by Jennifer Pauly
Niagara River Region Chamber of Commerce
The Niagara River Region Chamber of Commerce will honor 10 businesses and individuals at its annual Chamber Awards Gala Friday, May 16, at the Niagara Falls Country Club in Lewiston.
Village of Youngstown Citizen of the Year
Tina Oddy has been chosen by Village of Youngstown Mayor Raleigh Reynolds as the 2014 Village of Youngstown Citizen of the Year. With just under 20 years dedicated to making Youngstown a better place to live and raise a family, Oddy is committed to the youth of the community, helping to create programs that enrich lives.
Oddy, pictured, works as a consultant teacher for the Lewiston-Porter Central School District, where she was the recipient of the 2013 Lewiston-Porter Meritorious Award. In her spare time, she volunteers with numerous organizations, from the Kiwanis Club of Lewiston, to the newly formed Youngstown Village Tourism & Tours Committee and the Youngstown Recreation Commission.
Oddy was part of the first class of women inducted into the Lewiston Kiwanis in 2013. She is proud to be a part of this legacy as her mother, Bonnie McMillen, was the 1964 Peach Queen. Encouraged by co-worker Jan Matthews to join, involvement in the Kiwanis Club has grown to working on the Kiwanis Scholarship Committee to also serving as the Builders Club liaison at Lew-Port.
Oddy is currently the chairwoman of the Youngstown Recreation Commission. She has been involved in commission activities for almost 20 years, starting this endeavor as a summer job she could do with her children. She interviewed for a park job, and soon after participated on a committee to help revitalize Falkner Park. A seat became open on the commission and she has been involved in Youngstown activities ever since.
Commission projects and programs have included Falkner Park Revitalization, the Nancy Price Scholarship, Community Picnic, Children's Summer Program supervisor, Nancy Price Memorial 5K Run, and many holiday special events. Participating in the commission led to being involved in creating new programs, and the volunteer opportunities grew from there. It led to many ways to make an impact and changes in the village.
Working with others to build on the programs for the youth at Falkner Park was really important for Oddy. Volunteers have worked over the years to secure sponsors and in-kind services, and the support from funding from the Village of Youngstown has made commission programs something that other communities want. Many of the local businesses have been involved in donating services to commission programs.
Youngstown is a close-knit village, and working with other community members has led to lifelong friendships for Oddy. There is a real sense of camaraderie when people come together to give their time and resources to achieve a common goal. Whether it's the work in the Village of Youngstown or time spent with the Lewiston Kiwanis, Oddy enjoys spending her time helping others. She participated in the Celebrity Bartending event at the Stone Jug, which was a benefit for the Nancy Price Scholarship.
Born and raised in Youngstown, she knew that this was the place where she wanted to raise her family with husband Thomas. Tom and Tina have three children, James, Karissa and Karalyn who have grown up participating in the Youngstown Recreation Commission programs, from working for the recreation department to volunteering at events. Being able to travel and spending time with family is important to the Oddy family.
Volunteering and participating in the community has always made Oddy happy. Making a positive difference for all has kept and will keep her involved. The Niagara River Region Chamber of Commerce, Mayor Raleigh Reynolds and the Village of Youngstown Trustees are proud to honor Tina Oddy as the 2014 Village of Youngstown Citizen of the Year.