By Terry Duffy
The Youngstown Business and Professional Association updated its membership for 2017 with a new slate of officers announced, new faces introduced and planning discussions of events for the months ahead.
•The spring YBPA membership meeting, held April 11 at the Old Fort Niagara Officers Club, saw the installation of the following by First District Niagara County Legislator Clyde L. Burmaster: Jerry Brett, vice president; Mark Butera, secretary; and Dotty Riordan, board director. They join Cheryl Irish-Butera, YBPA president; Steve Zastrow, treasurer; and board directors Diane Melloni, and Quain Weber.
Cheryl Butera reported the election consisted of YBPA incumbents, as no new nominees were received for the 2017 election.
Newsmakers from the meeting included:
•The chamber welcomed new faces.
√ Rebecca Poletti of Mangia Café in Lewiston was introduced as Youngstown's newest business owner, taking over the former Ashker's at Main and Lockport streets in the village. Stay tuned to the Sentinel for an upcoming profile.
√ YBPA also welcomed Ransomville-area resident Sonora Miller as the new director of the Youngstown Free Library. Miller takes over from longtime Library Director Jan Gilgore, who marked her last day at the library on April 20.
Area residents are welcome to attend a retirement celebration in Gilgore's honor. The event will take place from 2-5 p.m. Sunday, April 23, at First Presbyterian Church of Youngstown 100 Church St.
√ Lynn Zanardi was introduced as the new Town of Porter historian. Zanardi was recently named to the position by the Town of Porter following the earlier retirement of historian Sue Dietz. Her husband, Gary Zanardi, post commander of VFW Lake Ontario Post 313, will be assisting her as deputy historian.
•The chamber recognized two YBPA business members that will be honored at the upcoming Niagara River Region Chamber Awards Gala, Friday, April 28, at The Conference & Event Center, Niagara Falls:
√ Sanger Farms and Bakery was named the 2017 Youngstown Business of the Year. Cheryl Butera joined YBPA membership in offering their congratulations to Sanger ownership, Michael and Sandra Tuck.
Tragically, the following morning, on Wednesday, April 12, Sandra Tuck fell victim to a fatal heart attack. Condolences are extended to the Tuck family.
√ O'Connor Family Greenhouses on Lake Road in Porter is being honored as Ransomville Business of the Year at Friday's gala. Cheryl Butera, likewise, extended her congratulations to owners Wendy and Tom O'Connor at the YBPA session.
•YBPA reported on the success of the sixth annual O'Riordan St. Patrick's Day Parade held on March 18.
Cheryl Butera informed the membership the annual parade, which sees its participants strolling the village Main Street with green decorated shopping carts, is being regarded as the best one yet, with a record number of participants and strong attendance by area residents.
"Best of" honors from the parade went to the McCarthy School of Irish Dance for the Best Children's float, and to the Niagara Falls Ladies Ancient Order of Hibernians for the Best Adult Float.
•YBPA reported plans are moving full steam ahead for the annual Beginning of Summer Street Dance and Car Show. The event will take place the evening of Thursday, June 22, on Youngstown's Main Street.
The event will feature the car show on Hinman Street; a children's bounce house located in the middle of the Main Street block; plenty of family-friendly entertainment, with pony rides furnished by Lakeside Quarter Horses, and beach balls for the kids by Anchor Spirits; free popcorn by the Youngstown Lions Club; free kids coloring books by St. John's Episcopal Church; and food and beverages available at area establishments.
Cheryl Butera said the Village of Youngstown will again close down Main Street between Hinman and Lockport streets, with the YBPA working with the Youngstown Police and Youngstown Volunteer Fire Co. in helping to coordinate the event.
YBPA, per new village requirements, will handle the insurance responsibilities for the event.
Melloni was named as vender and food coordinator, and event participation is limited to local businesses and YBPA members.
•Cheryl Butera reported YBPA has submitted its application for the annual William G. Mayne/Niagara Falls Bridge Commission/Niagara County Economic Development matching funds grant, with the award announcement expected in May.
Projects eyed via grant funding include YBPA's 2017 Welcome to Youngstown brochures; hanging flower baskets for village lampposts and planter plants, along with new hanging basket assemblies; and a new, reusable YBPA banner to be installed at the Niagara Scenic Parkway exit at Lockport Street.
YBPA announced the new banner's leadoff promotion of the annual Youngstown Music and Arts Festival, taking place on Saturday, Oct. 7.
Niagara County Legislator Clyde Burmaster is shown with Youngstown Business and Professional Association officers who were worn into office for 2017. Pictured, from left, are Dotty Riordan, board director; Cheryl Irish-Butera, president; Diane Melloni, board director; Burmaster; Steve Zastrow, treasurer; Jerry Brett, vice president; and Mark Butera, secretary.