By Joshua Maloni
Prior to Monday’s Village of Lewiston work session, Mayor Anne Welch provided her thoughts on the fire that shuttered three Center Street businesses last week.
“I would just like to thank our great Lewiston No. 1 firefighters and the other responding fire companies for fighting that devastating fire on Center Street last Wednesday,” she said. “Youngstown, Upper Mountain, Sanborn, Niagara Active, Niagara Falls Reserve Station (firefighters); and Ransomville and Lewiston 2 were also on standby. They had to fight the cold, wind and the rain, while fighting the fire. They did a fantastic job containing the fire, especially with the wind. Our Lewiston Police; DPW, Superintendent Larry Wills; Fire Inspector Barry Beebe; and the building inspector, Ken Candella, were also on site and helped.
“Our hearts go out to the businesses and tenants of that devastating fire, and we hope they will rebuild.
“Thank you to our businesses and people in the community who stepped up to help. I know Anthony DiMino gave the fire victims Tops gift cards. Brickyard is selling their ‘17’ and ‘Lewiston Lager’ beer, and donating proceeds to them – I bought some, by the way. Century 21 Realtor Sam Talarico is working with Sue’s Frame of Mind to help relocate her business temporarily in the Rite Aid plaza.
“We have a wonderful, caring, generous and supportive community, and I am very proud to live here. When tragedy strikes, they always turn out.”
Christmas Walk Weekend
Following Lewiston Christmas Walk weekend – which included a tree-lighting Friday at the Alphonso I. DiMino Memorial Band Shell at Academy Park, Santa’s arrival on a float Saturday, and the Lewiston Holiday Lights Parade on Sunday – Welch praised those who worked behind the scenes on the annual holiday celebration.
“Thank you to Superintendent Larry Wills and the village DPW for the beautiful Christmas lights along Center Street. … They did a fantastic job,” she said. “The village looked beautiful this (past) weekend – and there’s a lot of hard work that goes into this event – and they always do such a wonderful job.
“I would also like to commend Tasia Fitzpatrick and Susan Hofert and the Lewiston Beautification and Garden Club for decorating the village for the Christmas Walk and holiday season.”
Hofert said, “We’ve had lots of help from a lot of people.”
“The husbands were volun-told; I get it,” Welch said.
She continued, “Thanks to Trustee Tina Coppins and Women of the Lower Moose Lodge No. 584 for helping to decorate the bandshell. It was outstanding in there – the bandshell never looked better.
“Tina and Trustee Dan Gibson and the Heart of the Community volunteers who decorated the Chamber office, also. Great job!”
Welch offered kudos to the festival organizers.
She said, “I’d like to thank Jennifer Pauly and her staff for all the hard work that goes into the Christmas Walk and the Electric Light Parade. Center Street was filled with people for the parade, and everyone loved it.
“Also, I’d like to thank Vince Canosa for another great job as Santa. … He does this every year, and the kids love it. He really does a great job – and he really looks the part.”
Welch concluded by saying, “I know how much everyone does for this community, by pitching in like that, and I appreciate it.
“And last but not least, (thanks to) Assemblyman Angelo Morinello, who was at our Christmas tree lighting, and was the master of ceremonies for the Electric Light Parade. He did an outstanding job, again. He’s always there to support our events, and we really appreciate him for everything he does for us.
“Thanks to the parade judges, also. I know it was cold out there.”
Deputy Mayor Vic Eydt thanked Fitzpatrick and Hofert for their efforts in supervising the installation of new fencing along Center Street, as well as their work in hanging decorations.
Fitzpatrick said, “We had a deadline – we can’t disappoint Santa.”
“We know you know how to get things done,” Welch said.
Fitzpatrick sent special thanks to electrician Chris Stanek for his donated time and resources.