Submitted photo and press release:
The 37th annual Health and Humanitarian Award of Genesee County will be presented to Tom and Lynn Houseknecht (photo above), of Batavia, at noon on Friday, Dec. 6 at a luncheon at Terry Hills Restaurant.
The award presented by The Jerome Foundation recognizes volunteer men and women of Genesee County who have helped promote emotional, physical and spiritual well-being of the area’s residents.
Nominations reflected “ordinary people who reach far beyond themselves to the lives of those in need, bringing hope, care, and friendship, and helping build a stronger, healthier community.”
In naming the Houseknechts for this year’s award, The Jerome Foundation will recognize more than 25 years of volunteer service and community involvement by the Houseknechts. They have been supporters of multiple charitable causes in our community including: ARC of Genesee Orleans, UMMC (and previous Genesee Memorial Hospital), Notre Dame High School, St. Joseph School, YMCA, CASA, Batavia Rotary Club, and Resurrection Parish among others.
Shelley Falitico, ARC director of Development and Community relations, nominated the couple, saying “Tom and Lynn have always been involved in volunteering in our community, whether working behind the scenes, or being out front leading Capital Campaigns.
"As the co-chairs of our agency’s capital campaign, their dedication and compassion for the people we serve is evident. Individuals with disabilities and their families served at the ARC of Genesee and Orleans have received love, support, education and acceptance from Tom and Lynn.
"Their approachable demeanor is admired and respected. Tom and Lynn Houseknecht have helped build a stronger, healthier community and provided friendship and care to those in need."
The Houseknechts were also nominated by Dan Ireland, president of United Memorial Medical Center.
Ireland said “Tom and Lynn have been an integral part of shaping healthcare in our community for many years. Lynn has championed many supportive events through her involvement with United Memorial Hospital League, serving in many impactful roles. Tom has served over 15 years as a board member on the United Memorial Board as well as the last five years on the Rochester Regional Health Board and has been a key liaison between the Boards through the merger process.
"One of the most notable things about Tom and Lynn is that they are always looking out for what is best for healthcare in our community.”
CASA, a nonprofit, volunteer-based organization that advocates for the best interest of abused and neglected children in Genesee County is one of many charities the Houseknechts have been involved with. In support of their nomination, CASA Board Chair Barb Hale writes “I am truly impressed with all that Tom and Lynn have been able to accomplish as true community leaders. They are able to recognize vulnerable populations in need of help and take the initiative to provide leadership to establish and perpetuate this very help. They are inspirational role models. They show us all how to make positive things happen.”
Karen Green, principal of St. Joseph’s School noted, “Tom and Lynn are outstanding members of our local community, always giving back and striving to make things better. They never hesitate to lend a hand wherever it is needed and always do so with a positive and caring attitude.”
And community member Amanda Malloy said, “Lynn has made selfless contributions to myself and my family in our time of need by restoring our faith in humanity. She understands that sometimes a person may need support and friendship in order to overcome a difficult time. Lynn has been a support for me and my family but most importantly, she has given us hope.”
Family friend Kerry Landfried also nominated the Houseknechts and wrote, “Tom and Lynn Houseknecht are compassionate, always acting in the spirit of helping others. With enthusiasm, they have welcomed so many community members in their home to work on capital campaigns or committees. I believe Tom and Lynn Houseknecht have largely helped all of us lead a better, healthier life.”
The cost to attend the Dec. 6 luncheon at Terry Hills honoring the Houseknechts is $25 per person.
The event is open to the public and reservations can be made by sending a check to: The Jerome Foundation, P.O. Box 249, Batavia, NY 14021.
Seating will be limited so early reservations are encouraged.