The Spirit Of American Tradition

It is a great American tradition and many of our local communities enthusiastically respect it and respond with genuine affirmation in support of it. To wit, we recognize those special individuals who so truly exemplify the spirit of a people we call a community. And such is the case in Gowanda, New York. The Gowanda Area Chamber of Commerce is to be commended for its sponsorship of The Spirit of Gowanda annual recognition awards. We applaud this undertaking as truly the best of the American spirit and in keeping with our national heritage of giving credit where credit is due. The evening of Saturday, February 28 will be just such an occasion. An appreciative public will honor five recipients in the 2004 Spirit of Gowanda tradition. What a fine tradition this is!

As was reported in the Gowanda PENNY SAVER NEWS, the 2004 recipients are Ashley Certis, Louis and Dorothy Selan and Cliff and Paula Schueler. Indeed, these five are truly worthy recipients.

Ashley Certis is the receiver of the Gowanda Spirit of Excellence in Youth Award. Ashley is a senior in Gowanda High School and hopes to become a music teacher. She is an energetic and enthusiastic individual, active in church, home, school and community and, at the same time, holds a part-time job. Ashley volunteers her services to those who are in need, is very active in her church, and is an active participant in school music and athletics activities. All of this, and she has maintained her status as an honor Regents student with sequences in science, Spanish, mathematics and music. Ii is just such a person as Ashley and other young folks like her, who eminently assures every American that the future of this Country is in the best hands. Well done, Ashley!

Louis and Dorothy Selan are the recipients of the Gowanda Spirit of Excellence in Service Award. For years and in whatever venue, Dorothy and Lou have given generously of their creativeness, time, energy and support in community service. This sacrifice was made, even when both of them had precious little free time on their hands. They almost single-handed carried various community projects to successful implementation and conclusion. Their volunteer service did not conclude with the end of he day, but often each would unpretentiously "burn the midnight oil, regardless of the day of the week or the hour of the day to make sure that all was in harmonious working order. Dorothy and Lou are known for not only giving of their energy and creativeness but also unselfishly and warmly giving of their heart. It is just such persons as Mr. and Mrs. Selan, who through their spirit of service assure the people of this Country and of the world that this is what true Americans are made of. Well done, Dorothy and Lou!

Cliff and Paula Schueler are the recipients of the prestigious Spirit of Gowanda Business Award. There are many in our business community who truly deserve special recognition. However, at this time in 2004, there are no two others who so richly deserve this special recognition. Cliff and Paula have earned a tender and special spot in the hearts and minds of countless individuals...residents, frequent visitors to our community or those just passing through. The service they rendered, as so may fondly referred to as, the "Hot Dog Man" and the Hot Dog Lady" will long go down in the history of Gowanda and in the heart and minds of countless individuals. By any system of measurement, their type of "small enterprise" is one type of exemplar, which looms great on the American stage. Of their many customers through the years, everyone without exception, was treated with dignity and graciousness; there never was anyone thought of as the "lesser." Truly, the depth of their genuine humane spirit of caring "for their neighbor" will resonate for years to come and in the generations to follow. Well done, Paula and Cliff.

"Well Done" Gowanda Area Chamber of Commerce and other communities who similarly take the time to recognize such worthy citizens when an appreciative public says "Thank you." After all, this is a part of what America is all about and we are proud of it. That is how we see it FROM OUR PERSPECTIVE.