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Chamber Gala: Town of Porter Citizen of the Year

by jmaloni
Sat, Mar 23rd 2013 07:00 am

The Niagara River Region Chamber of Commerce will recognize 10 area individuals and businesses at its annual Chamber Awards Gala, Friday, May 17, at the Niagara Falls Country Club in Lewiston.

In addition to the tributes, the annual awards gala will feature 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.

 Town of Porter Citizen of the Year

Bill and Jean Siddall (pictured) have been chosen by the Town of Porter Supervisor Merton K. Wiepert as the recipients of the 2013 Town of Porter Citizen of the Year award. The couple leads an active schedule of community service, dedicated to making this area of Niagara County a great place to live.

The Town of Porter, both inside and outside of the Village of Youngstown, has been home for Bill and Jean, where they raised their three children, Ken (Linda), Doug (Tara) and Kathy (Rick), since 1975. Naturally, many of the couple's volunteer activities have centered on what their children were involved in, from soccer, Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, to softball and baseball teams. Both Bill and Jean served as coaches, troop leaders, and board members in the organizations in which their children took part.

With a master's degree in library science, Jean has been able to direct her many library skills toward her work with the Town of Porter Historical Society. She currently serves as volunteer curator of the museum. Last year, she served as chairman of the museum committee, where she led the committee in a restructuring of the entire museum. Jean has spent numerous hours entering the inventory of the museum into computer records, compiling genealogy research, preserving artifacts, creating photo albums and spearheading efforts to receive a $6,000 grant for digitizing Youngstown newspapers dated from 1881 to 1930.

She is a life member of the Old Fort Niagara Association and has served as a volunteer, as fort librarian and in the archeology program for 10 years.

Jean also spends her time as a member of the Youngstown Study Club and the Youngstown Rip & Stitch quilting group.

Jean and Bill actively serve together on the Historical Society. They also work as election inspectors for the Niagara County Board of Elections and for the Lewiston-Porter Board of Education and school budget elections.

As the Town of Porter celebrated 200 years of history last year, Bill was an integral part of the organizing committee. He has enjoyed learning about how the town came to be formed and discovering all of the historical trivia that has been part of the Town of Porter over the past 200 years.

His current volunteer work includes serving as treasurer with the Town of Porter Historical Society and treasurer of the Friends of the Youngstown Library. He is active on several committees and is in the choir at First Presbyterian Church of Youngstown. He is also vice president of the Oakland Rural Cemetery and a life member of the Old Fort Niagara Association, where he has been a volunteer in the archeology program for 10 years.

With a strong background in music, having previously been active with the Barbershop Singing Association and the Buffalo Philharmonic Chorus, Bill currently is a member of the Lewiston Choraleers.

During tax season, he is busy as an AARP Tax-Aide volunteer, where he has helped prepare taxes for citizens of all ages over the past five years.

Bill and Jean have a love for golf and traveling, finding off-the-beaten-path golf courses, and just having fun. They have been fortunate to have traveled much over the years, including a safari to South Africa and trips to New Zealand, Australia, Russia, China, Egypt, Europe and all across North America.

Bill and Jean's early involvement in Scouting has helped foster their interest of being active in the community. They see Scouting as promoting community involvement and service, and that is what Bill and Jean have instilled into their own lives and in their children's. Both put their all into projects that they are a part of, and they enjoy seeing things come to fruition. They now pass that sense of service onto their seven grandchildren - Gary, Jason, Connor, Alastair, Owen, Duncan and Campbell.

The Town of Porter and the Niagara River Region Chamber of Commerce are grateful for Bill and Jean Siddall's dedication to the community, and proud to honor them as the 2013 Town of Porter Citizen of the Year awardees.

Tickets for the 2013 Chamber Awards Gala are priced at $85 per person. They are available through the chamber office, 895 Center St., Lewiston.

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