2 ‘Outstanding Citizens’ from Lyndonville receive their Orleans Hub awards

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 22 August 2020 at 3:16 pm

Photo by Tom Rivers

GETZVILLE – Steve Goodrich, the American Legion commander in Lyndonville, and Anna Stelianou received their “Outstanding Citizen” awards this morning from the Orleans Hub.

They were among a group of citizens who would have been recognized during a March 16 awards program, but that event at Tillman’s Village Inn was cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Each year we recognize about 8 to 10 residents who made extraordinary efforts on behalf of the community that year. The Orleans Hub has been trying to present the 2019 awards individually, and do it in a way with some fanfare. (We still have three left to give to the Outstanding Citizens from 2019.)

Stelianou recently moved from Lyndonville to Asbury Point Assisted Living in Getzville. She was presented her award today in the courtyard in front of many of her new friends.

Anna Stelianou wanted to do something to honor veterans – every one of them in Lyndonville. She read about the Wreaths Across America program. Medina has been doing that at Boxwood Cemetery since 2013. Each year, a wreath at $15 each can be set on a veteran’s grave in December.

Photos by Lucy Rivers: Tom Rivers, Orleans Hub editor, presents a plaque to Anna Stelianou in appreciation for her efforts as an Outstanding Citizen of Orleans County.

Stelianou liked the idea of the wreaths for veterans’ graves. She saw Steve Goodrich, commander of the American Legion in Lyndonville, while they were each pumping gas. She told him about an idea. She wanted to purchase a wreath for every veteran’s grave in Lyndonville. That adds up to 402.

Goodrich said that would be a nice tribute. He thought Stelianou was making a one- or two-year commitment. The annual cost is about $6,000.

Stelianou said she wanted to do it – forever. Goodrich and Stelianou then met with the Lyndonville Area Foundation and she provided the funding. The anticipated interest on the donation is enough for an endowment to pay for the wreaths for long into the future.

Stelianou said she is doing it in appreciation for the community’s kindness to her parents, Ary and Konstantina. They emigrated to Lyndonville from Greece after WWI. Stelianou also donated the money for the program in honor of her five brothers who served in WWII and the Korean War.

Stelianou said the community looked after her parents and their children, especially during the lean years of the Great Depression. Farmers in particular made sure the family had enough food to eat.

The Stelianou couple ran a small store on Main Street serving lunches, candy and ice cream. Anna Stelianou said the Lyndonville community welcomed her parents and helped them achieve the American dream.

Steve Goodrich also was presented with an Outstanding Citizen plaque today for his work on behalf of veterans in Lyndonville.

Goodrich also was recognized as an Outstanding Citizen for his efforts to organize the wreath program in Lyndonville. He worked with Wreaths Across America to arrange for the delivery and the placement of the wreaths. He had identified all the veterans’ graves about five years ago.

At the time, he was researching the veterans’ graves for when the Legion organizes placing American flags on each veteran’s grave just before Memorial Day. He was prompted to research the grave sites after a discussion with Peter Stelianou, Anna’s brother and a long-time Legion member. Peter served in World War II. He was 94 when he passed away on Nov. 8, 2018.

The wreaths were set in six cemeteries last year. Goodrich said he has since discovered about a dozen more veterans’ graves and they will have wreaths later this year.

Stelianou made another significant donation recently to assist veterans in the community. She gave money to help the Houseman-Tanner Post 1603 purchase a new ADA-certified trolley to be used in parades. The Post took possession of the trolley in June.

Photo by Tom Rivers: Steve Goodrich, commander of the American Legion in Lyndonville, and Anna Stelianou are pictured in early December 2019 at the grave of her parents, Ary and Konstantina, who emigrated to Lyndonville from Greece after WWI. Anna Stelianou provided the funding for an endowment to pay for about 400 wreaths to be set at veterans’ graves each year in Lyndonville.

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