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The 2017 Outstanding Citizens: 9 people who embody what makes WNY special

To consider the list of 2017’s Outstanding Citizens is to realize how fortunate the Buffalo area is. Without people such as these, communities can languish; with them, they can outlast hard times and eventually thrive. They make a difference.

This year’s group of honorees certainly has. Its members represent an array of pursuits, from preservation to health care and from volunteer service to policing. Some people were just in the right place at the right time and took critical action. All of them have helped to make Western New York a better place than it would have been without their influence.

As always, the challenge is to winnow the long list of people whose contributions help to make this a special region. The good news is that it’s a difficult task, so well stocked are we with citizens whose selflessness often goes unnoticed or whose efforts have radiating effects.

For 2017, The Buffalo News’ Outstanding citizens are Jonathan Dandes, president of Rich Baseball Operations and community volunteer; Kelly Galloway, who has opened safe houses to help women escape sex trafficking; Sandra L. Green, a retired corrections officer who holds an annual party for mothers whose children were slain; Jody L. Lomeo, president and chief executive of Kaleida Health; Joseph D. McDonald, former chief executive officer of Catholic Health; Tim Tielman, Buffalo’s most influential preservationist; and the heroic trio of Christopher Kaufmann, Mark Pinnavaia and Cheektowaga Police Lt. Anthony Filipski, whose quick action and bravery stopped what could have been a massacre.

We offer them our congratulations and the community’s thanks.

Mike Connelly: 68 years of honoring our Outstanding Citizens

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