The Niagara River Region Chamber of Commerce will hold its annual Gala Awards dinner from 6-9 p.m. Thursday, May 9, at the Niagara Falls Country Club.
The event begins with a cocktail hour followed by a sit-down dinner and awards program. The chamber board of directors will then present awards to Business of the Year and Citizen of the Year honorees from the Lewiston, Youngstown, Ransomville and Sanborn communities. In addition, a silent and basket auction will take place.
Tickets are available at the Chamber of Commerce office, 895 Center St., Lewiston.
By Jennifer Pauly
President, Niagara River Region Chamber of Commerce
Shawn D’Luhy has been chosen by Village of Youngstown Mayor Raleigh Reynolds and trustees as the 2019 Village of Youngstown Citizen of the Year. Shawn has given her time and talents to make her community a better place to live, going above and beyond to help others.
Shawn has lived in Youngstown for over 40 years. She grew up in the village, moved away for 20 years, and came back in 1999. One of the reasons she came back was because of the love and friendship people gave to her father, who had become disabled.
The Youngstown community is a special place, where everyone takes care of each other. People would visit him and send him cards, making sure his needs were being taken care of. That is when Shawn decided the Village of Youngstown is where she should be, and moved back to the area she grew up in.
Retired from the IRS Excise Tax Department, Shawn spends a lot of her time involved as an elder and warden at St. John’s Episcopal Church. She helps out with the day-to-day operations, events – the annual Youngstown Strawberry Festival will be held at the church on Saturday, June 22 – and the prayer chain. The church family is a big part of her life with many wonderful friends and a great support system.
A recent article in The Sentinel made mention of the village needing a new senior van. As a former senior van driver, Shawn knew how critical a service this was to the seniors in Youngstown, as the van would help transport seniors to important doctor appointments and activities.
The village was struggling to find the funds for a new van. Shawn knew her church family would be willing to help her raise funds. They jumped on board right away and held a basket raffle, bringing in $1,800.
Other churches in Youngstown were contacted, along with community groups and individuals. Everyone came together and fundraised over $10,000 toward the purchase of a new van.
Mayor Raleigh Reynolds was grateful: “Shawn saw a need in the community and stepped up to help. She did it not for personal gain or recognition, but because she knew how much some of our seniors depended on the van service, and she wanted to help her community and neighbors.”
Shawn was able to get people involved. Between the community, Village of Youngstown and Town of Porter, a new 2019 Chrysler Pacifica was purchased and dedicated in January.
Shawn and her 10-year-old labradoodle, Michael, love Youngstown. She says the best part of living in the village is the people. Working with others to reach the van goal was something she enjoyed doing because everyone knew it was an important part of keeping the seniors active, healthy and involved.
Shawn and her church are busy planning the next basket raffle on June 22, to benefit VFW improvements.
The Niagara River Region Chamber of Commerce, Mayor Reynolds and the Village of Youngstown Trustees are proud to honor Shawn D’Luhy, the 2019 Village of Youngstown Citizen of the Year.