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Above and Beyond: GIFC celebrates its 80th birthday

Sat, Jun 2nd 2018 09:00 am
Grand Island Fire Chief Chris Soluri, Board Chairman Peter Sukmanowski and President Michael Dallessandro are pictured with Nicole Gerber as she received a 10-year service award from the Grand Island Fire Co.
Grand Island Fire Chief Chris Soluri, Board Chairman Peter Sukmanowski and President Michael Dallessandro are pictured with Nicole Gerber as she received a 10-year service award from the Grand Island Fire Co.
Grand Island Fire Co. President Michael Dallessandro welcomed local government officials, family members, and special guests on Saturday, May 19, to commemorate 80 years of community protection by the GIFC.
Dallessandro stressed that the GIFC would not be as successful as an organization if it were not for local government and community support and, more importantly, the support of the family of all the volunteer firefighters. Board of Directors vice-chairman, Greg Butcher, echoed these sentiments during the annual State of the Fire Company address, while pointing out that the GIFC has made significant progress over the past 80 years, from a one-engine company in 1938 to taking delivery of new apparatus to replace an aging fleet.
None of this would be possible without the support of the Grand Island community. Although the continuing success of the GIFC depends upon a strong group effort, certain individuals are being recognized on this occasion for reaching significant milestones for years of service in the GIFC. The service award recipients are as follows:
•20-year life membership: Joe Lavango and Jon Cinelli
•5 years: Chris Caruana, Robert Dailey, Michele Jones, Richard Nicols, Ashley Gorman, and Matthew "Mo" Osinski
•10 years: Nicole Gerber and Dr. Joe Takats
•15 years: Omar Sortino
•30 years: Kevin Rustowicz
•35 years: Michael Dallessandro, Bill Wilson, and Skip Mrkall
•40 years: Al Meyer, Rod Raham, Dave Cole, and Charles Shaw
•45 years: Keith Wood and Howard Oakley
•55 years: Ray Pauley and James Linenfelser
The GIFC Ladies Auxiliary President Nicole Butcher also presented the GIFC with new dinner and salad plates, custom designed with the GIFC logo, to replace dishes that have been used for many years.
Every firefighter in the GIFC is a volunteer, who sacrifice time with family and friends to save lives and property in a community they love.
The GIFC said a special thank you to the Sheridan Park Fire Dept. for standing by at fire headquarters to answer any emergency calls so the GIFC volunteer firefighters could attend the entire dinner.
Omar Sortino, far left, received a 15-year award.
From right, Joe Lavango and Jon Cinelli received 20-year life memberships.

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