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2019 Chamber Gala: Monsignor David LiPuma is 2019 Village of Lewiston Citizen of the Year

Sat, Apr 27th 2019 07:00 am
The Rev. Monsignor David G. LiPuma. (Photo by Joshua Maloni)
The Rev. Monsignor David G. LiPuma. (Photo by Joshua Maloni)

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.

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By Jennifer Pauly

President, Niagara River Region Chamber of Commerce

The Rev. Monsignor David G. LiPuma has been chosen by Mayor Anne Welch and trustees as the 2019 Village of Lewiston Citizen of the Year. He has made a positive impact in the community leading and bringing people together while instilling the true sense of what community is all about.

LiPuma will officially leave Lewiston on May 31 to start a new assignment at Our Lady of Victory Basilica in Lackawanna as pastor of OLV and president of OLV Institutions beginning June 1. When the award process for the Village of Lewiston Citizen of the Year started in December of 2018, no one knew that plans were in motion for his future. The mayor and trustees in the village immediately thought of LiPuma when considering an honoree for the award, because of his ability to gather people together, visibility in the community, and work in transforming the St. Peter R.C. Church and School into a center of activity in the village.

The community learned of LiPuma’s new assignment in early April at a heartfelt announcement during the Masses at St. Peter and St. Bernard.

When LiPuma was appointed to St. Peter R.C. Church in 2013, the excitement could be felt throughout the village. He had held many administrative positions since his ordination on July 25, 1987. All of that experience was going to help prepare him for tasks at hand, besides leading as pastor. The church and school needed a new vision in order to grow, and LiPuma was up to the challenge. With hard work, prayer, a few key people and a community that supported him, he worked to increase attendance at the parish and the school.

Maureen Ingham, principal of the school, and LiPuma worked hand in hand at increasing enrollment and making renovations to accommodate the students. In 2016, LiPuma was given an additional responsibility of pastoring St. Bernard R.C. Church in Youngstown. He has made many lifelong friends from guiding both congregations.

LiPuma has been involved in many nonprofits in the region. He is active in the Sertoma Club of Niagara Falls as the chaplain and also a member of the Lewiston Kiwanis Club. LiPuma has led blessings and prayer for many businesses at their ribbon cuttings and celebrations. Recently, he has received awards by HART, Heart Love & Soul and Mount St. Mary’s Hospital to go along with many other accolades received throughout the years.

Niagara Frontier Publications recently featured an article on LiPuma and the impact he has had on the community. We are fortunate to have had our communities chosen as a place where he has been able to lead and bring people together. While he will be missed, it is nice to know that he is a short visit away, and Our Lady of Victory Basilica will benefit from his work.

The Niagara River Region Chamber of Commerce, Village of Lewiston mayor and trustees are proud to honor the Rev. Monsignor David G. LiPuma, the 2019 Village of Lewiston Citizen of the Year.

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