In 1895, the world’s first hydroelectric plant was built in Niagara Falls. The Great Gorge Route trolley line was the newest scenic attraction. Industry was booming in the Honeymoon Capital, and many came from afar to find work.
With that, the number of people in the Niagara community needing help increased, and O.W. Cutler, editor of the Daily Cataract, “crusaded for the idea of ‘better-organized charity work.’ ” Local transportation companies answered the call by contributing a portion of their proceeds from one week’s travel over their roads, and 16 women met June 1, 1895, to form a new charity, with $156 in the treasury.
Well, 125 years later, Pinnacle Community Services has evolved with the community to offer services to new and struggling parents, runaway and homeless youth, domestic violence survivors and their families, and children and adults with chronic medical and mental health conditions.
In honor of its quasquicentennial, Pinnacle will present awards to several local individuals and organizations at its third annual “Side by Side, Step by Step: An Awards Gala to Celebrate Our Journey” on March 20.
Awardees include: Dr. Dana Radatz, Peggy Addoms Volunteer Service Award; Christian Jones, Journey Award; Cornell Cooperative Extension of Niagara County, Gerald J. Kozak Community Partnership Award; Renee DeCarolis, Staff Leadership Award; and Women of Steel – United Steelworkers 9464, Labor of Love Award.
The gala, presented by BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York and Bond, Schoeneck & King PLCC, will be held inside Events at the Wurlitzer in North Tonawanda, and will feature Nicholas Picholas as celebrity host. For more information, visit www.pinnaclecs.org.