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2015 Community Awards

On January 17, 2015, the Pro-Brockport Organization held our annual celebration dinner at Java Junction, Brockport, NY. This year an Awards Committee was established to create recognition categories and nominate recipients for awards. The purpose of these seven awards was to celebrate the creative, hard work that helps make Brockport a dynamic, diverse, sustainable & happy place to put down roots & grow.



Presented by: Carol Hannan

Our vibrant village center is truly the heart of Brockport. Its many businesses historically contribute far beyond a cup of coffee, a birthday present or a new hair style. They support the projects of school students and service organizations, for example, as well as making our village a special place to shop.

Few businesses stand the test of time, however. Today we say thanks to one of the exceptions, a business which has served our residents and college students; entertained and taught our children and has been a downtown fixture for decades.

The torch has been passed at Liftbridge Bookshop, and while we wish its new owners continued success, we would be remiss not to thank Pat and Archie Kutz for their years of tireless efforts and dedication to what has become a village landmark. Brockport is and has been better for your efforts. The members of Pro-Brockport thank you and wish you all the best in the future. 

 


Presented by: Thomas Mangan

Pro-Brockport's Community Innovator Award is presented to the person whose innovative thinking has had the most positive affect on the Brockport community. The 2015 Community Innovator Award is presented to Dan Varrenti for his tireless work on creating the Village Court. 

The Brockport Village Court officially began on January 1, 2015 at midnight. The first court date was Friday, January 2nd and the court was in session for about an hour. 

It has taken just under 9 years since Dan Varrenti first publicly proposed a Village Court at the March 6, 2006 Village Board meeting. Then Mayor Castaneda immediately shot the idea down by saying the town court loses money, which it definitely does not. But Dan Varrenti didn't give up because he felt strongly about all the cases that have beed dismissed by the Sweden Town Court because of political reasons and he was bothered by all the lost revenue to the village. 

In 2011, Dan Varrenti finally got the Village Board to vote on forming a Village Court and because the case for the court was presented so poorly by a Trustee, one of the other pro-village Trustees joined Mayor Casteneda and Trustee Dan Kuhn in voting down the Village Court. 

But Dan Varrenti still didn't give up and now, after 9 long years later, thanks to Dan Varrenti's tireless efforts, Brockport has its very own court, just like every other municipality in NY State that has a college the size of Brockport. 


 


Presented by: Marcelle Stickles

Pro-Brockport’s The Simple Truths Award is presented to the person who takes action on things that need attention, but that go unnoticed by the majority of people. 

This award goes to Carol Hannan, for her numerous contributions to the Village of Brockport. 

From the moment that I met Carol, several years ago, it was evident that she is a woman who loves her community. I have learned that she has done a yeoman’s job at working to better Brockport. Carol is a leader in the reclaiming of our neighborhoods and in fostering a sense of community stability and pride. She has been a strong advocate for the improvement of code enforcement, which has led to the hiring of a new full-time and two part-time code enforcement officers. Brighter days are ahead in Brockport, in regards to the maintenance of properties, in no small part due to Carol Hannan. 

Carol has worked tirelessly on researching and writing 70+ house histories to help with the state and national register application. Historic preservation is a passion of hers.

For all that she has done, and will do, for her community; it is simply true that Carol should be the recipient of this award.

 
 


 



Presented by: David Markham

The Community Service Award is given to the person or persons who have excelled in contributing to the community through volunteer activity. 

This year there were so many nominations that it was very difficult for the committee to decide on whom to publicly acknowledge this evening. Three people emerged as consistently making outstanding contributions which has a wide and lasting impact, in multiple ways, on the community that certainly deserve recognition and acknowledgement. 

First, we would like to commend Lori Skoog, who has done so much this year from chairing the committee to rejuvenate and re-organize the Sweden Senior Center, now called "The Center". She also organized the Jazz Fest West event to raise money for the mural to be done in Sagawa Park and she has contributed yer artistic talents in so many other ways, that we don not have time to mention them all, to help make the Brockport Area a vibrant and aesthetically enjoyable place to live, work and visit. 

Second, we would like to commend Pam Ketchum for developing and implementing a community service program providing opportunities to people to do their community service obligations imposed by the court. Pam has utilized their "service" in various gardening projects to beautify the garden spaces in Brockport. Pam's organizational and supervisory abilities have made it possible for hundreds of hours to be donated to develop and maintain Brockport's flower gardens.She also has provided opportunities for offenders to restore their relationship with the community, where these relationships have been breached due to committing criminal offense, helping to make our community whole again through this important restorative program. 

Lastly, we would like to commend Mark Ketchum who for the last three years has single handedly watered the hanging flower baskets and garden squares in the Historic Business District of Brockport. The downtown village has been blessed with the array of flowers and floral scents. Mark makes this happen through his regular watering activities. In addition, Mark provides his musical talents in so many ways and in many venues over the course of the year to make various community activities much more enjoyable. 

Will you join me in a show of appreciation for the wonderful activities and achievements of these three remarkable people who make our quality of life in the Brockport area for satisfying and enjoyable.  

 


Presented by: Mark Ketchum

I am here to present the Pro-Brockport Quiet Hero Award. This award is given to someone who uses their own time to make Brockport a better place not only to live but to visit. There are a lot of people that fit that description, many are in this room. My theory is that many more Brockportians want to help and would if they knew how and where. I would like to have a blog site where people could go to find ideas about volunteering and sign up for them. I would call it VIBE, Volunteer In Brockport Everyday. 

Okay, back to the Quiet Hero Award. Doug Wolcott opens the Welcome Center everyday. He has trained and scheduled hundreds of volunteers and is one hell of a greeter. In 2004 he also became a volunteer at the Emily Knapp museum. He was recruited by Jackie Morris and her husband, Raymond. Six years ago he was visiting his father's grave and noticed there were no American flags on soldiers' graves. He used his own money to purchase and place flags. To this day, with help mostly from college kids, 700 flags are placed each year. He is also a member of the ZBA, zoning board of appeals. Another thankless job. Finally, he is a commander at the VFW. Doug said, "you know I do this because I enjoy it. I like working with all the people. I don't need an award." So here it is, Doug, your quiet hero award.