Community Awards dinner another success

The 2nd “Community Recognition Awards” dinner drew a full house on Tuesday evening at Moscatiello’s Italian Family Restaurant in North Greenbush.

More than 40 students, alums, educators military personnel, first responders, and business people were honored by the Southern Rensselaer County Rotary Club during the event in front of an audience of more than 120.

Two of our own SRC members were among those honored: John Sawchuk, for his work as lead organizer of the awards program, his service to the community through Rotary, and his service for decades in the East Greenbush Central School District and as principal of Columbia High School, from which he is retiring this month; and, A.J. Amato for his tireless efforts in reviving the Rotary Youth Exchange program in the SRC area of service.

The complete list of honorees follows this sampling of images from the evening.

Party Planners
The event planning team (l to r): Jim Leyhane, John Sawchuk, Terry Brewer, Murray Forth, Roberto Martinez.
Bryel & Lily
Columbia High School honorees Bryel Weinlein (left) and Lilly Hutton.
CHS Educators (from left) John Evertsen, Brian Marsh, Bill Clum.
Officer Rich Eckel (left) and Chief Joe Belardo of the Schodack Police Department.
Rotarian honoree A.J. Amato (left) and SRC President Roberto Martinez.
Terry Brewer prepares to give John Sawchuk a special award.
Officer Erick Jakes (left) and Chief Robert J. Durivage of the North Greenbush Police Department.
CHS senior Nicole Presti offers remarks.
Deputy Brian Hullett was honored by Rensselaer County Sheriff Pat Russo (left).
Rensselaer High School senior Zo Ko (left) was honored by school counselor Brandy Cenci.
Schodack CSD honorees and educators: (front, l to r) Elaina Champigny, Rebecca Roe, Kaitlin Castle, Rachel Jung, Hunter Pomykaj; rear (l to r) Jason Chevrier, Mike Bennett.
From Goff Middle School (front, left to right): Alyssa Manning, Alexis Szemplinski, Mackenzie Clinton, Maureen Janowski; (rear) Sharon Dunn, Wayne Grignon.


Military honoree Sue Montena is flanked by Staff Sgt. Posato and Master Sgt. Garcia.

Columbia High School Outstanding Students

  • Lilly Hutton
  • Nicole Presti
  • Bryel Weinlein

Goff Middle School Outstanding Students

  • Alyssa Manning
  • Mackenzie Clinton
  • Alexis Szemplinski

Columbia High School Outstanding Educators

  • Brian Marsh
  • John Evertsen
  • Bill Clum

Goff Middle School Outstanding Educators

  • Sharon Dunn
  • Maureen Janowski

Local Business “Give Back” Award

  • Teachers Credit Union: Mark Hatfield

Breakout Rotarian Award

  • A.J. Amato, Southern Rensselaer County Rotary

Outstanding Veteran Volunteer Award

  • Joel Montross

Outstanding Military Service Award

  • Casey Frankoski
  • Sue Montena

Outstanding Community Service Law Enforcement Award

  • Officer Jay Martyn (Columbia School Resource Officer)
  • Officer Rich Eckel
  • Officer Erick Jakes
  • Officer Brian Hulett

Distinguished Service Volunteer Firefighter Award

  • Tim Boel

The Post Graduate “Point of Light” Award

  • Marissa Hochberg, Siena College freshman, Columbia HS Class of ’17

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