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'Key to Locks' Award to honor locks restoration interpreter David Chatt

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Wed, Mar 29th 2017 10:35 pm
David Chatt, wearing white T-shirt and yellow gloves, helps demonstrate the restored Flight of Five locks last year. Chatt will receive the 2017 `Key to the Locks` Award.
David Chatt, wearing white T-shirt and yellow gloves, helps demonstrate the restored Flight of Five locks last year. Chatt will receive the 2017 "Key to the Locks" Award.

David M. Chatt has been named the winner of the 12th annual "Key to the Locks" Award. A volunteer selection panel drawn from the Lockport community chose Chatt in recognition of his work in helping to bring the 19th century Flight of Five locks to life once again.

Since the restoration of part of the Erie Canal Flight of Five, Chatt has spearheaded the effort to interpret the Lockport locks to the public through locktending demonstrations. He has served as the chief volunteer on the project by recruiting, training and scheduling, and supervising more than 125 volunteers to operate the 19th century locks and provide commentary to onlookers.

Chatt has worked closely with the Locks Heritage District Corp., the Niagara County Historical Society, the New York State Canal Corp. and several other organizations to help develop and improve the public presentation of Lockport and Erie Canal history.

Chatt is a native of Lockport and lives in the town with his wife. Jeanine. He is an engineer at Mahle, Behr, Troy Inc.

Lockport Mayor Anne E. McCaffrey will present the award to Chatt at 3:30 p.m. Saturday, May 13, at the Erie Canal Discovery Center, 24 Church St. The public is invited to attend.

The annual "Key to the Locks" Award was established to recognize persons in Niagara County who exemplify the community spirit or promote the heritage or preservation of the historic Erie Canal. Past "Key to the Locks" Award winners include: 2006, Michael W. Tucker and Robin Brock; 2007, David Kinyon; 2008, Jane Whitmore; 2009, Clinton J. Starke; 2010, Becky Burns; 2011, Joseph A. Whalen; 2012, Jeffery Degnan; 2013, Carol Schmelz; 2014, Rosemary Bernard; 2015, Dianne Koplas; and 2016, Joel Beyer.

Those attending can enjoy free admission to the Erie Canal Discovery Center and Penney Gallery following the event.

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