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Rotary celebrates naming of Paul Harris Fellows

From left are Dan Smith, Westfield-Mayville Rotary Club president, Ed Kneer, Deanne Manzella, and Jan Berkhouse, committee chair.

During the recent Westfield-Mayville Rotary’s Gold Rush funder raiser, two local community members were recognized for their service and were honored as Paul Harris Fellows.

Ed Kneer was recognized as a non-Rotarian Paul Harris Fellow recipient. He exemplifies many years of community service. His dedication to service to the community spans more than 50 years.

As a first responder, he has seen many changes in the role and responsibilities of one of the most critical volunteer associations in our community. He has served in various roles over his tenure in fire services in Westfield. He has been a member of the fire department, Exempt Firemen’s Association, emergency first aider, and served as fire chief. Going back a few years, among the activities he has been active in are the ski marathon and the pre-COVID Ox Roast fund raiser. On the educational side he has participated in fire safety and bicycle safety programs at the school and other community events. He helps out at the Halloween parade that Rotary participates in, as well as, the extras like the escorts for sports teams on their way to finals.

In one Rotarian’s nomination of this individual, it was shared that he was “trained by some of the really tough older fire fighters. They really learned how to be an asset to the team. They were required to respond when the whistle blew…day or night.”

Kneer is the married to Ann Kneer. The Kneers have three children, nine grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren, and two of Kneer’s grandsons to serve in the fire department. He was an employee of the Village of Westfield for more than 30 years.

Deanne Manzella was also recognized as a non-Rotarian Paul Harris Fellow for her community service recognition. She is an eight-year member of the Westfield Academy and Central School Board of Education. She is known for giving all issues her full and fair attention, does independent research on matters being addressed, regularly contributes her thoughts and knowledge to the issues at hand, and does not shy away from difficult decisions. Though not a board requirement, she routinely is spotted at numerous extracurricular school events.

In addition to her commitment to community education Manzella is also active in the Westfield Women’s Organization, a member of Union Relief Association and on the board for the Northlake Sports Complex. She is a member of the Westfield Fund Advisory Committee. She has, pre-COVID, organized the Darren Manzella-Lapeira Memorial Run from which proceeds go Northern Chautauqua Community Foundation earmarked for Veterans. She is treasurer for the Hurlbut Memorial Community United Methodist Church. Additionally, beyond these ongoing efforts, she often steps up to volunteer for other positive causes on an as needed basis.

When sharing with her that she had been selected for this recognition, she said she helps those in need and gives to the community as it is “just who I am.”

Manzella is a Brocton native, a 34-year Westfield resident and has spent 39 years as a financial services professional. She is married to Tom Manzella and has four adult children.

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