A teacher at Salem Hyde Elementary School in the City of Syracuse has been chosen as the local winner of Time Warner Cable's Super Connector Search. Laurie Holtsbery was honored Tuesday, December 13, 2011, for inspiring students to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and math. As a result, Holtsbery will take part in her own public service announcement for the Connect a Million Minds initiative, meant to inspire children to improve their science skills. Senator DeFrancisco is pictured with (from left to right) Salem Hyde Elementary School Principal Octavia Wilcox, Teacher and Award Winner Laurie Holtsbery, Assemblyman Bill Magnarelli and Time Warner representative Alice Kim.
Senator John A. DeFrancisco had a wonderful time serving meals to more than 200 seniors at Baldwinsville Rotary Club's luncheon for seniors, which was held in St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church on December 14, 2011.
On Sunday, December 4, 2011, Senator John A. DeFrancisco attended a holiday open house at Solvay Library. He is pictured with Board of Trustees President Lorraine Page and Solvay Library Director Cara Burton.
Senator John A. DeFrancisco was presented on December 1, 2011, with an Honorary Recognition Award from members of the Central Counties Professional Nurses Association for his "tireless efforts on behalf of patient rights and for being a true friend of the nursing profession." He is pictured with Registered Nurses Christopher Kowal and Christine Schrank. A reception was held in the Senator's honor.
On December 1, 2011, Senator John A. DeFrancisco, along with various community leaders, helped break ground on the redevelopment of 10 acres on the Kennedy Square Site in Syracuse. As part of this redevelopment, Kennedy Square will be renamed Loguen’s Crossing in a tribute to the Rev. Jermain Loguen and his family, whose home was part of the Underground Railroad. SUNY Upstate Medical University and COR Development Company LLC are collaborating on the project. The 10 acres are adjacent to the Central New York Biotechnology Research Center, which is currently under construction.
Senator John A. DeFrancisco, along with members of the Alzheimer's Association, held a press conference on November 30, 2011, to announce the activation of the Missing Vulnerable Adult Alert System, which operates similarly to the state's "Amber Alert" system for missing and exploited children. Now, when an adult with a cognitive impairment goes missing, the Department of Criminal Justice Services can issue an alert to local law enforcement agencies and media outlets to help locate the missing person. Senator DeFrancisco sponsored the legislation.
On November 29, 2011, Senator John A. DeFrancisco took a tour of the ITT Tech Liverpool campus, led by Campus Director Jennifer Hill. The Senator is pictured with members of ITT Tech's management team.
Senator DeFrancisco held a press conference on November 29, 2011, to kick off his annual collection drive for Cell Phones for Soldiers. He is pictured with Master Sergeant Peter Palumb and Major Martin Debock.
Senator John DeFrancisco was the official starter of the Thanksgiving Day Turkey Trot at Schiller Park in Syracuse. Wearing the official starter hat, he is pictured with his granddaughters and his daughter-in-law and with the Friends of Schiller Park organizer. Senator DeFrancisco completed the 2 1/2 mile inaugural run.
On October 7, 2011, Senator John A. DeFrancisco helped celebrate the 100th birthday of the Republic of China, know as Taiwan. The Taiwanese flag was raised at Syracuse City Hall. Senator DeFrancisco spoke at the event.
Senator John A. DeFrancisco helped celebrate the opening of La Casita Cultural Center, located in the The Lincoln Building on Otisco Street in Syracuse. The center is the only Latino cultural center in the region. It is a project of Syracuse University. A grand opening celebration was held on September 28th.
"It really didn't hurt!" Senator John A. DeFrancisco jokes with seniors, as he gets his cholesterol checked at his 2011 Senior Fair. The free event drew hundreds of senior citizens to the NYS Fairgrounds on September 28th. More than 70 exhibitors provided attendees with information on healthcare, housing, transportation, etc. There were also free health screenings for interested senior citizens.
Also at the 2011 Senior Fair, Senator DeFrancisco helped announce details about the program, Embracing Age. Franciscan Companies have launched this new program, as a way to provide membership concierge service for the growing senior citizen population.