YOUNGSTOWN – Youngstown will be extra bright this dark, wintry season, as large, new LED snowflake decorations have been purchased to light up Falkner Park and add enhanced illumination to the village’s main intersection.
The lamppost snowflake project started with about 15 decorations five years ago, recalled Mark Butera, secretary of the sponsoring Youngstown Business and Professional Association.
The group subsequently added another dozen decorations later, and, this year, received a “one-time grant from the Lower Niagara River Chamber of Commerce to add 12 more,” he said.
“When we get a little snow, it’ll be gorgeous,” added Cheryl Irish-Butera, the group’s president.
She also noted that small Christmas trees have been delivered once again by Bradt Tree Farm for 14 Youngstown businesses to decorate in any fashion they please, as they prepare for the Village Recreation Department’s Christmas in the Village on Saturday as well as the holiday shopping season.
The Buteras recently reflected on the business association’s accomplishments this past year, citing the awarding of another $3,000 grant from the William G. Mayne Jr. Business/Community Enhancement Program through Niagara County.
The association used the money to produce 25,000 “Welcome to Youngstown” brochures.
It also helped purchase 16 hanging flower baskets created by O’Connor Family Greenhouses to adorn the business section, as well as plants for the large containers that line Main and Lockport streets.
And, in cooperation with the Town of Porter Historical Society, the association helped purchase a commercial-grade seating bench for use by visitors and residents overlooking the flower gardens in front of the Village Offices/Community Center at 240 Lockport St.
This bench has a memorial plaque dedicated to the late Mayor Neil C. Riordan, who passed away in 2011.
“You know how much we loved Neil – we have a picture of him hanging in our store (Anchor Spirits),” said Irish-Butera. “He was also very active in our business association.”
The association will hold its full membership meeting in January, when it will ask for nominations for the chamber’s “Business of the Year.” The names of the top three Youngstown nominees will be forwarded to all association members by ballot, and the winner will be feted by the chamber and community at the chamber’s awards gala in late spring.
“We’ll also start talking about association elections coming up in April,” Butera added.
Along with the Buteras, the association currently includes: Jerry Brett, vice president; Steve Zastrow, treasurer; and board members Quain Weber, Dotty Riordan and Diane Melloni.
For a complete listing of association events and membership, visit: www.youngstownnewyork.com.