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Batavia Downs to honor Joe Gerace as Italian-American of the year

By Howard B. Owens

HarnessLink reports that local barber Joe Gerace will be honored August 23 at Batavia Downs as "Italian-American of the Year."

This is the first such award given by Batavia Downs, and HarnessLink says the gaming facility and race track is planning other ethic awards this year.

The life-long Batavia native is the 2008 Humanitarian of the Year for United Memorial Medical Center and the Jerome Foundation, 2006 City of Batavia Volunteer of the Year, Genesee County Chamber of Commerce Genesian of the Year in 1993 and was honored for his community service by the Paolo Busti Foundation Scholarship Committee.

The active 72-year-old grandfather of six is the former president of the Batavia Youth Bureau, co-chair of the Genesee County Cancer Society's Festival of Hope, a director of the Batavia Muckdogs (where he is also on the team's Wall of Fame), member of the Batavia Rotary Club and St Nick's Social Club and sat on the City of Batavia zoning board of appeals for 12 years.

Also a licensed realtor and military veteran, Gerace and his wife, Lois, have been married 48 years and are the parents of three grown children.

That's an impressive resume.

Daniel Jones

Mr. Gerace is also the Chairman of the City of Batavia Republican committee and is one heck of a tough opponent, he's a political mastermind and a great humanitarian, he no doubt deserves this award.

Aug 14, 2008, 11:20am Permalink
John Roach

I agree with Dan. Joe Gerace knows politics and runs a good fight at election time. I don't agree with his candidates all the time, but he is one of the best. Glad to hear he is getting this award.

Aug 14, 2008, 4:30pm Permalink
Timothy Paine

Congratulations to Joe! A well deserved award. He has devoted countless hours to this community and we should all be grateful. If we all contributed a fraction of the time he has given, how much better would Batavia be? It's nice when humanitarians are recognized for their efforts.

Aug 15, 2008, 4:20pm Permalink

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