Highlights of 2015 discussed
Youngstown Business and Professional Association President Cheryl Butera recapped highlights of 2015 at a fall meeting, Tuesday, Sept. 15, at the Youngstown Yacht Club. Included:
•The success of the YBPA's sixth annual "Here Comes Summer" street dance held June 25.
"This year was the most highly attended street dance to date with all vendors selling out before the end of the night," Butera said.
•The 2015-16 "Welcome to Youngstown" brochure was applauded by Butera as being the "best ever." She noted its successful distribution by the Lewiston-Porter Sentinel to more than 10,000 homes in May was part of the success.
YPBA member updates
•Long-time member Tom Towers expressed his gratitude to the current YBPA, saying it has been a "positive for Youngstown." Towers Farms is celebrating its 200-year anniversary in 2015. His YBPA membership has been active since 1976.
•VFW Lake Ontario Post 313 Commander Gary Zanardi discussed the post's activities, including recent repairs on the damaged Veterans Park Memorial that will be rededicated in November, and the ongoing Vietnam veterans display at the Kenan Center in Lockport.
•Sandra Lahrache of the It Happened to Alexa Foundation spoke of the successful Great Contraption Race held Aug. 1. Now in its second year, Lahrache pointed out the "Change for Alexa" jugs created by Jessica Jakuboski for the YBPA members resulted in hundreds of dollars collected this year.
"The YBPA will continue to be supportive of this foundation," Butera said.
•Sandy Tuck of Sanger Farms spoke of her business's recent support for the Niagara County Peach Festival, held earlier this month in Lewiston.
•YPBA member Dotty Riordan discussed yet another successful summer of free concerts in Falkner Park - a tradition she and her late husband, Neil, started 14 years ago.
•Another face from the Riordan clan, new YBPA member Jodee Riordan, who serves as president of the Lewiston-Porter Board of Education. She updated the membership on a "Blender" held this past Thursday by the Lewiston-Porter International Academy of Business and Finance.
More news and notes
•The YBPA recognized retiring member Eddy Wojcik, as new ownership of the Ontario House ("The Jug") transitions to members Barbara and Michael Costello. Butera noted the YBPA purchased the retirement cake for Wojik's "birthtirement" party this past summer. The event was a celebration for the cornerstone Youngstown business.
•YBPA recognized one of its newest members, Eric Heuser of the Niagara Distilling Co., and the company's successful product, "1812 Vodka," made with local, organically grown corn.
•Butera reported the YBPA utilized the recent William G. Mayne Jr. Business/Community enhancement grant to purchase and donate a cast iron decorative bench for placement on the Village of Youngstown Village Center grounds in honor of the late Mayor Riordan, who passed away on Sept. 29, 2011.
•Village of Youngstown Trustee Stu Commerford reported this year's children's Halloween parade will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 31. The parade route begins and ends at the Youngstown Red Brick Village Center, 240 Lockport St., where the Youngstown Recreation Department will hold its annual Halloween party for children.
•The second annual Youngstown Arts and Music Festival will be held from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 3, at Falkner Park. Taking place rain or shine, the festival will feature a concert/fundraiser for HART Inc. of Niagara, a nonprofit agency offering in-home care for the needy.
Butera concluded by telling attendees, "The YBPA continues moving towards its 40th year with like-minded business owners, operators and individuals who volunteer their time and efforts to support community events and help make Youngstown and its environs the best place to visit, live and do business."
YBPA's active membership now stands at 67. Newest members introduced Sept. 15 include Scott Szarejko, Design Builders of WNY; Riordan; Heuser; and Pete Kaminiski of Pete's Plowing.
YBPA's next membership meeting will be Jan. 12, 2016.
For more information, visit www.youngstownnewyork.com.