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Chamber of Commerce News Web Page 2012
Grand Island, NY, Chamber of Commerce Website

President Eric Fiebelkorn
First Vice President Jim Sharpe
Secretary - Dr. Sherry Bradford
Second Vice President Robert Ratajczak
Treasurer Michael Trachimowicz

Previous News

Chamber Office: 2257 Grand Island Blvd., Grand Island, NY 14072
Phone: (716)773-3651 Fax: (716)773-3316

This Chamber is organized for the purpose of advancing the economic, industrial, professional, cultural and civic welfare of Grand Island; to encourage the growth of existing industries and business, while giving all proper asssistance to any new firms or individuals seeking to locate in Grand Island; to support all these activities believed to be beneficial to the community and area, and in general to promote the welfare of all area citizens following always those policies intended to accomplish the greatest good for the greatest number of people.


Brochures, Maps, Videos and Post Cards (viewed on opening page of website) available through the Chamber Office. Feel free to email us and we will forward your request to the Chamber Office or call (716)773-3651.
Thank you for your interest in Grand Island.



Light Up the Boulevard Electric Light Parade & Festival- Nov. 2012

Step-In-Time Dancers practice for parade. - Click photo for full view

The Grand Island Chamber of Commerce "Light Up the Boulevard Electric Light Parade and Festival" will be this Saturday, November 17, 2012 at 5:30 p.m. The parade begins at Island Lanes on Whitehaven and will continue on Grand Island Blvd. ending at the Town Hall parking lot. The fun continues with a tree lighting ceremony led by Santa at the gazebo. The Festival will run in the Town Hall parking lot from 6-8:00pm. Carols will be sung, everyone will have a chance to visit with Santa, hot chocolate and hot dogs will be given away. The following vendors will be on hand to help with the beginning of your holiday shopping.
* Tastefully Simple

* Longaberger Baskets & Pottery

* Silks & Such by Teresa Santospirito

* deSignet Jewelry

* Serene Gardens 

* Hizair Salon

* Citizens Bank

* McMahon’s Family Restaurant

* Zonta Club of Grand Island – selling poinsettia’s

* Grand Island High School Boys Soccer Team –  selling Viking Scarves

* St. Stephen’s School

* Grand Island Community Federal Credit Union

* Girl Scouts Troop 30448

* Rhino Tees Custom Apparel

* Just Pizza

* Cheesy Chicks

*Grand Island Limousine Company

*Grand Island Chamber of Commerce

 

Parade Participants will be:

*Grand Island Chamber of Commerce

*Step-in-Time Studio of Dance

*Girl Scouts Troop 30448

*St. Stephen’s School

*Grand Island Dance

*Cub Scout Pack 630

*Islettes’ Elite Majorettes 

*deSignet Jewelry

*McCarthy School of Irish Dance

*The Grand Island Limousine Company

*Allan Prame’s Classic Truck

*Hizair Salon

*Howard Sexton Electric

*Wheelfind Automotive 

*Citizens Bank

*The Chocolate House

*Serene Gardens

And Santa Clause!!!!!

 



"Small Business Saturday" - Nov. 2012

This year the Grand Island Chamber of Commerce is supporting “Small Business Saturday” on November 24, 2012. They are encouraging the Grand Island community to buy where you live. For every $100 spent at your locally owned stores about $68 returns to the community. Spend that money at a national chain and only about $43 stays in your community. Buy online, and the entire $100 is lost to your community forever. As Islanders we tend to think Grand Island first, but these numbers bring the point home. We are encouraging our members, small businesses and residents to get involved. Help our Town recover from the sluggish economy. Link to Shop Small information.


Light Up the Boulevard - Nov. 2012

The Grand Island Chamber of Commerce announces "Light Up the Boulevard Electric Parade and Festival on Saturday, November 17, 2012. The parade line up is at 5 p.m., the parade starts at 5:30 p.m. and be followed by a tree lighting ceremony at 6 p.m. There will be fun family activities from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. all in the Town Commons.
   "We are planning a motor vehicle electric light parade to kick off the holiday season," a spokesman from the Chamber of Commerce said this week. Chamber members are hoping that many of the businesses up and down Grand Island Boulevard will be decorating their store fronts with lights and holiday decorations. Prizes will be given to the Best Decorated Store Front and Best Float and Group marching in the parade.
See
Vendor Application
See Parade Application





November 1st is Deadline for listing in 2013 Grand Island Community Directory - Oct. 2012

The Grand Island Chamber of Commerce is collecting personal and business cell phone numbers to be published in the 2013 Grand Island Community Directory along with business advertisements until November 1st. Call 773-3651 or stop in the Chamber Office at 2257 Grand Island Blvd. for more information.


KidBiz Partners Donate Proceeds to Miracle League - July 2012


(Left) Jack Dlugokinski (holding a Marshmallow Shooter), Mike Valle presenting the check to Miracle League’s representative, Kim McMahon, also holding a pink Marshmallow Shooter made just for her.
   Nine-year-olds, Mike Valle and Jack Dlugokinski have been friends since kindergarten and even though they attend different elementary schools, one at Huth and one at Kaegebein, they still do things together. Mike and Jack decided to team up as business partners and participate in this year’s KidBiz event held on June 23rd. This Grand Island Chamber of Commerce event is where students in grades 2nd through 8th get an idea of what it is like to run a business. Mike and Jack made 60 Marshmallow Shooters and sold them all at KidBiz for $5 apiece. After seeing just how successful their product was at KidBiz, they decided to make another 125 Marshmallow Shooters to sell up and down Grand Island Blvd. during the 4th of July parade. The students went to Town Hall and applied for a Peddler’s Permit and got to work. Mike and Jack decided after reviewing cost to make the product and to decorate each shooter with paint and duct tape, they made a business decision to sell the shooters for $6 apiece during the parade. They worked together and sold 115 shooters on the 4th of July. After paying their parents back for purchasing the materials, they had a nice profit.
   Mike and Jack play hockey together and decided to put some of that profit towards a hockey camp, but first they wanted to make a contribution back to their community. The boys met with Kim McMahon and donated $115 towards the Miracle League. Both boys love baseball, but Mike has a cousin that is now 4 years old and has special needs. Mike's hope is to someday play baseball with his cousin at the new Miracle League Field located at Veteran’s Park here on Grand Island.
   Mike and Jack are looking to continue the growth of their business. Those who may be interested in purchasing Marshmallow Shooters for gifts or party favors can contact the boys by emailing mvalle4205@aol.com


Kids Honor Their Dad, SGT Tim Hanlon - June 2012

Mary Stewart Photo - Click photo for full view

   The children of 1st Sargent Timothy Hanlon, U. S. Army, used the June 23rd Kids Biz event to honor their dad who is on his third tour of duty. He is presently in Afganistan and is expected to be home in September. Along with other items Timothy's children had for sale were U. S. Army key chains, U. S. Air Force coins and Arm Seal key chains. Pictured are Allie, William and Matthew Hanlon.




Kid Biz Huge Success

Mary Stewart Photos

   Another successful year at Kid Biz with over 100 young salesmen and woman plying their wares. The event was held in the Town Commons on Saturday, June 23, 2012.




Chamber's Island Happenings 2012 Right Around the Corner - May 2012

   The Grand Island Chamber of Commerce' big event, Island Happenings 2012, will be held on Saturday, June 23, 2012 in the Grand Island Town Center area from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. To download and print the Business Expo Registration Form, go to the Chamber website, Chamber Expo Registration. It may be found on the right side of the home page. "Please don’t hesitate to register and participate in a great Grand Island tradition and show off what your business has to offer," a spokesman for the Chamber said this week. Call the Chamber Office at 773-3651 if you have any questions.




Chamber to Honor One Island, One Team, One Dream, to be Drug Free
Organization of the year - April 2011


(Left, front row) own Councilman Gary Roesch, Town Councilman; Superintendent of Grand Island Central Schools Robert Christmann, Chairman of One Island One Team Dan Stinson, Director of Connections Counseling Services Tom DeLoughry, Town Councilman Dick Crawford, (2nd Row:) Assistant to the Town Supervisor Liz Wilbert, Town Supervisor Mary Cooke, Student Representative Olga Popova, Parent Representative Linda Schultz.

   One Island, One Team, One Dream, to be Drug Free was formed in 2006 as a very grass roots movement when newly appointed High School Principal Sandra Anzalone issued a survey to parents to determine the most pressing needs in the school body. The answer was clear, “there is a drug problem in the school and nothing is being done about it”, they said.
    In response, a team of school personnel and other key community members were assembled to address the issue. Before long, that team grew to include law enforcement, parents, Town Board, Town Justices, Ministerium, health care providers, counselors, PTA, Youth Board, students, Kids Escaping Drugs, Horizons Health Services, and the Erie County Council for the Prevention of Alcohol and Substance Abuse.
    Seeing its potential, the team expanded its initiatives to include the entire community. In recent years it became clear that One Island, One Team was uniquely positioned to address other related social issues such as domestic violence, bullying and graffiti.
    To date, One Island has implemented such initiatives as Project Sticker Shock; the Confidential Tip Line; parent, student and community educational presentations; posters, flyers and web based informational materials; Safe Homes; Graffiti Busters; and the semi-annual Drug Drop Off event.
    One Island has succeeded thus far as a result of the concerned and talented members, working with no financial resources, which is a testament to the strength of the team. Having developed a strategic action plan, and with the hope of grant money on the horizon, One Island is only now poised to really become a team to be reckoned with.

Members of the Grand Island Chamber of Commerce will honor the following at its 2012 Citizen of the Year dinner :
•Community Service Person of the Year - Francine McMahon
•Athletic Persons of the Year - Jeff and Gregg Richard
•Organization of the Year - One Island, One Team, One Dream, To Be Drug Free
•Service to the Youth - Young Life
•Business of the Year - Dick & Jenny’s Bake & Brew
•Educator of the Year - Bruce Benson
The Citizen of the Year Awards dinner is being held on Thursday, April 26, 2012 at the Grand Island Holiday Inn. Tickets are now available for purchase at the Chamber Office located at 2257 Grand Island Blvd. or by calling 773-3651.
   Local business that are sponsoring this event are
Platinum sponsors to date include, the Grand Island Holiday Inn and Niagara Frontier Publications (Grand Island Dispatch and Penny Saver) and Fuccillo Chevrolet.
Gold sponsors to date: First Niagara Bank, Key Bank, and Life Technologies.
The Silver Sponsor to date is Toshiba Business Solutions.
Bronze sponsors to date: Elderwood Health Care at Riverwood, Sam Long’s Landscaping and Excavation, JM Refrigeration Heating and Air Conditioning, Grand Lady Cruises, Creative Leather Concepts and Island Ship Center, Rhino-Tees Custom Apparel and Sports Complex, Tops Friendly Markets, SNAP Fitness, Aceti’s Wine and Spirits, Liz Wilbert and Realty USA, Buffalo Hotel Supply Co. and the Grand Island Rotary Club.





Chamber to Honor Francine McMahon
Community Service Person of the Year - April 2011


Francine McMahon

   Faith, wisdom, patience, vision and diligence are the most prominent characteristics of Fran McMahon. Born and raised on Buffalo’s West Side, she attended Erie Community College and earned an Associate’s Degree in Food Service Business Administration. Fran returned to college and earned a degree in Secondary Education with a certification in Special Education. She then married and raised a family of five while working in education. Fran has lived on Grand Island since 1978 with her husband, Joe McMahon, and children, Kimberly, Timothy, Carli-jo, Stephen and Stephanie. Fran is a person with an open heart and has opened her home to several foster children over the years or as she calls them "Children of Needs."
   Fran takes her passion to help others in the community that she lives in and gives back in a variety of ways. She was formerly president and director of the Niagara Frontier Athletic League. Fran has worked as a volunteer with the Grand Island Special Education Department by hosting students at their restaurant performing food service skills to boost their confidence in the workplace. You can see by her accomplishments that kids come first with her and her training as a teacher gave her the skills to organize and get things done. In 2002 Fran was honored as teacher of the year by Christian Academy of Western New York. She is currently on the Board of Directors of the Grand Island Chamber of Commerce and a member of the KidBiz Committee, Social Committee, and the new “Light Up the Blvd” Committee. Although helping children is one of her passions, she has also found time for a growing Mom & Pop business, McMahon's Restaurant, which has been open since 2002 on Grand Island Blvd. where she employs many of her family members.
   Fran was the vice president and one of the founders of the Miracle League of Grand Island and Western New York. She is currently a member of the Town Parks & Recreation Advisory Board. But most of all Fran’s wish is to see Grand Island prosper in all its endeavors.

Members of the Grand Island Chamber of Commerce will honor the following at its 2012 Citizen of the Year dinner :
•Community Service Person of the Year - Francine McMahon
•Athletic Persons of the Year - Jeff and Gregg Richard
•Organization of the Year - One Island, One Team, One Dream, To Be Drug Free
•Service to the Youth - Young Life
•Business of the Year - Dick & Jenny’s Bake & Brew
•Educator of the Year - Bruce Benson
The Citizen of the Year Awards dinner is being held on Thursday, April 26, 2012 at the Grand Island Holiday Inn. Tickets are now available for purchase at the Chamber Office located at 2257 Grand Island Blvd. or by calling 773-3651.
   Local business that are sponsoring this event are
Platinum sponsors to date include, the Grand Island Holiday Inn and Niagara Frontier Publications (Grand Island Dispatch and Penny Saver) and Fuccillo Chevrolet.
Gold sponsors to date: First Niagara Bank, Key Bank, and Life Technologies.
The Silver Sponsor to date is Toshiba Business Solutions.
Bronze sponsors to date: Elderwood Health Care at Riverwood, Sam Long’s Landscaping and Excavation, JM Refrigeration Heating and Air Conditioning, Grand Lady Cruises, Creative Leather Concepts and Island Ship Center, Rhino-Tees Custom Apparel and Sports Complex, Tops Friendly Markets, SNAP Fitness, Aceti’s Wine and Spirits, Liz Wilbert and Realty USA, Buffalo Hotel Supply Co. and the Grand Island Rotary Club.





Ribbon Cutting At Serene Gardens - April 2012

   

(Front center; left photo) Owners Josh & Satomi Smith cut ribbon.
Click photos for larger view.

   A ribbon cutting was held on Wednesday, April 11th at the new Serene Gardens garden center and cafe located at 2800 Grand Island Blvd. Brothers Matt and Josh Smith and Josh's wife, Satomi, have a wide variety of items for your gardens including plants, trees, pottery, tools, seeds and cut flowers. The cafe will be offering breakfast and lunch with a Japanese flair. Stop in and say hello to our newest Grand Island business.




Attention Businesses - Citizen of Year Dinner Just Around the Corner - April 2012

   The Grand Island Chamber of Commerce' Citizen of the Year Awards Dinner is just around the corner – April 26th to be exact! This special event usually draws from 250-300 people in attendance. Each person attending the dinner will walk away with a gift bag. The bags will be full of donated items from local businesses such as key chains, combs, pens, note pads, fliers promoting services, coupons, water bottles, and even a rubber jar opener with a business logo printed on it. It is a great way to advertise your business!
   Any business interested in making a donation to go in the bags is asked to have your 300 items delivered to the Chamber office at 2257 Grand Island Blvd by Friday, April 20th, and our Youth Ambassadors will stuff all of the bags for you. If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to give me a call at 773-3651.





Chamber to Honor Bruce Benson
Educator of the Year - April 2011


Bruce Benson

    Sixteen years ago, Superintendent Paul Fields appointed Bruce Benson and challenged him to “take Grand Island Middle School into the next century.” And with forethought and meticulous planning, Bruce met the task head on and accomplished exactly that. In evidence, during his tenure as principal, six new classrooms were added to the existing building, and it was renamed the “Veronica E. Connor Middle School.” More significantly, however, Bruce was instrumental in Connor Middle School’s “making the grade” and placing as one of the Top 10 Middle Schools in Western New York.
   Prior to his arrival on Grand Island, Bruce served as the secondary principal at Forestville Central School in northern Chautauqua County, where his function as principal included the role of instructional leader in a building that housed grades 6-12. In that capacity, he created a “school within a school” and developed a middle school schedule as well as programs that were beneficial for those unique individuals known as “middle schoolers.” These inventive strides in education all transpired within the confines of a traditional secondary building. In addition, Bruce instituted an innovative student behavior system that successfully operated through a student court system. To address the issues in grades 9-12, Bruce took an active role in revising the high school curriculum to one composed entirely of Regents courses. These curricular changes initiated by Bruce encouraged and promoted student achievement and, subsequently, increased the number of students who graduated with a Regents diploma in hand.
   Moreover, for thirteen years, Bruce served as the director of the North Collins junior and senior high school bands. During this time, he lead numerous ensembles that participated in concert band, parade band, jazz ensemble and color guard band pageants in New York State as well as several other music contests in the northeast United States. The bands were comprised of 60% of the student population and frequently placed first or second in these respected music competitions. The numerous trophies are still on display, reminding the North Collins community that Bruce left a lasting impression on their district.
   However, Bruce did not begin his teaching career in Forestville or North Collins, but rather his life as an educator originated when he served as the band director in 4th through 12th grades in West Valley, New York. While teaching in West Valley, he also became involved in community activities, assisted in planning civic events, and directed their local church choir.
   Bruce graduated from high school in Williamsport, PA and then attended Mansfield University where he earned his Bachelor of Science degree in music. While an undergraduate at Mansfield, he spent his summers enriching his study of tuba at Tanglewood, the summer home of the renowned Boston Symphony. His endeavors earned him a fellowship at Yale University, studying brass chamber music with the New York Brass Quintet. After graduating from Mansfield, Bruce earned his Master of Music degree while studying at the University of Buffalo and his Certificate of Advanced Study in School Administration was awarded from SUNY Fredonia.
    Bruce and his wife, Jeanette, live in Hamburg where Jeanette shares her own appreciation of music with her students as a music educator in the Hamburg schools. They have one son, Christopher, who resides in Washington, DC, and is employed by the Federal Reserve.
   Bruce is anticipating the challenges and rewards of his next career as he looks to the future and begins studies this fall to become an ordained United Methodist minister.

Members of the Grand Island Chamber of Commerce will honor the following at its 2012 Citizen of the Year dinner :
•Community Service Person of the Year - Francine McMahon
•Athletic Persons of the Year - Jeff and Gregg Richard
•Organization of the Year - One Island, One Team, One Dream, To Be Drug Free
•Service to the Youth - Young Life
•Business of the Year - Dick & Jenny’s Bake & Brew
•Educator of the Year - Bruce Benson
The Citizen of the Year Awards dinner is being held on Thursday, April 26, 2012 at the Grand Island Holiday Inn. Tickets are now available for purchase at the Chamber Office located at 2257 Grand Island Blvd. or by calling 773-3651.
   Local business that are sponsoring this event are
Platinum sponsors to date include, the Grand Island Holiday Inn and Niagara Frontier Publication( Grand Island Dispatch and Penny Saver) and Fuccillo Chevrolet.
Gold sponsors to date: First Niagara Bank, Key Bank, and Life Technologies.
The Silver Sponsor to date is Toshiba Business Solutions.
Bronze sponsors to date: Elderwood Health Care at Riverwood, Sam Long’s Landscaping and Excavation, JM Refrigeration Heating and Air Conditioning, Grand Lady Cruises, Creative Leather Concepts and Island Ship Center, Rhino-Tees Custom Apparel and Sports Complex, Tops Friendly Markets, SNAP Fitness, Aceti’s Wine and Spirits, Liz Wilbert and Realty USA, Buffalo Hotel Supply Co. and the Grand Island Rotary Club.





Chamber to Honor Dick and Jenny's
Business of the Year - April 2011


Dick and Jenny Benz
   Dick and Jenny Benz met in New Orleans at the Upperline Restaurant – she was a server and he was the chef. After getting married on Uncle PJ’s boat on the West River they decided to open a little dinner restaurant in Uptown New Orleans. They called it Dick & Jenny’s, of course.
   After years of success as a locals’ favorite, Dick & Jenny’s got thrown a curve ball: Hurricane Katrina. The restaurant was intact but Dick & Jenny’s home was in their neighbor’s lot! So after evacuating to Grand Island, they decided to stay. Jenny grew up on Grand Island so spending more time with their extended Wiles family would be great fun with the small children. So Dick & Jenny’s, New Orleans was sold to employees and is still as busy as ever in its 12th year of operation.
   After a brief hiatus from restaurant life, the Benzes started to look for a site on Grand Island. The old Del & Herb’s building fit the bill. After a year-long renovation project, the landmark building was ready to begin its next chapter. Dick & Jenny’s, Grand Island started as a coffee house and pastry shop and has since added breakfast, lunch and finally dinner. The hand-painted plates that line the walls of the restaurant were all created by Dick for supporters. Many familiar Island names grace those plates and the walls of 1270 Baseline.
   Dick Benz graduated from the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY and UCLA. After growing up in the bustle of Los Angeles, CA and working in the heat of New Orleans, he is enjoying life in Western New York. Jenny attended Grand Island schools through 8th grade before going on to Nardin and then University of Notre Dame. After living in the Southeast, she is enjoying her return to her hometown.
   Island life for Dick and Jenny has begun with a big barn, a farmhouse and lots of projects. Horses, goats and chickens have kept their three children entertained. Big gardens help keep the restaurant well supplied in fresh tomatoes, asparagus and herbs. Dick keeps planting grapevines so who knows what will come next!
Members of the Grand Island Chamber of Commerce will honor the following at its 2012 Citizen of the Year dinner :
•Community Service Person of the Year - Francine McMahon
•Athletic Persons of the Year - Jeff and Gregg Richard
•Organization of the Year - One Island, One Team, One Dream, To Be Drug Free
•Service to the Youth - Young Life
•Business of the Year - Dick & Jenny’s Bake & Brew
•Educator of the Year - Bruce Benson
The Citizen of the Year Awards dinner is being held on Thursday, April 26, 2012 at the Grand Island Holiday Inn. Tickets are now available for purchase at the Chamber Office located at 2257 Grand Island Blvd. or by calling 773-3651.
   Local business that are sponsoring this event are
Platinum sponsors to date include, the Grand Island Holiday Inn and Niagara Frontier Publication( Grand Island Dispatch and Penny Saver) and Fuccillo Chevrolet.
Gold sponsors to date: First Niagara Bank, Key Bank, and Life Technologies.
The Silver Sponsor to date is Toshiba Business Solutions.
Bronze sponsors to date: Elderwood Health Care at Riverwood, Sam Long’s Landscaping and Excavation, JM Refrigeration Heating and Air Conditioning, Grand Lady Cruises, Creative Leather Concepts and Island Ship Center, Rhino-Tees Custom Apparel and Sports Complex, Tops Friendly Markets, SNAP Fitness, Aceti’s Wine and Spirits, Liz Wilbert and Realty USA, Buffalo Hotel Supply Co. and the Grand Island Rotary Club.




World Class Judo Competition Coming To Island
Businesses Can You Help? - March 2012

   Over 400 Judo competitors as well as their families, support staff such as coaches and referees, will be coming to Grand Island the weekend of May 26th & 27th for a Junior, Senior and Masters Level World Class Judo competition. These competitors will be looking for a place to stay, eat and possibly be entertained with their families.
   The headquarters for the event is going to be the Grand Island Holiday Inn with the tournament venue being located at the Grand Island High School.
   If any business is interested in providing a discount coupon, flier promoting a business or any deals you would like to offer to these competitors, please contact Joyce Gugino at 876-2825. She will be putting together packets for the athletes and their families upon arrival. You can view a flier for the American-Canadian International Judo Challenge at www.amcanjudo.org





Chamber to Honor Young Life
Service to the Youth Award - April 2011


Shown from left are Volunteer Leader Ginny Thies, Area Director Kevin Kulikowski, and Volunteer Leaders Abbey Jones and Christopher Bidell. Missing from photo are Volunteer Leaders Nikki Fadel, Jim Ellson, Shaun Quinn, and Maureen Feehan.
Click photo for larger view

    Young Life is a Christian organization that is committed to reaching teenagers with support and encouragement that they may need during their tumultuous teenage years. Young Life is a volunteer-led community organization that is celebrating 72 years of existence and is active in 50 states and 63 countries overseas. On Grand Island, there are seven volunteer leaders and one Area Director, Kevin Kulikowski, who go out of their way to work with teens. Kulikowski has been the Area Director for Young Life Ministries for the past twenty years. The volunteer leaders spend their time running weekly outreach meetings, Bible studies before school, weekend and weeklong camping experiences, and spending time with teens on Grand Island, in their world and at their events. Young Life has been actively reaching teens on Grand Island since the late 1960’s and because of the community support, it is still active today and many teens have been blessed. There are 12 active committee members on Grand Island and various faithful donors and churches who support financially and are willing to do anything to help the teens of this community. They are the back bone of Young Life on Grand Island. There is nothing that the committee, leaders, staff, or our donors would not do to help the teens of Grand Island.





Chamber to Honor Gregg and Jeff Richard
Athletic Persons of the Year - April 2011


(left) Jeff Richard and Gregg Richard
Click photo for larger view

    Brothers Gregg and Jeff Richard have been selected the Athletic Persons of the Year 2012. Gregg has been a Grand Island resident since 1967 and is a graduate of Grand Island High School. He is the husband of Patty Richard and the father of three children, Lee, Christina and Kaylee Richard. Gregg has participating in Grand Island recreational men’s and women’s softball since 1972 as a coach and player. He joined the Grand Island Umpires Association in 1988 and continues to umpire today. Gregg has been involved in Little League since 2003 as a board member, commissioner of major and junior/senior softball and as a coach for girls softball. He continues to act as an assistant coach in the girls softball travel league.
    Jeff Richard was born and bred on Grand Island where he grew up playing recreation baseball, travel baseball, and for the Grand Island Falcons Pee Wee Football. Jeff continues to play baseball in high school along with bowling. He has been the husband of Deana for 18 years and they have two children together, Emma and Ben. Jeff is very passionate about sports, especially Grand Island Little League and Girls Softball. He has been a part of Grand Island Little League since 2004 as a coach, then moved to a board position, coached two All Star tournament teams, and is currently the Vice President of Softball. The last two years Jeff has coached the Grand Island Vipers Travel Team. He has been involved with the Grand Island Umpires Association for the last 10 years.
   Jeff and his brother, Gregg, are teaching the game and having fun at the same time. They have watched many of the players grow up and improve so much over the years and are looking forward to another great season.




Chamber of Commerce 2012 Citizens of the Year Announced - March 2012

   The Grand Island Chamber of Commerce is proud to announce the 2012 Citizen of the Year Awardees.
•Community Service Person of the Year - Francine McMahon
•Athletic Persons of the Year - Jeff and Gregg Richard
•Organization of the Year - One Island, One Team, One Dream, To Be Drug Free
•Service to the Youth - Young Life
•Business of the Year - Dick & Jenny’s Bake & Brew
•Educator of the Year - Bruce Benson
   These citizens, organizations and businesses will be recognized at the Citizen of the Year Awards Ceremony on Thursday, April 26, 2012 at the Grand Island Holiday Inn. They have been chosen because of their contributions of time, energy and service to our community which has made Grand Island a better place to live, work and play. This year’s Master of Ceremony will be Phil Buchanan, former WBEN, Channel 4 News Director, writer, editor and reporter. Buchanan has lived on Grand Island for over 48 years and is a partner of the Buchanan-Eichel Homes, Inc. Tickets for the dinner will be available at the Grand Island Chamber of Commerce Office, 2257 Grand Island Blvd., Grand Island, NY. Adult tickets are $45 and a child, 12 years or younger are $18.
   The Grand Island Chamber of Commerce would like to thank the local businesses that have sponsored this special event. Platinum sponsors to date include, the Grand Island Holiday Inn and Niagara Frontier Publication, Dispatch/PennySaver, Lewiston-Porter Sentinel and Niagara-Wheatfield Tribune. Gold sponsors to date are First Niagara Bank, Key Bank, and Life Technologies. The Silver Sponsor to date is Toshiba Business Solutions. Bronze sponsors to date include, Elderwood Health Care at Riverwood, Sam Long’s Landscaping and Excavation, JM Refrigeration Heating and Air Conditioning, Grand Lady Cruises, Creative Leather Concepts and Island Ship Center, Rhino-Tees Custom Apparel and Sports Complex, Tops Friendly Markets, SNAP Fitness, Aceti’s Wine and Spirits, Liz Wilbert and Realty USA, and the Grand Island Rotary Club.
   A program booklet is being put together by the Chamber office that will be distributed the evening of the ceremony. Those interested in placing an ad or sending congratulations to this year’s recipients are asked to call 773-3651 by April 13th for more information.





Chamber of Commerce Citizen of Year Awards Banquet - March 2012

   The Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year Awards Committee has announced Fuccillo Chevrolet as a Platinum sponsor.
   The Citizen of the Year Awards Ceremony will be held on Thursday, April 26th at the Grand Island Holiday Inn. Announcement of this year’s Citizen of the Year honorees will be made by March 23rd. This special community event will honor businesses and individuals whose contributions have made our town a better place to live. Grand Island’s own Phil Buchanan will host as this year’s Master of Ceremony. Buchanan has lived on Grand Island for over 48 years and has been very involved within the community. A former WBEN, Channel 4 News Director, writer, editor and reporter, he also is a partner of the Buchanan-Eichel Homes, Inc.
   "Thank you again to our local businesses that have sponsored this special event," a Chamber spokesman said. Platinum sponsors to date include the Grand Island Holiday Inn and Niagara Frontier Publication. Gold sponsors to date include First Niagara Bank, Key Bank, and Life Technologies. The Silver Sponsor to date is Toshiba Business Solutions. Bronze sponsors to date include Elderwood Health Care at Riverwood, Sam Long’s Landscaping and Excavation, JM Refrigeration Heating and Air Conditioning, Grand Lady Cruises, Creative Leather Concepts and Island Ship Center, Rhino-Tees Custom Apparel and Sports Complex, Tops Friendly Markets, SNAP Fitness, Aceti’s Wine and Spirits, Liz Wilbert and Realty USA, and the Grand Island Rotary Club.





Chamber of Commerce Networking Event - March 2012

    All are welcome to attend a Grand Island Chamber of Commerce Networking Event hosted by the Grand Island Holiday Inn and the Grand Island Professional Women’s Chapter, NYS Women, Inc. This fun event will be held at the Grand Island Holiday Inn, 100 Whitehaven Road on Thursday, March 15th from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. As a bonus photographer, Fred Claus will be on hand to take professional headshot photos for anyone who would like one for only $5 a piece. RSVP by March 12th by calling 773-3651 or emailing info@gichamber.org. Come meet and network with new members of the Chamber and reconnect with some of your old friends. Please don’t hesitate to bring someone with you. A cash bar along with some horsd’oeuvers will be available.






Phil Buchanan MC For Citizen of the Year Dinner - Feb. 2012

    This year’s Citizen of the Year Awards dinner will be held at the Grand Island Holiday Inn on Thursday, April 26th. The Citizen of the Year Committee was honored to have Phil Buchanan, former broadcast journalist and Grand Island developer, accept the duties of Master of Ceremony for this year’s special event. The deadline to nominate someone for Citizen of the Year is March 9th. Nomination forms may be found on the Chamber website: Citizen of Year Nomination Information, inside the new 2012 Grand Island phone book or at the Chamber office at 2257 Grand Island Blvd. "Don’t forget to get your nominations in so we can honor those who have made Grand Island a better place to live," a Chamber spokesman said this week.

Niagara Frontier Publications gives Platinum Sponsorship to Chamber

   The Citizen of the Year Awards Committee is already planning for this special event to happen on Thursday, April 26th at the Grand Island Holiday Inn. Niagara Frontier Publications owners, Skip and Judy Mazenauer, have generously given a donation of a Platinum Level Sponsorship to the committee to help make this day a success and to show their support in honoring those who have made Grand Island a better place to live, work and play. The nomination deadline for Citizen of the Year is March 9th. If anyone would like information on becoming sponsor or placing an ad in the awards dinner , call 773-3651 or email info@gichamber.org






Chamber of Commerce Honors Mazenauer - Jan. 2012


President Eric Fiebelkorn and Skip Mazenauer
   The Grand Island Chamber of Commerce held its installation of its executive board, president, directors and newly elected directors. Town Justice Sybil Kennedy performed the swearing in at the event held in the Buffalo Launch Club during the January meeting. As part of the night's ceremonies Chamber President Eric Fiebelkorn recognized Skip Mazenauer who has stepped down as a member of the Board of Directors. He was presented with a plaque to show appreciation over 40 years of service and dedication to the Grand Island Chamber of Commerce. Mazenauer has served as president, vice president, secretary, director and committee chairperson.
   Installed were:
President Eric Fiebelkorn
1st Vice President Jim Sharpe
2nd Vice President Robert Ratajczak, Jr.
Secretary Dr. Sherry Bradford
Treasurer Mike Trachimowicz
Directors Liz Wilbert, Nicolette Thompson, Fahim Mojawalla and Maryanne Fechter