Medina student awarded $1K scholarship from Sandstone Society

By Ginny Kropf, correspondent Posted 17 June 2021 at 9:24 am

Jacob Velesko touts Medina Waterfalls as ‘historical gem’

Photos by Ginny Kropf: Medina senior Jacob Velesko is presented with a check for $1,000 from Rob Klino on behalf of the Medina Sandstone Society’s John Ryan Scholarship Fund.

MEDINA – A scholarship from the Medina Sandstone Society will go a long way toward books and slides for college, recipient Jacob Velesko said Wednesday prior to receiving a $1,000 check from the Sandstone Society’s John Ryan Scholarship Fund.

“I’m happy and honored to be chosen,” Jacob said.

In front, Jacob Velesko, center, and his parents Jerry and Rose Ann of Middleport meet with two teachers from the History Department at Medina High School and members of the Sandstone Society prior to Jacob being presented with the John Ryan Scholarship. Second row, from left, are Mary Zangerle, Peggy Schreck, Craig Lacy and Barbara Waters. At rear, from left, are Jim Hancock, history teacher Todd Bensley, Rob Klino, Craig Tuohey, history teacher Margaret Martin and Sue Holland. The group is shown on the steps at City Hall.

Jacob and his parents, Jerry and Rose Ann Velesko of Middleport, were invited to the Sandstone Hall of Fame in Medina’s city hall on Wednesday afternoon to meet with members of the Sandstone Society and two Medina High School history teachers, Todd Bensley and Margaret Martin.

Jacob, who plans to attend the University of Buffalo to study mechanical engineering, won the scholarship by writing an essay on the topic, “Tell us About Your Favorite Medina Historical Gem.”

Jacob’s choice was what he called the “Mighty Medina Falls.”

His mother said Jacob first saw the Medina Falls, located on the north side of the canal off Horan Road, when she took him on an Alzheimer’s walk when he was 7 or 8.

“The path by the falls was part of the walk, and Jacob never forgot it,” Rose Ann said.

He said he chose to write about the falls because it is something which makes Medina unique.

“Look how they promote Niagara Falls,” Jacob said. “We kind of have our own Niagara Falls right here. It’s a pretty unique site for a small town.”

Sandstone Society member Jim Hancock welcomed guests who gathered in the Sandstone Hall of Fame. He explained the Hall of Fame was started in 2013 to showcase all the beautiful sandstone buildings throughout Western New York, the state of New York and even Canada and England.

“Sandstone has been here millions and millions of years, but it was just discovered when they dug the Erie Canal,” Hancock said.

Every year since 2013, a committee traveled to visit historic sandstone buildings and a handful were inducted into the Hall of Fame, every year but last year.

“We will be having an induction ceremony this year,” Hancock said. “Some of these buildings are more than a hundred years old.”

Members of the John Ryan Scholarship committee are Rob Klino, Craig Tuohey and Mary Zangerle.

Margaret Martin, Jacob’s history teacher, said he was an excellent student.

“He is very deserving of this scholarship,” she said.