museum at 754-4214.