Evans-Brant Chamber of Commerce to hold Annual President’s 2013 Award and Recognition Dinner

EVANS – The Officers and Directors of the Evans-Brant Chamber of Commerce are pleased to announce its Annual President’s Award and Recognition dinner and the 2013 Honorees. Mary Jayne Ginnitti is the 2013 Citizen of the Year in recognition of her unselfish service and excellence to the community. Robert R. Catalino, Sr., is receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award to recognize his lifelong contribution of the Evans-Brant community. Jill Gugino-Redman is being recognized with a Humanitarian Award for giving her time and talents to make others comfortable and safe during desperate times.

Evans-Ace Hardware has been selected as the Large Business of the Year and Bella Terra Greenhouse has been selected as the Small Business of the Year. New, emerging business members Nell’s Bookery, Angola Games & Hobby and Volatile Vapors will also be recognized.

The dinner will be held on Saturday, March 8 starting at 6 p.m., at the Evans Center Fire Hall located at 8298 Erie Road in Angola. Chamber member Scallywags will cater the dinner and Jeff Connors, Lake Shore Senior High English Teacher, will once again emcee the event. Sponsorship and advertising opportunities for the dinner and commemorative program are available. Contact Bob Biondi, chamber president, at 716-481-0186 for more information.

Honoree Biographies are as follows:

  • 2013 Citizen of the Year: Mary Jayne Ginnitti

The 2013 Citizen of the Year honoree has demonstrated unselfish service and excellence to our community. Mary Jayne grew up in the town of Evans, raised a family here with her husband of 40 years, Jim and makes important contributions to our residents and their families. After nearly 34 years as a teacher at Highland Elementary School, Mary Jayne continues to provide guidance, dedication and professional development to the town of Evans community. She sits on the board of directors of the Lake Shore Federal Credit Union and the Character Council of WNY. Mary Jayne is also the acting Secretary for the Evans Historical Society and active with the town of Evans Boys and Girls Club. Throughout the year, she volunteers her time with a variety of activities including beach cleanups, highway cleanups, our local food pantry and many more annual community events too numerous to list. Mary Jayne is always the first to make a basket or two for a Chinese Auction or Benefit, provide delicious baked goods for various events and donate countless handmade quilts to help local organization’s in their fundraising efforts. Her daughter, Melissa Gleason, misses just popping into her mother’s house since Mary Jayne is never home. She told us that she is very grateful that her mother finally learned how to text.

  • Lifetime Achievement Award: Robert R. Catalino, Sr.

The Lifetime Achievement Award is meant to recognize an individual’s lifelong contribution to the community. Robert (Bobcat) Catalino has served the Evans community for over 55 years when he first began teaching and coaching at Lake Shore Central Schools. Bob had tremendous influence on thousands of students who learned life-long skills from him either in the industrial arts classroom or on the football and baseball fields. He also served the town of Evans government as recreation director, councilman and supervisor. Area seniors still benefit from recreation and transportation programs that Bob founded for our town’s senior citizens. All residents benefit from projects that he spearheaded, most notably the growth of both the residential and commercial base in the town, Sturgeon Point Marina and Thruway Exit 57A just to name a few. Bob has also been a very active volunteer for many local and national organizations like the Jaycees, Volunteer Fireman, MPB Holy Name Society, Holy Cross Cemetery Association, American Cancer Society, United Way and American Heart Association. Bob graduated from Lake Shore Central School in 1953. He married Marlene Frawley and they raised three children, Roman, Lisa and Robert II. They were married from 1958 until her death in 1994. Bob retired in 1994 and in 2004 married Patricia Charles Catalino. They reside in the town of Evans.

  • Humanitarian Award: Jill Gugino-Redman

If you live in or near the Town of Evans, chances are you have met or will eventually happen upon the Humanitarian Award recipient, Jill Gugino-Redman. Over the past few years Jill has given voice to those who would otherwise not be heard, cared for the sick and infirmed, raised money for local organizations, helped families devastated by tragedies, and volunteered with Madison McCarthy Cardiac Care Coalition for Children, the National Ski Patrol and Southtowns Catholic School. Jill, married to Brian Redman, is schooled in nursing but stays home to raise their children. Her support of the community is done without pay, fanfare or the desire for recognition and is a true example of friendship, family and love. From ensuring that the town of Evans received 50 AED machines from a local foundation, to comforting a dying boy injured in a car accident and saving a life with her first aid skills, Jill’s contribution takes many forms. The citizens of the town of Evans and surrounding communities will continue to benefit from Jill’s efforts as she wholeheartedly gives of herself to make others comfortable and safe during desperate times.

  • 2013 Large Business of the Year: Evans Ace Hardware

Roger and Jennifer Andrews opened Evans Ace Hardware & Building Supplies, Inc., in 2006 to serve the town of Evans and surrounding communities. A few years later, they erected a drive through lumber yard at the Evans location. In 2011 they purchased an existing hardware store in the village of Medina expanding to two locations. Today, the Andrews’ employ 36 people throughout the year. Evans Ace Hardware is proud to serve the community by sponsoring several organizations and charities such as the Boy Scouts, the Girl Scouts, Boys & Girls Club, Rotary Club, Roswell Park Cancer Institute and local youth baseball teams. They also partner with youth “farmers” Shawn and Sarah Schneider to sell pumpkins they grow to raise money for a different local charity each year.

  • 2013 Small Business of the Year: Bella Terra Greenhouse

Since March 1974, Bella Terra has been owned and operated by Caryl Ashley Youngers, and, in its tradition, brings the community an ever-widening range of plants and horticultural accessories that you would only expect to find in a “big city” garden center. Because of increasing business, Caryl built five additional greenhouses which more than tripled Bella Terra’s growing space. “Best use of space” planning enables them to produce five major crops for Christmas, Easter, Mother’s Day, spring planting and fall Planting. A feed warehouse was added in 1996 that supplies local farms, ranches and kennels with Blue Seal Feeds. Bella Terra employs six full-time management and staff, with 18 seasonal staff members for peak season.

  • 2013 Not-for-Profit of the Year: Lake Shore Federal Credit Union

Lake Shore Federal Credit Union was chartered in 1967. It was originally chartered to serve Lake Shore Central School employees. In 2005 they obtained a community charter to service the communities in the towns of Evans and Brant. Anyone who lives, works, worships, volunteers or attends school in these communities is eligible to join. Lake Shore Federal Credit Union is a not-for-profit institution owned and controlled by its members. Lake Shore Federal Credit Union has been a strong supporter of the Evans-Brant community with funding and volunteer work for the Boys & Girls Club of Lake Shore, Camp Good Days & Special Times, Angola Public Library and Lake Shore Central Schools, among others.

  • 2013 Emerging Businesses:

Nell’s Bookery

Angola Games & Hobby

Volatile Vapors