Born on January 26, 1917, in Olean, New York, to Italian immigrants, Captain Louis Zamperini would go on to become a nationally renowned Olympic athlete, war hero, and inspirational speaker.
As a standout track athlete, in 1934, Zamperini achieved his first milestone, setting a world interscholastic record for the mile. He earned a scholarship to the University of Southern California and a place on the 1936 U.S. Olympic team, where he was the youngest ever American qualifier in the 5,000 meters. In 1938 he would set a national collegiate mile record of 4:12, which stood for 15 years.
Dorothy Button has a long and distinguished record of service and accomplishments that includes serving her country, years of dedicated work on behalf of fellow veterans, and decades of volunteerism as a firefighter and emergency medical technician.
During her 20 years of honorable service with the United States Coast Guard, two years were spent on active duty in the wake of the attacks of September 11, 2001, protecting the American homeland.
Lt. Col. Art Van Tyne, a World War II Veteran who served in the Pacific theater, was born in Syracuse and currently resides in Wellsville, NY.
He lived in Syracuse until his father, a chemist in Solvay, took a job running a steel mill in Northern New Jersey that was ramping up production to support the war effort. After graduating high school early, Art worked at his father’s steel mill for a year before signing up to join the U.S. Army Air Forces’ Aviation Cadet program (later the Air Force), in September of 1943.
Francie Potter has been a staple in her community since moving to Allegany in 1956 , devoting her time and talents to a wide variety of organizations. Born in Ann Arbor Michigan, Ms. Potter lived there for 20 years and attended the University of Michigan, where she met her future husband, Bob. In 1956, they moved to her husband’s hometown of Allegany so they could both help with the family business, Potter Lumber Company. Currently, three of her six children run the business, which has been in family hands for over 100 years.
Norma Cummings, Program Planning Coordinator for Chautauqua County’s Office of Emergency Services, has dedicated her life to her family and her community.
As an emergency medical technician (EMT) instructor for SUNY Fredonia and cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) trainer, Ms. Cummings has enhanced the pre-hospital medical attention of first responders both at the scene and in the ambulance, through the many EMTs she has trained in Chautauqua County. She established a training center and was instrumental in implementing a program placing automated external defibrillators in offices throughout the county.
Anthony J. Costanzo of Jamestown served his country with distinction as a Combat Infantryman in the United States Army, serving in various campaigns throughout Europe and North Africa during World War II.In January of 1941, 11 months before the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, Anthony joined the Army’s 1st Infantry Division, the “Big Red One,” and received his basic training at Fort Jay in New York City.In November of 1942, his unit entered World War II in North Africa, as part of “Operation Torch", the first American ground campaign against Germany. He fought during the Battle of the Kasserine Pass in Tunisia and against the Vichy French government who had sided with Germany.
Helen Baran has made extensive contributions to improving the quality of life in Chautauqua County and beyond through her outstanding record.
Widely recognized as one of the premiere Concord Grape growers in the Lake Erie region, Ms. Baran was named President of the Concord Grape Belt Heritage Association in 2006. Through her diligence and dedication, Ms. Baran continues to help transform the Concord Grape Belt into a world renowned agri-tourism destination.
Ms. Baran is a dedicated rural health advocate as well and is one of the initial members of the NYS Rural Health Council, where she helped develop policy that is used to promote the health and well being of rural people and their communities.
I would like to thank Hinsdale Central School and their students for participating in our Earth Day Poster Competition. In keeping with the theme of our Earth Day Celebration of “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.” We will celebrate and honor Earth Day this year by displaying your work on my website. Also, each participant will receive a certificate acknowledging their participation in the competition. Thank you and don’t forget to “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle!”
I would like to thank Dalton Elementary School and their students for participating in our Earth Day Poster Competition. In keeping with the theme of our Earth Day Celebration of “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.” We will celebrate and honor Earth Day this year by displaying your work on my website. Also, each participant will receive a certificate acknowledging their participation in the competition. Thank you and don’t forget to “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle!”
Private First Class (PFC) Frank Tracz, 684 East State Street, Olean, NY, is a U.S. Army combat-decorated veteran of the Battle of the Bulge. A telephone lineman with the 106th Infantry Division, (the Golden Lions), PFC Tracz’s Division received the full brunt of the German Fifth and Sixth Panzer Divisions on December 16, 1944, during the initial German assault of the Battle of the Bulge or the Ardennes-Alsace Campaign. From this battle alone, the Division suffered 417 killed in action, 1,278 wounded in action, 53 died from their wounds, and 6,697 were taken prisoner.
Pvt. George V. Baker is a highly decorated U.S. Army World War II veteran and former prisoner of war. While serving with the 361st Infantry Regiment, 91st Infantry Division, Fifth Army, the Franklinville, New York native was part of a combat force that pushed the enemy back 150 miles during intensive fighting to Leghorn, Italy. There, the enemy was entrenched in an attempt to defend the approaches of what was then the third largest seaport in Italy.
Millions of women across New York State are on the verge of winning an historic victory at the State Capitol, but we need YOUR help!
The State Senate recently approved approved a landmark new "Women's Equality Package," which includes a key reform to ensure that women receive equal pay for equal work.
I was proud to vote for this package in the Senate, but our job isn't done yet. That's why I'm launching a new petition drive designed to encourage the State Assembly to take final action on these bills without delay.