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Honor Roll /

Cadet Alexander L. Fumerelle, son of Anthony and Karen Fumerelle of Kenmore, graduated as a distinguished cadet from the U.S. Military Academy on May 23.

Fumerelle graduated from Kenmore West High School in 2011. While at West Point, he concentrated his studies in systems management. He was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army within the Armor branch and will report to Fort Benning, Ga., for his first assignment.

The mission of the U.S. Military Academy is to educate, train, and inspire the Corps of Cadets so that each graduate is a commissioned leader of character committed to the values of Duty, Honor, Country and prepared for a career of professional excellence and service to the Nation as an officer in the U.S. Army.


Amherst native Brian J. Mennes was promoted to the rank of brigadier general at a recent ceremony in June at the Pentagon.

The 1984 graduate of Sweet Home High School is the deputy commanding general, U.S. Army Cadet Command at Fort Knox, Ky. He will shortly move on to his next assignment, deputy commanding general for maneuver, 2nd Infantry Division, in Korea.

Mennes graduated in 1988 from the United States Military Academy, West Point, with a bachelor of science degree in mechanical engineering. In his 27-year career he has served through the entire range of leadership and staff positions, from platoon leader through brigade commander. He has served a total of nine deployments: Panama (Operation Just Cause); the Sinai Desert (United Nations Multinational Force); South Korea; and multiple deployments to Afghanistan and Iraq.

His professional military education includes Infantry Officer Basic and Advanced Courses; Command and General Staff College where he earned a master’s degree in military art and science; the United Kingdom’s Higher Command and Staff Course; and the U.S. Army War College fellowship at the Institute of World Politics.

The son of Jack and Andrea Mennes of Amherst, Mennes is married to the former Kellie Kubiak, a 1984 graduate of Sweet Home High School and 2005 inductee into the school’s Sports Hall of Fame.


Assistant U.S. Attorney Richard D. Kaufman was recognized at the 31st annual Director’s Awards Ceremony in Washington, D.C. Kaufman is chief of the Asset Forfeiture and Financial Litigation Unit here.

Kaufman, who joined the U.S. Attorney’s Office in 1989, oversees the unit that collects civil and criminal debts owed to the government. Under his leadership, the U.S. Attorney’s office here recovered a record $94 million in 2013, as well as property used for narcotics trafficking and other criminal activities. One of those properties, 900 Genesee St., was turned over to Hananiah Ministries and is now a place of worship, food pantry and job bank.


Anika Gannon, a 2015 graduate of City Honors School, is the fourth recipient of the annual Drake M. Francescone Memorial Scholarship. Francescone was a member of the physical education staff at City Honors and coach to numerous varsity sports in his 23 years at the school prior to his untimely death in 2011. The $8,000 award is made possible through a contribution in Drake’s name made by his late father, Joseph R. Francescone.

Gannon, a recipient of the Academics and Athletics Award, as well as the Centaur Award at City Honors, was a participant in three varsity sports for all four of her high school years. Captain of both track and swim teams, she was also a Section VI competitor in cross country and is a candidate for the City Honors’ Hall of Fame. She was a member of the school’s student council, a docent for New York State Speech and Debate and the New York State Music Competition. She was nominated for the award by her physical education teacher, Andrew Krause, as a student who exemplified the characteristics of a model physical education student and City Honors’ volunteer.


Legal Services for the Elderly, Disabled or Disadvantaged of Western New York Inc. has appointed Claire H. Donaghue and Patricia R. Ruhland board members.

Donaghue, an associate attorney at Barclay Damon LLP, received her Juris Doctor, cum laude, from the University at Buffalo Law School, and a bachelor of arts degree, magna cum laude, from the University at Albany. She is a member of the New York State Bar Association, Trusts & Estates Law Section, the Erie County Bar Association and is a board member of the Women Lawyers Association of Western New York.

Ruhland, a certified public accountant, is assistant controller at Merchants Insurance Group in Buffalo. She is a graduate of University at Buffalo with a bachelor of arts degree in business administration with a concentration in accounting. Ruhland is a member of the New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants and the Friends of Night People, audit committee. She is a volunteer at Kevin Guest house.


During the CPR Week celebration, the American Heart Association honored Annette Adamczak and JJ Pesany with the HeartSAVER Hero Award on June 4. The award is an American Heart Association recognition honoring an individual who has used CPR and assisted in any part of the chain of survival, regardless of training or outcome.

Adamczak is CPR lead instructor and founder of Emily Rose Foundation Inc., an agency responsible for securing funding to teach Hands Only CPR in local communities and schools.

Pesany, a Lancaster High School student, learned CPR in gratitude to a detective who saved his life from an electrical accident in 2013.


The Erie County Law Enforcement Foundation awarded nine distinguished law enforcement officials who have made significant contributions to public safety and Tops Markets for outstanding community outreach at the Foundation’s 23rd annual Awards Dinner at Salvatore’s Italian Gardens held in May.

The honorees are:

William J. Hochul Jr., U.S. Attorney, Western District of New York; Jeff Durski, probation officer, Erie County Department of Probation; Paul Salzler, New York State trooper; Mike Williams, former chief of Hamburg Police; Brad Girdler, deputy, Police Services Division; Brandon Stott, deputy, Police Services Division; Holly L. Hubert, assistant special agent in charge, FBI Buffalo Division Criminal Branch; and Mark Jedd, detective, Town of Cheektowaga Police.


Stephanie M. Kong, a University at Buffalo chemical engineering major from East Amherst, received Goldwater scholarships, a national honor that supports undergraduates studying science, mathematics or engineering.

Kong is a dual major in chemical engineering and Spanish. Upon arriving at UB in the fall of 2013, she sought to work in the laboratory of Paschalis Alexandridis, UB Distinguished Professor in the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering. She will pursue a Ph.D. in chemical engineering and plans to conduct research in nanomaterials, teaching at the university level. She hopes to promote scientific learning and outreach in low-income area schools.


Several local residents have graduated from basic combat training at Fort Jackson, Columbia, S.C.

Army Pvt. Nicholas D. Andrews is the son of Alieyn M. and stepson of Steve M. Hostetter of Perrysburg. He is a 2014 graduate of Gowanda High School.

Army Pvt. Robert M. Smith Jr. is the son of Kymalie R. Smith of Buffalo. He is a 2014 graduate of Math Science Technology Preparatory School, Buffalo.

Army Pvt. Erin M. Ziemba is the daughter of Karen Ziemba of Depew, and granddaughter of Edward Mikler of East Pembroke. She is a 2013 graduate of Lancaster High School.

Army Spc. Kevin J. Murphy is the son of Anna M. Murphy of Depew. The specialist, a 2008 graduate of Lancaster Central School, earned a bachelor’s degree from SUNY Buffalo State in 2013.

Army Spc. Brianna A. Lee is the daughter of Sherlynn McClain and granddaughter of Brenda Hayes of Buffalo. She is a 2008 graduate of Hutchinson-Central Technical High School and earned a bachelor’s degree from Cleveland State University in 2014.

Army Pvt. Aurelio Ayala Jr. is the son of Aurelio Ayala Sr. of Buffalo. He is a 2015 graduate of East High School.

Army Pvt. Kathryn A. Robinson is the daughter of Joyce and Michael Robinson, and granddaughter of Katherine Robinson, all of Buffalo. She is a 2012 graduate of Western New York Maritime Charter School.