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Holley dancers shine at State Fair

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 10 September 2017 at 9:51 am

Lisa’s Dance Boutique had seven acts qualify for fair

SYARCUSE – Lisa’s Dance Boutique in Holley had another impressive showing at the State Fair in the talent competition. There were seven numbers from Lisa’s competing at the fair after performing at the Orleans County 4-H Fair in late July.

The top photo shows dancers that performed to “Burnin Up” in the maxi division, ages 13 and older. They advanced to the finals, which included the top 25 acts at the fair.

Four of the seven numbers from Lisa’s advanced to the finals, which includes the top 25 in the state in the mini (ages 12 and under) and maxi (ages 13 and older). This photo shows the Lisa’s dancers that competed in the finals on Labor Day.

Allison Amoroso, left, danced to “Slay” and Savanna Isenberg danced to “Queen Bee” in the mini division in the finals at the State Fair. They made it to the final 25 acts (Allison placed fifth in the semifinals). The semifinals included the top 80 in each division.

Bailey Amoroso also competed in the mini division, performing “Perfect Day For Fun.”

“Bosa Nova Baby” also made it to the finals, competing against the top 25 acts in the maxi division.

This group of dancers performed “Special Angel” in the maxi division.

“Salute” made it through the preliminary rounds and competed in the semifinals of the maxi division.

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Holley native advances past first two rounds on Food Network’s ‘Great Food Truck Race’

Food Network: Nick Hunter, Steven Klatt (center) and Brandon Lapp are teammates in Braised in the South which has advanced past the first two rounds of the Food Network’s Food Truck Race. Klatt, a Holley graduate, is the son of Ryan Klatt and Susan Colby, the Clarendon town clerk.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 30 August 2017 at 1:19 pm

Steven Klatt and Braised in the South make sumptuous shrimp and grits

HOLLEY – When Steven Klatt was a kid in Holley, he preferred the Food Network over cartoons, his father Ryan Klatt said.

Now Steven, 30, is actually on the Food Network. The past two Sundays (9 p.m. locally) he and his teammates with the Braised in the South food truck have advanced in Food Network’s “Great Food Truck Race,” which features Southern-style food.

The competition started with seven teams, but each week one is eliminated, the team with lowest sales.

Braised in the South competed in New Orleans for the opening show (and came in second just missing first by $7). This past Sunday the show featured the teams in Pensacola, Fla. This week the show heads to Tuscaloosa, Alabama. The finale is Sept. 24 with the winner gets $50,000.

Klatt and the Braised in the South co-teammates Nick Hunter and Brandon Lapp serve up pulled pork, shrimp and grits, macaroni and cheese and other tasty food.

“It’s been awesome,” said Steven’s father, Ryan Klatt. “We’re so proud of them.”

Steven is also the son of Susan Colby, the Clarendon town clerk.

Steven graduated from Holley in 2005, and then earned a culinary degree from Paul Smith’s College in the Adirondacks.

He moved South about a decade ago. He and his two friends run the Braised in the South food truck out of Charleston, S.C. Klatt applied to be on the show.

The action is fast paced on the episodes, and takes a lot of salesmanship as well as cooking skills.

Ryan Klatt said his son has always been an overachiever.

“He’s got it all,” his father said. “The two guys with him are also really good guys. Steven has worked very hard. His work ethic is incredible. He’s a super hard worker and it’s paying off.”

For more on the show, click here.

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Orleans County 4-H’ers competing at State Fair

Posted 26 August 2017 at 11:18 am

Photos courtesy of Missy Call, 4-H program coordinator in Orleans County

SYRACUSE – Several Orleans County 4-H youth are competing at the State Fair in Syracuse, 4-Hers Nicole Mrzywka, Natalie Mrzywka and Riley Lear, who are participating in the 4-H State Goat Bowl Challenge. Competitions take place throughout the week.

This pillow made by Makenzie McGrath won a blue ribbon along with a purple rosette. Purple rosettes are for “special recognition for outstanding exhibits.” Riley Seielstad’s angel food cake also won a purple rosette.

Sadie Gregoire’s hedgehog was a huge hit at the Orleans County 4-H Booth and won a blue ribbon.

Riley Seielstad participates in Prix Caprilli.

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3 Scouts from Troop 35 in Medina earn Eagle Rank

Provided photo: Three Boy Scouts from Troop 35 in medina recently earned their Eagle rank at the Eagle Scout Board of Review. Pictured include, bottom row, from left: Kevin Bogan, Parent Committee Chair; John Dieter, Cub Scout Master. Top Row: Jason Dodge, Assistant Scoutmaster for Troop 23 in Middleport (a member of the Board of Review); Eagle Scouts Coby Albone, Nick Bogan and Kristian Snyder; and Troop Master, Mike Hill.

Posted 25 August 2017 at 10:00 am

Courtesy of Troop 35 in Medina

MEDINA – Three exceptional community service projects propelled Boy Scout members of Medina’s Troop 35 to be awarded the highest rank in Scouts, the Eagle Scout.

Following the Eagle Scout Board of Review on July 31 at the Iroquois Trail Council’s office in Lockport, three members of Medina’s Boy Scout Troop 35 – Coby Albone, Nick Bogan and Kristian Snyder – were awarded the highest rank in the organization.

Coby Albone, the son of Richard Albone of Medina and Denise and Barry Pawloski of Middleport, looked to helping the environment in and around the lakes of Orleans County for his Eagle Scout project.  Coby engineered and installed Recycling Tubes for unwanted and cut off fishing line at 15 different fishing spots in and around the lakes of the area. His goal is to prevent the tangled fishing line from being discarded along the shores and in the lakes of the popular fishing areas to prevent harm to fish and wildlife.

Kristian Snyder is the son of the late former Troop Master of Medina’s Troop 35, Karl Snyder, and the late Nancy Snyder. Kristian held a free movie event at the Medina Theater with the admission being a donation of a can food item to help restock the shelves of the Medina Area Association of Churches (MAAC) Food Pantry. Kristian showed two movies to accommodate younger children with the first showing and older kids for the second movie. His movie night was a big success and over 300 pounds of food as well as a monetary donation was made to the MAAC Food Pantry, helping several in need throughout the community.

Nick Bogan, son of Kevin and Kathy Bogan, decided to help out the history of Orleans County by making and installing a sign at one of the oldest unmarked cemeteries in the area. Nick made and installed a 7’ by 8’ sign at the previously unmarked Daniels Cemetery on South Lyndonville Road in the Town of Ridgeway.  Nick was amazed at the age of some of the grave stones in the Daniels Cemetery, several dating back to the turn of the century and include some of the early pioneers that helped to settle Orleans County and the Town of Ridgeway.

The three newest Eagle Ranks are added to the several other Eagles in the Medina Troop 35, including Nick and Kristian’s older brothers. Troop 35’s long history of serving others and doing good deeds throughout the community exemplify the goals of the Scouting organization.

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Erie County Fair puts Barry Flansburg in its Hall of Fame

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 23 August 2017 at 2:16 pm

Provided photo: Barry Flansburg, center with plaque, was honored on Aug. 12 at the Erie County Fair in Hamburg by being inducted in the Erie County Agriculture Education Center’s Hall of Fame.

Flansburg has been attending the fair since 2000 with his family. His kids – Ben Flansburg, now 32, and Chris and Amanda Flansburg, 27 – all showed dairy animals at the fair and won the master showman title.

Barry Flansburg goes to the fair every year, spending 12 days there. He volunteers in the Agriculture Discovery Center, explaining modern agriculture to the public. This year seven calves were born at the fair, and Flansburg is there to emcee the births and also calf feedings.

He was presented the award by members of the Fair Board and an the Agriculture Committee at the fair. A plaque with his name will be on permanent display at the fairgrounds.

“I was very surprised,” Flansburg said. “It’s quite an honor.”

Flansburg, a Barre resident, also has been an active volunteer with the Orleans County 4-H Fair for many years.

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Fisher-Price picks Albion girl as model to help sell new toy

Photo by Tom Rivers: Chrissy Rivers holds her daughter Amarionna, who appears on a box for a new Fisher-Price toy.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 14 August 2017 at 8:06 pm

“Everyone talks about how beautiful she is,” says Amarionna Romig’s mother

ALBION – Chrissy Rivers hears it all the time: her daughter has striking cuteness.

“Everyone talks about how beautiful she is,” Rivers said about her daughter, Amarionna Romig.

One of Chrissy’s friends even urged her to enter Amarionna Romig in a modeling audition at Fisher-Price. Chrissy sent in some photos of her daughter and filled out an application. Amarionna was urged to come to Fisher-Price in East Aurora for an audition.

Fisher-Price was looking for models to help promote its new toy, the Laugh & Learn® First Words Crawl-Along Learning Train. Amarionna went to Fisher-Price for a photo shoot about six months ago and showed great delight playing with the new toy.

The box for Fisher-Price’s new Laugh & Learn® First Words Crawl-Along Learning Train includes the image of Amarionna Romig just before she turned 1.

Her image is on the box of the Learning Train and also on Fisher-Price’s website promoting the motorized train, which makes playful songs and sounds to help kids ages 9 to 36 months learn all about going places. (Click here for more information.)

Chrissy Rivers saw the toy for the first time about a month ago, with her daughter’s smiling face on the back of the box.

“It’s very exciting,” Rivers said today.

Amarionna has been back at Fisher-Price for a second photo shoot for another toy.

Chrissy said her daughter impresses in other ways.

“She is smart,” Chrissy said. “She can sing her whole ABCs. So she isn’t just cute.”

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Master Gardeners award first $500 scholarship

Provided photo: Master Gardener Scholarship recipient Claudia Drechsel poses with MG Treasurer Don O’Keefe (left), Scholarship Chairperson Eileen Sorochty, and Master Gardener Chair Barb Linhart in the Honor Garden at the Cornell Cooperative Extension Education Center.

By Kristina Gabalski, Correspondent Posted 13 August 2017 at 7:19 pm

Claudia Drechsel of Murray, an active member of 4-H, is picked for award

KNOWLESVILLE – Claudia Drechsel, a member of the Holley Central School Class of 2017, has received a $500 college scholarship from Orleans Count Cornell Cooperative Extension Master Gardeners

The scholarship is offered to high school seniors in Orleans County who intend to pursue a degree in horticulture or agriculture, said Cooperative Extension Horticulture Educator Katie Oakes.

Drechsel graduated in Holley’s Top Ten this past June, and plans to study agricultural business at Morrisville State College this fall. She is pursuing a 4-year degree.

“The focus will be on general agriculture, I will try to broaden my horizons,” Drechsel said.

She is an Orleans County 4-Her who has raised sheep, chickens and rabbits, but is looking forward to learning more about other facets of agriculture, including dairy and horticulture.

She hopes to join the Peace Corps after college, “and help people in other countries learn how to farm efficiently,” she said. Eventually, Drechsel hopes to be a political activist for agriculture.

Photo by Kristina Gabalski: Claudia Drechsel of Murray poses with her Navajo Churro heritage breed sheep, Elsa, at the 2017 Orleans County 4-H Fair.

Drechsel said the scholarship means a great deal to her.

“It is an acknowledgement of all the hard work I have done and it is nice to be recognized,” she said. “I am so thankful and grateful. It takes a load off – college is so expensive.”

During the 2015-2016 school year, Drechsel lived in Austria as a Rotary Youth Exchange Student.  She has also participated in the Youth Conservationist Program raising and breeding heritage wool sheep.

She said participation in Orleans County 4-H  has been an important part of her educational experience.

“It’s true,” she observed, “4-H really does take you places. It has provided so many opportunities including award trips, public speaking, leadership training and being at the Orleans County 4-H Fair. My 4-H experiences have really taught me to be responsible and helped me become engaged in my community.”

Drechsel says she feels careers in agri-business are often overlooked by young people, but that there are many opportunities.

“There is so much more to agriculture,” she said, noting that farming is one of many agriculture-related careers.

Orleans County Cornell Cooperative Extension Master Gardener volunteer Brenda Radzinski is a member of the committee which selected Drechsel as scholarship recipient.

It was clear Drechsel stood out as an exceptional student and community member, Radzinski said.

“Her grades were excellent and her essay was wonderful,” Radzinski said. “She showed a real love of agriculture.”

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Leonard Oakes wins state award for ice wine

Staff Reports Posted 9 August 2017 at 4:01 pm

File photos by Tom Rivers: Frozen Vidal grapes are pictured on Jan. 7, 2015 at Leonard Oakes Estate Winery. The winery harvests grapes in a deep freeze, and uses those grapes to produce award-winning ice wine.

MEDINA – Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced the award-winning wines today in the 32nd New York Wine & Food Classic. An Orleans County winery won the award for the top ice wine.

The competition is a nationally recognized event highlighting the best of New York’s wine, spirits and ciders. This year, the coveted Governor’s Cup trophy, the most esteemed award given at the Classic, was presented to Buttonwood Grove Winery from the Finger Lakes Region for their 2016 Riesling wine.

The Leonard Oakes Estate Winery won for best ice wine. The winery grows its grapes in Lyndonville and has its wine-tasting room and retail business on Ridge Road in Medina.

Leonard Oakes has won numerous awards in the past for its ice wine. The grapes have to be harvested during a deep freeze, typically with temperatures in the single digits.

Ice wine is a popular dessert wine. The frozen fruit will be pressed several times and a drop from those grapes has a high concentration of acid, giving it double the sweetness of regular wine.

Not too many regions work for producing ice wine. It can’t get too cold where the vines won’t survive, and it needs to get to at least 18 degrees for four hours at a harvest.

Chris Oakes, the orchard manager, drives a tractor with a load of frozen Vidal grapes on Jan. 7, 2015.

“Across the state, New York’s wineries, distilleries and cideries are driving tourism, creating jobs and strengthening our economy,” Governor Cuomo said. “The annual New York Wine & Food Classic celebrates and recognizes the best of the best of this booming industry. I congratulate the winners and encourage New Yorkers to try these world-class products for themselves.”

Known as “The Oscars” of New York wine competitions, the Classic is organized by the New York Wine & Grape Foundation and is open to the more than 420 New York wineries across the state. This year’s competition included 958 individual entries: 915 New York wines, 27 hard ciders and 16 craft spirits from Long Island, Hudson Valley, Finger Lakes, and Western New York and other regions.

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9 from GCC receive SUNY Chancellor’s awards

Posted 9 August 2017 at 1:19 pm

James Simon, dean of Orleans campus centers, among the winners

Press Release, GCC

BATAVIA – Nine members of the Genesee Community College faculty and staff team have been recognized by State University of New York Chancellor Nancy Zimpher for outstanding contributions to their profession, the campus and the community.

The Chancellor’s Award for Excellence is given in recognition of consistently superior professional achievement and encourages the ongoing pursuit of excellence.

The following faculty and staff members earned the 2017 award and will be honored at a reception on the Batavia Campus on Aug. 17 at 3 p.m. in the Stuart Steiner Theatre at the Batavia Campus. A reception for the recipients, their friends and family and the college community will be held immediately following the ceremony in the Theatre Lobby.

Award for Excellence in Teaching

Gary W. Glaser, Associate Professor of Biology – Gary came to Genesee as a full-time instructor in the fall of 2009 and was promoted to assistant professor in 2013 and to associate professor in 2015. He began his teaching career as an adjunct instructor in Health, Physical Education and Recreation at Erie Community College in 2005, a fate that was influenced early on after going to work with his father, who was a college professor. Recently appointed to the National Faculty Advisory Board for Pearson Education, Gary was also selected as one of two GCC faculty members to be an OPEN SUNY Online Teaching Ambassador. He serves on many college committees including the Academic Senate, Innovation Committee, Assessment Committee, GCC College Foundation Scholarship Committee and the Teaching, Learning and Technology Committee. Gary earned a Bachelor of Arts in Special Studies and a Master of Science in Biological Sciences, both from the University at Buffalo. He resides in North Tonawanda.

Kathleen T. Gurak, Assistant Professor of Health and Physical Education – Kathleen began teaching in the public K-12 setting, serving as a teacher, coach, department head, cycle chair, and as an administrator for several years, mostly at Geneseo Central Schools. She has been with GCC since 2007 and is committed to helping her students succeed. She challenges them in many ways, always encouraging and enhancing their problem solving skills while applying what they have learned. Kathleen regularly teaches extra sections of classes, averaging seven to eight courses each semester, teaching summer courses and willingly taking on an independent study when a student requests. She helped develop new courses in the Sports Management program, mentors other full-time and adjunct faculty and volunteers for campus workshops and committees. Kathleen earned a Bachelor’s degree in Physical Education/Teacher Certification from The College at Brockport, and returned to Brockport to obtain a Master’s in Education and a CAS in Educational Administration, graduating with honors. Kathleen currently resides in Groveland, New York.

Award for Excellence in Adjunct Teaching

Danny C. Hamner, Adjunct Instructor of History – Over the past 16 years, Danny Hamner has taught several different courses at GCC in several instructional settings – at the main campus, at campus centers and in a correctional facility. Highly respected by his teaching colleagues, Hamner was nominated and received a National Institute for Staff and Organization Development (NISOD) Award in 2015 for his demonstrated excellence in teaching. Noted as a strong ambassador for the College through his frequent public lectures and assistance with the popular Civil War Encampments, Danny is widely regarded as the most popular lecturer for GCC’s Historical Horizons Lecture Series and holds the record for most presentations. He earned a Bachelor’s degree in History and Philosophy and a Master’s degree in American History, both from the University at Buffalo. Outside of the classroom, Hamner, who resides in Middleport, is a modified wrestling coach at Medina Central School District and holds membership with Amnesty International and with the Old Fort Niagara Volunteer Association.

Elizabeth A. Slocum, Adjunct Instructor of Foreign Language – Elizabeth “Beth” Slocum has been a devoted instructor of foreign languages at GCC for five years teaching both French and Spanish at all levels. She employs a variety of teaching formats to accommodate many different learning styles including visual, auditory, hands-on and tactual-all focused on the best ways to empower her students’ success. One recent graduate noted that, “Ms. Slocum was beyond amazing! Hands-down the best teacher in my entire degree!” Beth holds Permanent New York State Certification in French and Spanish, as well as certification as a School District Administrator/Supervisor, and she maintains membership in a variety of professional organizations specific such as the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages and the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development. She has taught foreign languages at the University of Rochester, The Warner School and Canandaigua City School District. She earned a Bachelor’s degree in French from Nazareth College, and a Master’s degree in French Literature from the State University of New York at Stony Brook. Beth resides in Pavilion.

Award for Excellence in Scholarship and Creative Activities

Donna J. Ehrhart, Professor of Business and Computer Information Systems – Donna Ehrhart has been with the College since 1989, carrying a diverse course load that includes Business, Computer and Information Technology, noncredit courses at The BEST Center, as well as Fashion Business and Design curriculum, which is her true passion. A presenter at numerous national, state, and local conferences over the years, Donna was awarded an Innovation for Research and Development Grant and she helped inspire the development of the unique GCC Tartan or plaid design that is now being introduced on a variety of GCC products including ties, scarves, socks, vests and other items that help support extracurricular activities and events of Fashion students. Professor Ehrhart earned an associate degree from Erie Community College, a bachelor’s and master’s degree from Buffalo State College, and a C.A.S beyond a master’s from Syracuse University in Adult Education. Donna has also completed all but the final dissertation of Doctor of Education from Syracuse University in Adult Education. Donna is a resident of Rush.

Award for Excellence in Faculty Service

Kenneth J. Mead, Professor of Mathematics and Computer Information Systems – During his 25 years at GCC, Kenneth “Ken” Mead has provided outstanding service both in and out of the classroom. Through the years, he helped secure grant funding that was instrumental in the College securing its first internet connection all the way to student scholarship funding and a recent Title III grant. Admired for his high energy, outstanding leadership skills and intense interest in others, Ken goes above and beyond in serving GCC, his community and his profession. Professor Mead has served on the Executive Board for the Genesee Education Association (GEA) since 2000 in a number of different capacities, including treasurer, membership committee chair, and also president, a role he assumed after an unexpected resignation. Ken received his Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics and Master’s degree in Mathematics Education from the University at Buffalo. With a tremendous thirst for continuing education, he constantly takes new courses and participates in many training workshops. Ken resides in Snyder.

Award for Excellence in Professional Service

James J. Simon, Associate Dean, GCC at Medina and Albion Campus Centers – James “Jim” Simon joined GCC in 2005 as an instructor of history. He received appointment to the associate dean of the Medina Campus Center in 2007, and in 2014, took on the responsibility of the College’s other Orleans County campus center in Albion. Through his leadership, Jim has built strong relationships with faculty, students, staff and the community. His on-campus responsibilities include more than 100 classes, 400 students, 30 faculty and 12 staff. He was been instrumental in the College’s accreditation process with the Middle States Commission on Higher Education and was a key member of the first-ever GCC Strategic Plan, Strength Through Collaboration Strategic Plan (2011-2013). Prior to GCC, Simon had a distinguished career in the United States Air Force, amassing teaching and leadership credentials with the U.S. Air Force Academy. His effort to help students is evidenced by his influence in developing service learning opportunities for students within the community. His passion for history and cultural literacy is proven through his support of Global Education Committee activities and events such as the Orleans County Heritage Festival, and the Civil War Encampment and Living History Weekends held at the Medina Campus Center. He earned his Bachelor’s degree in History from the U.S. Air Force Academy and his Master’s in Middle East History from the University of Utah. Jim resides in Lyndonville.

Award for Excellence in Librarianship

Cynthia S. Hagelberger, Reference Librarian – Cynthia “Cindy” Hagelberger came to Genesee as a part-time librarian in 1996 and received full-time appointment in 2012. She immediately made significant contributions to the services provided by the College Library as a part-time employee and she has increased her level of commitment in her full-time role. Cindy co-ordinates, schedules and manages Information Desk staff, and her organization and attention to detail greatly contribute to the library’s efforts to maintain a high level of student satisfaction. Creativity plays a big part in her approach, as she creates displays, programs, graphic materials and even approaches instruction with the eye toward making learning appealing and interesting. Cindy has written successful grants for library initiatives, and coordinates the Library’s Student Poetry Contest each year as well as a project to celebrate GCC faculty and staff authors by producing local versions of the popular American Library Association READ posters seen in libraries across the country. She earned a Bachelor’s degree in Communication Arts/Literature from Grove City College (Pa.) and a Master’s degree in Library Services from the University at Buffalo. Cindy resides in Darien Center.

Award for Excellence in Classified Service

Rebecca S. Patterson, Office of Student Financial Assistance and Veterans Affairs – Rebecca “Becky” Patterson’s strong desire to help students is evident in the work she does with the College’s Financial Aid Office and Office of Veterans Affairs. As a key, front line member of both offices, she deals directly with students each and every day. Becky frequently goes above and beyond in her assistance to ensure that students’ needs have been met – whether that means physically walking a student to another office to make sure he/she speaks with the correct person, or answering the same question time and time again. Becky has volunteered to assume additional responsibilities to ensure that the needs of students are met without delay. As a mother of three servicemen, she takes her role as a Veterans Affairs certifying officer very seriously. She continuously advocates for the veterans to ensure that they receive all of the benefits they are due, and works closely with the VA representatives to ensure veterans get the benefits they deserve. Becky is a graduate of GCC and has been with the College for over 15 years. She resides in Varysburg.

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Mexican restaurant in Medina named Chamber’s Business of the Year

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 8 August 2017 at 11:08 pm

File Photo: Leonel Rosario is pictured inside Mariachi de Oro, which the Rosario family opened in September 2011.

The Orleans County Chamber of Commerce has announced its award winners for 2017, with Mariachi de Oro the “Business of the Year.”

The Rosario family opened the restaurant on Sept. 9, 2011, offering authentic Mexican food. The business has expanded since it opened on Maple Ridge Road, just east of Route 63.

Other award-winners include:

• Small Business of the Year – Canalside Tattoo

• New Business of the Year – Orleans Millworks

• Business Person of the Year – Deborah London (Bloom’s Florist)

• Community Service Awards – Warren Kruger (Kendall Highway Superintendent) and Jackie Mowers-Sciarabba (Genesee-Orleans Ministry of Concern)

• Phoenix Award – Fitzgibbons Public House

• Agricultural Business of the Year – Kludt Farms

• Lifetime Achievement – Bruce Landis (Photos by Bruce)

• Entrepreneurial Excellence – The Missing Peace

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