Dick Golden honored with lifetime achievement award
The Fredonia Community Chamber of Commerce held its Annual Awards Banquet last week at the Beaver Club, honoring six recipients with various awards including Dick Golden with the Lifetime Achievement award.
Community members, officials and families of the award winners packed the establishment for a lively evening of feasting, auctioning and honoring those who strive to make the Fredonia area a better place to live.
“We don’t give too many (Lifetime Achievement awards),” announced board member and emcee for the evening Greg Krauza. “This is the fourth one since I’ve been involved with the chamber, so it really is special for us and we take it very seriously.”
Recently retired and spending the winter in Jensen Beach, Florida, three of Golden’s family members accepted the award in his absence.
Reading from a statement written by Golden, daughter Debbie McCarthy told the crowd that her father was surprised to get the call from Chamber president David Dengler.
“At first when he said ‘this is David Dengler from the Larson-Timko Funeral Home’ I thought maybe he had heard of my retirement and wanted to sell me a pre-arranged service,” the statement read and the audience responded with amused laughter.
“Fifty-three years of doing what you like is just great. I never had a day I didn’t want to be there. Being able to service the community and meet so many wonderful people who became loyal customers throughout the years gave me a lot of satisfaction.”
Golden began repairing TVs part-time in 1956 and went full-time in 1964, working out of Discount Furniture and RCA TV on Main Street in Fredonia.
He opened his own sales and service store in Brocton in 1974, moved to the Russo Building in Fredonia and in 2009 to his current location on Central Avenue.
“He retired at the young age of 85,” Krauza said.
Domus Fare owners and chefs Dennis Colt Jr. and Isaac Borgstrom were awarded Business Persons of the Year.
“Domus Fare is the culmination of their almost 60 years of combined cooking experience, a large portion of which was in the Rochester, New York area,” Krauza explained. “‘Good food done right’ has been their motto since they opened in 2014. They love food and cooking, carefully shop for ingredients and stress quality as well as value.”
Melanie Mann was given the Spirit of Fredonia award for her strong inspirational community involvement, especially with the Festivals Fredonia (executive board member); the Village Beatification Project (chairperson); and the Miracle on Main Street (co-chairperson).
“She led the charge in the clean-up efforts during Earth Day and worked in tandem with the Fredonia Rotary to plant flowers throughout the village, bringing the entire community together for one purpose: making Fredonia a great place to raise a family and enjoy the beauty of the village,” said Krauza.
Partners in Kind, led by founder Melissa Pietrkiewicz, was awarded the Service to Humanity award for creating a movement “of those dedicated to make Chautauqua County a better place to live.”
“Partners in Kind aims to serve those often forgotten or those with limited access to resources due to their income,” Krauza said. “Whether it’s clothing for a baby, foster care, hygiene products for homeless, transient women or financial relief for a young couple watching their child endure chemotherapy, Partners In Kind facilitates charitable efforts and promotes acts of kindness in the community.”
In accepting the award, Pietrkiewicz said, “We’re bringing our community back to our community because businesses are important, but so is caring about people. And that’s what we’re about.”
The Community Service award went to Lakeshore Humane Society for providing an invaluable service to the entire northern Chautauqua County area.
“They currently have approximately 60 to 70 volunteers that come to the building to help out on a weekly basis,” said Krauza. “It could be taking care of dogs, cats, doing laundry, mowing the lawn, whatever it takes. All operating funds are raised by the members through fundraisers or donations received from the general public. There are no government funds of any kind.”
Lastly, Greg Giambrone and Concord Pharmacy won the Retailer of the Year award.
“(Giambrone’s) career in the pharmacy industry has now spanned 33 years and Greg has worked in both retail and hospital pharmacy settings,” explained Krauza. “In 2013, Greg made the decision to open Concord Pharmacy because he was committed to his hometown and knew there was a need in the community for an independent local pharmacy. If you have visited Concord Pharmacy you’ll see Greg’s dedication to his customers. You’ll also find a helpful friendly staff that reflects the culture Greg has developed.”
Krauza reminded all those in attendance at the Beaver Club to “make the extra effort to buy local, shop small.”
The Fredonia Community Chamber of Commerce is located at 35 East Main Street and can be reached at 687-1565; on the web at www.chautauquachamber.org.