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Koplas to receive locks award posthumously

LOCKPORT – The 10th annual “Key to the Locks” award, given each year to a Lockport-area resident who promotes Erie Canal heritage and preservation and shows community spirit, will be presented to honor Dianne Koplas, who died last year.

The ceremony will be held at 11 a.m. May 9 in the Erie Canal Discovery Center, Church and Ontario streets, with Mayor Anne E. McCaffrey making the presentation, the History Center of Niagara announced Thursday.

Koplas developed guided tours of the Tiffany stained-glass windows in Lockport’s First Presbyterian Church, as well as the trolley tours of downtown Lockport. As a volunteer at the History Center, she and Lois Begley created the Step Back in Time Players, a group of historical re-enactors, and Koplas also served a term as president of the History Center board of directors.

She created an annual lecture series at the Historic Palace Theatre to honor her late husband John, which now will be called the John and Dianne Koplas Lecture Series.