By Jennifer Pauly
Niagara River Region Chamber of Commerce
Alexander and Colleen Swavy have been chosen by Mayor Terry Collesano and Village of Lewiston Board of Trustees as the 2018 Citizens of the Year.
Collesano expressed his gratitude for the Lewiston couple: "The Swavys are the epitome of the true meaning of volunteerism, and a testament to what two dedicated community volunteers can do for their community."
Al and Colleen both grew up in Pennsylvania - 10 miles from each other - in small communities along the Delaware River. They moved to Lewiston in May of 1978 when Al was given an opportunity to work in Niagara Falls at Olin. They found a house on North Third Street and knew right away this was where they wanted to live.
Lewiston reminded them of where they grew up. They found a house located within walking distance of the playground, village hall and Center Street, a perfect place for a family. Al and Colleen raised their two daughters, Katie and Allison, and have loved every minute of their 40 years in the village.
Al was a volunteer fireman in Pennsylvania and joined the Lewiston No. 1 Fire Co. in 1979, serving for 39 years. After retiring in 2010 from working in the chemical industry and University at Buffalo, Al took on more duties volunteering as the Lewiston No. 1 recording secretary. Taking care of paperwork is his primary duty as well as helping with the incoming emergency calls that come in to the station. Al's favorite activities with the fire department include the boot drive held in the summer and chicken chowder sale during the Christmas Walk. He is also involved in restoring an antique fire truck in which they hope to have finished in time to display during the Peach Festival parade.
Colleen has been a volunteer with the recreation department for years. Marianne Gittermann asked her to become involved in activities and she helped create the annual Spring Fling event. Some of her favorite events have been the rummage sale, Spring Fling and adult bingo, which have grown in popularity over the years. Colleen also serves on the Parks, Recreation and Conservation Board.
Both Al and Colleen have taken on the responsibility of updating the information board located on the waterfront. She collects flyers and brochures from around the village and thoughtfully includes information visitors would need to enjoy their time in Lewiston.
Colleen retired as a pharmacist from Niagara Falls Memorial and Lockport hospitals in 2013 and also enjoys volunteering for the St. Francis Guild at Mount St. Mary's Hospital and Health Center and with the Lewiston Service Guild. Both Al and Colleen are avid travelers. They have traveled to all 50 states, and enjoy exploring places off the beaten path. Some of their favorite traveling experiences include operating a steam engine along the Nevada Northern Railroad and taking part in the New Jersey Lighthouse Challenge - climbing all of the lighthouses along the New Jersey coast, from Sandy Hook in the north to Cape May in the south.
Volunteering has always been something that came naturally to Al and Colleen. They have quietly shown their love and care for our community for many years and have given countless hours of their personal time to ensure a safe, clean and healthy lifestyle for the Village of Lewiston residents.
The Niagara River Region Chamber of Commerce, Collesano and the Village Board are proud to honor Alexander and Colleen Swavy, the 2018 Village of Lewiston Citizens of the Year.
Awards will be presented to those contributing to the success of the local area when the Niagara River Region Chamber of Commerce holds its annual awards gala on Thursday, April 19, at the Niagara Falls Country Club in Lewiston.
The event begins with a cocktail hour and hors d'oeuvres, followed by a sit-down dinner and awards program. A silent auction will take place throughout the evening.
Tickets and sponsorship opportunities are available through the chamber office by calling 716-754-9500.