Sanford Church has proven dedication to community while avoiding the limelight

Posted 4 October 2017 at 1:04 pm


I want to add my endorsement of Sandy Church. Who am I? I am Cindy Downey Troy – recently retired with over 30 years as an Orleans County in a variety of social service positions as well as serving the CSEA union for many years as secretary, president, and grievance representative.  All that said, I believe I am also very much a conservative and very pragmatic (although it sure looks like polar opposites).

Now I am working part time for Orleans County as a case manager for the Public Defender, of which Sandy is the department head. Laughably my experience with legal issues and terminology was limited to whatever I learned on TV or reading books. I think that is the case for most people. Now, after working here several months I am far from expert but can see the nuances and the trials of public defense as well as private practice.

I hope my variety of experiences is relatable for you to see Sandy Church from my point of view.  This is a point of view about the man who will be one the greatest judges for our people in this county. He is homegrown and of good stock. I won’t go into his work capabilities and qualifications because there are folks who can relate those with more credibility. I believe those are all true as well.

Mind you, Sandy is several years younger than me and while we were growing up he was pretty forgettable (as older kids think of their younger peers) but I did admire his sports competitive spirit in representing our Alma Mater, Albion Central Schools. Years later, he was someone who I followed rather loosely as the son of Ted and Joyce Church – both whom I really liked; the grandson of Katherine Church – who I really admired, what a classy lady; and brother of Julie Church (Sanford) who I grew to know working at Orleans County DSS and Kathy (Church) Lalonde who I knew from reputation (SUNY Brockport). So, all in all, he was around and seemed pleasant.

He served on the Orleans County Youth Board along with his son, Ben, with me. For whatever reason I always wanted to sit next to him because he would impart some piece of wisdom or humor that if you weren’t right there, you might miss. Yep, he was getting on my radar as somebody who was pretty handy to have around. I liked the way he thought.

So, I started working for Sandy post retirement and very quickly ascertained that he has got to be the most modestly brilliant person I will ever know. He is also gracious and giving in his actions toward us employees, to his peers, and to his customers/clients. I have learned so much from him. While I sometimes might falter and not feel capable of the task, through his tutelage I strive to make sure that I (try to) come up to his standards of work ethic, modesty, and representation of our department. He is also probably the most ethical person I will ever know.

But I have also learned that his most important attribute is that he is passionate. Yes, passionate … about the welfare of youth in our county. He has quietly (because this is his way) volunteered as a basketball coach for middle school kids at basketball camp, baseball coach for little leaguers, and little league baseball treasurer for probably over 30 years.

Do you know how much time he dedicated to these efforts? Months and months of weekends and evenings for many years away from home. His wife must be an angel. He started before his own kids could participate and continued long after they were gone. He told me that he really likes to mentor new attorneys to help them build their confidence. He also has enjoyed being an “attorney for the child” (formerly known as a “law guardian”) as part of his legal practice to many kids throughout the years. In discussing their pathways, he is so caring about their challenges, their successes, and disappointments. He believes mentoring youth and new attorneys is a privilege that should be taken deeply and whole-heartedly. How can you not admire that?

I know he has volunteered in various ways for the Albion Rotary and Lions Clubs, Hospice, and his church. He is always quick to donate to good causes or people who he thinks he can mentor and support. But he really dislikes attention. I imagine this is because he does these things for those people or those organizations to become successful in and of themselves.

He recognizes that he received support from family and friends, as well as ancestral examples in his legacy of being the 5th Sanford Church, attorney at law. He is proud of this as well as humbled. He also has extremely nice, smart, and humble friends who obviously think he is pretty wonderful as well. That speaks for a person.

So what can I say objectively less admirable? He is too modest. Yes, he irritates me because he doesn’t toot his own horn like he does for others he admires. So here I am telling all of you that I believe that Sanford Church brings to the Judicial Bench brains, ethics, loyalty, honor, modesty,  and passion, as well as a lifetime of legal experience that encompass all that is needed to represent us proudly.

Get out there and vote on November 7th, 2017, and vote for Sanford Church.


Cynthia Downey Troy