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To post, go to Create Content > Blog Entry. Tag your post “milestones.”

Milestones include engagement, wedding and birth announcements as well as job promotions, military service and similar personal accomplishments of you and your family that you wish to share with the community.

September 13, 2019 - 12:59pm
posted by Billie Owens in Genesee County Department of Health, Milestones.

Congratulations to this week's 2019 New York State Department of Health honorees (Sept. 8-14).

Genesee & Orleans County Health Department's Fiscal and Administrative Officers:

  • Scott Senf -- Administrative Officer (Genesee County) and Kimberly Castricone -- Administrative Officer (Orleans County).
  •  
  • They will be featured on the New York State Department of Health's Public Health Works! website through Sept. 19th.

Find the link here.

Photo from the NYS Department of Health website.

September 12, 2019 - 5:31pm
posted by Billie Owens in RPEA, Milestones, genesee county legislature.

Submitted photo and information from the Retired Public Employees Association:

Gordon Dibble of the Genesee County Legislature commemorated the 50th Anniversary of the Retired Public Employees Association (RPEA) this week.

Dibble presented a 50th Anniversary Proclamation to Genesee Valley Chapter Chair Jan Beutner (photo, middle) and Chapter Member Susette Langston (at right).

RPEA is celebrating 50 years as the only organization in New York State whose sole purpose is to advocate on behalf of state and local government retirees and their beneficiaries.

August 28, 2019 - 6:00pm

Press release and submitted photo:

Byron-Bergen School Board President Debra List is the 2019 recipient of the Albert W. Hawk Distinguished School Board Service Award.

The Genesee Valley School Boards Association presents this award annually to a current or former school board member who, in the judgment of the Distinguished Service Award Committee, should be recognized for outstanding contributions to public education and children in his or her own community.

The award is named for Albert W. Hawk, a longtime advocate for rural schools and member of both the Dansville Board of Education and the Genesee Valley Educational Partnership Board of Education. Hawk also chaired many state and national School Board committees.

List is the first Byron-Bergen Board Member to receive this award.

She has served on the Byron-Bergen Central School District’s Board of Education for more than two decades. She is committed to the promotion of rural school districts by advocating with local and state legislators, attending Rural Schools Advocator events, and serving as President of the Genesee Valley School Board Association.

“In my time as superintendent of this district, I have been inspired by Mrs. List’s unwavering commitment to this community,” said Byron-Bergen Superintendent Mickey Edwards.

“Whether it is packing the stands at a sporting event or packing the auditorium at the spring musical, the school district is a cornerstone of stability in this community and in the middle of it all, is Debi.”

List will be honored at a banquet to be held Friday, Sept. 27, at the Glen Iris Inn in Letchworth State Park.

August 27, 2019 - 5:18pm

Submitted photos and press release:

INDIANAPOLIS -- The American Legion 2019 National Concert Band Contest was held Saturday (Aug. 24) in Indianapolis, Ind., top honors went to the American Legion Band of the Tonawandas.

Bands from around the country competed in 2019, the 100th anniversary of the American Legion.

Of the 80 members in the Tonawanda-based band, 60 competed in Indianapolis, including one man from Batavia -- Philip Briatico. He is the founder and conductor of the Genesee Valley Wind Ensemble and he plays baratone saxophone in the American Legion Band of the Tonawandas.

The band had the top score -- 95.8.

Other top bands were: Second Place -- Joliet American Legion Band from Joliet, Ill., with 93.5 points; Third Place -- Oconomowoc American Legion Band from Oconomowoc, Wis., with 88.5 points; Fourth Place -- Kansas City American Legion Band from Kansas City, Mo., with 88.3 points; and Fifth Place -- American Legion Post #377 Band from Kenner, La., with 82.3 points.

Selections performed by the American Legion Band of the Tonawandas were:

TITLE                                                                                      COMPOSER

Esprit de Corps----------------------------------------------------------Robert Jager

The Gallant 7th March--------------------------------------------------John Philip Sousa

Ballet Sacra--------------------------------------------------------------David R. Holsinger

After an intense week of preparation, the American Legion Band of the Tonawandas performed in the Indianapolis Convention Center. Their 30-minute performance drew cheers, a rousing applause and a standing ovation from the audience.

The Band performed under Music Director Michael Shaw.

Now in its 90th year, the Band is celebrating its 22nd National Championship.

About the American Legion Band of the Tonawandas

It was formed in 1929 by World War I veterans and Post #264 members. The band (currently 80 members at full strength) draws its membership from a broad cross-section of Western New Yorkers. The members have diverse occupations and backgrounds including management, engineering, business, medicine, government, sales, and industry.

A large number are instrumental music educators, or graduates or students of university music programs. Membership is open to all musicians based upon placement evaluation and section vacancies. None of the musicians are compensated.

The Band has and always will stand ready to aid in any worthwhile community function and to uphold the great tradition of the American Legion.

Top photo, American Legion 2019 National Concert Band Contest First Place Award was presented by the American Legion National Commander, Brett Reistad, shown in the middle, and given to Conductor Michael Shaw, far left. American Legion Band of the Tonawandas President David Abrahamian is pictured right.

August 27, 2019 - 3:14pm

Submitted photo and information from Student Transportation of America:

ALEXANDER -- Bus driver Vikki Boyce Czechowicz, who works for Alexander-based Student Transportation of America, received the Heroism Award recently from the NYS Education Department.

She is at left in the photo above with her manager Tonya Phillips.

The Herosim Award is one of several honors Czechowicz has received since rescuing 17 children from a school bus that became engulfed in flames after its engine caught fire May 28 in Sheldon, Wyoming County.

According to the bus company, which provides transportation for Genesee County schools, Czechowicz, who lives in Wyoming County, was proceeding through her morning route for the Attica Central School District on Maxon Road in Sheldon when she noticed smoke coming from under her dash.

She radioed dispatch that she was evacuating the 17 students (K-12) who were on the bus. She was on her way to pick up two more students when the mishap occurred.

After the children had exited the bus, which she attributed to their prepardedness and ability to listen and obey instructions, Czechowicz went back inside to check for sleeping students. As she came to the front of the bus, she saw the flames coming from the engine area and within minutes the school bus was fully engulfed in flames and the front tires exploded. No one was injured.

“It was due to this driver’s quick thinking and school bus safety training that all the students were safely evacuated,” said Paul Overbaugh, director of Pupil Transportation, NYS Education Department.

August 27, 2019 - 1:07pm
posted by Billie Owens in Milestones, GC 4-H, horses, hippology, NYS Fair.

Genesee County 4-H Hippology Contest Participants for 2019 -- Eva Rhoads, left, and Alexandria Tarbell.

Submitted photo and press release:

Congratulations to the Genesee County 4-H members who competed in the 4-H Hippology Contest at the New York State Fair.

Hippology is a contest that tests the participant’s equine knowledge through a variety of stations and written questions.

4-H members from across New York State competed in the contest on Sunday, Aug. 25th

The Genesee County 4-H Team placed fifth in the contest. In individual results, Eva Rhoads placed 11th and Alexandria Tarbell placed 15th

Congratulations to all of the 4-H’ers competing at the New York State Fair!

For more information on the Genesee County 4-H Program, please contact the 4-H Office at [email protected] or (585) 343-3040, ext. 131.

August 24, 2019 - 2:21pm
posted by Billie Owens in Le Roy, HYS Fair, equestrians, horses, Milestones.

Photo and information from reader Judy Anderson:

SYRACUSE -- Miranda Gallo, 13, of Le Roy, and her horse Trouble Skip N Town won the American Quarter Horse Association Level 1 Youth Champion Reserve Award at the New York State Fair.

Miranda and Trouble Skip N Town competed in Halter, Showmanship, Western Pleasure and Western Horsemanship.

They are under the guidance of trainer Jeff Steer (in photo above with Miranda) at The Homestead in Ionia. The Homestead Team brought home many other championship awards this past week from the AQHA Show at the fair.

The young equestrian has just returned home from showing her horse. She is the daughter of Jason and Amanda Gallo in Le Roy.

"It's well deserving," said her grandmother Judy Anderson this afternoon. "It's hard work, that's for sure. She's very dedicated to her horse."

August 22, 2019 - 1:44pm

Submitted photo: Mary Tuttle celebrates her 95th birthday at a luncheon at Fortune's restaurant at Batavia Downs.

When Frances Ford was preparing to celebrate her 100th birthday several years ago, her wish was to have lunch at Fortune’s at Batavia Downs Gaming and Hotel.

Her celebration started a tradition which the Office for the Aging continues today.

Each summer for the past four or five years, one or more members of the Senior Center’s Quilters have celebrated a milestone birthday at Fortune’s.

Because Ford was going to be 100, Barbara Matarazzo, receptionist at the Senior Center, arranged for her to be transported to lunch in a Mustang convertible. This was repeated for her 101st.

“Unfortunately, Frances never saw 102,” Matarazzo said. “After that, we began celebrating the birthdays of seniors who were 90-plus. That included Mary Tuttle and Madeline Harding. We planned to celebrate Madeline’s 91st birthday in July, but she passed away just a few weeks before her birthday.”

The latest lunch celebrated the 95th birthday of Mary Tuttle. Harding’s family also attended the luncheon and her name was included on the birthday cake, with a sign made by Mary Bucceri, group sales manager at Batavia Downs Gaming and Hotel. 

“I know in spirit, Madeline was part of the celebration,” Bucceri said. 

Batavia Downs' Fortune's has always been the Quilters and the birthday celebrities first choice in where they wanted to go and celebrate, Matarazzo said. 

“I can honestly say that working with Batavia Downs has been a privilege, especially with Mary Bucceri, who is always my contact person,” Matarazzo said. “Between Mary and the Batavia Downs staff, they make the birthday celebrations a memory for all of us.”

“I think the most important part of my job is knowing I’ve made someone’s day extra special,” Bucceri said. “When I hosted Frances Ford’s 100th birthday in 2016, I learned so much about her lifestyle that day, it was totally amazing.”

August 10, 2019 - 11:53am
posted by Billie Owens in alexander, Milestones, AHS Class of 1955.

Photo and information submitted by Paul Judkins, of Bonita Springs, Fla., formerly from Alexander.

The Alexander Central School Class of 1955 celebrated its 64th reunion on Aug. 7th, in a luncheon held at the Terry Hills restaurant in Batavia.

In attendance were nine of the known 18 surviving members of the class, along with three spouses of deceased members of the class. These were Wayne Keller, husband of the late Sharon Werner Keller; Marcia Brown, wife of the late Harold Brown; and Peggy Kelsey, wife of the late Bob Kelsey.

Pictured, in front: Carol Hirsch Janes, Annette Roth Lund, Joanne Gerould Hyde and Joyce Pestlin Sciarrino. Back row: Jerry George, Carl (Golanski) Gerard, Dean Wright and Paul Judkins. Attended reunion but not pictured: Bernice Greiner Wight.

August 6, 2019 - 11:13am
posted by Billie Owens in UMMC League, Milestones, charity.

Submitted photo and press release:

The United Memorial Medical Center League is celebrating its 50th anniversary.

The organization was founded by local volunteers in 1969 who wanted to give back to the community by raising money and collecting resources to support United Memorial Medical Center. Through these efforts, they have made our community a healthier and better place to live.

Recent UMMC League initiatives include the purchase of water bottles, through the continued dues support of League members, for patients at the Lipson Cancer Center at UMMC.

In the above photo with the water bottles are, from left: Laura Phillips, Patient Access specialist at Lipson Cancer Center; Elaine Dorris, volunteer at Lipson Cancer Center; Mary Smith, UMMC League co-president; and Pam Whitcombe, UMMC League Board member.

Another initiative is the Women’s Health Fund, which the League established 15 years ago to provide nursing education books to the Maternity Department at UMMC. These books are distributed to all new moms.

In the photo below are supporters of the Women's Health Fund, from left: Mary Smith, UMMC League co-president; Pam Whitcombe, UMMC League Board member; Olivia Barren, Nurse Manager on Maternity; and Barb Hale, UMMC League Board member.

August 2, 2019 - 3:23pm
posted by Billie Owens in Milestones, Pavilion, byron.

Neva Hettrick (née Harmer), formerly of Pavilion, will be turning 100 on Aug. 10, 2019.

She now resides at the Morgan Estates in Geneseo.

They will be having a birthday celebration for her on Friday, Aug. 9.

Her niece, Carol Hettrick Elliott, visited her recently and said she does not recognize a lot of people anymore, nor is she aware of much of what goes on around her, but her family is proud of her reaching the year of her centennial.

Neva was born in Batavia to Frank and Bertha Williams Harmer. Her family lived in Byron before moving to Pavilion in the 1930s.

She graduated from the Pavilion Central School in 1937.

James Hettrick caught her eye and they were married in 1940. They traveled all over the country during World War ll because James was stationed at various Army bases as a meat inspector.

Neva was well known in Pavilion because she worked in the U.S. Post Office for many years. At the same time, James was the superintendent of the Highway Department, so everyone knew him, too.

They didn't  have any children but they had many friends and were well respected in the community.

Throughout her life, she loved to read and grow flowers and she crocheted many beautiful items.

Neva has been widowed for about 18 years. However, even though it has been hard for her, she has persevered and now she has reached this important milestone.

July 30, 2019 - 1:09pm
posted by Billie Owens in Milestones, batavia, Apple Award, chris dailey, BCSD.

Submitted photo and press release:

The BCSD Foundation lnc.'s Board of Directors is pleased to announce Chris Dailey as a recent recipient of the BCSD Foundation Apple Award. He was nominated by Stephen Ognibene in June.

Ognibene nominated Dailey and presented him with a Foundation Apple for many reasons. First he would like to "thank Mr. Dailey for his 11 years contributing to much success in our school district." He is a leader to his staff, students, and parents who have connected with him. He has fulfilled his motto "Take Care of BCSD" in so many ways.

Dailey has been engaged in every way with our students and family members. He attended many sporting, events, Mr. Batavia, music concerts, and his worked helped achieve the number one workplace for our district. He was a Blue Zoo participant and a Blue Devil at heart. Our community is truly thankful for the years of commitment to BCSD.

About the BCSD Foundation Apple award

It is given by a member of the school and/or local community to a Batavia City School District employee or volunteer. In the opinion of those giving the honor of this distinction, the awardee has gone above and beyond in their role and is being recognized by one or more people for these accomplishments.

Local artist, Mark Jensen, will be making each individual resin apple -- none will be exactly the same. If you are interested in giving a Foundation Apple award, please submit your nomination form and $75 (payable to the BCSD Foundation Inc., 260 State St., Batavia NY 14020, att: Allison Chua). Nomination forms may be found on our webpage (at www.bataviacsd.org under Quick Links).

Community members with questions are asked to email us at [email protected]

Photo: Nominator Stephen Ognibene and awardee -- former BCSD Superintendent Chris Dailey, now superintendent of Gates Chili Central School District in Monroe County.

July 18, 2019 - 1:27pm

Press release:

Technology tools have become a mainstay of emergency services and law enforcement activities. Capitalizing on new technology, the Genesee County Emergency Management Office in partnership with the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office has initiated an Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) drone program. 

A requirement of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), drone pilots must be licensed as a remote pilot under the Small Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) Part 107 Rule.

Congratulations to Deputy Fire Coordinator Daniel Coffey on obtaining his Part 107 Remote Pilot Certificate.

Among the topic areas tested, DFC Coffey was required to show proficiency in applicable regulations relating to UAS aircraft system rating privileges, limitations, and flight operation; aviation weather sources and effects on UAS aircraft; and emergency procedures, radio communications, maintenance and preflight inspection procedures.

Once operational, the county drone program will enhance the fire/ ems and law enforcement  recon, search & rescue, monitoring and photo capabilities to name a few of the many benefits of this program ; as it simplifies and expedites tasks, ensuring accurate data and in many cases increases overall safety.

July 18, 2019 - 1:14pm
posted by Billie Owens in NY Army National Guard, Milestones, corfu, byron.

Major General Ray Shields, the Adjutant General for the State of New York, announces the promotion of members of the New York Army National Guard in recognition of their capability for additional responsibility and leadership.

  • Peter Saxman, from Corfu, and assigned to the 222nd Military Police Company received a promotion to the rank of Private First Class.
  • Zachary Cratsley, from Byron, and assigned to the Company A, 2-108th Infantry received a promotion to the rank of Specialist.
  • Travis Lambert, from Byron, and assigned to the Headquarters Service Company, 642nd Support Battalion received a promotion to the rank of Private.

Army National Guard promotions are based on overall performance, attitude, leadership ability, and development potential.

These promotions additionally recognize the best qualified Soldiers and attract and retain the highest caliber Citizen Soldiers for a career in the New York Army National Guard.

For more information about the New York Army National Guard, visit www.dmna.ny.gov or www.1800goguard.com

The New York National Guard (New York State Division of Military and Naval Affairs) is the state's executive agency responsible to the Governor for managing New York's Military Forces, which consists of nearly 20,000 members of the New York Army National Guard, the New York Air National Guard, the New York Naval Militia and the New York Guard.

July 17, 2019 - 5:35pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, Milestones.
AMHERST  -- Daemen College men's basketball student-athletes Jeff Redband (Batavia) and Andrew Sischo (Guilderland) have been named to the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) Honors Court, recognizing their academic achievements during the 2018-19 academic year. It marks the seventh straight year that Daemen has had at least one NABC Honors Court selection. 

Both Redband and Sischo met the high standard of academic criteria to be considered fo the NABC Honors Court which is awarded to junior and senior (academic) varsity players who hold a cumulative grade-point average of 3.2 or higher. Honorees must have also matriculated at least one year at their current institution, and be a member of an NCAA Division I, II or III, or NAIA Division I or II program whose head coach is a member of the NABC. Redband collects the honor for the second straight year. He will return for his final season of eligibility in 2019-20 after graduating in May with a degree in Business Administration. Sischo, who has two years of remaining eligibility, is on track to graduate next May with a degree in Sport Management. 

"We are very happy for Jeff and Andrew. They continue to make Daemen proud," said Daemen Head Coach Mike MacDonald. "Not only have they proven to be all-stars on the court, but they are superstars in the classroom, too. They are both tremendous examples of what a Daemen student-athlete should be."

On the court, both Redband and Sischo played vital roles in Daemen's most successful season since gaining full NCAA Division II membership status prior to the 2015-16 academic year. Redband averaged career-highs of 13.0 points and 5.5 rebounds per game, and finished third among the East Coast Conference leaders with 79 three-point field goals en route to earning second-team All-ECC honors. The 6-foot-9 Sischo was dominant in the paint, finishing second in the league in scoring (20.9 ppg) and rebounding (10.1 rpg). He was named the ECC Player of the Year, the Division II Conference Commissioner's Association (D2CCA) East Region Player of the Year and a second-team All-American. Together, the duo led Daemen to a 24-6 record, the ECC regular season championship and the program's first-ever NCAA tournament berth. 

Previous NABC Honors Court selections from Daemen include Giambattista Davis (2018), Alex Borges (2016, 2017), Arif Mehmetaj (2015), Aaron Davis (2013, 2014) and Troy Nowak (2013, 2014). 

Daemen College features the only NCAA Division II athletics program in the Buffalo-Niagara region, sponsoring 17 intercollegiate teams.

 

July 17, 2019 - 5:16pm

Scott D. German, treasurer of Genesee County, recently attended the annual meeting of the National Association of County Collectors, Treasurers and Finance Officers (NACCTFO) in Clark County, Nev., on July 10th and 11th.

The meeting includes continuing education courses in policy and management offered by the Graduate Program in Public Administration at Wayne State University.

“County collectors, treasurers, and finance officers must constantly upgrade practices in their offices in order to best serve the needs of the public,” said Kyu-Nahm Jun, director of the Public Administration at Wayne State.

“The certification program provides the opportunity to learn from nationally recognized faculty, and to share information with colleagues from across the nation. This prepares them to serve the public more effectively.”

Session topics included talent retention, revenue recovery, and trends in county government organization. Participants also engaged in an information sharing session where they shared best practices with their peers.

“By participating in the program, German reflected his desire to keep his county on the cutting edge of public service,” Jun said.

Visit http://clas.wayne.edu/mpa for more information on Wayne State’s Graduate Program in Public Administration.

July 17, 2019 - 5:04pm
posted by Billie Owens in Pavilion, Milestones.

The Empire 8 Conference honored 77 Elmira College student-athletes, including Lydia Milligan (Women's Volleyball), of Pavilion, on its President's List, which recognizes student-athletes who earned a grade-point average of 3.75 or higher during the spring term.

In addition, a total of 11 EC teams were named to the E8 All-Academic Team for possessing a GPA of 3.20 and higher.

"Our student-athletes continue to achieve at very high levels in the classroom. I am so proud of their accomplishments," said E8 Commissioner Chuck Mitrano. "The commitment to academic excellence from our member institutions is unmatched and these numbers prove it."

Recipients of the President's List distinction must be enrolled full-time at their respective institution and carry a minimum GPA of 3.75 while participating in a conference-sponsored sport and displaying positive conduct on-and-off campus. As the Empire 8 states, "Its commitment to serve the educational needs of its student-athletes is the hallmark of the Empire 8."

In total, 750 student-athletes from across the Empire 8 Conference earned a spot on the President's List, while a total of 116 teams were named to the E8 All-Academic Team.

Of the nine institutions in the E8, seven placed 10 or more teams on the E8 All-Academic Team. Among EC's 11 All-Academic Team recipients, women's volleyball and field hockey shared the honor of having the highest GPA among the Soaring Eagles, as both finished the spring term with a 3.59. Women's basketball and women's tennis were not far behind with GPAs of 3.54 and 3.52, respectively. Also qualifying for the award were men's ice hockey, men's tennis, women's cross country, women's lacrosse, softball, women's soccer and women's ice hockey.

Additionally, each Empire 8-affiliated institution sported a healthy 3.00 GPA and six of the nine finished the spring term with a 3.20 GPA or better. As a department, Elmira finished with an impressive 3.21 GPA.

Founded in 1855, Elmira College is a private, residential, liberal arts college offering 30-plus majors, an honors program, 17 academic societies, and 20 Division III varsity teams. Located in the Southern Finger Lakes Region of New York, Elmira's undergraduate and graduate student population hails from more than 20 states and nine countries. Elmira is a Phi Beta Kappa College and has been ranked a top college, nationally, for student internships. The College is also home to the Center for Mark Twain Studies, one of four historically significant Twain heritage sites in the U.S., which attracts Twain scholars and educators from around the world for research on the famous literary icon. Proud of its history and tradition, the College is committed to the ideals of community service, and intellectual and individual growth.

July 17, 2019 - 4:08pm
posted by Billie Owens in Milestones, batavia.

Oglethorpe University has announced its Spring 2019 dean's list, honoring those scholars who achieved at least a 3.50 term grade-point average while earning 12 or more semester hours. Among them is the following local student:

  • Benjamin Martis -- a senior, Theatre major, from Batavia.

About Oglethorpe University

Founded in 1835, Oglethorpe University is Atlanta's only co-educational small private college, home to 1250 eclectic and engaged students from 33 states and 31 countries.

Renowned for its groundbreaking Core program, Oglethorpe's academically rigorous programs emphasize intellectual curiosity, individual attention, close collaboration among faculty and students, and active learning in relevant field experiences. Oglethorpe joins theory and practice in its A_LAB (Atlanta Laboratory for Learning), an incubator for experiential learning via internships, study abroad, civic engagement, and undergraduate research.

Under the leadership of President Lawrence Schall since 2005, Oglethorpe has entered an unprecedented era of innovation and growth, evidenced by increased enrollment and philanthropic giving, and new strategic entrepreneurial partnerships. Since 2013, Oglethorpe has seen the addition of an award-winning campus center; a residential complex with six state-of-the-art classrooms; and the expansion of arts and athletics facilities. Oglethorpe's partnership venture with LeadAbroad has expanded its global footprint with the development of five global campuses in Barcelona, Paris, Rome, Cape Town -- South Africa, and Greece. 

In 2019, Oglethorpe opened the I.W. "Ike" Cousins Center for Science and Innovation and will launch the Q. William Hammack, Jr. School of Business.

Oglethorpe is home to the Conant Performing Arts Center, Oglethorpe University Museum of Art, and the Piedmont School of Atlanta. The Oglethorpe Stormy Petrels compete in the NCAA Division III Southern Athletic Association. 

Website: oglethorpe.edu

July 16, 2019 - 5:53pm
posted by Billie Owens in bergen, Milestones.

BEREA, OHIO -- Sean Donovan, of Bergen, a graduate of Byron-Bergen High School, graduated from Baldwin Wallace University in Berea, Ohio, with a Bachelor of Music degree in Music Composition.

Baldwin Wallace University recognized the achievements of 739 graduate and undergraduate students at BW's 169th Commencement ceremony in May.

Before taking a triumphant walk across the stage to receive congratulations, members of the BW Class of 2019 were inspired by commencement speaker Akram Boutros, M.D., FACHE, president and CEO of The MetroHealth System. Dr. Boutros focused his address on "Choices" that can make all the difference in life.

He encouraged the graduates to choose to "stop listening to the voice that says you're not good enough" and to "stand up to those doubts."

Baldwin Wallace University, founded in 1845, was one of the first colleges to admit students without regard to race or gender. An independent, coeducational university of 4,000 students, BW offers coursework in the liberal arts tradition in more than 80 academic areas.

Located in Berea, 12 miles from downtown Cleveland, BW offers students the cultural, educational and business advantages of a major metropolitan area.

July 12, 2019 - 1:52pm

Pictured from left are members of the scholarship committee and the 2019 recipients: Karen Hall, Hannah Kujawski, Peg Patterson-Case, Melissa Vinyard, Chelsea Elliott, Todd Rapp, Amy Swanson, Kari Heidemann and Melinda Rodriguez.

Submitted photo and press release:

The Genesee County Interagency Council awarded two $1,000 scholarships at their annual picnic last month at the DeWitt Recreation Area.

This year’s recipients are Melinda Rogriguez and Melissa Vinyard.

Special Thanks to the Red Osier Landmark Restaurant in Stafford for catering such a wonderful meal for our council, scholarship recipients and their guests.

The goal of the scholarship is to support students who have a strong drive to contribute to the field of Human Services. The Council was seeking applicants who were pursing their education in a Human Services major.

The mission of the Genesee County Interagency Council is to create fellowship and understanding among community human services agencies. The council helps to identify community issues and encourages development of resolutions.

The Council is happy to have been able to award such deserving candidates and wishes them nothing but success for their future!

About the Scholarship Winners

  • Melinda Rodriguez, of Bergen, is a mom of five kids, a full-time student at Genesee Community College and a dean's list honoree. Her goals are to earn a degree in Social Work with a focus in the medical field. We look forward to seeing her develop her skills in the Human Services fields and joining our council in the future as a colleague.
  • Melissa Vinyard, of Batavia, is a second semester student at Genesee Community College majoring in Human Services with a focus on alcohol and substance abuse. Her goals are to help those in sobriety find support by being a counselor. We look forward to her joining the Interagency council some day at a colleague.
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