Mackenzie Renee Hassan has been named to the Niagara University Dean's List for the Fall 2004 semester by achieving a GPA of 4.0. A senior at NU, she is majoring in Secondary French and will begin student teaching in January at Tonawanda Middle School and Grand Island High School.
Click left photo for full view.
"Miss Catherine Killian, daughter of Mrs. Lillian Killian, and Lt. Harvey Long, son of Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Long, were married in Trinity Evangelical Church by Rev. Marvin E Rickert on Sunday, December 17, 1944. A reception attended by 150 guests was held in the Charlotte Sidway School." This was the announcement in the Island Dispatch on Christmas Day 1944. Harvey came home on leave from the United State Army after graduating at exercises at Harlington Army Field, Texas and they were married. The bride and groom then traveled to Riverside, California where Harvey was stationed.
They are both life-long Island residents and are parents of a son, Gary.
Michele Beauchamp - 2004
Michele Beauchamp has been promoted to Manager of Supervisory and Leadership Development for Cox Communications in the Texas System. In her new role, Michele will partner with senior staff and oversee the curriculum design and facilitation for all levels of management development. She is now residing in Lubbock, Texas and is the daughter of Mike & Sandy Beauchamp of Steeg Road.
Seventeen-year-old Meaghan Grotz and her family were back on the Island last night (Dec. 13, 2004) after a little less than a six-week stay in the hospital - and family, friends and the entire Island are feeling a sense of great joy and thankfulness. Meaghan, who was suffering from Cystic Fibrosis, had surgery on November 3rd when she
received a double lung transplant in the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center-Presbyterian Hospital.
Monetary donations to cover expenses are still very much needed. For more information, click the www.meaghansmiracle.com website.
Island resident John Quackenbush will direct the Niagara Regional Theatre Guild's May 2005 production of Nunsense and is holding auditions at 7 p.m. Monday, January 10 and Tuesday, January 11 at the Historic Riviera Theatre, 67 Webster Street, North Tonawanda. John is looking for woman singers and actresses ages 18 and older for this production. Those interested in auditioning should prepare a song and bring sheet music. An accompanist will be provided. For further information, call 622-1103, or check out the Niagara Regional Theatre Guild at www.niagaratheatre.com.
Congratulations to Coach Pete Kuehne, a 1981 graduate of Tonawanda High School, who is being inducted into the Tonawanda High School Wall of Fame for soccer. The presentation will be held at 6:15 p.m. Friday, December 17, 2004 at the Tonawanda High School gym.
Pete was Grand Island High School's boys JV coach from 1987-1992 and has been the varsity coach from 1993 to the present. He and his wife, Jude, reside on the Island with their children, Peter Jr. and Jessica.
Paul Malecki - 2004
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Model ship builder Paul Malecki of East River Road, shown with Pam Paddock in larger photo, spent three years, three months building this 4' replica of the USS Constitution. The model was Paul's gift to friends Duane and Pam Paddock of Paddock Chevrolet.
Welcome, Sarah Ann Brand - 2004
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Kristen and David Brand are the proud parents of a baby girl, Sarah Ann, born Sunday, November 14th weighing seven pounds, six ounces and 21 inches long. Sarah Ann is the granddaughter of Ken and Linda Koch and Bob and Joanne Brand, all of Grand Island.
Islanders In Riviera Diary Of Anne Frank Production - Nov. 2004 Bernard Gossette Photos. Click photos for a larger view.
Grand Island High School sophomore Sarah Mye (far right) played the leading role in the drama, Diary Of Anne Frank, produced November 5-6 and November 12-14, 2004 by the Niagara Regional Theatre Guild in the Riviera Theater. Island resident Karen Conboy (left) portrayed Anne Frank's mother, Edith. The play was directed by Island resident Fran Newton
The show received New York State wide directorial/production staff and cast performance awards.
The Western New York Affiliate of the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer
Foundation has named Island resident Jacqueline G. Mordaunt Executive Director. Jackie will be responsible for the overall operation of the affiliate, including representing the foundation to the public, assisting with fundraising events and providing guidance to volunteers and committees. She is the first executive director the Affiliate has employed since its inception in 1999.
"Being able to hire an executive director allows our Komen Affiliate to become more progressive in carrying forward the mission to eradicate breast cancer," said Nora McGuire, president of the board of directors of the WNY Affiliate. "Jackie Mordaunt has many years of experience in working with non profit organizations and hundreds of ideas to build on the foundation established in WNY over the past four years."
Jackie is a member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals and the Roswell Alliance Community Advisory Board. She previously served as director of development at the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Northtowns and prior to that owned and operated The Jacqueline Shoppe, a specialty clothing store. She has been honored with the Katherine A. Gioia Inspiration Award, has been named Who's Who Among American Business Women and was presented with the Citizen of the Year Award from the Grand Island Chamber of Commerce.
The Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation was founded in Texas in 1982 by Nancy Brinker in memory of her sister, Susan Goodman Komen, who died in 1980 at the age of 36 after a three-year struggle with breast cancer. The Foundation's mission is to eradicate breast cancer as a life threatening disease by advancing research, education, screening, and treatment. The Komen Race for the Cure Series is the Foundation's signature breast cancer awareness and fundraising event.
Click photo for a larger view. Editor's note: The following was posted at the US Army Corps of Engineers, August 2004, Vol. 28 No. 8
Graduation from college and being commissioned a U.S. military officer is a special occasion for anyone and her family. A recent commissioning, however, was even more memorable than most. David Conboy, an engineer with Buffalo District, and a lieutenant colonel in the Army Reserves, administered the oath of commissioning from Iraq and welcomed his stepdaughter, Sarah Elizabeth McMahon, into the Army as a second lieutenant. Click "Sarah McMahon" for complete story.
Welcome, Anthony Stephen Weis - 2004
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Anthony Stephen Weis was born November 3, 2004 to former residents Maureen and Jason Weis of Spring Hill, Florida which is 40 miles north of Tampa. The baby weighed in at seven pounds 13 1/2 ounces. Proud grandparents are Phil and Jenine Rotella and Nancy and Bill Weis, all of Grand Island, and who have already made a visit to welcome the new baby into the family!
Chris Wozniak- 2004
Poster created by Chris Wozniak
Click photo for a complete and much larger view.
Island resident Chris Wozniak has illustrated and designed the poster layout for a play, Murder in the Cathedral, being produced by the Towne Players of Tonawanda and Church of the Advent.
This Centennial Celebration Production of Murder in the Cathedral, a Drama By T.S. Eliot, is being directed by Randy Rumley. The play takes place at Church of the Advent, 54 Delaware Road, Kenmore, NY. Dates and times follow:
Thursday, November 18 - 8 p.m.
Friday, November 19 - 8 p.m.
Saturday, November 20 - 8 p.m.
Sunday, November 21 - 2 p.m.
Ticket prices are $7 and $6/students/senior citizens. For more information call 876-6504 or click www.towneplayers.com
Thursday, November 4, 2004 . . .Seventeen-year-old Meaghan Ann Drexelius Grotz has come through yesterday's surgery where she received a double lung transplant at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. Meaghan and her parents, Tim and Kate Grotz, left Grand Island early yesterday morning (Wed., Nov. 3, 2004) after an approximate seven-month wait for a donor.
Click "Meaghan - 11/3/04", "Meaghan - 4/04" and www.meaghansmiracle.com for previous stories.
"Please pray for Meaghan's complete recovery."
Seventeen-year-old Meaghan Ann Drexelius Grotz and her parents, Tim and Kate Drexelius Grotz, left the Island early this morning (Wed., Nov. 3, 2004) for the long awaited trip to University of Pittsburgh Medical Center where she will receive a double lung transplant. Meaghan had participated in sports and many other activities including National Honor Society and the Grand Island High School Wind Ensemble until cystic fibrosis, initially diagnosed at birth, took a toll on her well being this past year.
The entire Grand Island community came forward with prayers and donations for the Grotz family over the past seven months.
Click "Meaghan" and www.meaghansmiracle.com for previous stories.
"Please pray for Meaghan's complete recovery."
Jill Anderson, daughter of Bridget and Rich Anderson of Harvey Road, graduated from Argosy University/Georgia School of Professional Psychology in Atlanta, Georgia with a Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology. Graduation ceremonies took place Friday, October 29, 2004. Jill, a member of the Grand Island High School Class of 1992, is the granddaughter of Leonard and Violet Anderson of Broadway.
Author Thom Hatch - 2004
(left) Author Thom Hatch, his wife Lynn, and daughter, Cimarron
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Author Thom Hatch, who grew up on Grand Island, is shown with his wife, Lynn, and daughter, Cimarron, during a private signing of his latest book, "Black Kettle: the Cheyenne Chief Who Sought Peace but Found War," published by John Wiley & Sons. Thom signed about 150 books in two hours for booksellers from across the West at their annual convention in Denver. According to Thom, "The last book available that night was given to my 10-year-old daughter, Cimarron, by the representative of my publisher who had flown out from New York City for the occasion and Cimarron is holding that book in the photo."
Thom Hatch moved from Grand Island in 1962, graduated from high school in Ohio, joined the U. S. Marine Corps, served in a combat unit in Vietnam for thirteen months, and started his writing career as a newspaper reporter in Pennsylvania. He settled in Colorado in the early 1970s, where he has been a freelance writer, mainly in film, TV, and radio, and has also been a frequent contributor to national publications. His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
McGrath - Schopp - 2004
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The Park Lane in Buffalo was the setting for the wedding and reception of Michael Schopp and Carolyn McGrath on Saturday, October 23, 2004. The bride is the daughter of Earl and Garnet McGrath of Cornwall, NY. Reg Schopp and Jeri Schopp of Grand Island are parents of the groom. Mike is a sports radio personality for WGR 550 AM and Carolyn is an attorney for Fisher Price in East Aurora.
The newlyweds are living on Grand Island.
MacClellan - Sargent - 2004
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Kimberly MacClellan and Jeffrey Sargent were married in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico on October 9, 2004. The bride's parents are Island residents Jim and Joann MacClellan. The groom's parents are Bill and Toni Sargent, also of Grand Island. The bride is a graduate Buffalo State College and is employed as an analyst at Definity Health. The groom is a graduate of the University at Buffalo and is employed at Citi Group as a European Corporate cash billing specialist. Kimberly and Jeffrey are graduates of Grand Island High School. A reception for the newlyweds will be held October 30, 2004 at Joseph's Manor and Grove, Depew. They will be at home on Grand Island.
Carissa Bailey Crowned Queen - October 2004
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Carissa Bailey from Grand Island, NY celebrated Halloween early as she was named the Miss All-Canadian Queen in St. Catharines, Ontario on October 17, 2004 during a special Halloween pageant. Carissa, a 15-year old junior at Grand Island High School, is active in the music department where she plays violin in the orchestra, sings in Concert Choir, Jazz Choir, and Madrigals. She was honored to be a part of the Erie County Choir and has received a perfect score in voice at All State Solofest on level 6 this year which offered her a spot in the All State Women’s Chorus. She is also an honor roll student who also trains in dance at the Clark Academy of Performing Arts. She is an active member in the Spotlighters Drama Club, Humanities Club and DECA at the High School.
Carissa is actively involved in musical theater and has appeared in Grease as Rizzo, Chicago as Velma Kelly, and Belka in Fiddler on the Roof as well as over a dozen more performances. This December she will appear in The Magic of Christmas playing two amazing shows on Saturday, December 18, 2004 at 2:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. at the Flickinger Auditorium at Nichols School. She will be a featured dancer and singer, singing the upbeat holiday tune ‘Santa Baby.’
Carissa will also compete in the Miss Teen Buffalo competition on November 7.
Patrick Sexton, a student at Grand Island High School, has been accepted into the People to People Student Ambassador Program, an educational travel program founded by President Dwight D. Eisenhower. Patrick will embark on a South Pacific Adventure of New Zealand and Australia for 20 days next summer. Acceptance into the Student Ambassador Program is an honor. After being invited to enroll, Patrick submitted letters of recommendation and successfully completed a personal interview process before being selected to join the delegation. Before departing, he will attend several orientation meetings with program leaders and fellow delegates to learn about the destination and prepare for the journey. Patrick is the son of Mike Sexton and Jenny Tirone both of Grand Island.
Michael James Christensen was born October 7, 2004 at 12:06 a.m. in Sisters Hospital, weighing in at three pounds, 5.7 ounces and measuring 16 ½ inches. He is the son of
Kris and Michelle Christensen of Sandpiper Lane. Michael’s proud grandparents are George and Marianne Christensen of Grand Island and Ron and Gail Muffler of Wheatfield. His great grandmother is Dallas LaBarber of North Tonawanda.
Laurie (Conn) Lazik shown on the left with Kathy Johnson during a benefit given for them.
A benefit for Isle resident Kathy Johnson and former resident Laurie (Conn) Lazik, GIHS Class of 1981, was a huge success. Held October 15, 2004 at the Elks Club, North Tonawanda, the crowd was estimated at over 300 people. According to Lynn Mikulski of Grand Island who was in charge of arrangements, around 75 baskets were donated for the raffle. The majority of the food was also donated by area businesses and a signed Bills helmet (by Jim Kelly) and an autographed Sabres stick were also raffled off. Employees from Payless Shoes volunteered to set up, help serve and cleanup. According to Lynn, the account for donations will be open awhile and donations may be made to "Friends of Kathy and Laurie " and forwarded to: Lynn Mikulski, 1140 East River Road, Grand Island, NY 14072.
Kathy and Laurie are Hospice nurses who are both undergoing treatment for a life-threatening cancer illness. This benefit will provide assistance to these two special women who have devoted much care to Hospice patients.
Baby boy Chance Michael-Thomas Luthringer was born September 1, 2004 weighing seven pounds, six ounces. He is the son of Tina Giambra and Rob Luthringer. Pictured is Chance being held by his sister, Chase Luthringer, 2.
California resident Ora Glor-Newton, 92, traveled cross country with her daughter, Bernie Pagliaro, stopping to visit daughters Elizabeth, Ellen and Barbara in Ohio and then spending time in her Love Road home where she and her husband moved to in 1942. Ora, daughter Bernie and son, Eugene (left photo) met with Island friends at River Oaks on Friday, October 8, 2004. Also shown in the photos are Don Burns at the piano, Nancy Mote Sayre and Dave Dusenbury and below (left) Bernie, Don, Carol MacDonald Ganster and Sally Swalm Hansen and right, counter-clockwise from front, Shorty Vanthoff, Karen Vanthoff, Richard Smith, and Ed and Carol Ganster. Not shown but also attending were Fay Rech and Teddy Linenfelser. Mrs. Glor-Newton is also the mother of Peter Glor.
Bob and Carolyn Thompson of Wallace Drive welcomed their third child into the world on Tuesday, October 5, 2004. Rebekah Mae Thompson arrived weighing eight pounds, three ounces and was 20 1/2 inches long. She joins big brother and sister, Andrew, 4 and Anna, 2. Rebekah's grandparents are Fred and Ruth Thompson of Grand Island and Gerry and Joanne Gadra of Lancaster.
Bethany Jane Kulikowski was born September 13, 2004 to Colonial Drive residents Kevin and Alaina "Rowswell" Kulikowski. The baby girl weighed in at eight pounds, eight ounces and was welcomed home by big sister Grace and big brother Joey. Proud grandparents are Al and Dorothy Rowswell of Grand Island and Art and Trudy Kulikowski of Turnersville, NJ.
Welcome, Jacob Charles Cali - 2004
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Jacob Charles Cali was born September 27, 2004 to Isle residents Michael and Elizabeth Schopp Cali. The baby boy weighed in at seven pounds, seven ounces and is 20 1/2" long and was welcomed home by his brother, Joseph Michael, 2. Proud grandparents are Jeri and Reg Schopp of Grand Island and Mike and Janelle Cali of Niagara Falls.
Jim Chamberlain, First Place Friends of Harmony - 2004
Jim Chamberlain is shown second row from the bottom, first one on the right.
Island resident Jim Chamberlain participated in a regional competition with The Friends of Harmony on September 25, 2004. The barbershop chorus based out of Depew, NY won first place at the annual regional competition in Rochester, NY earning them the right to represent their region in an international competition in July 2005 at Salt Lake City, Utah.
Long Reunion - 2004
The Long cousins held a reunion on July 24, 2004 at Sam Long's house on Long Road. Shown (left) are the Long family cousins, Gary, Paul, Mark, Tom, Sam & Patti -- Cousins and all of their offspring -- Patti's family -- and right, Surviving "uncles/aunts - Harvey and Catherine (Gary), and Jean (Tom and Mark).
Harvey Long shown in a 1948 photo, has lived here all of his 82 years! Click all photos for a larger view.
76-Year-Old Twins Reunite On Island - 2004
Barb Zettel Taylor (left) and Nancy J. Zettel Knab
Be sure to click photo for a complete view.
The Zettel twins, Nancy J. Zettel Knab and Barbara Zettel Taylor, grew up in the City of Tonawanda, graduated from Tonawanda High School in 1945 and eventually separated for 16 years when Barbara moved with her husband, Lawrence, to Michigan. The girls celebrated their 76th birthdays together in July and also celebrated the fact that they now live across the road from each other in Town Hall Terrace. The twins, who love Grand Island, walk Barbara's dog every day and get together often.
Mitchell Keith Matthews Hill Wins Sunburst Modeling Contest - 2004
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Mitchell Keith Matthews Hill seems more delighted with the “loving cup” of prizes he received from WINK Radio, than with the two trophies that he won September 12, 2004 in the Sunburst USA Modeling Contest in Elmira, NY.
Seven-month-old Mitchell was awarded First Place in the Most Photogenic Division and was chosen First Runner-up in the Beautiful Baby Boy Division. He is the son of Suzanne Matthews and Keith Hill of Horseheads, New York, engineers with Corning, Inc. Suzanne is a 1985 graduate of Grand Island High School and Alfred University. Proud grandparents are Mary and Jan Matthews of Grand Island, NY, and Loxie and Clifford Hill of Danby, NY.
Dana "Anello" White On Opra Winfrey's "World's Largest Baby Shower" Show - 2004
Click photos for a larger view. Island Resident Dana "Anello" White and her husband, Paul White, are stationed at Ft. Campbell, KY and expecting their first child November 22, 2004. She is the daughter of Larry and Trish Harpster of Dolphin Dr. and Vince Anello, Mayor of Niagara Falls. The following information on the Oprah Winfrey Show, which will air Tuesday, September 28, 2004, was supplied by Dana's mother.
Oprah Winfrey did her show at Fort Campbell on Monday, September 20, 2004 as the "World's Largest Baby Shower." Members of the 101st Airborne Division, who were the first to be dispatched in the Iraqi war, were returned home from January through March of 2004. Therefore, there are 650 women expecting babies from October thru December!!! (They are calling it the "Post Iraqi Baby Invasion") The base had to contract out to area hospitals to help deliver all the new little citizens.
All of the women received $1,000 in cash for the baby and over $4,000 in baby items through this show. Johnson and Johnson was the sponsor and Dana said that she has every product that they ever made. Along with a digital camera, a travel system, bath tub, video monitor, high chair, diaper bags, etc. - Dana was overwhelmed to say the least!!
Mrs. Harpster wrote that, "My daughter was completely blown away with both the beauty, warmth and caring of Oprah. She said that she is truly a stunning woman and that TV does not do her justice. She also said that she was not sure who was more excited, the pregnant woman or Oprah!!!"
"I wanted to share this story as I feel that it is refreshing to hear of a super star that uses her time, talent and efforts in such a caring manner. The segment will be aired Tuesday, September 28, 2004."
Benefit For Kathy Johnson and Laurie (Conn) Lazik - 2004
Friends of Isle resident Kathy Johnson and former resident Laurie (Conn) Lazik, GIHS Class of 1981, are hosting a benefit on their behalf from 6-11 p.m. Friday, October 15, 2004 at the Elks Club, Main and Sweeney streets in North Tonawanda.
Kathy and Laurie are Hospice nurses who are both undergoing treatment for a life-threatening cancer illness. This benefit will provide assistance to these two special women who have devoted much care to Hospice patients. There will be a theme basket auction, 50/50 split, and pizza, wings and music from Nickel City Cafe. Any donations would be greatly appreciated. Tickets at $20 or two for $35 will be available at the door or by calling Lynn Mikulski at 773-3448.
Conn - Kightlinger Wedding - 2004 Click photo for full view
The wedding of Marla Jean Conn of Grand Island and Elgie R. Kightlinger took place on Sunday, September 5, 2004 in Niagara Falls where the bride's parents were married 25 years ago. Marla is the daughter of Patrick and Marcy Conn and granddaughter of Joan Santaspirito of Grand Island. The groom is the son of Jeff and Audrey Kightlinger. Marla and Elgie will make their home on Grand Island.
According to a September 5, 2004 Buffalo News feature, "the Iroquois Indian Museum in Howes Cave, a 41/2-hour drive from Buffalo, is honoring the man and his vision with "Stan Hill: An Inspiration." The exhibit displays his finest work, from small, decorative hair combs of deer antler and sculptures made from the vertebrae of whales to a magnificent eagle created from a two-foot-long caribou antler." Click "Stan Hill" for complete story. Other photos are located at "Islanders In The News 2003"
Andrew Stange, an eighth grader at Connor Middle School, had the honor of winning five blue ribbons, two rosettes and two trophies for his Netherland Dwarf rabbit entries at the Niagara County Fair August 4-8, 2004. His dwarf rabbit, “Isabella,” won Best of Breed and his homebred Blue Eyed White Netherland Dwarf rabbits took the honor of “Best Mother and Babies.” He received a Blue Ribbon in Showmanship.
Andrew is a member of the Niagara County 4-H Club, the American Rabbit Breeders Association and the American Netherland Dwarf Rabbit Club. He shows his rabbits at local rabbit shows and throughout the northeastern US.
Welcome, Caroline Grace and Gabrielle Marie McGavisk - 2004 Click photo for full view
Twin girls, Caroline Grace and Gabrielle Marie McGavisk, were born June 13, 2004 to Mike and Danielle (Normandin) McGavisk of Newark, New York. The baby girls weighed in at six pounds, ten ounces and six pounds, four ounces repectively. Proud grandparents are Serge and Gerri Normandin of Grand Island and Vince and Mary Ann McGavisk.
Carissa Bailey Crowned Princess - August 2004
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Carissa Bailey, from Grand Island, NY was named the America’s Fair Princess at the Erie County Fairgrounds on Wednesday, August 11, 2004. Carissa, 15, is a student at Grand Island High School where she will be a junior this fall. She is actively involved in musical theater and has appeared in Grease as Rizzo, Chicago as Velma Kelly, and Belka in Fiddler on the Roof as well as over a dozen more performances. Carissa is active in the music department at the high school where she plays violin, sings in Concert Choir, Jazz Choir, and Madrigals and has been selected to appear in the musicals. She was honored to be a part of the Erie County Choir and has received a perfect score in voice at All State Solofest on level 6 this year. An honor roll student and first runner-up in the Miss Teen Buffalo Pageant this past fall, she studies dance and piano in her free time.
Charlotte Booth, 15 and also from Grand Island was chosen first runner up at America’s Fair. The Fair’s Queen is Jessica Filipski of Cheektowaga.
The queen and princess will be the Fair ambassadors for the eleven days of the Fair. They will be the honorary guests of the daily parade, judge various contests and events including the 4-H dressing contests.
Islander Brieanna Bailey, 19, will choreograph as well as appear in the Starry Night Theatre production of Anything Goes opening this weekend in North Tonawanda. Passengers find love aboard the S.S. America, to the tune of Cole Porter's most glorious score in this classic musical. For complete story, click "Brieanna." Brieanna is a graduate of Grand Island High School, Class of 2003.
Tribute To Tetkowski Family Recognizes Dr. Tetkowski's Siena Program - 2004
The Tetkowski family was honored at a Buffalo State reunion
of alumni of the early years of the Siena Semester. The Siena program
began as the vision of Dr. Clement Tetkowski in the eary 1960s, and has
continued at Buffalo State to the present. It is the oldest study abroad
program in the State of New York. The tribute to the Tetkowskis, longtime residents of Whitehaven Road, Grand Island, took place on August 4, 2004.
This reunion was planned for those alumni who participated in semesters
in Siena from its beginning in September 1961 through the ‘70s.
Forty-three years ago Clem and his wife, Lee, and their three young
children, Diane, Mira and Neil, left on an old Italian ship, the
Saturnia, with the first brave twenty college students for the adventure
of their lives. That began lifetime connections that are continuing with
the next generation.
About seventy Siena alumni attended the August 4th reunion, with their albums and
scrapbooks and memories. One after another former students told
wonderful anecdotes, some humorous, some serious, about the deep effect they had for the Siena experience.
When Clem died six years ago, the family established a Siena Program
Scholarship Fund in his and his wife’s name. This helps deserving
students to participate in this International program preserving the
"Tetkowski Years" legacy.
Grand Island High School honor roll student, Carissa Bailey, 15, recently appeared in the musical production of ‘Grease’ and starred as Rizzo at University at Buffalo’s Center for the Arts. For complete story, click "Carissa."
Islanders Enjoy Boys Of Summer Concert - 2004
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These photos were taken at the July 6, 2004 Boys Of Summer concert at Dock at the Bay on Lake Erie and appear on the group's website. In the left photo are Boys of Summer guitar & vocalist Jim Weldy with Sue Andrews and Kim Schopp and behind them are Mike Schopp and Carolyn McGrath. The right photo shows Isle residents Donna Spiker, Kim Schopp, Sue Andrews and Ginger DeMita. The group performs every Tuesday night from 7-11 p.m. through Labor Day.
Tom Cino - Fundraiser - 2004
A benefit has been planned to help offset the medical expenses and lost wages that have been incurred by Island resident Tom Cino due to serious illness. His family, friends, and Buffalo police officers are hosting the event from 7-11 p.m. Thursday, August 12, 2004 at the Amici Lodge, 299 Connecticut Street, Buffalo. Featured will be a Chinese auction, food and music. See separate story by clicking Tom Cino.
Benefit For Rick Kramer - 2004
LaSalle Avenue neighbors of Rick Kramer are inviting the community to a benefit to help Rick with medical bills and the purchase of a prosthesis. The event is scheduled for 2 p.m. Saturday, August 21 at the VFW Post #9249 on Grand Island Blvd. Rick was involved in a motorcyle accident on June 19, 2004 and suffered a partial amputation of his left leg.
Tickets are available at $20 per person, $35 per couple and $45 for a family and include a spaghetti dinner and beverages. Featured will be a basket raffle, 50/50, an auction and prizes, plus live classic rock by Kwyjibo.
To purchase tickets, make a contribution or to help in any way, contact Amy Edwards, 1157 LaSalle Avenue, 773-8772 or Kelli Porter, 1168 LaSalle Avenue, 773-6040.
McCarthy Irish Dancers Headline At Artpark - July 2004   Maura Rustowicz Photos - click photos for larger view
Students of the McCarthy School Of Irish Dance performed Tuesday, July 20, 2004 at Artpark with the Irish bands, Kilbrennan and the GlenGarry Buoys. According to all reports, it was an awesome show. Among the dancers were the following children from Grand Island: Katie, James, Maggie and MaryElisabeth Rustowicz (shown above right), Alexandra DeMita, Arielle and Amanda Blantan, Shannon Quinn, Chelsea Fulle, Maura Bobak, Amanda and Alyssa Cinelli, Meredith Stone, and Halle Fitzgerald. The dance school is located at 2055-2077 Baseline Road, Grand Island, New York.
Five generations - Dorothy Voetsch Fahrer seated, is surrounded by her son, Peter I. Fahrer Sr. (left), granddaughter Teresa Fahrer Gormady (right), great granddaughter Kristine Fahrer, and great great granddaughter Natalie Fahrer.
Fred Claus Photo
Dorothy Voetsch Fahrer who now lives in West Seneca, was recently on the Island to celebrate her 90th birthday. The birthday celebration at the Bedell Road home of her granddaughter Teresa (Dan) Gormady was made even more memorable as it was the 2nd birthday of Mrs. Fahrer’s great great granddaughter Natalie Fahrer.
Old Islanders may remember Dorothy’s family, and their business prospects on the Island. She is the daughter of the late Frederick (Fritz) and Clara (Trautman) Voetsch. Her grandfather, William E. Voetsch, built and operated Edgewater Hotel and park on East River Road at the north end of the Island. He also was the founder of Electric Beach. Along with her grandfather and uncle, William F. Voetsch, Dorothy’s father Frederick (Fritz) Voetsch was a big player in real estate on Grand Island. William and Fred Voetsch worked for their father when they were of age, and when their father died in the mid 1930s, they took over the operation of Edgewater along with their sister, Hattie (Harriet) Voetsch Diebold. William E. Voetsch had also owned the less popular Electric Beach in the area of what is now Harvey Road. While the Electric Beach was not as popular as Edgewater, both parks were the site of many fun times for local Island residents. Just hearing the name Edgewater Park will cause many Islanders to reminisce about town, school, or family outings at this park.
Current family members are always delighted to visit with “Grandma” Fahrer. Her many stories of the parks her family owned, as well as life on Grand Island are quite enjoyable and the family loves to hear them. Whenever she is in town however, it is hard to find her in one place. In addition to her many stories, Dorothy loves to take a drive around the Island so that she can point out the places as she tells her stories. Her favorite one is of the boat near the north end of the Island that had caught fire and sank. The smoke stack of this boat (the Corona) may still be seen from East River Road.
Corrections to the geneology in this story were made by John Van Son of Southlake, Texas. Mrs. Fahrer's uncle, William F. Voetsch, was John Van Son's uncle by marriage to his aunt Sarah Van
Photos of the park Dorothy remembers so well, may be found by clicking Edgewater Feature.
Norm and Mary Parisi - Shhhhh! - Surprise Party Planned - 2004
A "surprise" 75th birthday/retirement party is being planned for Norm and Mary Parisi who have closed their Grand Island Quality Cleaners on Staley Road after 40 years in the business. The couple are both celebrating 75th birthdays and friends are invited to join the family at Grand Island Fire Headquarters at 5 p.m. Thursday, August 5, 2004. Those planning to attend are asked to call Nicole at 773-1685 or Cathy at 773-4753. Everyone is asked to please keep it a surprise.
Jessica Fabin - 2004
Grand Island High School graduate Jessica Fabin was recently named a 2003-2004 Outstanding Undergraduate Scholar at the Rochester Institute of Technology. The daughter of Frank and Patricia Fabin, she will pursue a master's degree in public policy. Jessica was named the Female Student Athlete of the Year at Grand Island High School for four consecutive years.
Paul Leuchner - 2004
East River Road resident Paul Leuchner, recently retired from the Army Corps of Engineers, has been appointed by Ambassador Niagara Signature Bridge Group as lead environmental consultant for the Bridge Site Selection and Evaluation Team. Paul, former chief of the Regulatory Permits Branch of the Army Corps of Engineers Buffalo District Office, now works with the American Consulting Professionals of New York.
Jimmy Arias, Once No. 5-Ranked
Tennis Player In The World, To Play In Local Exhibition - July 2004
According to a Buffalo News article of July 17, 2004, Jimmy Arias of Sarasota, Florida will play an exhibition match against Aaron Krickstein at 7 p.m. Sunday, July 25, 2004 at Amherst Hills Tennis Club. Both men were once the No. 5 ranked tennis players in the world. Arias, a former resident of Grand Island, NY, captured five professional singles titles before his 20th birthday.
Sunday's singles match will be followed by Arias and Krickstein teaming up for a doubles match against brothers Luke and Murphy Jensen, winners of the 1993 French Open doubles championship. Krickstein holds 11 ATP singles titles.
The non-profit Buffalo Niagara Community Tennis Association will be the benefactor of the tournament. Tickets at $5 are available at Amherst Hills and at JB's Tennis Shop. For further information, call 632-8600.
For more information on Jimmy Arias, click Greater Buffalo Sports Hall Of Fame Online.
Grand Island High School graduate Carlin Hartman has been named assistant coach for the Ragin' Cajuns men's basketball program at Louisiana-Lafayette University. The former All-Western New Yorker, a former
star at Tulane, was hired July 1. He spent the two previous seasons as director of basketball operations for the Rice University Owls.
Milestone Birthdays Celebrated July 10th - 2004
Click photos for a larger view.
Esther Bertha Lozo, who was born on Grand Island on May 19, 1914, was completely surprised when her family hosted a birthday party for her on Saturday, July 10,2004. Al Bykowicz, born on July 10, 1929 was also surrounded by his large family on July 10 for the celebration of his 75th birthday.
July 2004 . . .
Former Island resident D.J. Foote is a member of the Sarasota High School graduation Class of 2004. He is the son of David and Dana Foote of Sarasota, Florida.
Tom Cino - Recovering From Rare Disease - 2004
Island resident Tom Cino, a Buffalo police officer for the past 13 years, is recovering from a rare flesh-eating disease. He is married and the father of twin girls. For those wishing to help the Cino family, donations may be made to: The Thomas Cino Fund, c/o M&T Bank, 2303 Delaware Ave., Buffalo, NY, 14216. For the complete story, as published in the July 9, 2004 issue of the Buffalo News, click
Riverdale Drive Fundraiser For "Meaghan's Miracle" - 2004
(Photos from left) Fuccillo Godzilla (courtesy of Fuccillo Chevrolet); Fund raiser hosts Joel Suppa and Eric Pietron; fundraiser workers Chris Walker, Terry Benton, Mackenzie Hassan, Heather O'Shei, and Steve Ackendorf; Bill Dommell and Mark Hassan; and Mark Hassan, Buddy Boss, with Buddy's daughter, Amanda and his wife, Debbie.
Diane Hassan Photos - Click for larger view
A July 4th fundraiser to benefit "Meaghan's Miracle" was hosted by Joel Suppa and Eric Pietron on Sunday, July 4, 2004. The event, which raised about $2800, was held at the home of Joel Suppa. Local businesses who contributed prizes and money to this fundraiser are:
Twin Lo Beverages
Performance Auto & Sound
A donation was collected to gain entrance and ID was required to get a wrist band to purchase beverages. Music, food and fun were the name of the game. All profits from the benefit are being donated to the family of 17-year-old Meaghan Grotz, a cystic fibrosis patient in need of a double lung transplant.
Town Turns Out For Meaghan's Miracle Fundraiser - 2004
Dan McMahon Photo Bob Kopf Photo
Click photos for larger view
Bob Kopf Photos
Click photos for larger view:
Jodi Robinson Photos
The "Meaghan's Miracle" fundraiser, run by family and friends of Meaghan Grotz at the Grand Island Rod & Gun Club on Sunday, June 27, 2004, has been deemed a financial success thanks to the hard work of many and the huge crowd from the community who came out to support this worthy cause. Meaghan is a 17-year-old Grand Island High School honor student who suffers from Cystic Fibrosis. The fundraiser was held to assist the family in financing a double lung transplant which Meaghan desperately needs.
For monetary donations, make checks payable to: Meaghan's Miracle
2300 Grand Island Blvd.
Grand Island New York, 10472
Note in memo section: "In honor of Meaghan Grotz"
For more information, call 716-316-7662 or visit www.meaghansmiracle.com.
Steve Morgan Listed In "Who's Who in Banking and Finance" - 2004
Steve Morgan of Contour Financial Planning is listed in the June 25-July 1 edition of Business First under "Who's Who in Banking and Finance." This special report cites itself as the source for information about the men and women who run banking and finance-related companies in Western New York. Business First invited these executives to be a part of this issue using their Top 25 Lists as their database along with companies that have a strong presence in the area. The list is meant to provide a personal look at the people who run the area's financial companies.
Walkers recognized for first place in their divisions are (left) Chie Doring, Sarah McNulty, Greg McDonnell, Terry Nusstein and Sherry Carrato.
The five kilometer West River Walk-a-Thon, held Saturday, June 19, 2004 has raised over $3000 to help defray expenses of a double lung transplant for Meaghan Grotz, a 17-year-old cystic fibrosis patient.
About 150 people entered the walk-a-thon according to Kathy Aronica. First place winners in the various divisions were Greg McDonnell, first overall and first teenage; Chie Doring, Seniors; Sarah McNulty, Youth; and Terry Nusstein and Sherry Carrato, tie for Adult division.
Coordinators for the walk-a-thon were Floyd Doring, Bob McDonnell, Debbie Harrison, and Mrs. Aronica.
Major sponsor was Metro Chubb Real Estate. Also sponsoring the event were Coka-Cola, APP Wegmans, ProSource, BOC Industries, NLRS NY INc., NRG Huntley, TC's Lounge, State Parks, and the Grand Island Fire Company.
Checks for Meaghan's Miracle may be made out to: Meaghan's Miracle c/o Mike Samland, HSBC Bank, Grand Island.
Morgan Elizabeth Santorio was born June 17, 2004 to Isle residents Dean and Sandy (Krebs) Santorio. The baby girl weighed in at six pounds, fourteen ounces. Proud grandparents are Sharyn Krebs of Grand Island, Penny and Tom Giambra of Grand Island, and Lenny Santorio of Kenmore.
Bryan Smith, a 2001 graduate of Grand
Island High School, has been named Junior Sailor of the Quarter for the
Construction Battalion Unit Four Two Seven in San Diego, California. Bryan
joined the Navy in May of 2002 and is an equipment operator third class. His
commendation states he performed his duties "in an exemplary and highly
professional manner" and his "take charge attitude" was instrumental in a
park restoration project. It was also noted that "his devotion to the
development and mentoring of junior personnel has greatly enhanced" his
outfit's readiness and mission capability.
Grand Island resident Melissa Rayhill was recently named to the Dean's List at Boston University. She earned a 3.85 grade point average this past semester as a junior pre-med student. She has also been recognized twice on the National Dean's List.
In addition, Melissa received a summer research award to investigate short-term memory performance in synesthesia at B. U. Approximately forty students university-wide were chosen to participate in this summer program.
A psychology major with a minor in biology, Melissa will be applying to medical school with interests in neurology, psychiatry and neuroscience.
Ian O'Rourke Named to All-American Diving Team - 2004
Grand Island High School Diver Ian O'Rourke has been named to the National Interscholastic Swimming Coaches Association (NISCA) All-America Diving Team. A 9th grader, Ian is ranked 15th in the nation among Public High School Boys.
West River Walk-A-Thon Set For Meaghan - 2004
A five kilometer Walk-a-Thon to assist Meaghan Grotz who has cystic fibrosis and faces a double lung transplant is scheduled for Saturday, June 19, 2004 with a 10 a.m. sharp start. Entry donation is $10 and walkers may solicit sponsors for additional donation. Donations in excess of the $10 will be gratefully accepted.
Checks are to be made out to: Meaghan's Miracle c/o Mike Samland, HSBC Bank, Grand Island. Final registration is at 9 a.m. June 19 in the old Dunlop parking lot off Long Road west of the Niagara Thruway. For application forms or further information, call 773-2221.
Metro-Chubb Real Estate on Grand Island is sponsoring the 5K West River Walk For Meaghan.
Family and friends of Meaghan Grotz, a 16-year-old Cystic Fibrosis patient, have planned a major fundraiser to assist the family in financing a double lung transplant for Meaghan. The event will be held from 1-7 p.m. Sunday, June 27, 2004 at the Grand Island Rod & Gun Club, 1083 Whitehaven Road. Donation for the day of fun, food and drinks is $20 per person , $30 per couple, or $40/family and includes a chicken dinner and drinks. Attendees entering a contest may win a Harley Davidson Softail or an all expense paid week in Florida (Sandestin Hilton Beach & Golf Resort in Destin, Florida).
Festivities include a Chinese Auction, 50/50 raffle, skydivers, music and more.
For monetary donations, make checks payable to: Meaghan's Miracle
2300 Grand Island Blvd.
Grand Island New York, 10472
Note in memo section: "In honor of Meaghan Grotz"
For more information, call 716-316-7662 or visit www.meaghansmiracle.com.
An honor roll student at Grand Island High School, Meaghan is the daughter of Tim and Kate Drexelius Grotz. (Mrs. Grotz' name was listed here incorrectly last week)
(left) Jamie and Paul Michaud on graduation day; (right) Paul shown with his mother, Priscilla Schad, sons Paul Guy and James and his father, Guy Michaud.
Jamie Michaud is proud to announce that her husband, Paul Matthew Michaud, a 1995 graduate of Grand Island High School, recently received his Doctor of Medicine degree from the Uniformed Services University in Bethesda, Maryland. Paul was acknowledged in the graduation for his induction in the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society as a medical student. During the ceremony, he was also promoted to the rank of Captain in the U.S. Army. After completing his internship, Dr. Michaud will begin his residency in Radiology at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. Paul is the son of Guy Michaud and Priscilla Schad and currently resides in Maryland with his wife Jamie and sons, Paul Guy and James.
June 2004 . . .A very happy 100th birthday to Island resident Helen M. Groff who was born on June 8, 1904 in Batavia, NY. The former Helen M. Sawyer grew up in Batavia, married Homer Groff on her birthday in 1943 and spent her married life in Buffalo. She moved to Grand Island in 1989 and has been a resident of the Islandview Apartments since that time.
The Groffs were parents of the late Frank Sawyer, the late Jim Groff, Pat (Groff) Stephan of Angola, and Island resident Jerry Groff. Helen has 14 grandchildren, and two great grandchildren. A grandchild, Barbara Stephan, passed away at age 5.
Helen worked for many years as a store clerk in a grocery store called Blatners. She was very active in her church and made Meals on Wheels in the basement of the church for many years.
When she moved to the Island, she belonged to a prayer group which was held at a different house every Wednesday and she never missed a meeting. Members would go out to lunch, and do all kinds of things together. Helen does not go out at all now except for an occasional doctor's appointment. However, she still lives alone and takes care of herself with very little help. She does have some vision problems and therefore enjoys audio books. She listens to the audio Bible and never misses church on television on Sundays. She is a member of St. Martin-in-the-Fields Church and Father Earl King, who is out of town at this time, brings her communion.
Helen is most appreciative of the closeness of her granddaughter Wendy Truesdale who lives across the street, and her son, Jerry, of Greenway Road. Her granddaughter, Wendy says that Helen's friends at the complex are so wonderful to her, and always looking in on her, making sure she's okay. "She would tell you for long life, don't smoke (she never has), don't drink and don't go to the doctor," Ms. Truesdale said of her 100-year-old grandmother.
A small family gathering with four generations in attendance took place on Sunday, June 6th. Relatives came from as far away as California and Texas.
Many thanks to Wendy Truesdale for alerting Isledegrande.com of Helen's 100th birthday. "I would like the Island to know we have a healthy and very happy 100-year-old women among us!" she said this week.
June 2004 . . .Jennifer M. Raham, daughter of Rod and Brooke Raham of Sheree Drive, has been named to the spring 2004 Dean's List at St. John Fisher College in Rochester, NY. Jennifer earned a 4.0 grade point average during the fall and the spring semesters for her studies in psychology. She graduated with honors from Grand Island High School in the class of 2001.
June 2004 . . .Michael Stanko, a Grand Island High School graduate, Class of 2003, has just completed his first year at the Rochester Institute of Technology with a 4.0 in his field of study, Information Technology. In addition to his studies at RIT, Michael also works for the National Technical Institute for the Deaf, one of the colleges at RIT, as a computer and networking analyst. Michael is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Stanko.
MacDonald Jr. and Kratz To Attend NASCAR School - 2004
Island resident Ken MacDonald Jr. and Grand Island High School senior Mindi Kratz have enrolled in the NASCAR Technical Institute in Mooresville, North Carolina. They will train to become professional automotive technicians. Their course work will include engine construction, electrical fuel and lubrication systems, drive trains and chassis lubrication and racing theory principals.
May 2004 . . . Mindi Dale Kratz has been accepted at NASCAR
Technical Institute in Mooresville, North Carolina. She will leave in mid August
to begin her career in Automotive Technology. Mindi, who has been attending
KenTon for the past two years in the Automotive Technology program,
is a member of the National Technical Honor Society.
Her speech during the awards ceremony brought smiles to the faces of the
audience when she spoke of how she may not be noticed by the guys now but
one day will be, due to her accomplishments in Automotive Technology in
Always the tomboy, it's not surprising to those who know her that she is
pursuing this career. Growing up she always wanted to drive the lawn
mower, mini bike, and three-wheeler and has now purchased her own ATV and may
be spotted in the mud any given day.
Mindi has been getting more experience the past few months by working at
Monro Muffler in North Tonawanda.
Gary Willis, her instructor, is still amazed by what she said on the first
day of school when asked why she chose his class. She replied, "I want to
be on Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s pit crew," though at the time, she couldn't
even successfully complete an oil change! Now that she is about to
graduate at the top of her class, he is quoted as saying, "You never
know? We just might see her in the #8's pit crew someday!"
34th Annual 100 American Craftsmen Festival Accepts Work of Artist JoAnn Vanderheite - 2004
Click photo for larger view
Island resident JoAnn Vanderheite, a former art teacher in the Starpoint School District, has had her art work accepted in the 34th Annual 100 American Craftsmen Festival, a strictly juried show and sale taking place at the Kenan Center, Lockport on June 4-6, 2004. The photo shows her artistic gourds that she has created, some of which were grown on her West River property.
The show, dedicated to fine contemporary craft art in metal, wood, paper, glass, clay, fiber, leather and mixed media, offers a weekend of activity for art lovers.
Particularly outstanding this year is the number of glass artisans whose works are vividly colored, inventively shaped and masterfully produced. In addition to more than seventy returning artisans who offer festival favorites such as jewelry, dolls, leather goods, pottery, and decorated clothing, there will be some unique, new products including gourd vessels, origami mobiles, paper collage wall hangings and leaded, stained glass terrariums.
Along with hours of craft browsing, the event will feature entertainment for young and old throughout the weekend. Live jazz will be presented each day along with craft demonstrations, a children's artspace, and an herbal plant sale presented by the Friends of Kenan Herb Club on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Visitors are welcome to stroll the 25-acre Kenan Center estate, which includes the 1800's Kenan mansion with art gallery, currently featuring the Niagara Frontier Art Exhibit, and the estate's beautifully landscaped gardens.
The 100 American Craftsmen festival benefits the Kenan Center, a regional community center for arts, education and recreation. The Kenan Center serves more than 37,000 individuals annually through an average of fifty programs, events and performances.
The festival takes place at the Kenan Arena, 195 Beattie Avenue, on the east end of the Kenan Center campus in Lockport. Hours are:
Friday, June 4, 6 to 9 p.m.
Saturday, June 5, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Sunday, June 6, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Admission to the festival is $5 for adults; $2 for children age 12 and under. Free parking is available. For more information, call (716) 433-2617 or visit the Kenan Center website at www.kenancenter.org.
Sponsors of this year's festival are: The Buffalo News, First Niagara Bank, Delphi Thermal Systems, WBFO and Lamar Advertising.
May 2004 . . .Mackenzie Renee Hassan has been named to the Niagara University Dean's List for the Spring 2004 semester by achieving a GPA of 4.0. She is studying Secondary French majoring in Education and will be a senior at NU this spring.
Esther Lozo, age 20 - and Esther today
A very happy 90th birthday to Esther Bertha Lozo, who was born on Grand Island on May 19, 1914. Esther, one of the eight Webb children, grew up on the Henry Schutt Farm on Stony Point Road and attended a one-room school, probably at the corner of Ransom and East River roads.
She met her husband, the late Clifford Henry Lozo, while he was working on the Hardy farm on Ransom Road where the high school is now located. They were married in old Trinity Church in June of 1941.
Mrs. Lozo has three children, Richard Lozo Sr. and Linda Lozo of Grand Island and JoAnn Holmes of Allen, Texas. She is also grandmother to six and great grandmother to four. She and her husband enjoyed country western music over the years, were avid square dancers and made a special effort to attend the Ramblin' Lou concerts. Esther lives with her daughter, Linda and Bill Derwin here on the Island (about a mile from her son, Richard and his wife, Joanne) in the summer months and with her daughter, JoAnn and her husband Denny Holmes in Texas in the winter months.
Bill and Fay Wood celebrate 55 years of marriage on May 20th. They moved to the Island six years after marrying in 1949 and raised five children here. When Bill retired as an assistant chief of the Niagara Falls Air Force Base Fire Department and Fay retired from Kenmore Mercy Hospital, they moved to Florida for a short ten-year retirement. They returned to the Island five years ago, where four of their children and all five of their grandchildren still reside. "Bill and Fay are wished much love and continued happiness from The Gang."
Fran Newton Photo
Sidway Principal Frank Cannata is starring in the Niagara Falls Little Theatre's
Production of "Joseph and The Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat" at the Riviera Theatre in North Tonawanda. The musical is directed by Islander John Quackenbush and choreographed by another Islander, Dawn Marcolini Newton. Show dates are Friday and Saturday, May 14,15,21 and 22 at 8:00 p.m. A Sunday matinee will be performed at 3:00 p.m. May 16. Many of the cast members are also from Grand Island. More information may be found at the NFLT's website.
Grand Island Animal Control Officer Gregory Butcher - 2004
Dan McMahon Photo
Town of Grand Island Animal Control Officer Gregory Butcher was elected president of the Western New York Animal Control Officers Association on April 25, 2004. The association represents Humane Law Enforcement Officers from nine WNY counties - Erie, Niagara, Chautauqua, Cattaraugus, Genesee, Wyoming, Orleans, Allegany and Monroe.
The goal of the organization is to keep Humane Law Enforcement officers trained in animal related laws, Humane education, wildlife issues, animal handling techniques, cruelty investigation techniques, public health laws and state document procedures.
Town Justice Sybil Kennedy Attends Opening of County Integrated Domestic Violence Court - 2004
Click photo for larger view: (left) Hon. John F. O'Donnell, President Justice Erie County IDV Court; Hon. Judy Harris Kluger, Deputy Chief Administrative Judge, Court Operations and Planning; Hon. Sybil E. Kennedy, Grand Island Town Justice; Hon. Janice M. Rosa, Eighth Judicial District IDVC Project Judge; Hon. Jonathan Lippman, Chief Administrative Judge of the State of New York
Town Justice Sybil E. Kennedy was among those judges invited to attend the opening of the Erie County Integrated Domestic Violence Court on May 3, 2004. Justice Kennedy has been a member of both the State and Local Committee for Integrated Domestic Violence Courts, representing town and village courts. Erie County's IDV Court is one of six new IDV courts created as part of Chief State Judge Judith Kaye's comprehensive plan for expansion of these innovative courts across the state. The IDV Court is designed to address, in a more focused and efficient manner, the increasing number of domestic violence cases. State Supreme Court Justice John F. O'Donnell will preside over the new court. IDV Courts are specialized parts of Supreme Court developed to better serve families in crisis. Under the current system, domestic violence victims and family members often are required to appear in multiple courts and before multiple judges to address criminal, family, matrimonial and other problems.
IDV Courts are based on a "One family-One Judge" approach, allowing a single judge to hear related cases involving domestic violence victims and their families. The goal is to promote more informed judicial decision-making by creating consistency in orders of protection and reducing court appearances, as well as providing enhanced services to victims and ensuring defendant accountability.
Grand Island Town Court is the first town and village court in the area to be involved in this new concept. Judge Kennedy was responsible for drafting the protocol to be used by these area courts in remitting cases to the new IDV Court.
Emily Pici - 2004 Miss Buffalo 2003 April Hayes, Emily Pici and Channel 2 newscaster Mary Alice Demler - Click photo for a larger view.
Emily Pici, a senior at Grand Island High School was the winner of a UNYTS (Upstate New York Transplant Services) poster contest held Saturday, April 24. Her design was chosen out of 400 submitted to be used to help educate the public on the importance of organ donation. The event was emceed by Mary Alice Demler from Channel 2 News and Miss Buffalo was there as well. Emily won $250 in Amazon.com money and her design has been printed on T-shirts which were given to everyone at the event. Emily is the daughter of Tracey and Paul Pici of Warner Drive.
Mackenzie Hassan was inducted into the Phi Beta Delta Honor Society for International Scholars on Thursday, April 29, 2004 at Chu's Restaurant in Niagara Falls. A reception was held for the twenty-two inductees and their families following the ceremony.
Mackenzie, a 2001 graduate of Grand Island High School, is the daughter of Mark and Diane Hassan of Wallace Drive. She is majoring in French at Niagara University.
The family and friends of Meaghan Grotz are reaching out to the community to ask for support for "Meaghan's Miracle" to help Meaghan Grotz fund a double lung transplant. Fundraisers are being held in honor of Meaghan at upcoming concerts at the Grand Island High School, and at the Grand Island Rod & Gun Club, 1083 Whitehaven Road from 1-7 p.m. Sunday, June 27, 2004. Support in the form of cash donations, merchandise, gifts and gift certificates as well as raffle items, volunteers and general supplies will help to make these events a success.
A Message From Meaghan
Try breathing through a tiny straw all day long and you will have an idea of how agonizing it can be to suffer from Cystic Fibrosis.
"Cystic Fibrosis (CV) is a genetic disorder that deteriorates the lungs. A defective gene causes the body to produce abnormally thick, sticky mucus that leads to chronic and life-threatening lung infections. Since initial diagnosis, I have worked very hard to stay one step ahead of this disease. During the past four years, CF has taken its toll. I have been in and out of the hospital, and am now on oxygen 24/7. I have been evaluated and I am now on the national registry awaiting a set of donor lungs. What I lack is the financial means to pay for this transplant and the related costs that come with this major surgery.
I am currently a junior honor student at GIHS. I have been inducted into the National Honor Society. I was a member of the GIHS Wind Ensemble and played varsity tennis until my CF forced me to stop."
Meaghan A. Grotz
"Any donation or form of help would directly help Meaghan take one more deep breath," a family member said this week.
For monetary donations, make checks payable to:
2300 Grand Island Blvd.
Grand Island, NY 14072
Note in memo section: "In honor of Meaghan Grotz"
For previous Isledegrande.com story on Meaghan, click Meaghan's Plea.
Wyoming County IDA Appoints Mike Heftka as Executive Director - April 2004
The Wyoming County Industrial Development Agency has appointed Grand Island resident Michael E. Heftka as its first full time executive director. Heftka will be responsible for the day-to-day operations of the agency, which assists business development and job creation throughout the county.
The new WCIDA Executive Director is a former Grand Island councilman and deputy town supervisor as well as an experienced business developer. He has spent the past nine years working with existing and start-up businesses as an advisor with the N.Y.S. Small Business Development Center located at Buffalo State College. He received New York State’s Business Advisor of the Year in 1999 and honored on the national level in 2001.
As the executive director, Heftka will be responsible for realizing the Wyoming County IDA mission of promoting, encouraging and attracting economic development projects in Wyoming County. These economic development projects are expected to retain and create new job opportunities within the county and provide additional tax revenues. The WCIDA works closely with the Wyoming County Planning & Development Department and the Wyoming County Chamber of Commerce to provide technical and financial assistance to local companies.
Heftka resides on Continental Lane with his wife, Nancy, and their children and will commute to and from his Perry, N.Y. office on a daily basis. “It’s about an hour’s drive,” Heftka said. “Wyoming County is gorgeous country and the ride very peaceful once I get passed the Thruway. I get an hour of quiet time every morning and afternoon and I really enjoy it.”
“But I don’t know if I’ll feel the same way in December,” he said. The WCIDA office is located in the Wyoming County Business Center, 6470 Route 20A, Suite 4, Perry, N.Y.
Paul Michaud - April 2004 Paul Michaud, a 1995 graduate of Grand Island High School, was inducted into the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society on April 22, 2004 at the Army Navy Club in Washington D.C. The Alpha Omega Alpha is the only national honor medical
society in the world and seeks to recognize and perpetuate excellence in the
medical profession. Paul is currently a fourth year medical student and 2nd
Lieutenant in the Army at the Uniformed Services University. His proud parents are Guy Michaud of Grand Island and Priscilla Schad of Williamsville. Paul currently resides in Bethesda, Maryland with his wife, Jamie, and his two sons Paul Guy, and James.
Robert L. Pizur Graduates From U.S. Border Patrol Academy -
Robert Pizur is shown above with Chief Patrol Agent Mario
Martinez during graduation ceremonies.
Jodi Hayes Robinson Photos - click right for larger view
Robert L. Pizur, son of Martin and Carol
Pizur of White Tail Run, graduated February 26, 2004 from the 566th Session
of the U.S. Border Patrol Academy in Charleston, South Carolina. Robert
spent the previous five months in extremely intense physical and academic
training. He was sworn in as a U.S. Border Patrol Agent and is stationed
at the Tucson Station in the Tucson Sector of Arizona.
Robert, an alumni of Grand Island High School, Class of
1998, received his Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice from Buffalo State College in December
2002. Family and friends wish him the best as he
starts his career with the Federal Government.
Frank Brusino of East River Road had no idea he would be among an invitation-only crowd meeting United States President George W. Bush when he took over the chairmanship of the Grand Island Citizens Corp Council last year.
The only Island resident receiving one of about 600 invitations, Frank had the opportunity to speak with the President and found him extremely easy to talk to.
President Bush, speaking from the stage in Kleinhan's Music Hall Tuesday, April 20, 2004, publicly thanked Frank for the leadership role he has taken with the Citizens Corp on Grand Island and noted that Frank is a retired brigadier general in the Army Reserves. In recognizing Brusino, it is obvious that the President realizes that the Grand Island Citizens Corp Council has far surpassed other communities in meeting goals of preparedness in time of a disaster and keeping this community safe.
Left photo: Graduate Margie Rall Hunter - Right photo: Rick DeCost, Margie and Claudia DeCost. April 20, 2004 . . . Former Island resident Margie Rall Hunter, now residing in California recently graduated from the University of Phoenix Northern CA Campus with a Bachelors in Business Management. Attending the barbeque at her home in Campbell, California to celebrate the occasion were former Island resident Rick Decost and his wife, Claudia of San Francisco and Margie's sister, Sandie Rall Smith and her daughter, Cassie of Auburn, CA. Margie, a member of the Grand Island High School Class of 1978, is the daughter of the late Ed and Norma Rall.
NU junior Mackenzie Hassan (right) is shown with NU seniors Kristen McLaughlin (left) Jessica McAndrew.
Mackenzie Hassan, a French major at Niagara University, has received another honor at the University when she was inducted into the Phi Sigma Iota International Foreign Language Honor Society April 18, 2004 at the Niagara University Alumni Chapel. She was one of seven select students inducted immediately after the service. Mackenzie and her family then went to The Old Fort Inn Restaurant, Youngstown where they enjoyed a delicious meal with the inductees, their families, and several professors.
Mackenzie, a 2001 graduate of Grand Island High School, is the daughter of Mark and Diane Hassan of Wallace Drive, Grand Island.
Toni Colley - 2004
Toni Colley, a resident of El Toro, California, grew up on Grand Island and attended Charlotte Sidway School. Toni received a "Spirit of Philanthropy" award for employee of the year in Orange County, California on November 6, 2003. Toni gives a great deal to her community in time and monetary contributions which was the primary reason for her receiving this prestigious award. She also was presented with "Woman of the Year" award on Monday, April 5, 2004 for the 33rd District in California, for much the same in terms of her contributions to the community. Toni, who has recently been battling breast cancer, would no doubt love to hear from friends from the Island. Her address is: Toni Colley, 24845 Lakefield St, El Toro, CA 92630
Thanks to her longtime friend Caryl (Denler) Kershner for this information.
Randy White Photo
Former Islanders Sam and Fred Aswad (GIHS 1969) thoroughly enjoyed Sam's 79th birthday in sunny Mesa, Arizona on March 15, 2004. The Cubs beat the KC Royals 3-2. From left are Mike Kurmis of Jamestown, NY, Fred Aswad, Sam Aswad, Janice White (wife of Randy White GIHS 1970). Sam is wearing his Grand Island Bridge hat.
Keith and Suzanne Matthews-Hill of Corning, NY are the proud parents of a baby boy, Mitchell Keith Matthews Hill, born February 13th weighing eight pounds, 14 ounces. Proud Grand Island grandparents are Jan and Mary Matthews. The new mom is a graduate of Grand Island High School.
Meaghan Ann Grotz - In Need Of Double Lung Transplant - 2004 My name is Meaghan Ann Grotz. I am a 16-year-old girl from Grand Island, and I have cystic fibrosis. I am writing to ask you for a financial donation to help fund my double lung transplant and the related costs that come with this major surgery.
Cystic fibrosis is a genetic disorder that causes thick, sticky mucus to clog the lungs and breed infections. Since initial diagnosis at birth, I have worked daily with my family and doctors to stay one step ahead of this condition. I studied hard at school (nominated this year to the National Honor Society); played varsity tennis and other sports; and played clarinet in the school wind ensemble. I stayed out of the hospital for the first 12 years of my life.
When I was 12, cystic fibrosis forced me into a two-week hospital stay to combat infections. Two years ago I developed CF-related diabetes. The CF and diabetes forced me into regular hospital visits to get "tune-ups" and keep my lungs functioning. But this year, despite all of our efforts, the CF has advanced. I am on oxygen 24/7 and have less than 25 percent of the lung capacity that a healthy person enjoys.
But I recently received some very good news. A team of experts at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center - one of the premier lung transplant centers in the U.S. - recently evaluated my physical and mental condition, and determined me fit for a double lung transplant. I am on the national registry awaiting a set of donor lungs. What my family and I lack is the financial means to pay for this transplant.
In order to prepare for the extreme financial burden of uninsured medical costs, travel and relocation expenses, a fund-raising campaign has been established with the National Transplant Assistance Fund. NTAF is a non-profit organization that has been assisting the transplant community for the past 20 years. All tax-deductible contributions are administered by NTAF for my transplant-related expenses.
I have learned to live with cystic fibrosis and thrive. I have endured hospital stays, daily medication, daily physical therapy, invasive procedures and other inconveniences that would make a lesser spirit fold. I refuse to fold, and look forward to the day when I take my first deep breath with a new set of lungs. It might be for a moment, a day, or a week, but I plan on breathing with those lungs when I walk back into the school to start my senior year of high school in the fall of 2004, and then I plan on breathing with those lungs for the rest of my life.
Please, any donation or form of help that you may offer would directly help me take one more deep breath. Thank you for taking the time to read my letter and listen to my story.
Meaghan A. Grotz
Island Family Promotes March of Dimes Walk - 2004
The Sunday, April 25th Walk for the March of Dimes will be well represented by Island residents including Wayne Weis, GIHS Class of 1978. Wayne is gathering a following of friends and family to help his family raise a total of $500 for this worthy cause. Wayne, his wife, Louise and their children, Elena, 9 and Mitchell, 7, thank everyone in advance for whatever they may do for the March of Dimes campaign.
"A child with a disability walking to help other children with profound handicaps is very inspiring," Wayne said, reflecting on his son, Mitchell, who has Down Syndrome and will be participating.
Click www.walkamerica.org/woody1960 for details on how to donate through the website.
Wayne's former GIHS classmates will remember him from the plays and musicals he took part in during his years at the high school, including Emile in South Pacific, and Teddy in Arsenic and Old Lace.
Jaidan Hiam, 3, won the overall Sunburst Little Queen competition in the 3-year-old division March 6, 2004 in the Sunburst Beauty Pageant in Niagara Falls. Fifteen tots entered her age division. Jaidan, who will compete in the state pageant in May 2004, will soon be moving to Grand Island with her parents, Daniel and Janie (Martin) Hiam who are both graduates of the Grand Island High School Class of 1996.
Carleigh Jane Rodriguez was born February 8, 2004 to former residents Rich and Laurie Rodriguez who are now residing in Wisconsin. The baby girl has two big brothers, David and Robert and is the granddaughter of Bob and Mary Irvine of Grand Island and former Isle residents Frank and Donna Rodriguez, now living in Niagara Falls.
Probably one of "the" most renowned Islanders ever would have to be Neil Tetkowski, a member of the Grand Island High School Class of 1973. The artist has shown work in numerous solo exhibitions and his work is included in the public collections of several esteemed institutions including the Smithsonian, the Museum of Modern Art in Tokyo, the Carnegie Museum in Pittsburgh and the Everson Museum in Syracuse, NY. For his newest endeavor, "Installation 188" which is part of the Common Ground World Project, click Schein-Joseph International Museum of Ceramic Art.
Shannon Peters, a 2001 graduate of Grand Island High School, has received academic recognition by being placed on the dean's list for the fall semester at SUNY Fredonia. Shannon is a junior music education major and is currently preparing for her senior trumpet recital and student teaching experience at Jamestown Middle School. Members of her proud family are her mother, Sherry Peters, and sister, Alex of Grand Island and Dan Peters of North Tonawanda.
Islanders Achieve Honor Roll Status At Niagara County Community College - 2004
The following Grand Island residents have achieved honor roll status for the fall marking period at Niagara County Community College: Kimberlee Carter, Alan Damiani, Karla Darby, Joanna Grampp, Jennifer Jeffrey, Michael Jeffrey, Jamie Mangus, Rachel Mohr, Robert Osborn, Amy Pawlowski, Audra Peter, Elaine Petit, Kathleen Spuller, Hawna Freiermuth and Heidi Pitcher.
Former Resident Pete Hayes II And Bride Wed in Massachusetts Click Photo For Larger View Former Island resident Peter Hayes II was married to Karie Glazzard on Friday, February 13, 2004. The wedding, attended by family and friends of the bride and groom took place at the Wheeler Farm in Seekonk, Massachusetts. Pete, president of the Grand Island High School Class of 1974, is the son of Nancy Hayes of Grand Island and Peter Hayes of Boyton Beach, Florida. The newlyweds are living in Rumford, Rhode Island.
Islanders Achieve Honor Roll Status At Niagara University - 2004
The following Grand Island residents have achieved honor roll status for the fall marking period at Niagara University: Kristin Aley, Brienna Bailey, Caitlin Bozek, Lawrence Cassert, Doug Filter, Colleen Gasbarro, Grenville Harrop, Mackenzie Hassan, Maribeth Head, William Hillman; Brian Kopf, Jacob LaLiberty, Megan Mombert, Stephanie Nardozzi, Brian North, Jennifer O'Laughlin, Neil Reddien, Tara Rice, Lauren Rogers, Emily Zimdahl, Lindsey Sloe, Amanda Benko, Danielle Quider, Jacquelyn Vescio, Shannon McCormick, Gabrielle Montemage, Kathleen Moriarty, Rebecca Goetz, and Tierney Smith.
Islanders Achieve Honor Roll Status At Nardin Academy - Feb. 2004
The following Grand Island residents have achieved honor roll status for the second quarter marking period at Nardin Academy: Katherine Gibas, Lauren Korczykowski, Grace Savoy-Burke and Jessica Silvestri.
Isle residents named to the Nardin Academy Merit Roll for the second quarter marking period are Elizabeth LaLonde, Meaghan Ruocco and Holly Senf.
EM2 (SS) Kristopher W. Bennett Click Photo For Larger View
Pictured are Kristopher W. Bennett’s father, Scott Bennett (right) and father-in-law, retired Naval Officer Donald Vance (left), both doing the honor of pinning EM2 Bennett. Feb. 2004 . . .EM2 (SS) Kristopher W. Bennett returned February 11, 2004 to San Diego, California, his home base after a 7-month tour aboard the USS Portsmouth.
Portsmouth, a Los Angeles class attack submarine, has a crew of more than 140 Sailors and is commanded by Cmdr. Kevin Brenton. During its deployment, Portsmouth conducted operations throughout the Western Pacific, steaming nearly 36,000 nautical miles. Port visits during the deployment included Guam, Sasebo and Yokosuka, Japan; Chinhae, South Korea; Singapore and Oahu, HI.
Portsmouth was recently awarded the Submarine Eleven Tactical Operations White “T”, the Communications Green “C” and the Damage Control Red "DC" for the calendar year 2003.
Kristopher was able to earn his Dolphins during his qualification aboard the submarine. Kristopher's father, Scott Bennett, traveled to San Diego for the pinning ceremony and to welcome his son back on land.
Feb. 2004 . . .Mackenzie Renee Hassan has been selected for induction into Delta Epsilon Sigma, the National Honor Society for Catholic colleges and universities. Membership in Delta Epsilon Sigma is highly selective and restricted to the top 10% of junior and senior students. The Induction Ceremony will be held on Friday, March 26, 2004 at the Castellani Art Museum on the Niagara University Campus. The top academic administrators and department chairpersons will be in attendance to honor the inductees.
Mackenzie is a junior at Niagara University studying Secondary French. She achieved a 3.90 GPA for the fall semester at NU and once again made the Dean's List. She holds a cumulative GPA of 3.94.
Mackenzie, a 2001 graduate of Grand Island High School, is the daughter of Mark and Diane Hassan of Wallace Drive, Grand Island.
Feb. 2004 . . .Brian Kopf, a 2002 graduate of Grand Island High School, has been named to the Niagara University Dean's List for the third consecutive semester. Brian, a sophomore majoring in Business Administration in the School of Business and Commerce, is the son of Island residents Bob and Mary Kopf.
Tegan Kroening - Jan. 2004
Tegan Kroening, a junior majoring in Intercultural Studies and Sociology, has been named to the Houghton College Dean's Honor List for the Fall 2003 semester. Students must achieve a GPA of 3.75 or higher and carry a full-time course load of at least 12 hours.
Ray Gress, Jr. - Jan. 2004
Long time Islander, Ray Gress, Jr. has been elected Rear Commodore for the
Ninth Eastern Region of the United Sates Coast Guard Auxiliary. RCO Gress
will oversee the Homeland Security missions of the USCG Auxiliary, as well
as the Recreational Boating Programs in the Eastern Region. The Ninth
Eastern Region covers New York, Pennsyvania, and Ohio. Gress has been a
volunteer in the USCG Auxiliary since 1992, and served in various elected
offices in the Western New York area. He is also actively involved in
Aviation, and Surface Operations missions of the USCG Auxiliary. His wife,
Christella, is the Diversity Advisor for the Ninth Eastern Region, and his
daughter, Renee is the Vessel Examination Officer for this region.
Anyone interested in joining the USCG Auxiliary, an organization of
volunteers, may contact RCO Gress at 773-5222 or via email
Sarah McMahon - Jan. 2004
Sarah E. McMahon has graduated from the Army ROTC National Advanced Leadership Camp at Fort Lewis, Tacoma, Washington. The camp provides the best possible professional training and evaluation for all cadets in the aspects of camp life, administration and logistical support. Although continued military training and leadership develoment is included in the curriulum, the primary focus at camp is to develop and evaluate each cadet's officer potential. Sarah, who is attending the University of Notre Dame, is the daughter of Karen L. and step daughter of David J. Conboy of Park Place, Grand Island.
Former Island resident Chris Zoltoski was married to Amy Naour on December 31, 2003 while on a cruise with 39 friends and family attending the ceremony on Magen's Bay in St. Thomas (US Virgin Islands). Thirty-six guests joined the newlyweds on the cruise. The groom, a member of the Grand Island High School Class of 1983, is the son of Patricia Zoltoski of Wilkes-Barre, PA and the late Phillip Zoltoski. The bride's parents are Barb Naour of Santa Barbara, CA) and John Naour of Lake Arrowhead, CA. Chris and Amy will be living in Endwell, NY.
Island's First Baby - Jan. 1, 2004
We believe that a baby boy, born at 4 a.m. New Year's Day to Fix Road residents Ken and Eileen Lippert is Grand Island's first baby of 2004. Sophia Louise McShane was also born on January 1, 2004. Weighing in at six pounds, two ounces, Sophia Louise was born at 4:12 p.m. to Isle resident Kathleen McShane and Alex Georgiadis of Buffalo.
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