Elba Hall of Fame Foundation inductees of 2020 and '21
The Elba Hall of Fame Foundation is excited to announce it will be hosting the next induction dinner for the 2020 and 2021 inductees on February 12, 2022 at Batavia Downs. After a year delay, due to Covid, the Elba Hall of Fame Foundation is excited to introduce you to our newest members!
Let us introduce the 2020 inductees:
JoAnn Olsen was a member of the Elba Class of 1961 and was nominated by her daughter, Melissa. Melissa said that her Mother shared her love of music with hundreds of Genesee County students with music theory and piano lessons. Annually, Mrs. Olsen hosted a year-end recital for all her students at Elba Central School. When she was not teaching piano she was often found at the local farm markets. She was known as “The Glad Lady” selling the gladioli she grew on their farm on North Byron Road. Mrs. Olsen was an active member of our community taking part in the Genesee Symphony Orchestra, Altar Rosary Society, Genesee County Farm market and many other groups.
Craig Yunker was a member of the Elba Class of 1968 and was nominated by his Mother, Bernice. Mr. Yunker is a lifelong Elba resident and is very involved in his family businesses. He is a managing partner for CY Properties, LLC, CY Heifer Farm, LLC, Batavia Turf, LLC and Provitello, LLC. He graduated from Cornell University, University of New Hampshire, University of Minnesota and Texas A & M with several degrees as he continued to learn about agriculture. Mr. Yunker has served through several roles in the community including Genesee County Legislature Chairman, a Trustee of Cornell and a director of the Bank of Castile & Tompkins. He is also a Director for Liberty Pumps and Genesee County Economic Development Center. He has received numerous farming awards and accolades. Mr. Yunker and his wife, Kim raised their three children and he stated they were his contribution to Elba Central School.
Elba class of 1975 graduate, Vern Saile has worn many hats within our community. He was nominated by Zachary Saile. Pastor Vern started his education at Genesee Community College and continued to Binghamton University where he completed his degree in Psychology. He then moved to St. Louis where he received his Masters in Social Work from Washington University. Pastor Vern then returned to Genesee County where he could help those within our community. He began working as a Genesee County community mental health professional and served on the Board of Directors for GCASA for many years. In 2001, after taking many night classes, Pastor Vern completed his Masters of Divinity at the Northeastern Seminary to become a Pastor. He is currently serving as the Senior Pastor at Northgate Free Methodist Church here in Batavia where he continues to be a wonderful example on how to live a life of faith.
Our 2021 inductees include:
Former Elba Central School teacher, late Mrs. Mary Torrey. Mrs. Torrey will be inducted as an Honorary Member of the Elba Hall of Fame Foundation. Mrs. Torrey grew up on a farm in Stafford, New York and moved to Elba when she married Mr. Charlie Torrey. Together they raised four children on their family farm. Mrs. Torrey is remembered for changing numerous students’ lives with her dedication to teaching. The Hall of Fame Foundation chose to induct Mrs. Torrey after receiving numerous praises by past Hall of Fame inductees. They shared how Mrs. Torrey was a positive influence on their education at Elba as well as creating a foundation for their lifelong successes. One past inductee spoke of the time Mrs. Torrey came to his home for several months to tutor him after he was injured. She encouraged him to continue to work hard on his education. He stated, “I would not have made it without Mrs. Torrey’s support.”
Our first “Team” inductee will be the 2012 Lady Lancers State Championship team along with their coach, Tom Nowak. This team had an impressive 25-0 season where their margin of victory averaged 36.2 in most games. They were Genesee Region Division II Champions after winning their third consecutive Class DD Sectional Title by defeating Notre Dame. They finished their year with titles including the 2012 Far West Regional Champions and 2012 NYS Class D Champions. These ladies were also awarded with being a Section V Scholar-Athlete Team and received the Section V Sportsmanship Team award. Our Lady Lancers were chosen for this award out of 75 New York State teams. For Class D, McKenzie Bezon was named Player of the Year, Meg Stucko was first team and Coach Nowak was coach of the year. These young ladies set an excellent example for our younger Lancer athletes and we are thrilled to honor them as they approach their 10 year anniversary of winning the New York State Class D Title.
Please join us for an evening of celebrating and honoring these inductees. You may purchase your tickets for the February 12th dinner at the Elba Town Clerk’s office (7133 Oak Orchard Road) or at the Elba Central School District office. Tickets are $40 for an individual or $75 for a couple and include your buffet meal. The event kicks off at 6 pm with a cocktail hour (cash bar) followed by dinner and the program. If you have any questions please feel free to call Trisha Werth at 716-560-0843 or Laura Luft at 585-704-0510. We look forward to a great evening honoring our newest Elba Hall of Fame members!