Ritchie Presents Liberty Medal to Oswego County Teens Involved in Water Rescue

Patty Ritchie

October 02, 2012

Senator Ritchie presented two Oswego County teens with the New York State Senate Liberty Medal Tuesday at Oswego High School, for their role in helping to save three people when their boat overturned this summer on Sandy Pond. 

It was in August when 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. 

“The Liberty Medal stands for heroism, and I can’t think of two young women more deserving of this honor than Julia and Michele Lavery ,” said Senator Ritchie.  

“The unthinkable could have happened if it weren’t for their bravery and willingness to take action.  For that, we are all thankful.”

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.

(Pictured in the above photo from left to right are Oswego High School Principal Brian Hartwell, Julia Lavery, Michele Lavery and Senator Ritchie)