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Firemen's banquet held

PORT HENRY The Port Henry Volunteer Fire Department held its annual Firemen's Banquet recently at the Kings Inn in Port Henry celebrating 132 years of service to the community. Approximately 75 people attended this traditional event that recognized several of their members for many years of service to the department and community. Assistant Chief Jim Hughes and organizer of the festivities, acted as Master of Ceremonies. Distinguished guests in attendance included the Mayor of Port Henry, Gary Cooke, Deputy Mayor, Linda DuRoss, Village Trustee James Curran, Town of Moriah Supervisor Thomas Scozzafava, Representative for New York Gov. Elliot Spitzer, Jessica Bassett, Ralph Jaquish, Chief, Moriah Fire Department and his assistants to include, Don Jaquish and David Decker. A special message from Spitzer was read from his representative Jessica Bassett offering praise and recognition to the volunteers of the Port Henry Fire Department. In addition, a message from Rep. John McHugh was shared with the volunteers. Several presentations were made throughout the evening beginning with recognition given to the new administrative officers of the department. Richard DeFelice, secretary, received his respective collar rank insignia pin, name tag and badge. Other members recognized for several years of service included: George Daly (5), Timothy Boyle (15), William Ball (20), Chucky Bryant, Daniel Bryant, Edward Bryant, John Hickey, Chuck Kolodzey, Brian Venne (25), Thomas Edwards, Sr., Joseph Gilbo, and Ernie DuRoss (30. Special recognitions were given to those senior volunteers with 40 or more years of service to the department. Members recognized included Thomas Turk Boyle (41), James Scozzafava (43), Robert Hobby Boyle (46), Lester Daby (47), John Sweet (49), Leroy Vanderhoof (51) and John Jack Waldron for (58). Each volunteer received department anniversary lapel pins. A special tribute was given to John E. Sweet, for being the Oldest Active Fireman at 81 years young. Fireman Sweet was presented a customized embroidered shirt with department emblem for his accomplishments by the department. Rookie of the Year for 2006 was presented to Nestor D. Rodriguez Sr. Firefighter Rodriguez received a handsome, bronze, firefighter statue recognizing his efforts. A special recognition was extended to Ron Van Slooten, captain, for responding 53 out of 64 calls in 2006. This is the second year in a row Captain Van Slooten earned this honor. An engraved firefighter knife and keychain were presented to Captain Van Slooten marking this achievement. Robert T. DeFelice, present lieutenant with two years of service to the department, was recognized and presented the Firefighter of the Year Award for 2006 by the officers and members of the department. Lt. DeFelice was presented a framed copper art relief of a firefighter engraved with his name marking this achievement. In concluding the nights festivities, singer/song writer/firefighter John DeFelice kicked off the nights entertainment by singing the Volunteer Fireman song which he wrote in dedication to all volunteer firefighters. DJ Andy Spring provided a variety of music throughout the evening.

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