Grand Islanders in the News 2009
January - June

Previous Islanders News Pages

Webb Road Water Station - 2009

    In 1996, with children running for the Grand Island High School track team, Rick and Claudia Schmitz of Webb Road were asked to provide a water station on July 4th for the Dick Bessel Independence Day Run. Their home was located at the halfway point. They enjoyed it so much that they have been manning the water station for the last 13 years. It has become a neighborhood happening. The town provides the tables which are set up on either side of the road and the plastic cups. Rick sets out the water, not to early, so it doesn't get warm, and the neighbors line up with cups in hand. For over an hour, runners and walkers stream by thankful for a drink or depending on the weather, a cup dumped over their heads. When the race is over it is time to grab garbage bags to gather the hundreds of cups scattered over the road. July 4th is one of the Schmitz family's favorite holidays. After the race, they quickly get over to view the parade, visit the VFW then host a big July 4th party. Recreation Department Director Linda Tufillaro would like to thank the Schmitz family for their many years of service.

Tina Giambra - June 2009

Tina Giambra with GaWaNi Pony Boy

   Tina Giambra has been named Vice President in charge of Clinic Coordination for Team Pony Boy, Inc., a world renowned horse training business. Dawn Hurlburt, a company representative stated "Tina has already been an amazing help with clinics, and has moved into this position very naturally. She has a great knowledge of horses and knowledge of Pony's teachings and theories, as well as highly valued people skills and organizational skills. Tina has been working diligently on earning her Pony Boy Regional Advisor title and is an exceptional student." Tina has been training with Pony Boy and a local Regional Advisor for two years. She is a lifelong Grand Island resident and lives on Staley Road with her family, horses and many other animal friends.

Isle Native Bernice S. Dinsmore’s To Celebrate 90th Birthday - 2009

      Over 80 of her friends and relatives will sail the Island aboard the Grand Lady on July 11 to help life-long Island resident Bernice Dinsmore celebrate her 90th birthday. The 3½-hour cruise is hosted by her six children, Peter Dinsmore of North Carolina, Jeanne Marie Ensminger also a life-long Island resident, Jim Dinsmore of the Island, Eugene Dinsmore of Syracuse, Donna Frantz of Clarence, and Ed Dinsmore of Buffalo.
      The luncheon cruise will feature family sharing stories about Bernice’s life (E.g., the time the Klu Klux Klan burned a cross in the front yard of her Whitehaven Road home), Eugene’s oral historical “tour” of the Island, and music from a creative deejay (there is no truth to the rumor that all songs will be hymns!) among other festivities. She’ll be joined by most of her 14 grandchildren, 20 great-grandchildren, and two great great grandchildren.
      Bernice is a committed member of St. Stephen's Church, the Altar Society, the National Council of Catholic Women, and the Ladies Auxiliary of the Grand Island Fire Company. She is one of 11 Stack children (four surviving) with brothers Bill and Paul coming in from Rhode Island and Rochester, respectively, to join Cecilia of Niagara Falls in honoring their older sister on her milestone birthday. She was married in 1940 to Donald Dinsmore who died in 1992.
      Bernice was born on July 9, 1919.

Islander Has Third Novel Published - 2009

(left) Lydia as she looked as a student at Sidway School in 1953 and (right) a current photo.
      Email Lydia Long at

   Sarasota, Florida resident Lydia Susan Long is the author of a new book, "Going To Hell in a Hand Basket" and is currently working on the sequel. The former 35-year Greenway Road, Grand Island resident has also had two other published works, "Acacia Grove" (September 2003) and "The Shadow of His Wings" (November 2001).
   Her books may be ordered at most major book sellers and are available in soft and hard cover. For the best price, go directly to the publisher at and type Lydia Susan Long in the search bar which will take you to the order page.
   Lydia continues to have strong ties to Grand Island as her son, David Liesenfeld, and his daughters, Mandy and Kady are Island residents. Her daughter, Jacqueline, and her husband, Robert Barton, who are both former Islanders,now live in Maryland.
   Editor's note: Lydia graciously sent me a copy of her latest book and asked that I read it and let her know what I thought of it. "Going to Hell In A Hand Basket" would not be among what is my usual selection of reading material - light novels. It is more of a serious nature, much tragedy and very well written. Lydia's descriptions of places, happenings, and the feelings of the characters along with the fast moving story line, held my interest right to the end, and I'm looking forward to the sequel.

Todd Marlin - 2009

   See 6/23/09 Buffalo News Story

Strides For Stewart 5K Race - June 2009

   A 5K Run/Walk/Jog to benefit Island resident Amy Stewart will be held at Veteran's Park on Saturday, August 8th at 6:00 p.m. rain or shine. If you are not able to join the race, donations are greatly accepted for a basket raffle to be held after the race. For more information see:
Race Form or Info Flyer.

Collin Murray - 2009

   See Buffalo News Story by Louise Continelli for feature story on little Collin Murray, 4, son of Kevin and Kateri Murray of Grand Island. His family will take part in the National Kidney Foundation of Western New York during Kidney Walk 2009, 9 a. m. June 14 at Coca-Cola Field in downtown Buffalo.

The Leon D. Carr Memorial Fundraiser - June 2009

   The Leon D. Carr Memorial fundraising group is sponsoring its second annual fund raising event on July 5, 2009. This year a 2-man scramble disc golf tournament and a 2-man scramble golf tournament are planned. Also featured will be family fun with live entertainment, a bounce house, horse shoe pits, volleyball and more. There will be plenty of food and beverages as well, most of which will come from Buffalo businesses. Last year's basket raffle included many wonderful items in over 50 baskets and a similar turn out is anticipated this year. Beaver Island State Park offers every opportunity to enjoy Grand Island/Buffalo's unique landscape and climate,. "We look forward to seeing everyone who would like to share that with us this year. Thanks for your support," event chair Erin F. Carr said this week.
Erin F. Carr
President of the Leon D. Carr Memorial Fund
(716) 880-9190 / /

"BA" & Brady Memorial Golf Tournament - June 2009

   The golf tournament in memory of Bill "BA" Aydelotte will team up with the Brady family to honor their father, Patrick, who died of liver disease last fall. The same format will prevail with golf, dinner and an auction taking place on Monday, July 13, 2009 at the River Oaks Golf Course, Grand Island, NY.
4 person scramble
11 a.m. Registration
11:15 a.m. To The Carts
12:00 p.m. Shotgun Start
7 p.m. Dinner
8:30 p.m. Live Music
   Proceeds of the tournament will benefit the Association For Research of Childhood Cancer. For more information and registration form, contact:
Patty Rink - 716-775-5045 -
   See More Information.
   For our non-golfing friends who would like to attend there are several options available e.g. a dinner ticket only, can be purchased in advance for $40.00 with live music to follow, or a donation at the door for music lovers only. Route 66 will be playing that evening.
   If anyone would like to donate a basket, product or a service for the auction, contact Nancy Aydelotte @ 773-6006, Cheryl Kloesz 773-9276 or Patty Rink @ 775-5045. the Volunteers are needed to help out the day of the tournament.
   "Swing hard, just in case you hit it!"

Mike Guagliano - 2009

Mike Guagliano (left) with Gordon Heddell, Acting Dept. of Defense Inspector General Gordon Heddell

   Mike Guagliano, formerly of Grand Island, was awarded the Defense Department Global War on Terror Medal by the Acting Dept. of Defense Inspector General Gordon Heddell. A civilian employee of the Dept. of Defense of a U. S. Military Global War on Terror while in Iraq.
   This medal is awarded to civilian employees of the D.O.D. who, on or after September 11, 2001, abroad in direct support of a U. S. Military Global War on Terror Operation. Personnel must have been engaged in direct support for 30 to 60 consecutive days, or have been killed or medically evacuated from the area of eligibility while providing direct support in the designated operation and location.
   Mike is the son of Frank and Jean Guagliano of Brandywine Drive and a graduate of Grand Island High School, Class of 1986. He is also a graduate of Bryant and Stratton 1990, Ohio State University 1994 and Georgetown University 2008. He has earned a A.B., BS and Master of Policy management. Mike thanks the Grand Island school system and, as always, Coach Gene Masters, his mentor.

Dr. Richard J. McCowan - June 2009

   Dr. Richard J. McCowan, Professor Emeritus and Director of Research and Evaluation for the Center for Development of Human Services at Buffalo State College, has published an article entitled "Using Infant simulation to reduce Pregnancy among High School Students" in the spring 2009 edition of The Health Educator. The study involved a sample of 309 high school students from four different states. An earlier article entitled "The Effectiveness of Infant Simulators," which was published in the fall 2004 edition of Adolescence, involved 236 high school students from Grand Island and Akron. Grand Island High School was provided with 25 RealCare Baby II simulators which are currently used in health programs in Grand Island High School for participating in the study.
   Both studies showed that use of the simulators by competent teachers with a well-designed curriculum had positive effects on student attitudes toward sexuality and pregnancy. Students also gained knowledge and improved their skill in child care and effective parenting.
   Scott Roberts and John Slaughter collaborated with Dr. McCowan in conducting these research studies. Grand Island teachers Sandra Burns and Betsy Biro cooperated In the first study.

2nd Annual Leon Carr Memorial Fundraiser/Redbone Classic Golf and Disc Golf Tournament - June 2009

   Friends of the late Leon Carr will present the 2nd Annual Leon Carr Memorial Fundraiser/Redbone Classic Golf and Disc Golf Tournament in Beaver Island on July 5th, 2009. For complete information on the all day event, see

Congressional Medal Of Honor Recipient Charles N. DeGlopper Remembered in France - May 2009

Click photos for larger view

   Click Pvt. Charles N. DeGlopper for a March 9, 2006 news story.
   Pvt. Charles N. DeGlopper recipient of a Congressional Medal of Honor after his death, is remember as Memorial Day approaches. He was killed in France on June 9, 1944 while saving his platoon.
    See Inauguration of the Site - 14:30 p.m. June 5, 2008 provided by Vivian ROGER, Secretary, Association U. S. Normandie
   Association U. S. Normandie was formed in 2005 and its headquarters is in Amfreville, France. A French organization, its mission is to honor the American soldiers who died and the surviving veterans, all who fought here for France's liberty in June 1944. The association has inaugurated this symbolic gesture to the memory of Charles DeGlopper with much gratitude.

Dr. Barbara Stouter Named Chief of Pediatrics at Lifetime Health Medical Group - 2009

   BUFFALO, NY . . .Barbara Stouter, M.D., has been appointed chief of pediatrics, Buffalo region, for Lifetime Health Medical Group. In her new role, Stouter will serve as a liaison between the pediatric providers and the group’s executive team, and work to improve quality control and clinical practices. Stouter joined Lifetime Health Medical Group in 2003. She currently sees pediatric patients at the Amherst Health Center (1185 Sweet Home Rd). Stouter earned her medical degree from the State University of New York Health Science Center at Syracuse, and completed her residency at Women and Children’s Hospital of Buffalo. She is board certified in pediatrics, and is a fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics.
   Stouter is a resident of Grand Island. Lifetime Health Medical Group has board-certified pediatricians at the Amherst, Mosher and West Seneca health centers. Family medicine physicians also see pediatric patients at the Amherst, Hamburg, Mosher and West Seneca health centers. The Amherst Health Center offers primary care, pediatrics, obstetrics/gynecology, sports medicine, AfterHours Medical Care, lab, pharmacy and more. Visit for more information, or call 689-0040.

Steve Kopf - 2009

   Steve Kopf, a 2005 graduate of Grand Island High School, graduated Magna Cum Laude from Niagara University on Sunday, May 17th. He earned a BA degree in Childhood & Middle Childhood Education with a concentration in Mathematics. The son of Mary and Bob Kopf, Steve is a member of Pi Lambda Theta, International Honor Society and Professional Association in Education and the captain of the men's varsity tennis team.

Brian Kopf - 2009

   Brian Kopf, a 2002 graduate of Grand Island High School, received his MBA in Finance from Niagara University at commencement ceremonies on Saturday, May 16 at Niagara. He received his BS degree in 2006 from Niagara. Brian, son of Mary and Bob Kopf, is currently a compliance analyst in the Information Barrier Surveillance Group at CitiGroup in Amherst.

Ginger DeMita Receives Education Awards - 2009

   Ginger DeMita, a recent graduate of Buffalo State College, received two awards at the Buffalo State College Elementary Education and Reading Awards Breakfast held at the Burchfield-Penney Art Center on Friday, May 15th. She was the recipient of the Circle of Excellence and the Alice Stielow Whrung Schmidt '41 Endowed Scholarship in Elementary Education, one of few awards given to individuals. The later was presented by Leslie Day, Dr. David Henry and Island resident Kathy DeLoughry. Ginger, who maintained a 4.0 grade point average, was inducted into Kappa Delta Pi, an International Honor Society in Education, dedicated to scholarship and excellence in education. The Society is a community of scholars dedicated to worthy ideals. During that ceremony, Ginger was presented with a certificate, cords and a pin that she wore at the Buffalo State commencement.
   While attending Buffalo State, she worked as an undergraduate tutor, research assistant, and a teaching assistant for the Economics Department. She also played a role in redesigning ECO 101: The Economic System. As a part of this project she made presentations at the National Center for Academic Transformation Annual Course Redesign Conference in Orlando, Florida (March 2009). Ginger was also a participant in the Student Research and Creativity Celebration at Buffalo State College in May 2009.
   Ginger has student taught social studies at the Connor Middle School and volunteered for Sue Andrews and Maureen Rousse at Sidway Elementary and Mrs. Percival at Huth Road School.
   She is the mother of three children, all enrolled in Island schools, who attended her graduation on her birthday, May 16, along with her parents who traveled from Florida and Ohio.

Bailey – Patti Engagement - May 2009

Click photo for larger view

   Mr and Mrs. David W. Bailey of Grand Island joyfully announce the engagement of their daughter, Brieanna Bailey, to William (Bill) D. Patti, son of Mr and Mrs. William Patti of Lewiston.
   Brieanna is the proud granddaughter of Ms. Rosemarie Netter of North Tonawanda and Mr. Carl Roesch of Amherst. She is a 2003 graduate of Grand Island Senior High School. Brieanna attended Niagara University graduating in 2007 with duel degrees in Theatre and English. She is a touring actress with the Columbus Children’s Theatre, choreographer with Olentangy High School, and a private instructor of theatre and dance.
   Bill is the proud grandson of Sarah Patti of Niagara Falls. He is a 2001 graduate of Niagara Catholic and graduated from Niagara University in 2005 with degrees in Theatre and English. He is a May 2009 graduate of Kent State in Ohio earning a Masters in Fine Arts. He is currently pursuing a career in theatre education. The couple, who met while attending Niagara University in the theatre department, is planning a June 2010 wedding at Sheas Performing Arts Center.

Islanders To Take Part In Take Steps for Crohn's and Colitis Walk - May 2009

   Former Islander Kathy McNally (GIHS Class of '76) along with several Island residents will participate in the Take Steps for Crohn's and Colitis Walk on Saturday May 30th at the Buffalo Zoo and Delaware Park. For those interested in being a part of the event, registration is at 5 p.m. and walk at 6 p.m. Register at:

Skater Taylor Firth, Movie Star - 2009

   UPDATE . . .See May 16, 2009 edition - Niagara Gazette
   Grand Island native Taylor Firth, 18, has been chosen for the starring role in the movie, "Ice Castles." The movie will be a remake of the popular film from the 1970s. The daughter of Patti and Michael Firth, Taylor is one of the top 20 women's figure skaters in the United States.
   See the April 29, 2009 edition - Times Observer

Hank Howard Honored By Praxair - 2009

   TONAWANDA, NY, May 8, 2009 . . . Hank Howard, a senior development associate in Praxair’s Research and Development (R&D) organization, recently received third-place honors at the Niagara Frontier Intellectual Property Law Association’s (NFIPLA’s) Inventor of the Year awards dinner. Howard, who is located at the Praxair Technology Center in Tonawanda, was honored in the Physical Sciences category. The Inventor of the Year awards recognize a Western New York inventor whose creativity resulted in a significant advance in a particular field. Howard developed a process to reduce the emission of volatile organic compounds from ethanol production. The process also reduces the cost to mitigate these known air pollutants. Since joining Praxair in 1990, Howard, a Grand Island resident, has been a key contributor to the development of many of Praxair's supply system technologies. He has a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, a master’s degree in chemical engineering from the University of Michigan and a master’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University at Buffalo.
   The Praxair Technology Center in Tonawanda, N.Y., is Praxair’s largest engineering and research and development center worldwide. Praxair, Inc. (NYSE:PX), based in Danbury, Conn., is the largest industrial gases company in North and South America, and one of the largest worldwide, with 2008 sales of $10.8 billion. The company produces, sells and distributes atmospheric and process gases, and high-performance surface coatings. Praxair products, services and technology bring productivity and environmental benefits to a wide variety of industries including aerospace, chemicals, electronics, energy, food and beverage, healthcare, manufacturing, metals and others. More information on Praxair is available on the Internet at

JoAnn Vanderheite Chosen Again To Take Part
In Annual 100 American Craftsmen Festival - 2009

JoAnn Vanderheite will display these and many more pieces of her work at the Festival May 29 through May 31.

   JoAnn Vanderheite has been chosen again to show her artistic guards, figural containers and masks in the 39th Annual 100 American Craftsmen Festival being held from May 29 through May 31, 2009 at the Kenan Center, 433 Locust St., Lockport, NY. This is the sixth year in a row that JoAnn's art work has been accepted for this strictly juried show and sale."
    Click for complete information on the "100 American Craftsmen Festival."

Melanie Rodgers - 2009

Mary Stewart Photo

   Melanie Rodgers has always told her children to "never give up" in whatever they strive to accomplish in their lives. She "never gave up" in pursuing her longtime dream of earning a degree in music and on Sunday, May 10, realized that dream and received her B.A. degree in music. Mother's Day 2009 proved to be a special day for her in more ways than one.

Betsy & Mike Cali Plan Fun Afternoon For A Friend - May 2009

   Island residents Mike and Betsy Cali are offering an afternoon of fun and prizes from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday May 16 at the Knights of Columbus Hall, 1841 Whitehaven Road. Their friend, Kim Doolittle is a 28-year-old woman battling a malignant and aggressive form of cancer.
    Cancer has not only affected Kim physically and emotionally, but financially also. She has been out of work since March 16 and is expected to be out an additional 6 months. Kim’s employer will hold her position with the company but the entire financial burden falls upon her. Regretfully, Kim’s mother lost her fight with cancer in September of 2006 and Kim’s future is uncertain. According to Mike and Betsy, Kim has no family support what-so-ever and this is among the reasons they have made the plans for the fundraiser that will include a major basket raffle plus prizes such as sports memorabilia, autographed sports items, sports jerseys, tickets to sporting events and a large screen TV. Tickets at $25 include food and beer/beverages. Kids tickets are $10.

Malkiewicz - Krebs Wedding - 2009

   Island residents Lauren Malkiewicz and John Krebs were married on April 25, 2009 at the Arrowhead Golf Course and Timberlodge Banquet Facility Akron, NY. John is a Grand Island High School graduate, Class of 1988, and Lauren graduated from Garden City High School in Garden City, Michigan in 1991.

Tom Robinson - May 2009

   Tom Robinson, GIHS Class of 1987, and Island resident 2001-2005, will take part in his 5th Ride for Roswell - 100Km by bike for cancer research! The ride takes place on June 27, 2009.
   The following is a message from Tom
"Every June I take part in a great cycling event to raise funds for Roswell Park Cancer Institute. It is a fantastic day, full of amazing energy, rain or shine! Last year there were over 6000 people who rode anywhere from 9 to 62.5 miles, as well as countless volunteers, police, fire and road marshalls who make it all happen. Last year I raised over $2500, and I'd like to do that again, so if you could even donate $5, that would be huge! Visit my web page where there is a secure link, as well as a mailing address if you would prefer to donate by check. And of course, if you want to ride, please join the team!"

Welcome, Brooklyn Raine Landroche - 2009

   Grand Island residents Mark and Heather Landroche are proud to announce the birth of their first daughter, Brooklyn Raine Landroche, born March 27, 2009 at 1:21 p.m., weighing in at seven pounds, 0.9 ounces and 19.5 inches long. The baby girl was welcomed by big sister, Stefani Rhodes, grandmothers Jo Ann Holmes of Grand Island and Nancy Landroche of Lockport and great grandmother Esther Lozo of Grand Island. Mark and Heather are both GIHS graduates, Classes 1993 and 1991. Mark is the owner of Mark's Island Tree Service.

Sara El Houssieny - May 2009

Sara El Houssieny

   SUNY Potsdam sophomore and mezzo-soprano Sara Sania El Houssieny, recently performed the lead role of Clori in The Crane School of Music's Opera Ensemble production of L'Egisto by Francesco Cavalli. L'Egisto was performed in Snell Music Hall at The Crane School of Music the weekend of April 17th, 18th, 19th in Italian with English supertitles. Sara will be traveling to Chicago at the end of May to represent Crane and compete in Classical Singer Magazine's University Vocal Competition. She is a Vocal Performance Major and is studying with Baritone David Pittman-Jennings.
   She has received accolades for her performance in L'Egisto, according to the college's May 1 publication, of the The Racquette. Sara, a 2007 graduate of Grand Island High School, is pursuing a degree in Voice Performance.

Andy Donahue - April 2009

   Andy Donahue is seeking donations for his very first Ride for Roswell trek that takes place on June 27, 2009. He will be riding for anybody/everybody. If you have a loved one or a prayer for your loved one Andy will be putting the names and prayers in an envelope, and will be riding with the envelope in his jersey pocket. Those who would like to add to his "envelope" are asked to send him an email with a prayer or a name to:
   Andy will be riding the 62.5 mile route with a goal is to raise $1000 dollars. "$1,000 is not really that much to raise, all I need is 40 people to give $25 each, or 50 people giving $20 each. When you break it down like that its easy! So come on people get those checkbooks out! Please," Andy said this week.
   His online donation page can be found at:
or by going to clicking on the donate tab and searching by his name.

Carter Is Envirun 5K Winner - 2009

Various Islanders particpating in the event (left) Lisa Missert, Rene' Morgan, Rachel Morgan, Joe Martino, Gary Laliberty, Diane Rumsey-Malaney, Wendy Brown, Hania Burkhart, Beth Boron, Eric Boron and Christopher Carter; (back) Karen Piershalski and Gary Burkhart
Click photo for larger view

(left photo) Race winner Christopher Carter with trophy. Chris was a full two minutes ahead of the next competitor.
(right photo) Tree planting photo with committee and race winner.

   The "Envirun" 5K race took place on Saturday, April 25, 2009 around Goat Island. This event was sponsored by the Air and Waste Management Association to coincide with Earth Day. Strong winds did not deter the 400 participants. At the completion of the race, a tree was planted by the commitee along with the race winner.

Frank and Helen Williams Celebrate 60th Wedding Anniversary - 2009

Click photo for larger view

   Frank and Helen Williams, married in Kingston, PA on May 3, 1949, will be celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary at a family reunion in July. Frank and Helen grew up in Pennsylvania and moved to Buffalo shortly after they were married. The are the parents of Frank Jr, John, Jim, and Michael Williams and Barbara Timpano and grandparents of 23 and also have 14 great grandchildren. Frank and Helen and their family moved to Grand Island in 1968 and have lived on Broadway ever since. Frank retired from GM in the early 1990s and is now a Eucharistic Minister at St. Stephen's Church. Helen retired in 2007 from what is now Macy's. They both bowl twice a week - at Mallwitz's Island Lanes and at an off Island facility. "They are both very active seniors and have a raised a great family."

Carissa Bailey Inducted into Kappa Delta Pi - April 2009

Click photo for larger view

   Carissa Bailey, 20, daughter of David and Cheryl Bailey of Garden Parkway, was inducted into Kappa Delta Pi, Zeta Upsilon Chapter, on Sunday, April 19, 2009. Kappa Delta Pi is an International Honor Society in Education and is dedicated to scholarship and excellence in education. The Society is a community of scholars dedicated to worthy ideals. She was presented with a certificate and cords which she will wear at graduation. Membership requires at least 12 credit hours of professional education courses while maintaining at least a 3.25 grade point average.
   Carissa is a junior in Music Education at SUNY Fredonia State College with a concentration in voice. She will graduate in May of 2010. She is a member of MENC (Music Educators National Conference), ACDA (American Choral Directors Association) and RAC (Resident’s Advisory Council). Miss Bailey is a resident assistant in the University Commons at Fredonia. She is busy with classes and students as well as several activities including College Democrats, all while maintaining Dean’s List status. This past fall Carissa was honored to speak at Niagara Frontier Industry Council (NFIC) Fall Forum, where she was a panelist along with several University Presidents and CEO’s from many organizations. She is a member of Fredonia’s Chamber Singers and recently returned from an 11-day tour of New York State with the group.
   She is a 2006 graduate from Grand Island High School where she was involved in many clubs and organizations. She is a winner of the Erie County Music Educators Association scholarship and several other music and theatre related scholarships. She is a former Grand Island Youth Ambassador and the 2007 Miss Lancaster as well as Regional Representative for Region 12 DECA.

Nicole (Dee) Roesch - Racing to Save Lives - April 2009

Nicole is pictured just after completing the triathlon.
Click photo for larger view

   Nicole Roesch completed the 18th Annual FAU Wellness Triathlon on Sunday, April 19th as a member of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's (LLS) Team In Training and thanks everyone for their support. (1/4 mile ocean swim, 10 mile Bike, 3.1 mile Run Spanish River Park, Boca Raton, FL)

Matthew Major - Air Force Academy - April 2009

by Alice E. Gerard

   Matthew Major, 17, would like to follow his family’s high flying tradition.
   Matthew’s father and grandfather both served in the U.S. Air Force as pilots, and Matthew has also chosen to fly with the Air Force.
   Mark Major, Matthew’s father, has been a 767 international captain for American Airlines for 23 years. He is retired from the New York Air National Guard and, when American Airlines hired him, he was working at the Niagara Falls Air Base, flying F-4s and F-16s. He said that he started flying when he was 16. “I remember when I decided to be a pilot. I soloed and I was like, wow, I get paid for this? I was fortunate enough to get into the Air National Guard here in New York, and it took off from there.”
   Matthew is entering the U.S. Air Force Academy in June. He leaves for basic training several days before the June 28 commencement day for the Grand Island High School Class of 2009.
   “It’s a sacrifice, but it’s one that I’m going to make,” Matthew said. His mother, Nancy Major, a teacher at Grand Island Cooperative Nursery School, said that Matthew will receive his diploma several weeks earlier, on class day, making him the first student to receive a diploma.
   Last summer, Matthew began considering applying to the Air Force Academy. His parents said that their son’s interest in flying and the military did not come as a surprise to them.
   “I always figured that one of our kids would end up flying, just because it’s always been part of our family,” Nancy explained. “When he expressed interest in it, our point of view was, if this is something you want, you go for it. And he did. We wanted it to be his decision because it’s a whole different way of life in the military than to go get a job somewhere. It was Mark’s decision when he was younger and he decided to go military.”
   Applying to the U.S. Air Force Academy is a different process than applying to other colleges and universities. Matthew had to be nominated to the Academy by a member of Congress. For Matthew, the first step to obtaining that nomination was an interview with the Air Force Academy’s local liaison officer, Jay Englert of Grand Island. Englert was a career Air Force officer who retired with the rank of lieutenant colonel.
   Englert “was my avenue to starting the whole application process. He showed me what I had to do to get in. He was the one who first found out that I was accepted and let me know that it was big,” Matthew explained.
   “To get a nomination, we get an interview from both of the senators’ offices, as well as Representative Louise Slaughter’s office,” Matthew said. “It’s like a board of selectors from the academy.” Following the interview, Matthew received nominations from Louise Slaughter and Charles Schumer’s offices.
   Once Matthew knew that he had been accepted to the U.S. Air Force Academy, he had another decision to make. He had also been accepted to Clarkson University (in Potsdam, New York) and the Rochester Institute of Technology. At RIT, the Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) had offered him a full scholarship.
   According to Nancy, “He had a big decision because he did get the ROTC scholarship from RIT. He would have been in the military. He would have had the same opportunities to be a pilot. But it would have been a little bit easier to do. I’m really proud of the fact that he’s willing to make that extra sacrifice to go out to Colorado because it’s that much more of what he wants to do.”
   Matthew said that he knows exactly what he wants to do. His goals are to become a pilot and an engineer. His favorite subjects in school are mathematics and advanced placement physics. He is currently taking advanced placement calculus and college level Spanish.
   “I’ve always been in honors math and physics. They’ve helped a lot with each other. That’s my strength,” Matthew said.
   “He’s wired this way,” Mark said. “When you have an engineer who is also a pilot, it opens up a whole different field than the one that I’m in. He can test new things and invent new things.”
   In addition to his schoolwork, Matthew is also a member of the varsity hockey and lacrosse teams at Grand Island High School. He plays the trombone and is a member of the school’s wind ensemble.
   During his free time, Matthew enjoys snowboarding, boating, jet skiing, and spending time with friends and family. He spends a good deal of time with twelve cousins who live nearby. “They’re all excited for him to be going away but everyone will miss him. They are a tight knit group and they are all close in age,” Nancy explained.
   Matthew, his parents, and his brothers, ages 16 and 11, and his nine-year-old sister, enjoy traveling. The family goes to Florida every year. Two years ago, they went to Arizona to see the Grand Canyon. Last summer, they went to England.
   “I thought it was cool to see a different country and how different it is from here. It was a really fun time,” Matthew said.
   Matthew said that he is looking forward to getting started at the Air Force Academy. “I’m kind of excited because I want to get into the program. I’m a little nervous. I think that I’ll have to be pretty well prepared once I get there. My schoolwork, with the basic training at the beginning, is going to be pretty tough, but I think that it’s going to be worth it.”
   Mark said that his son has a great future ahead of him, but that it will be hard work.
   “He’ll get there and we’ll have full confidence in him. He won’t breeze through it. He’ll have to work hard,” Mark said, adding, “If you can get through the Air Force Academy and get through pilot training, you have a good resume for your Air Force career and in civilian life afterward. A lot of the test pilots in the civilian world come from the academies. A lot of the astronauts are academy graduates. It’s a great thing to have on your resume.”
   Matthew and his parents are getting ready to visit the U.S. Air Force Academy, for two days of orientation. Matthew will spend a day with a cadet, who will introduce him to the campus, and his parents will have a chance to meet other parents of incoming cadets.
   Because U.S. Air Force Academy students are not able to return home for visits when they need a break from the U.S. Air Force Academy, a sponsor family program is available to them.
   “The program is pretty rigorous. It’s a way to kind of get away from that for a little while. You’re assigned to a sponsor family. The sponsor families are families living in Colorado Springs who sign up for this program. You can spend time there. You can spend the night there just to get away from all of the rigors of the academy. You just take a break and unwind from everything. I think that’s a good program.”
   Nancy credits the Grand Island school district for preparing Matthew for the U.S. Air Force Academy. “This, to us, is a boost for Grand Island High School, a public school. It is an honor for him to be chosen for this because he has the credentials. A lot of time, you get the kids from the private schools. I think that it says a lot for our school district and our high school.”

Jill Endres - April 2009

   Jill Endres, a four year member and Captain of the University of Rochester Womens Swimming Team, has achieved 2008-2009 University Athletic Association (UAA) Sport All-Academic Team. Jill is also a flutist and four-year member of the University of Rochester Wind Symphony, and recently performed with the World-Class Eastman Wind Orchestra at Eastman Theatre. Her last peformance will be held on Thursday, April 23rd in Strong Auditorium at the University of Rochester. All are welcome.

Steve Kopf - April 2009

   Steve Kopf, son of Mary and Bob Kopf, has been inducted into the Niagara University chapter of Pi Lambda Theta, International Honor Society and Professional Association in Education. Inductees must have achieved a minimum GPA of 3.5 on a 4.0 scale. Steve is a Elementary Education major with a concentration in math and currently student teaching at the Connor Middle School. He is also a two-time Intercollegiate Tennis Association All-Academic Scholar Athlete and was recently named to the MAAC All-Academic team.

Mary Jo and Paul Soto -
Great Strides Walk - 2009

James Soto

   Paul and Mary Jo Soto, parents of James Soto, 4, who was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis when he was an infant, will again take part in the Great Strides Walk on Saturday, May 16, to help raise money for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. The Sotos will also take part in a Golf Tournament over Memorial Day weekend, for the benefit of The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation (CFF).
   It is easy to donate, just click on the link below and it will bring you to MaryJo's home page where you will see a "Click to Donate" section. Donations may be made through credit card so you do not have to spend time filling out a check and mailing it back. "I hope this makes it more convenient for you. If you can think of anyone else who might be interested in donating, please feel free to forward this email on. Thanks again," Mrs. Soto said. "MaryJo's Home Page."

Erin Badame - April 2009

   Erin Badame, a lifelong resident of Grand Island, was awarded the “Jessica Rose Thomas Award” at this year’s Gliding Stars Annual Ice Show on April 3, 2009 at the Pepsi Center in Amherst. The award is presented annually by the Gliding Stars organization to the skater who best exemplifies courage, determination and a positive attitude.
   Erin, who was born with Spina Bifida and is also a cancer survivor, has been skating with Elizabeth O’Donnell and the Gliding Stars for many years. The Gliding Stars is an Adaptive Ice Skating Program that teaches people with challenges to ice skate. Erin is a very positive person, who never accepts “she can’t”. Congratulations Erin, and Keep Up the Good Work!

Melissa Rayhill Raskopf Inducted Into Gold Humanism Honor Society - April 2009

Melissa Rayhill Raskopf (right) with Nancy H. Nielsen, M.D. ’76, PhD (left), the President of the American Medical Association, at her induction to the GHHS on April 5, 2009.

   Melissa Rayhill Raskopf was selected for induction into the Gold Humanism Honor Society after being nominated by her peers at the University of Buffalo’s School of Medicine. Melissa is currently in her third year at the Medical School.
   The Gold Humanism Honor Society (GHHS), the Gold Foundation's newest initiative, honors senior medical students, residents, role-model physician teachers and other exemplars recognized for “demonstrated excellence in clinical care, leadership, compassion and dedication to service.” Organized to elevate the values of humanism and professionalism within the field of medicine and its constituent institutions, the Society is fast becoming integrated into the educational environment.
   The GHHS is a steadfast advocate for humanism through activities on campus and has continuing involvement with its inclusive membership. Moreover, it helps to establish relationships with practicing physicians. Election of exemplars to the Gold Humanism Honor Society makes a significant statement to medical school faculty, students, and the public that an institution places high value on the interpersonal skills and attitudes that are essential for excellent patient care.
   In 2004, the UB School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences established the Richard Sarkin / Medical Emeritus Faculty Chapter in the Gold Humanism Honor Society, bringing the total number of chapters around the country to forty-five. Today, there are more than seventy GHHS chapters established throughout the US.
   Melissa is a 2001 graduate of Grand Island High School and a 2005 graduate of Boston University. She and her husband, William, are currently residents of Grand Island. She is the daughter of Michael and Donnette Rayhill of Grand Island. Melissa is also the granddaughter of Dr. and Mrs. Edward Rayhill of Grand Island and former Grand Island resident Donnette Hennigar of Deerfield Beach, Florida.

Welcome, Jacob Alexander Stewart - March 2009

   Jacqueline and Jim Stewart Jr. are the proud parents of a son, Jacob Alexander, born Saturday, March 28, 2009 in Sisters Hospital weighing eight pounds, one ounce. The new baby is joined by his brothers, James III, and Ethan and his sister, Madison. He is the grandson of Jim and Mary Stewart of Grand Island, and Richard and Amy Ball of North Tonawanda, NY. Jacob Alexander's dad is a Grand Island High School graduate, Class of '85.

"All In For Amy" - A Fundraiser - May 2009

   "All In For Amy" - a fundraiser in honor of Amy Stewart is being held at 2 p.m. Sunday, May 3 at the Moose Lodge, 2524 Grand Island Blvd. Tickets are $20 presale and $25 at the door. For complete information, see
"All In For Amy" Page 1 or "All In For Amy" Page 2.
   Amy Stewart, seriously injured by a hit-run driver on March 7th, remains hospitalized.

Chelsea DeGlopper - April 2009

Chelsea DeGlopper (right) is shown with her sister, Bailey.
Click photo for larger view

   Chelsea DeGlopper, a junior at the University of Rochester, is currently studying aboard in the city of Prague in the Czech Republic. Her sister, Bailey, who is a freshman at Geneseo College, and their parents, Kimberly and Peter DeGlopper, just returned from a 10-day trip visiting Chelsea in Prague, where she is having the time of her life, traveling locally and to bordering countries most every weekend.

Brown - Levey Wedding - March 2009

Click photo for larger view

   Shandra M. Brown and Seth A. Levey were married on Saturday, September 20, 2008 at the Pillar and Post, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada. Rabbi David Sandmel performed the ceremony. The couple met while attending Eastern Virginia Medical School in Norfolk, VA.
   The bride is working on her PhD, in clinical psychology at the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago, IL. She is the daughter of John and Antoinette Brown of Grand Island, NY.
   The groom is completing a fellowship in nephrology at Loyola University Hospital in Chicago, IL. He is the son of Myron and Linda Levey of Roanoke, VA.
   After a honeymoon in Ambergris Caye, Belize the couple will reside in Chicago, IL.

Homa - Higgins Wedding - 2008

   Kenneth and Joanne Homa of Grand Island would like to announce the marriage of their daughter Kristen to Patrick Higgins. Patrick is the son of Joseph Higgins of Grand Island and Arlene Fil of Tonawanda. Kristen and Patrick were married on March 24th at St. Timothy Lutheran Church on Grand Island.

Benefit Planned For Amy Stewart - March 2009

   College student and Island resident Amy Stewart, seriously injured by a hit-run driver on March 7th, remains hospitalized. Friends and family have planned a fundraiser for Amy, to be held from 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday, April 6 through April 9, 2009 at the Uno Chicago Grill, 4125 Maple Road, Amherst, NY. The event will feature a basket raffle and music on April 6. A voucher will be available at the door for 20% off your bill to be donated to the Stewart Family. If you cannot attend Monday's function, the voucher will be honored through Thursday, April 9, 2009. 100% of the proceeds will go to the Stewart Family.

Cinellis To Raise Funds For Cancer Research - March 2009

   Jon and Anne Cinelli are fully involved with a fundraiser that they are closely related to in as much as they lost their six-year-old son, Jon J. (Jon Jon), to cancer in November 2008. St. Baldricks Foundation, among the nation's leading fundraisers for kids cancer research and awareness, will sponsor a bowling tournament, Chinese Auction and more from 3:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. March 29th at the Tonawanda Bowling Center, 574 Young Street, Tonawanda. To register a bowling team call Bill Kelleher, 622-6102 or register at
   Grand Island High School graduate, Class of 1985, Jon Cinelli grew up on the Island where his family still resides. A former member of the Grand Island Fire Company, he resigned to take a position with the Town of Tonawanda Police Dept. as a paramedic, requiring Town of Tonawanda residency.
   Jon Jon will be remembered during the fund-raiser. See Bowling Tourney/Chinese Auction for a complete list of activities taking place at the March 29th event.

Popular School Teacher Evelina Schopp Marks 100th Birthday - March 2009

Evelina Schopp, 100 years old on March 20th

See Mrs. Schopp's First Grade 1979

   Born on March 20, 1909, Evelina Schopp will celebrate her 100th birthday with her family on Sunday.
   Evelina and her husband, the late Charles Schopp, are parents of two sons, Chip and Reg. She is the grandmother of nine and great grandmother of 10.
   A graduate of Lafayette High School and Buffalo State Teachers College, she earned her masters degree from Columbia University in New York City. Primarily a first grade teacher, she taught at Elmwood Franklin School in Kenmore and at the Buff State Campus School. Evelina interrupted her teaching career during World War II when she and her husband worked in Washington State on the Manhattan Project. They moved to the Island with their sons in 1954.
   A well-known elementary school teacher on the Island, she began teaching at Kaegebein Elementary in 1955 and remained there through 1960. When the teachers union on Grand Island went on strike in the late 1950s, she ignored the strike, and walked through the line to her classroom to teach. Evelina taught at Huth Road Elementary from 1961 through 1979, retiring at the age 70.
   When her husband died in 1967, she ran the family jewelry store (Schopp's Jewelry Store) while she continued to teach full time. It was in 1971 that their son, Reg, took over the business.
   Evelina loved to travel and toured Europe in the 1930s and also traveled the world in the 70's during the summertime.
   Happy 100th birthday Mrs. Schopp! Well-wishers are invited to stop by 1029 West River Road after 2 p.m. Sunday, March 22nd to wish her a happy birthday or email Evelina through her son, Reg, at

Island Sisters In Show - 2009

Emily Sommer and Jenna Stufkosky

   Emily Sommer and Jenna Stufkosky will be performing in the upcoming Gliding Stars Show at the Amherst Pepsi Center. Show times are
7 p.m. Friday, April 3rd 1 p.m. Saturday, April 4th
   Emily and Jenna have volunteered with The Gliding Stars organization for many years. They enjoy skating with individuals with disabilities and seeing the smiles on their faces as they achieve their goals. The mission of Gliding Stars is to give individuals with disabilities the opportunity to increase their personal potential through the development of ice skating skills in a regular program of instruction and practice in their own, local community, culminating in the demonstration of those skills publicly in an end-of-season, on-ice, choreographed performance, which itself serves as a source of motivation, teamwork, increased self-esteem and the 'magic' that results from transcending one's barriers in order to accomplish one's dreams.
   Emily, a freshman at Grand Island High School, and Jenna, a 7th grader at Connor Middle School, are hoping that all Islanders come out and show their support for a show that is sure to bring a tear to your eye and will warm your heart. The girls are the daughters of Becky and Richard Stufkosky.

Bonnie Sciuk - 2009

   Antoine M. Thompson, NYS Senator, 60th District hosted a community ceremony in honor of Women’s History Month. Senator Thompson has chosen a variety of women from his district to present awards to. Bonnie Sciuk of Brite Ideas has been selected as one of the 2009 Woman's History Month recipients by the New York State Senate in the field of Public Service. The award recognizes that women of every race, class, and ethnic background have made historic contributions toward the growth and strength of this great state in countless and unrecorded ways. Bonnie was honored at a reception Saturday, March 14, 2009 at the Buffalo Erie County Historical Society.

Welcome, Emily Jeanne White - 2009

   William and Nancy Linton are proud to announce the arrival of their first grandchild, Emily Jeanne White. Little Emily was born on February 20, 2009 in Alexandria, VA. The new parents are Kristen (Linton) and Brick White.

Melissa Messel - Help Her Win Wedding Of Her Dreams - Feb. 2009

Robert Thilk Jr. and Melissa Messel

   Town Hall Terr. residents Melissa Messel and Robert Thilk Jr. have entered a wedding contest to try to win the "Wedding Of Her Dreams." The contest began March 1 and runs through March 20. You may vote up to 10 times. See Wedding Of Her Dreams for more information.

Ride For Roswell - Ernest Oliverio - March 2009

   A group of Island residents will participate in the Ride For Roswell in honor of dear friend, Ernest Oliverio. The group will host a fundraiser from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. March 28 at the Sandy Beach Yacht Club. This event will include a Chinese auction/basket raffle, silent auction and 50/50 cash raffle with 100% of the money raised going directly to Roswell Park Cancer Institute. See Ride For Roswell for complete information.

Fawn Gross - Help Her Win Wedding Of Her Dreams - Feb. 2009

Josh Lundquist and Fawn Gross

    Fawn Gross and Josh Lundquist have entered a wedding contest to try to win the "Wedding Of Her Dreams" that begins March 1 and runs through March 16. You may vote up to 10 times. See Wedding Of Her Dreams for more information. Fawn is the daughter of Patti and Sam Loquasto of Ransom Road.

Help The "How To" House Project - March 2009

How To House
   Long time islanders Kathryn and Courtney Brown of Stony Point Road recently brought to our attention a project their granddaughter, Megan McNally, has undertaken on the east side of Buffalo. Megan attends Barnard College and received funding through Barnard's Centennial Scholars Program. As one of only fifteen women selected, she was given funding to complete an independent project which culminates in a presentation in her senior year. Megan chose to purchase a house on Buffalo's the east side and turn it into a "how to" center for the community, where she will hold various workshops on general upkeep in a home. Read the full description of the "How To House". Although her grant allowed her to purchase the property, Megan can use donations of material, time and money. Those interested in helping, may contact Megan through her blog or through the information page linked above.

Billie Jean Harper - March 2009

Billie Jean Harper

   Billie Jean Harper has been selected as one of the 2009 Woman's History Month recipients by the New York State Senate. The award recognizes that women of every race, class, and ethnic background have made historic contributions toward the growth and strength of this great state in countless and unrecorded ways. Billie Jean will be honored at a reception Saturday, March 14, 2009 at the Buffalo Erie County Historical Society.
   Billie Jean has spent the last 28 years monitoring the halls of Grand Island High School and dolling out kindness to the many students who have crossed her path. She will be the first to say that her employment at the school ranks right up there with her children and six grandchildren.
   She has had the opportunity to comfort, console and mentor thousands of students. Her compassion, dedication and love for each and every one of them is the greatest contribution she has made to the Grand Island community. Billie Jean was born and raised in Greenville, South Carolina. She moved to Buffalo in 1953 with her husband, the late Arthur Harper. They were married for 38 years and had four children, Yvonne, Arthur Jr., Kimberly and Brian.
   After moving to Grand Island, Billie Jean became active in the Grand Island Community. She joined St. Stephen's Church and the Alter Society and has been an active member since 1972.
   She was also a volunteer for the Grand Island Jr. Football League working the concession stand called the Blue Goose and eventually became a board member of the league.
   Billie Jean sat on the board of the Island Dispatch and the Grand Island Democratic Committee. She was voted Democrat of the Year in 1984 and 1987. She also sat on the Grand Island Architectural Review Advisory Board, the Human Rights Commission, and was a recipient of the Grand Island Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year Award for 2007.

Sean and Dylan Murray's Giant Snowman - Feb. 2009

Sean Murray shown with Mr. Snowman

   Sean Murray, 7 and his brother, Dylan, 3, with a little help, built this beautiful snowman in their yard on Ransom Road. The project took place last month before the snow melted. Good job, boys!

Lil Carpenter: Keeping Busy is Secret For Long Life - Feb. 2009

Lil Carpenter, interviewed February 25, 2009 at the Golden Age Center
Click photo for larger view
by Alice E. Gerard

   Lil Carpenter has knitted her way through 93 years.
   Lil , who had her 101st birthday this month, learned how to knit when she was eight years old. Her first knitting projects were made for the soldiers who were in Europe fighting in World War I. Since then, she has knitted many different projects to give to charity, including hats for newborns at Women and Children’s Hospital. She has also knitted and given away large quantities of hats, scarves, and mittens for the needy.
   For the past two years, however, Lil has had to cut back on the types of things that she knits. “I just knit plain scarves now. I’ve got macular degeneration. I see you but you’re all blurred. But you’ve got to expect something when you get old.”
   In addition to the charity work, Lil also knitted things to sell.
   “I used to make finger puppets. I used to go to all of the malls. I made hundreds of them. They were all my own pattern. I remember the one time, when I first went out to the Seneca Mall, I had two women friends with me. I was selling them for a dollar to a dollar and a quarter. I made more than $1,000 in two days. Nobody else had these puppets. Every animal that there was would have a puppet: brides and grooms, Mr. and Mrs. Santa, Snowman, Mrs. Snowman, Kermit the Frog, and Big Bird. Whatever you can mention, I made. My puppets are all over. They never break because they’re all knitted,” Lil said.
   Knitting was just one thing that Mrs. Carpenter did to keep busy, which she said has contributed to her living a long, healthy life.
   “The secret (to a long life) is to keep busy. I’ve been busy all my life,” Lil said.
   Lillian had kept busy, with her job and her knitting and with bowling leagues. She started working at the age of 16 for the Larkin Soap Company, after quitting high school. She worked in the company’s administration building on Seneca Street. That building, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright in 1904, was torn down in 1950. While working for Larkin, Mrs. Carpenter was busy teaching herself new skills. She learned how to operate a comptometer and became a comptometer operator. A comptometer was one of the earliest forms of adding machines. Designed by Dorr Eugene Felt, it was patented in 1887, and it was manufactured by the Felt and Tarrant Manufacturing Company of Chicago until the early 1970s. After two years at the Larkin Soap Company, Lil got a job at Western Union, and she worked as a bookkeeper for more than 20 years.
   “I had big ledgers. I had 78 towns, including Buffalo, Rochester, and Syracuse. I kept books for them. We used to have carbon copies of the ledgers. I got a special pen made (to press a carbon copy). I was a neat freak. Everything had to be perfect with me.”
   The neatness of Mrs. Carpenter’s ledgers brought her special recognition, she said. “My boss was the superintendent, Mr. Brady. He went to New York. He took a sample of my work down there. They couldn’t get over what a beautiful ledger I had for all of these towns. I got a nice big raise.”
   During World War II, Lil went to work for Bell Aircraft. “I worked in the payroll department. The funny part was that I wanted to work in the factory because they paid more. So I took the night shift in the payroll department. I was running the payroll, and they were making hundreds of dollars, and I was making $38,” she said.
   In addition to her job change, she experienced another change during World War II. She and her husband, Pete, moved to Grand Island in 1945. “I was the only one on Winkler Drive. There was only the one bridge and there were no houses. My husband and I bought the lot and pioneered the road,” she said.
   Mrs. Carpenter said that she likes how Grand Island has changed over the years. “Since then, it’s built up. I love it here. We didn’t have the stores like we’ve got,” she said. Not a person who waxes nostalgic for the past, Mrs. Carpenter said that there is no such thing as the “good old days.” “They were hard times. We were poor. The good old times are here. You’ve got your washing machine, dryer, and vacuum cleaner.” She said that, when she was growing up, her family didn’t have a washing machine or a bathtub.
   She grew up in Buffalo. Her family lived on Ash Street for a while and then they moved to Maple Street. She had one sister and two brothers. Her brothers have passed away, and her sister lives next door to her. “She is 15 and a half years younger than I am. She lives next door to me, but she has her life and I have mine. There’s a difference of ages,” Lillian said, adding that her family also includes two nieces and a nephew. Lil’s husband passed away in 1988.
   Lil now spends much of her time at the Golden Age Center at the Nike Base. She eats her lunch there, spends time with her friends, and plays pinochle. “We’ve got cooks here that do the cooking. The food is delicious. I forgot how to cook. I really did! I eat all my meals here. Today, they had potato pancakes because it’s Ash Wednesday,” she explained.
   “This is a wonderful place. If it wasn’t for this place, I would get up in the morning, and I wouldn’t know what to do. So you have to get dressed, comb your hair and get out,” Lil said.    She gets other invitations, too. She was invited to talk to a class of students at Niagara University recently. “Here’s a class of all teenagers. I answered some of the questions.”
   The students asked Mrs. Carpenter what she liked to do for entertainment. She told them, “I love to dance. I love Lawrence Welk programs. I love to dance to the waltz. Always did. My husband was a good dancer, too. And then I said, but you know, I may be old now but I still can dance. And I said, not only that but I have a boyfriend. I said, I didn’t pick an old one either (Mrs. Carpenter said that her boyfriend is almost 83). They started to laugh. I said, we got up on the dance floor, and I’m dancing around, and he’s standing still. I’m dancing around him. I wanted to say something funny for the kids. They got a kick out of it.”
   One place that Mrs. Carpenter doesn’t spend much time at is the doctor’s office. She said that, when she does visit the doctor, “He’ll say, where have you been? I say, why should I come to you? I’ll come when I don’t feel good. All I take is blood pressure pills.”
   Lil said her doctor likes seeing her. “When I’m there, he’ll take me out and say, ‘Just how old do you think she is?’ I told him to cut it out. He sent me for blood work one time, and the nurse came running back and said, ‘Mrs. Carpenter, don’t leave. The doctor wants to see you.’ I got scared. I thought that something showed up. He had a photographer there to take my picture with him. He took the picture, and I said, ‘Don’t show it to your wife. She’ll get jealous.’ He said, ‘I want it in my office. You’re my prize patient.’”

Brianna McGuire - Feb. 2009

Brianna McGuire

   Brianna McGuire, daughter of Andrea and Michael McGuire, has been invited to ski in the EQS Regional championships being held at Seven Springs Resort March 7-8, 2009. Brianna will be representing the Holiday Valley Freestyle Team in this event. She will compete in the Moguls and Slope Side events.
   Brianna current ranking in the east is:
12 in Aerials
23 in Moguls
18 in Slopstyle
   If she does well this weekend, then it's on to Loon, New Hampshire for the finals. Brianna, who started skiing when she was four years old, is a honor roll eighth grader at Connor Middle School.

Sara El Houssieny - Feb. 2009

Sara El Houssieny

   Sara El Houssieny has been named to the Dean’s List of Excelling students at The Crane School of Music at SUNY Potsdam for the Fall semester. Sara, a 2007 graduate of Grand Island High School, is pursuing a degree in Voice Performance.

Nicole (Dee) Roesch - Racing to Save Lives - Feb. 2009

   Nicole Roesch is training to participate in a triathlon as a member of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's (LLS) Team In Training.
   "All of us on Team In Training are raising funds to help stop leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin lymphoma and myeloma from taking more lives," Nicole said. "I am completing this event in honor of all individuals who are battling cancer and in memory of those who have lost their lives to cancer, especially my mom, Suzanne Dee. These people are the real heroes on our team, and we need your support to cross the ultimate finish line - a cure!" she said. "Please make a donation to support my participation in Team In Training and help advance LLS's mission."
   "I hope you will visit my web site often. Be sure to check back frequently to see my progress. Thanks for your support!" she concluded.

Tara Kolniak - Help Her Win Wedding Of Her Dreams - Feb. 2009

Tara Kolniak

    Tara Kolniak and Dan Hudson have entered a wedding contest to try to win the "Wedding Of Her Dreams" that begins March 1 and runs through March16th. You may vote up to 10 times. See Wedding Of Her Dreams for more information. Tara is the daughter of Tom and Teri Kolniak of Fairview Court, Grand Island, NY.

Anna Czarples - Feb. 2009

Anna Czarples

   Anna Czarples, daughter of Helen and Jim Czapla of Grand Island, took the oath of attorney on January 22, 2009 in Albany. This caps off Anna's legal education and she now works as an attorney in Corning. A Grand Island High School graduate, Class of 2001, she graduated from the University of Minnesota Law School in May 2008 with magna cum laude honors.

Jenepher Banker Inducted Into Mercer HS Hall of Fame - Feb. 2009

Jenepher Banker

   GIHS Girls Varsity Basketball Coach Jenepher Banker was recently inducted into the Mercer High School (PA) Athletic Hall of Fame. Jenepher, who is also Director of Community Education for the Island School District, was a standout in basketball and track & field at Mercer High, leading her team to a conference championship and qualifying for the Pennsylvania State Championship. Jen scored over 1,000 points playing basketball at Springville College (Mass.) and was named a 3-time, academic All-American. Jenepher began her coaching career as a graduate assistant at Iowa State University, followed by the appointment of head women's basketball coach at Penn State-Behrend. She was named to the Behrend Athletic Hall of Fame as a coach in 1994 and again in 1998 as a member of her 1991-1992 women's team. Before moving to Grand Island, Jenepher served as an assistant women's basketball coach at Canisius College.
   Jenepher is in her 11th season as GIHS girls' basketball coach. Her teams have a 160-70 record and have won two league and two Section VI championships. Athletic Director Jon Roth noted, "Jen made an immediate impact on the Girls' Basketball program. She brought a professionalism, discipline and a college-like environment to the Lady Vikings. Grand Island is lucky to have her."

Welcome, Tyler Robert Meyer - 2009

Click photo for full view

   Island residents Steven Meyer and Jessica Vrba are the proud parents of Tyler Robert Meyer, born Saturday, January 24, 2009 weighing seven pounds, five ounces and 19 1/4 inches long. Tyler was welcomed home by his brother seven-year-old Andrew and his sister five-year-old Rachel. The baby's grandparents are Butch and Julie Meyer, and Dave and Heidi Nitkowski, all of Grand Island.

John Royal Named Corporate Fellow At Praxiar - Feb. 2009

   TONAWANDA, NY, January 30, 2009 . . . Praxair, Inc. named John Royal a corporate fellow in the industrial gases company’s Research and Development (R&D) organization. He is located at the Praxair Technology Center in Tonawanda.
   In his new position, Royal will identify and evaluate emerging supply systems technologies, including technology acquisition and joint development opportunities. Since joining Praxair in 1975, Royal, a Grand Island resident, has held a series of increasingly responsible positions and most recently served as R&D director, cryogenic systems/equipment technology. He has a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Stevens Institute of Technology, a master’s degree in mechanical engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a master’s degree in business administration from the University at Buffalo and a doctoral degree in mechanical engineering from Iowa State University. He is also the recipient of 27 U.S. patents.
   The Praxair Technology Center in Tonawanda, N.Y., is Praxair’s largest engineering and research and development center worldwide. Praxair, Inc. (NYSE:PX), based in Danbury, Conn., is the largest industrial gases company in North and South America, and one of the largest worldwide, with 2008 sales of $10.8 billion. The company produces, sells and distributes atmospheric and process gases, and high-performance surface coatings. Praxair products, services and technology bring productivity and environmental benefits to a wide variety of industries including aerospace, chemicals, electronics, energy, food and beverage, healthcare, manufacturing, metals and others. More information on Praxair is available on the Internet at

Amanda F. Webb - Jan. 2009

   Amanda F. Webb has been named to the Dean's list at SUNY Oswego for the Fall 2008 semester. Amanda, a 2005 graduate of Grand Island High School, is majoring in Meteorology.

Roesch - Kneuer Wedding - 2009

Click photo for full view

   A garden wedding at their home in North Palm Beach was chosen for the marriage ceremony of Karin Marie Kneuer and Todd Gary Roesch on December 29, 2008. Karin is the daughter of Ernest Kneuer and the late Hanna Kneuer of Purchase, NY and Juno Beach, FL. Gary and Carol Roesch of Grand Island, NY are the parents of the groom. A reception was given for the immediate family following the ceremony.

Casey Dahlstrom - Jan. 2009

   Casey Dahlstrom, son of Gary and Emily Dahlstrom, has been named to the Dean’s List at Keuka College in Keuka Park, N.Y. Dahlstrom, a Junior is studying Mass Communications. A Keuka College student must have earned at least a 3.5 grade-point-average for each block of at least 12 semester credit hours to be eligible for the Dean’s List. The national leader in experiential, hands-on learning, Keuka is a private, co-educational college offering 33 majors. Located in the Finger Lakes region near Penn Yan, Keuka was founded in 1890 and today has an enrollment of 1,521 students.

Anthony G. Brindisi Joins Peace Corp. - Jan. 2009

   Anthony G. Brindisi, a 2002 graduate of Grand Island High School and a 2006 graduate of the Fisher College of Business at Ohio State University, departed January 6, 2009 for Guatemala. Anthony will be in Guatemala for 27 months as a Peace Corps volunteer. He will be working to develop business plans for the Guatemalan eco tourism industry. Anthony is the son of Island residents Tony Brindisi and Jackie Brennan.

Lindsey R. Boyle - Jan. 2009

   Lindsey Boyle, a graduate of Grand Island High School, Class of 2008, has finished her first semester at Niagara University with a 3.78 GPA and being named to the NU Dean's List. The daughter of Jane and Jay Boyle, Lindsey is in the General Exploration Program, and is planning on declaring her major in Hospitality and Tourism Management and then going on to Culinary school.

John Study - Jan. 2009

   The Niagara Regional Theatre Guild will present "Broadway In Concert VII" on January 23-24 at 8:00 p.m. and January 25 at 3:00 p.m. This concert style revue is produced by Islander John Study. Performances will be held at the Cardinal O'Hara Performing Arts Center, 39 O'Hara Road, Tonawanda, NY. Admission is $10.00 presale, $15.00 at the door. Tickets may be purchased by calling 284-6358. For more information visit

Beth Czerwonka - Jan. 2009

   Beth Czerwonka has been promoted to Manager of Transcription and Administration at Prosodie Interactive. Beth has been primarily responsible for the Buffalo office's Q&A and Transcription services, and also the responsibility of overseeing the facility's administration. Due to Beth's had work and willingness to go above and beyond the scope of her duties, the company decided to promote her to Manager of Transcription and Administration for the Buffalo office.

Click for 2009 July - December News
Click for 2008 July - December News
Click for 2008 Jan.- June News
Click for 2007 News
Click for 2006 News
Click for 2005 News
Click for 2004 News
Click for 2003 News
Click for 2002 News
Click for 2001 News

Other Grand Island Pages to Visit:
Churches | Email Directory | Government | Groups
GIHS Grad List | Guestbook | Please sign in! | Local Artists | Photo Album | Town History | Useful Links
| Website Design | Wildlife | Isledegrande's Home Page | GIECOM.NET'S Home Page  
Please Email News Releases to Teddy Linenfelser, Thank You.

GIECOM.Net Inc. is owned by deSignet International
a "World Class Jewelry Manufacturer and Retailer"

Store Hours: Monday & Thursday 8 am - 7 pm
Tuesday, Wednesday & Friday 9 am - 5 pm
Saturday 9 am - 2 pm, and by Appointment

This website was created and updated weekly since September of 1997.
Our sponsor is GIECOM.Net Inc., "Grand Island's E-Commerce Network", 
providing Internet Access and Webhosting to the Grand Island Community. 
If you are interested in participating as a sponsor, please email.
1871 Whitehaven Road, Grand Island, New York, 14072-1803 USA
Copyright 1997 - 2009 all rights reserved

eXTReMe Tracker