The Youngstown Business and Professional Association marked a special milestone at its April 12 meeting as the association celebrated the 40th anniversary of its founding.
YBPA President Cheryl Butera acknowledged the event as she made note of the article of incorporation filed on April 13, 1976.
"This year, 2016, marks the 40th year of our association," Butera proclaimed to applause.
Niagara County Legislator Clyde Burmaster presented YBPA officers with a proclamation by the legislature recognizing the association's founding and spoke of the strong ties it has forged in the village community over past decades.
Butera referenced YBPA's mission statement: "To plan and actively promote ways and means to preserve, protect and improve the civic, business and professional life of the Village of Youngstown and surrounding community; and to join with village officials, public service organizations and individuals working together to achieve this mission."
"It's a mission that continues to this day," Butera told the crowd gathered at the Mug and Musket Tavern, which hosted the event.
The meeting also saw the installation of officers for 2016 by Burmaster. Included were Butera as president; Jerry Brett, vice president; Mark Butera, secretary; Steve Zastrow, treasurer; and Diane Melloni, Quain Weber and Dotty Riordan as board directors.
And it featured reports on YBPA's various activities. Included were:
•The fifth annual O'Riordan St. Patrick's Day Parade, an event that continues to grow in size and popularity each year. Butera told visitors this year's event saw its highest number of participants ever and thanked the many contributors, including YBPA members, local businesses, village officials, the Youngstown Lions and the media for their promotion and support.
•YBPA grant programs. Butera reported YBPA has again submitted an application requesting matching funding from the William G. Mayne/Niagara Falls Bridge Commission/Niagara County Economic Development Business Community Enhancement Grant program. Anticipated funding would cover such YBPA endeavors as the 2016 "Welcome to Youngstown" brochures, and village enhancements, including hanging flower baskets on lampposts and planters, the repainting and upgrade of the Main/Lockport streets signpost, repairing the YBPA webcam sensor to the Youngstown Yacht Club, and a new banner to promote the annual St. Patrick's Parade, to be located at the Lockport Street exit of the Robert Moses Parkway.
•The annual Beginning of Summer Street Dance, set for 6-10 p.m. Thursday, June 23, on Youngstown's Main Street. The event will again feature a village celebration complete with a car show, food and beverage offerings on the street and in local businesses, street entertainment, a bounce house, activities for children and much more.
Sentinel Editor-in-Chief Terry Duffy contributed to this report; photo by Phil Buffone.