Ritchie to Honor Oswego County Teens WITH Liberty Medal

Patty Ritchie

October 01, 2012

State Senator Patty Ritchie will award the New York State Senate Liberty Medal to two Oswego County sisters for their help saving three people when their boat overturned this summer on Sandy Pond. 

Julia and Michele Lavery will be awarded the prestigious Liberty Medal Tuesday at 2:00 p.m. in the Oswego High School main office. 

It was in August when according to reports, Julia Lavery spotted two boats—one capsized and one upright nearly a half-mile out in the water.  Julia alerted her father and her sister Michele, who went out on their jet ski to see if they could help.  There, they found a 13 year-old boy, a 7-year-old girl and their grandfather in the upright boat.  The children were in a boat that the grandfather was towing, when the wind tipped it over, tossing them into the water.  All were frightened and cold following the incident and the Laverys brought everyone back safely to shore. 

“This story could have had a very different ending if it wasn’t for the courage of Julia and Michele Lavery,” said Senator Ritchie.

“I am honored to present the Liberty Medal to these two brave young women.  It’s not very often that you hear of people this age stepping up to help someone else in their time of need.  I applaud them for doing that—and for setting a great example for all other young people to follow.”

The New York State Senate Liberty Medal is one of the highest civilian honors that a New Yorker can receive. Similar to the national Congressional Gold Medal, the award is given to individuals who have merited special commendation for exceptional, heroic, or humanitarian acts and achievements on behalf of their fellow New Yorkers.