The people who appreciate Lewiston's rich history and successes get together in style. This year, they will gather at the Niagara Falls Country Club at 6 p.m. on June 27 for the Lewiston Historical Association's annual celebration. The dinner is open to the public and reservations, available for $30, can be made by calling the Lewiston Museum at 716-754-4214.
"It's the time of year when we get to thank and congratulate our hundreds of volunteers and supporters who have made Lewiston the centerpiece of Western New York's cultural heritage," says Bruce Sutherland, volunteer president of the organization.
The 2012 award winners include:
Josiah Tryon Award (Volunteer of the Year): William and Teresa Peek, a local couple that has dedicated countless hours to showcasing the Lewiston Museum to grateful visitors, while also in pursuit of enhancing Lewiston's quality of life.
The Benjamin Barton Award is bestowed upon community-minded citizens who make outstanding contributions with their time and efforts. This year's award winners include:
•Sharon Low, a Lewiston enthusiast and president of the Lewiston Garden Club, a community organization that has partnered with HAL on a number of projects, including the gold-embossed Lewiston welcome sign, the Freedom Crossing Monument and interpretive signs.
•Bill and Joanne Carpenter, local photographers who have donated their professional services by capturing spectacular images that will be cherished for hundreds of years.
•Harry and Suzanne Buckholtz, long-time Lewiston residents who have participated in a number of HAL events and programs, the latest being "Flames Through Lewiston." Harry was the first person to sacrifice his life for HAL, volunteering to "die" on Center Street during the "Flames" re-enactment.
Reuben Lewis Award (War of 1812 Bicentennial): Gerald Ferguson of Wendt's Propane & Oil for donating his company's staff time and equipment in creating the large fires that commemorate the burning of Lewiston for "Flames Through Lewiston."
Nelson Cornell Award (Tour of Homes): Chris Castellani of SuperMarket Liquors for his longtime support and generosity with the Tour of Homes, HAL's largest fundraising event of the year.
Calvin Hotchkiss Award (Business of the Year): KeyBank is not only HAL's largest private benefactor, playing "key" roles in the Freedom Crossing and Tuscarora Heroes monuments, but has taken the lead among private corporations in Western New York in promoting the 1812 bicentennial. This year, KeyBank will sponsor the "Battle of Queenston Heights Commemorative Reception" in October.
Friend of History Award: Legislator Clyde Burmaster has a personal interest in local history and has been at the vanguard in protecting area historical sites and promoting heritage programs. This year, in partnership with Chairman Bill Ross, Burmaster was able to secure for HAL the largest grant ever awarded to a local historical society to help commemorate the 1812 bicentennial.
D. George Vanderhoek Award (Board Member of the Year): Leandra Collesano has become an inspirational leader within HAL and has taken on several projects that will define its future. She is not only responsible for HAL's monthly programs, but behind the scenes has established its Facebook page.