State Sen. George Maziarz, a member of the Niagara University Class of 1976, was presented the St. Vincent de Paul Award from his alma mater during commencement exercises earlier this month.

In presenting the award, the Rev. Joseph Levesque, Niagara University president, praised Maziarz for exemplifying Vincentian ideals.

The award cited several of Maziarz’s legislative accomplishments, including helping to develop a sex offender registry under Megan’s Law, protecting senior citizens through the Assisted Living Reform Act and facilitating Nik Wallenda’s high-wire walk across Niagara Falls in the summer of 2012, which put the Niagara region in the international spotlight.

The award also referenced Maziarz’s active involvement in community affairs, particularly his past role in organizing the Canal Fest of the Tonawandas and leading the board of directors of the Chamber of Commerce of the Tonawandas.


Tamara J. Cooper, Town of Cambria deputy town clerk, has been awarded the New York State Town Clerks Association’s certification as a registered municipal clerk. This award recognizes the professional competency of Cooper in fulfilling the responsibilities of her office. Certification is granted only after an applicant has demonstrated that they have met the education and experience requirements established by the association.

Cooper has served as deputy town clerk since 2002.


Community Missions of the Niagara Frontier recently honored volunteers and supporters who make its mission possible at its 21st annual Compassion in Action Awards Brunch, hosted by the LaSalle Yacht Club in Niagara Falls.

The brunch is structured to honor the volunteers who help the agency throughout the year, while also recognizing award winners from six of the organization’s departments. In addition, the Director’s Award is presented by executive director Robyn L. Krueger, and the Sharon Kroetsch Memorial Award is bestowed upon a chosen board member.

Approximately 125 attendees, including James Ward, representing State Sen. George Maziarz, honored the following award winners:

Deonna Mazur, OMH Housing Services Award; Mercedes Catherine, Youth Services Award; Diana Belcher, OMH Recovery Services Award; Will Poultry Co., Crisis and Community Services Award; Victoria Vizzi, Finance Award; Brian Costello, Public Relations Award; Russell Petrozzi, Director’s Award; and Quain Weber, Sharon Kroetsch Memorial Award.

Mazur is acting coordinator for the Niagara Falls Treatment Courts, and assists CMI clients in engaging in various treatment programs. She is committed to continuing the team effort of providing an alternative to incarceration, with the hopes of making a difference in the lives of those she serves.

Catherine has been involved with the CMI Tidings of Joy Project since 2010 as an active member of St. John de LaSalle Church in Niagara Falls. She has been instrumental in assuring Christmas gifts for the residents of Aurora House and other CMI Youth Services programs.

In her job at the Visiting Nursing Association of Western New York, Belcher works with many clients served by CMI’s Niagara Visions PROS program, assisting them with medication management.

Throughout her time in this role, she has been proactive in ensuring that all clients receive first-rate nursing care.

Will Poultry, founded in 1938, has been a strong supporter of the Community Kitchen and Crisis Housing programs for the past few years. This relationship began when Dave Kuncelman visited the mission and asked if it would be helpful to receive donated food periodically.

Vizzi is a client service manager with Liazon Corp., CMI’s insurance broker. Over the years, Vizzi has guided the agency through its annual medical insurance renewal process, explaining the costs and benefits to our employees.

Costello, chief executive officer and owner of Diversified Manufacturing Inc., has been a major supporter and promoter of the mission’s Golf Classic for many years. He plays a key role in the Niagara Frontier community, supporting groups like SABAH (Skating Association for the Blind and Handicapped) and Big Brothers and Big Sisters.

Petrozzi has been a longtime supporter of Community Missions. As owner of Capitol Cleaners, he has offered support with fliers, tickets, gift certificates, linens and referrals.

Weber serves on the board’s personnel committee and volunteers weekly in the community soup kitchen. She retired as assistant director of Niagara County Youth Bureau and is a business owner and entrepreneur.