By Terry Duffy
At its session earlier this month, the Youngstown Business and Professional Association reviewed recent developments as well as plans for events entering into this fall.
The well-attended annual session was held Sept. 11 at the Mug and Musket, prior to the restaurant’s unexpected closure last weekend by operators Catherine and Mike Stella.
At the meeting, the YBPA joined with many in the community in honoring the memory of Clyde Burmaster of Ransomville, who lost his valiant battle to cancer earlier this month.
“Sadly, we recently lost 1st District Niagara County Legislator Vice Chairman Clyde Burmaster, a true friend and supporter of the YBPA,” President Cheryl Butera said.
A moment of silence followed her remarks.
Next came the announcement that YBPA would honor Burmaster’s legacy to the community with a $100 donation to the Ransomville Volunteer Fire Co. in his memory.
Next up in the program came the introduction of the YBPA membership. As noted, the session saw a good number of YBPA’s 81 members in attendance, including some new faces. Included were new owners of Niagara Jet Adventures, Brian and Salise Price; Robert Jeeves, proprietor of That Barber and Co. on Youngstown’s Main Street; Tim Adamson, Town of Porter Councilman who represented Flowserve – SIHI Pumps; and Lynn Bahringer of the Body, Mind and Soul Center.
Butera, joined by her husband, Mark, YBPA secretary, proceeded to recap the news highlights of past months. Included were:
•Recent funding announcements to YBPA for its 2019-20 Welcome to the Town of Porter/Youngstown brochure. Included was the William G. Mayne/Niagara Falls Bridge Commission/Niagara County Economic Development Business Community Enhancement funding. Butera said a match grant award of $2,900 was presented to YBPA at the Niagara County Legislature’s May 7 session.
This was followed by additional funding of $1,500 received from Burmaster last spring, and presentation of a $1,500 award from the Town of Porter.
Butera said that, in addition to the popular informative brochure – which saw 25,000 distributed throughout the Buffalo Niagara Region – the funding also enabled YBPA to acquire a new, reusable street banner to promote both the Village of Youngstown as well as the annual Town of Porter SummerFest at Porter on the Lake Park. The banner hung over Youngstown’s Lockport Street this past summer.
•The annual Beginning of Summer Street Dance and Car Cruise. Highlights included the successful “Taste of Youngstown” that saw area village restaurants, namely The Galley, The Ontario House, The Village Diner and the Mug and Musket, all participating; 15 vendors representing various businesses along the Main Street strip; the annual Street Dance favorites included the Carl Motyka Band, Lakeside Quarterhorses, beach balls provided by Anchor Spirits, plus the involvement of community groups, such as the Youngstown Lions, the Youngstown Free Library, Boy Scout Troop 829 and others.
Butera revealed YBPA will consider its entertainment options for next year following news the Carol Motyka Band, a Street Dance favorite since its inception, would not return in 2020.
“This was the last year for the Carl Motyka Band, so we have been actively discussing ideas for a replacement band,” she said. “Carl was the only band we ever had, and he had a great connect with kids and crowd.
She revealed the Thurman Brothers Band, a popular local favorite who opened for Foreigner at the Aug. 27 Artpark “Tuesdays” finale, is a top contender.
“Although more expensive, we are identifying additional funds to add this well-known local band to the Street Dance event,” she said.
•Other highlights from the session included news that Youngstown merchants would be participating in the national Shop Small Saturday promotion on Saturday, Nov. 30, as well as plans moving for the annual Youngstown in the Village celebration on Saturday, Dec. 14.
Still more news included discussion on the Nov. 9 Youngstown VFW-Ransomville American Legion chicken barbecue benefit, presented by Town of Porter Councilwoman Irene Myers, taking place at the Youngstown firehall; plans by owners Ken Scibetta and Ed Webster of the Griffin for the shuttered Melloni’s Marketplace (see related story); as well as holiday plans for a Christmas photo contest by YBPA member Danielle Urban of Neal Urban Photography.
Stay tuned to The Sentinel for more on these village happenings.