By Terry Duffy
Installations, planning and optimism for the upcoming summer and beyond in northern Niagara were among the newsmakers from the April 14 meeting of the Youngstown Business and Professional Association.
Held at the Mug and Musket Tavern in Youngstown, the well-attended session opened with the installation of YPBA officers for 2015, officiated by Clyde Burmaster, Niagara County legislator, 2nd District. Sworn-in were YBPA board of directors members Dorothy Riordan, Quain Weber and Diane Melloni. YPBA officers for 2015 who took their oaths included Cheryl Butera, president; Jerry Brett, vice president; Mark Butera, secretary; and Steven Zastrow, treasurer.
Welcomes and introductions were then heard from many in attendance. Among the visitors were Youngstown Mayor Raleigh Reynolds, Deputy Mayor Tim Lockhart and Porter Councilman Jeff Baker and his wife, Gloria, who serve as officers of the Ransomville Business and Professional Association.
Six new members were welcomed for 2015. This year, YBPA reported it has 60 dues-paying members signed up.
"We have more new members this year. They are more than brick and mortar, they are from throughout our community," Cheryl Butera said.
New members include: Dan and Darlene Truesdell of DT Truesdell Trucking Inc., Ellen Augello of the It Happened to Alexa Foundation, Sandy Yates of the Quiet Lake Guest House and Larry Wiebert of Weibert's Auto Place.
Plans for the upcoming year were discussed. Among these was the village's annual Welcome to Summer Street Dance, which will take place from 6 to 10 p.m., Thursday, June 25, on Main Street in the village from Church Street to Lockport Street, including Hinman Street.
"It's a celebration by the YPBA of the community and the summer season," Cheryl Butera said, noting the event will be family-friendly and stands out as Youngstown's own. "It will not compete with other festivals or events; it will be its own event. It's all about Youngstown."
The festival, while still in planning, will see a return of many favorites, including an antique car show; catering from Joe's Country Catering; pony rides by Lakeside Quarterhorses; a bounce house provided by Nick Conde; and a pending announcement of face-painting and clowns by Niagara Clown Alley. Musical entertainment is expected to feature the Carl Motyka Band. The Youngstown Free Library will sell water as a fundraiser, and such organizations as the Youngstown Lions Club and Youngstown Volunteer Fire Co. are expected to be a part of the celebration.
In keeping with the family theme, on-street alcohol sales will not be permitted during the street dance. "Anyone wishing (for) alcohol can go into local licensed establishments," Cheryl Butera said.
She invited all YBPA members and Youngstown organizations to be a part of this year's street dance with booths or displays.
Other news from the session:
•YBPA reported village favorite Ashker's Ice Cream is scheduled to open for the season Saturday, May 2.
•New YBPA member Augello discussed plans for the It Happened to Alexa Foundation's second annual Great Contraption Race benefit, which will take to the lower river Saturday morning, Aug. 2. This year, the race will run from the Lewiston docks near The Silo Restaurant to the south boat launch area at Fort Niagara State Park. A family-oriented post-race party is open to participants as well as area residents. It will take place at Fort Niagara State Park following the event.
For more information on the 2015 Great Contraption Race, visit www.ithappenedtoalexa.org/events/great-contraption-race.
•Congratulations were offered to Youngstown Business of the Year, The Stone Jug, and Eddy Wojcik and family; and Youngstown Citizen of the Year Marge McCollum, who will be honored at the Niagara River Region Chamber 2015 Gala May 15 at the Niagara Falls County Club. For ticket information, call 716-754-9500.
•Jeff Baker, representing the Ransomville Business and Professional Association briefly discussed the 2015 Porter on the Lake Labor Day Fest, scheduled for Monday, Sept. 7, at Porter on the Lake Park on Dietz Road. Plans call for a number of bands, including Clyde, 90 West and Strictly Hip, a beer tent, food and beverage vendors and a number of attractions. For updates, visit the Porter on the Lake Labor Day fest page on Facebook.
•Cheryl and Mark Butera reported YPBA has applied to be a participant in the Niagara Falls Bridge Commission Business/Community Enhancement Grant program for 2015. A grant application package was filed on April 6, with funding requests for the following YPBA projects: the 2015-16 Welcome to Youngstown brochure; new YPBA acrylic brochure counter display holders to member businesses and plans for distribution of the updated brochures to area residents; plans for hanging flower baskets and planters along with additional resident/seating benches in the village; a project to refurbish the Main Street sign post arrows at the Water Street turnoff; and a project to refurbish painted fire hydrants in the village in a French and Indian theme.
•The next membership meeting of the YBPA will be Tuesday, June 2, at Bandanas. Visit the YBPA website, www.youngstownny.com, for more information.