2017 Celebration of Rochester Neighbors Awards Announced

LOGO RectangleNeighborWorks® Rochester is thrilled to announce the winners of its Celebration of Rochester Neighbors Awards. The awards were distributed on Monday,  June 5thfrom 5:00PM to 7:30PM at the City of Rochester Public Market. Like a city-wide block party, the event featured live music, food and a chance to have fun with neighbors from throughout the city.

Nolia BrooksSouthWest Quadrant Community Champion : Mrs. Nolia Brooks, grew up in the PLEX area, and is a 50-year resident who has a love for her community. She consistently cleans and plants flowers in the PLEX neighborhood round-about on Ford Street and Plymouth Avenue, and other locations in the area. She regularly participates in the United Way Day of Caring and the City’s Clean Sweep. She’s very supportive of the PLEX meetings and supports neighborhood issues at additional meetings of concern to the neighborhood. Mrs. Brooks helps to plan social gatherings and heritage celebrations for the neighborhood. Her nominator, Dorothy Hall, says she is “someone who is deserving of this award, and who gives so much to her community.”

NorthEast Quadrant Community Champion: Andre Morrison, the Community Champion for the Northeast Quadrant, is described as “an individual who is eager toAndreMorrisonface bring about a difference in people’s lives regardless of recognition,” by his nominator, Carlos Santana. In addition to providing hundreds of free haircuts at his barbershop, Mr. Morrison is always “thinking how to improve the neighborhood he grew up in and uplifting and encouraging people so they may see a better future.” By hosting an annual Cut The Violence event in his shop, Mr. Morrison has helped many families with more than just a free cut for students to go back to school, he has also offered guidance to those in trouble, mentored youth and shared his skills and advice with those interested in a barbering career. Carlos added that Mr. Morrison is “A soft-spoken individual who cares for those in need by providing a service that brings these children self-worth and self-pride and doing it from the heart.”

NorthWest Quadrant Community Champion: As a 17-year resident of the Edgerton Neighborhood, the Northwest Quadrant Community Champion, Ms. Piper Dailey-Seman, is an active member and leader in the Edgerton Neighborhood Association. As the Association’s Acting Vice President, she encourages neighbors to come together and communicate their concerns about their community. She often is a team leader for the city’s Clean Sweep Program. Her nominators from the Northwest Neighborhood Service Center team states,”her activities have brought awareness (safety) to the Edgerton Neighborhood and her work has been integral, drawing others to the neighborhood and the association.”

Kelly Bush faceSouthEast Quadrant Community Champion: Ms. Kelly Bushis a member of the Monroe Avenue Merchants Association (MAMA) and is actively involved with the Wadworth Square Neighborhood Association. This creative and energetic business owner supports many neighborhood initiatives and beautification efforts. The Southeast Neighborhood Service Center team nominated her, saying, “She never says it can’t be done. She is a positive force on Monroe Ave that keeps the avenue working together as they continue to grow…She cares for the neighborhood and it shows.”

Community Leader Award: The Community Leader Award recognizes volunteer leaders who spark change by engaging others in improving their community. Geri and Joe Machado are the embodiment of this award, having spent more than 20 years as leaders and organizers in their Highland Park community. As 45-year residents of the Highland Park neighborhood, they have volunteered countless hours organizing their neighborhood’s National Night Out Against Crime, serving as president of the May Street Block Club, participating in PAC-TAC and neighborhood watch programs, organizing the neighborhood Clean Sweep efforts, and much more. The Machado’s were nominated for the award by Lt. Frank Alberti, of the Rochester Police Department. He said, “They have worked tirelessly for years without recognition and do not seek such. They are modest, humble people who care about our community more than anyone I know.” The couple has hosted community outreach and holiday events in their immaculate home, welcoming neighbors and first responders, and improving the area’s quality of life, as well as relationship between the neighbors and the Rochester Police Department

The couple also communicates regularly with the D.A.’s Office, Judges and defense attorneys, participates in Operation Court Watch and spends long days in the courtroom following cases pertinent to their neighborhood. They also report to the community and the police department of the progress of cases, and solicit feedback from the community to relay to the D.A.’s Office and Judges.Marchadosfaces

Geri and Joe are also very supportive of other community events and represent their neighborhood at NBN6 meetings. This power couple are true leaders in their community and the heart of their neighborhood.

Canandaigua National Bank honored at 2017 Annual Meeting

NeighborWorks® Rochester presented its Partner of the Year Award at its 2017 Annual Meeting, held March 29th at the agency. The event was a celebration of a year of services provided to new and current homeowners i

Executive Vice President, Brian Pasley, accepts the award on behalf of Canandaigua National Bank from NeighborWorks Rochester Executive Director Joanne Panarisi-Bottone and Board President, Matthew McDermott
Executive Vice President, Brian Pasley, accepts the award on behalf of Canandaigua National Bank from NeighborWorks Rochester Executive Director Joanne Panarisi-Bottone and Board President, Matthew McDermott

n the Rochester area, as well as an opportunity to recognize individuals and organizations that were significant supporters.

 

Executive Vice President Brian Pasley accepted the Partner of The Year Award on behalf of Canandaigua Bank. “As an approved Federal Home Loan Bank of NY (FHLBNY) Community Lender, Canandaigua National Bank has continued to take an active role in showing support through contributions and volunteering, and is in complete alignment with NeighborWorks® Rochester’s mission to provide housing solutions as a foundation for individuals, families and neighborhoods to build vibrant communities,” stated Joanne Panarisi-Bottone, NeighborWorks Rochester Executive Director. “We’re excited to continue to grow in our partnership,” she added.

The Volunteer of the Year Award recognized long-time volunteer Ellie MacLeod, of Penfield.  Ms. Panarisi-Bottone said of her, “Pla

Volunteer of the Year, Ellie MacLeod
Volunteer of the Year, Ellie MacLeod

nning, organizing, hustling sponsors, setting up, delivering… she’s done it all…Through her dedicated volunteer efforts, Ellie has made our world a better place.”

 

Guests at the event heard about the impact of the previous year, including that close to 500 families and individuals were impacted by NeighborWorks® Rochester’s services in 2016.  At least 109 individuals were able to realize their dream of homeownership because of the organization’s Home Buyer education services and 97 homeowners received home energy audits and access to financing programs for energy and money savings. In addition, close to $821,000 was invested in the community in the form of down payment assistance, home improvements and home energy improvements.

Celebration of Rochester Neighbors Winners!

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These wonderful neighbors are the winners of the 2016 Celebration of Rochester Neighbors Awards. Visit the 2017 page for information on this year’s event.

SouthWest Quadrant Community Champion 

Ms. Bessie Clifton, a founding member of the Cottage Street Block Club, is the Rochester Neighbors Community Champion Award winner for the Southwest Quadrant. Bessie Clifton croppedAt 88 years old, she remains an active advocate and participant in her neighborhood. Ms. Clifton has been a member of the Plymouth Exchange Neighborhood Association for 25 years and is also a member of the South Plymouth Avenue Business Association. In addition, she walks her neighborhood as a member of PAC-TAC and is often seen cleaning up litter on area streets. Two projects with which Ms. Clifton is closely involved are the Legacy Garden and the Legacy Park Station, sponsored by the Cottage St. Block Club. She helps plant and maintain the community garden that provides fresh vegetables for neighbors, and she provided input and historical information and continues to fundraise for the Legacy Park Station. On the “Street Voices” program on Rochester Free Radio 106.3 fm, Ms. Clifton provided listeners with more history and memories about life in Rochester. Described as resilient with a “youthful spirit,” she continues to inspire her southwest neighbors.

NorthEast Quadrant Community Champion

Vera Crumpler, organizer of the Citywide Youth Crusade, is the Rochester Neighbors Community Champion Award winner for the Northeast Quadrant. Carlos Santana of Action for a Better Community nominated Mrs. Crumpler calling her “a highly committed advocate for the less fortunate” in Rochester’s northeast through efforts that span nearly 50 years. She has tackled community issues of housing, injustice, public safety, employment and youth while sitting on the boards of various associations: Coalition of the North East Area (CONEA,) North East Block Club Alliance (NEBCA,) Sector 10, and North East Neighbors Association (NENA.) In addition, she gives her time to other local events when asked. Her 30-year involvement with the Citywide Youth Crusade includes organizing rallies in which public officials, police officers, clergy, lecturers and neighbors with positive messages are invited to speak. In an effort to keep the dialogue moving forward, Mrs. Crumpler continues to hold the events at her own expense and without compensation. Santana adds that Mrs. Crumpler displays “a caring, loving heart toward everybody she meets, without distinction,” treating everyone with respect and compassion regardless of age or ethnic background, making her a true role model and champion.

NorthWest Quadrant Community Champion

Described as a “quiet champion” for Charlotte, Pamela Postgate is the Rochester Neighbors Community Champion Award winner for the Northwest Quadrant. After moving to Stutson Street eight years ago, Ms. Postgate organized the Stutson Street Block Club and Charlotte Beach Clean-ups. Her most recent community project has been spearheading the Lakeside Farmers Market. Ms. Postgate organized the group of neighbors to put it together, then hosted meetings, sought out sponsors and vendors, and locally publicized it. After a successful first year in 2015, the market will open this month for a second year.

SouthEast Quadrant Community Champion

Aaron and Kelly Metras, winners of the Rochester Neighbors Community Champion Award for the Southeast Quadrant, are parents, entrepreneurs and community advocates. Their restaurants, Selena’s Mexican Restaurant and Nox Cocktail Lounge, are located in Village Gate Square. Aaron has served as the president of the Neighborhood of the Arts Business Association (NOTABA) for the past five years. According to the Southeast Quadrant Team, who nominated the couple for this award, they have volunteered much time and energy into building NOTABA into “one of the most successful and influential business associations in the City of Rochester.” Their popular Mexican restaurant, Selena’s, reaches out to causes beyond the southeast and sponsors the Monarch Butterfly Display at the Seneca Park Zoo, an important program to the growth and migration of monarch butterflies. Selena’s also sends a team to the annual Polar Bear Plunge which benefits the Special Olympics of Western New York. Last year the team raised $8,000. The latest project for the Metras is the Rochester Youth Culinary Experience, or RYCE. They are endeavoring to start a third restaurant, this one built around an immersion experience for youth interested in the restaurant business. Students will participate in all aspects of creating and operating a working restaurant with guidance from a management team. Their vision is to assist youth in acquiring skills and experience that will assist them in gaining employment or continuing their culinary education. The Southeast Quadrant Team notes that the couple is always “thinking outside of the box” for ways to move the neighborhood forward.

 

Community Leader Award

Ericka Jones, a Systems Advocate at the Center for Disability Rights, has been selected to receive the Community Leader Award for her work in improving accessibility. Ms. Jones has been instrumental in two city issues that have been vital to people with disabilities. As the leader of the Center’s Transportation Action Group (TAG,) she organized and empowered group members to contest the closing of several inner-city bus stops used by people with disabilities. She coordinated the campaign and utilized the media to voice concerns. The group’s efforts resulted in many of the stops remaining on the routes. Ms. Jones also worked on another issue important to all city dwellers: the amendment of a City of Rochester ordinance to keep the sidewalks clear during the winter. She attended neighborhood association meetings and organized a group of people with disabilities to make their voices heard at City Council meetings. The new ordinance passed, and city sidewalks will be more accessible for all residents during the winter from now on. She is an advocate in other areas, also, as a member of the Gay Alliance of the Genesee Valley and participant in the Rochester-Monroe County Anti-Poverty Initiative.  A group of 15 people with disabilities that she gathered participated in Rochester’s Clean Sweep program. Stephanie Woodward, Director of Advocacy at CDR, nominated Ms. Jones for this award, saying she has “inspired others to get involved,” that she sets an “incredible xample” for people with disabilities, and has motivated more people with disabilities “to become active and involved in our city.”

Celebration of Rochester Neighbors

LOGO RectangleCome join us as we celebrate the great people that make our neighborhoods strong, on Monday,  June 6th from 5:00PM to 7:00PM at the Rochester Public Market. The event is called Celebration of Rochester Neighbors and will recognize volunteers who are making a difference at the neighborhood level, as well as leaders in the Rochester community. Like a city-wide block party, the event will feature live music, food and a chance to have fun with neighbors from throughout the city.

Rochester is a great place to live because of the caring, invested people who live in it. We want to celebrate those individuals and the neighborhoods that make up our city and kick off NeighborWorks® Week here in Rochester.

Celebration of Rochester Neighbors is supported by contributions from JP Morgan Chase, First Niagara Bank, Lamar Advertising, Greater Rochester Association of Realtors, Your Care Health Plan and Northwest Bank. Participants include food trucks from Marty’s Meats, Hot Rosita’s and The Daily Refresher, with live music provided by the Bureau Cats. Neighborhood Association and Block Clubs will also be there to share what it is that makes their part of #ROC a great place to live.

Tickets are $10 each (children under 13 are free) and available at NeighborWorks® Rochester or online at https://celebrationofrocneighbors.eventbrite.com. All proceeds from the event will allow NeighborWorks® Rochester to continue to build strong neighborhoods by educating and counseling new homeowners, providing resources to homeowners turned away by traditional lenders, energy-savings programs and targeted neighborhood revitalization through the Healthy Blocks Neighborhood Initiative.

Partner of the Year, 1st Niagara Bank

Congratulations to our Award Recipients!

Partner of the Year, 1st Niagara Bank
1st Niagara Bank representatives, Phil Swetz, Karla Gadley, Bridget Campbell and Laura Smith accept the Partner of the Year Award from Luis Burgos.
Luis Burgos and Kim Mitchell.
Luis Burgos and Kim Mitchell.
Luis Burgos and Greg Stefl.
Luis Burgos and Greg Stefl.

NeighborWorks® Rochester recently held its 2015 Annual Meeting at the agency’s newly renovated facilities. More than 150 people attended the event, which was a celebration of a record-setting year of services provided to new and current homeowners in the Rochester area, as well as an opportunity for us to recognize individuals and organizations that were significant supporters.

First Niagara Bank was honored as the Partner of The Year in recognition of their collaboration, commitment and leadership. Luis Burgos, Executive Director of NeighborWorks® Rochester, stated, “Our relationship with First Niagara has been a solid one from the beginning, when we first connected with them for our First Home Club. They are a great resource for potential home buyers and for NeighborWorks® Rochester, as well.” We are so pleased to partner with them in making Rochester a great place to live!

The Edline Chun Volunteer of the Year Award was presented to Kim Mitchell, of Rochester, who serves on our Marketing and Development Committee and donates her considerable decorative talents and materials to all agency events. As a homeowner who has received NeighborWorks® Rochester services, Kim actively promotes the programs and acts as an ambassador for the organization, whenever requested. “This award is given to honor the legacy of Edline Chun, an extraordinary volunteer who gave of herself selflessly to achieve our mission of strengthening neighborhoods. Kim embodies many of the same characteristics that made Edline special,” Burgos said.

Also recognized at the event as Employee of the Year was Operations Manager Greg Stefl, of Rochester. As the point person for the recent facility renovation and technology upgrade, Stefl’s “exacting standards have improved many aspects of our organization and his passion for our mission has made a difference for the communities which we serve“ said Burgos.

We are so grateful for the support of our partners, friends, volunteers and staff. They allow us to provide great customer service to our community and to help make Rochester a great place to live!

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