Each year the Chemung County Youth Bureau and Board recognize the good work of individuals and agencies in delivering quality youth services in Chemung County.
Chemung County Executive Tom Santulli and Youth Bureau Director Bob Harris presented the awards at the 28th Annual Daniel Donahoe Awards Reception which was held today, Tuesday, May 15th at the Big Flats Community Center.
The Donahoe Award is given annually to an adult to recognize and honor outstanding contributions made to the youth and families of this community. The award was established in 1984 and is named in honor of its first recipient, the Honorable Judge Daniel J. Donahoe. This year's Donahoe Award winner is Mr. Walter Kowalski, who was recognized for his service to the Horseheads Youth Bureau's Advisory Board. Kowalski has been a member on the Board for the past 12 years, having served as Board President for two consecutive terms as well as being an active volunteer at many Youth Bureau events.
The Summer Cohesion Synergy Award was established in 2004 to recognize an individual, group or organization that has best demonstrated or exemplified the overall true meaning of partnership and collaboration as it impacts the Chemung County Summer Cohesion Program. The 2012 Summer Cohesion Award was given to Will Wickam and Susan Tanner from the Stanwyck Youth Theatre Productions. Since 1997, Stanwyck Youth Theatre Productions has been a staple for the Cohesion Program children, in the beginning years bringing the productions to the Cohesion sites and since 2001 at their home in borrowed space at the Arnot Mall.
The Program Excellence Award recognizes the special efforts of local youth service projects, programs, and events. The award was established in 1987. Nominees for the Program Excellence Award included His Tabernacle Family Church's R.A.G.E. Youth Ministry and Trinity of Chemung County's Art for Awareness Contest and Banquet. This year's award winner is the Elmira City Youth Court, a year round program that provides an alternative to the criminal justice system for young people who have committed a crime or offense in the community.
The Polly Sanders Youth Scholarship was established in 1995 for youth who have made a unique or significant contribution to the community or who have overcome a major obstacle in their personal life. In 2002, the Chemung County Youth Bureau and Board renamed this scholarship in honor of Chemung County's first Youth Bureau Director, Polly Sanders, who was a strong advocate for youth. The two $500 scholarships were awarded to Melanie Dieg and Sarah Moore, both from Elmira.
Melanie Dieg is the daughter of Reiner and Noreen Dieg. She will graduate this June from Elmira Free Academy and has been accepted to Hunter College for the 2012 school year. While a student at EFA, Melanie has exceled in her academics, music, athletics, school and community involvement and even maintained employment outside of school in the midst of her busy schedule. She is the school's orchestra's president and an active member of jazz band as well. Melanie is a gifted athlete and has made many contributions to EFA's soccer and basketball team. She has been chosen as an All-Star athlete and truly exemplifies the qualities of a team leader. Melanie is a member of the National Honor Society and was a nominee of the Elmira Rotary Club and her school's homecoming court. Melanie also actively volunteers for the Race for the Cure event in our community.
Sarah Moore is the daughter of Scott and Sharon Moore. She will graduate in June from Elmira Free Academy and plans to attend Hamilton College in the fall of 2012. During her four years of high school, Sarah has been actively involved in both the school and community setting. Sarah has maintained positions as the Vice President and President of her graduating class, and has been a member of the National Honors Society. Sarah also studied abroad for a semester in Israel in which she worked with young people in a camp setting. Sarah is actively involved in the athletic program at EFA as a member of the soccer and softball team in which she has received recognitions from the Southern Tier Athletic Conference and held the position of team captain. Sarah has also maintained part time employment outside of school and has volunteered her time to the young people of local elementary schools as mentor for the Circle of Friends Program.
Refreshments for the event were provided by the GST BOCES Culinary Arts Program. Students in the program prepared all the food and also served as wait staff at the event.
For more information contact the Chemung County Youth Bureau @ 737-2907.