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Workers’ Memorial Day set for May 6

FREWSBURG — The Chautauqua County Workers’ Memorial Committee will be holding its 17th annual Workers’ Memorial Day on Saturday, May 6 at 11 a.m. at the Chautauqua County Workers’ Memorial Site at Erlandson Overview Park on Oak Hill Road in Frewsburg.

Workers’ Memorial Day is a day of remembering all of the men and women from Chautauqua County who have been killed on the job, in the line of duty, or died from job-related causes. This year’s ceremony will recognize 143 individuals who have passed away since 1980.

The event is open to the public and the keynote speaker will be Mark Thomas. Thomas previously served as town councilman and town supervisor for Pomfret from 1992 to 1997. In 1998, he began his first of two terms as Chautauqua County executive, a position he held when the Chautauqua County Workers’ Memorial Committee and Workers’ Memorial Day were first established in 2000. Thomas currently serves as Western District director for the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, where he serves as the chief administrator of 40 state park facilities across 10 Western New York counties.

There will also be a special flag presentation to posthumously honor former Workers’ Memorial Committee member Joseph Sweeny, who served on the committee as a member of the New York State United Teachers Board of Directors E.D. 4.

The Chautauqua County Workers’ Memorial Site is made possible through the cooperation of Chautauqua County Government, Chautauqua County Parks Commission, local labor organizations, and by donations from supporters.

“I encourage residents to join us on May 6 as we remember our fellow workers and loved ones who have lost their lives while working,” said Chautauqua County Executive Vince Horrigan. “It is by honoring them and their memory that we are constantly reminded about the need to create and promote safe work environments for all employees.”

Members of the Chautauqua County Workers’ Memorial Committee are Co-Chairman Horrigan; Co-Chairman Doug Stock, president of Dunkirk Central Labor Council; Co-Chairman Dave Wilkinson, Jamestown Central Labor Council; Secretary and Treasurer Robert Dando Jr., National Conference of Firemen and Oilers SEIU 32BJ; Reva Byczynski, Civil Service Employees Association (CSEA) Local 903/3; Mary Ellen Decker, New York State United Teachers — Dunkirk Teachers (retired); Don Emhardt, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 106; Paul Fardink, Friend of Labor Management; Hank Hoisington, CSEA Local 903/3; James Kurtz, (CSEA) Local 903/3; Bonnie Peters, CSEA Local 807/6300; William Servis, Pipefitter and Sprinkler Local 699; Steve Skidmore, CSEA Local 807/6300; George Spitale, American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees Local #418; and Gary Swain, Operating Engineers Local 17.

For more information about the event, contact the County Executive’s Office at 753-4211.

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