Patty Ritchie

February 05, 2016

Sami Curtis Awarded New York State Senate Liberty Medal at Surprise Presentation

In recognition of her work to help people fight cancer, State Senator Patty Ritchie presented Sami Curtis, a Canton teen who has helped raise more than $100,000 to find a cure for the disease, with the New York State Senate’s Liberty Medal, one of the highest civilian honors that a New Yorker can receive. 

Senator Ritchie made the surprise presentation to Sami Curtis at a basketball game taking place at the Canton Central School District’s Hugh C. Williams High School Thursday evening. 

“It’s not often that you come across someone who has personally helped raise over $100,000  to help fight cancer—especially when that person is just 17 years-old,” said Senator Ritchie.

“Sami Curtis has done far more than just raise money, she has inspired others, and made people in our community and beyond realize that whether you’re a young person or an adult, everyone can help. I’m humbled to be able to present Sami with this award,  and am extremely grateful for all the work she has done to inspire people to fight back against cancer.”

Sami Curtis first became involved in the fight against cancer when she was just two years-old and participated with her family in the Edward I. Moses Walk/Run for Life.  By the time she reached age 13, she had already joined the St. Lawrence County Cancer Fund’s Board of Directors. 

At Thursday evening’s presentation, Senator Ritchie also honored the Canton Golden Bears Girls Basketball Team with a special certificate for being part of Sami’s efforts to find a cure for cancer.

Joining Senator Ritchie Thursday evening was  Dede Scozzafava, Deputy Secretary of State for Local Government, who presented Sami with a proclamation on behalf of the Governor, honoring her for the work she has done to fight the disease. 

The New York State Senate Liberty Medal is the highest honor a Senator can bestow upon an individual  for exceptional heroic or humanitarian acts on behalf of their fellow New Yorkers. 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.