The Niagara River Region Chamber of Commerce will honor nine businesses and individuals at the annual Chamber Awards Gala on Friday, June 8, at the Niagara Falls Country Club in Lewiston. The annual awards gala begins at 6 p.m. and includes an evening of live music, a silent auction, table wines donated by local wineries and businesses, and hors d'oeuvres, followed by a sit-down dinner and awards program.
Town of Porter Citizen of the Year
Ramona Lockhart and Kathy Zasucha (pictured) have been chosen by the Town of Porter Supervisor Merton Wiepert as the recipients of the 2012 Town of Porter Citizens of the Year Award. Both are active in providing quality programming for the youth of the community as part of the Town of Porter Recreation Department.
Ramona is the Town of Porter Story Hour director and has been a part of the program for 26 years. She first became involved by attending programs at the library with her children, moved into the assistant director position and soon took over as Story Hour director. Under her leadership, as many as 20 children at one time have enjoyed listening to stories and activities geared toward 2-to-5-year-olds.
Story Hour is held twice a day on Tuesdays at the Youngstown Free Library in the Village of Youngstown and on Wednesdays at the William J. McLaughlin Free Library in Ransomville. During the summer, special guests are often brought in such as Wild Critters and the Aquarium of Niagara among the favorites, and, new this year - a marionette puppet theater troupe.
Lockhart loves working with the children and meeting new parents. She can always tell when the children are enjoying a good book as their eyes and ears are focused on the story. Many families have become regular attendees of Story Hour at the libraries and have fostered new friendships with other families.
As a fan of all things hockey- and football-related, Ramona and her husband, Tim, live in the Village of Youngstown, and have two grown children (who attended many story hours). Besides being a sports fan, she spends her time gardening and cooking when not picking out the next great book for Story Hour.
This is Zasucha's 14th year as the Town of Porter recreation director. She started with the program looking for a casual summer job to keep her busy after the academic school year was over. The recreation director's position was a perfect fit for her, using her 35 years of teaching physical education in Lockport as experience to create a fun place for kids to participate in great activities.
During the summer, the town hosts a six-week recreational drop-in program for children in first through 10th grades, (Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.) at Stevenson Elementary School in Ransomville. The program primarily draws from Lewiston-Porter and Wilson school districts and also serves children from the Lewiston BOCES special needs program.
Under the guidance of the Town of Porter Recreation Commission, Kathy and her summer staff of up to 21 employees have steadily increased the rec. department participation numbers. They are always looking for parental involvement and volunteers to help during the summer.
Kathy and her husband Steve have two adult sons, Zach and Stephen, and two dogs, Tug and Dozer. She enjoys spending her time teaching swimming, trying out sudoku, cooking and trying out new recipes. She also holds the title of "reigning queen" of the recent Ransomville Cabbage Festival.
The Town of Porter and the Niagara River Region Chamber of Commerce are grateful for Ramona Lockhart's and Kathy Zasucha's dedication to the community and are proud to honor them as the 2012 Town of Porter Citizens of the Year.