Plenty to choose from for Star honors


Any way you add them up, 2007 was another banner year for Times-Journal Star nominations.
“As difficult as that makes our job, it’s something we really appreciate,” said T-J Editor Patsy Nicosia, who coordinates the annual Star search.
“This year, more than any other, it was difficult to choose a winner…all of these people give so much to their communities—no matter how they define it.”
Having said that, with no further ado, here’s a list of those nominated for the honor—and why.
• Hope Coons, Cobleskill, for spearheading the building of the new Historic Treasures building at the Cobleskill Fairgrounds, as well as for her work with the Maple Festival, and the July 4th celebration.
• Jean Bakkom, Sharon, for her “Herculean efforts to create the library, community center, town/village complex out of the old bowling alley in Sharon Springs.”
• Cherie Stevens, Cobleskill, for her “efforts to help the hungry, senior citizens, the mentally challenged, kids, soldiers serving overseas, and cancer victims…”
• The Cobleskill-Richmondville Bulldogs varsity football team, for showing determination, sportsmanship, character, and class, on their way to the Section II, Class B title for the first time ever.
“They brought a community together and proved that when linked together for the same reason, anything is possible.”
• Blair Hartman, Cobleskill. “He has made a difference in thousands of young peoples’ lives and he has been and still is a real asset and Star in this community.”
• Thom O’Connor and Fred Breglia of the Landis Arboretum. “Together and individually, they have worked to dramatically expand activities at the Landis Arboretum…They have added a new energy to the Arboretum and made it known around the world!”
• John Borst, Schoharie, for a lifetime working behind the scenes in the Schoharie Fire Department, the community, and in public service, “and don’t forget…the ‘Late Show with David Letterman: Schoharie Edition’, in 2002.”
• Assemblyman Pete Lopez, Schoharie. “He has never changed who he is. He’s warm, friendly all the time…a genuine and sincere soul who really works to get things done.”
• Maggie Jackman Pryor, Cobleskill, for helping organize kids’ and community events.”
• Ina Jones, Cobleskill, for sharing her poetry. “She is an inspiration to us all!”
• Betsy Bernocco, Richmondville, for never shying away from a challenge, and her many volunteer efforts including finding an alternative to the now-closed Eden Park.
• Connie Elsensohn, Cobleskill, for her great care and compassion as a nurse at Cobleskill Regional Hospital.
• Mary Ann Larkin, Sharon. “She just doesn’t accept a membership, she takes an active role and becomes involved with each organization’s goals and follows them through to completion.”
• Bob Nied, Renee Grabowski, and Don Airey of Schoharie Valley Watch, for their tireless work in helping sort out the difference between “green energy and…corporate greed disguising itself as green” in the wind power debate.
• Earl Van Wormer, Esperance, “a true asset to the people of Schoharie County…He will always acknowledge you, even if he knows he is about to get a brow-beating…”
• Ethel Benninger, Central Bridge, for a lifetime of service to Schoharie County, most recently in PR for the Public Transportation System.
• Burton Mattice, North Blenheim, a charter member of the Blenheim Hose Company with a lifetime of service, “and, well, you can’t find a more honest and fair individual.”
• The Town of Middleburgh. “Having grown up in Middleburgh, I can be the first to tell you that here is where I learned the true meaning of community.”
• Rev. Donald Klob, who is “willing to help everybody, very personable, gives mental strength to people, friendly and outgoing, puts a smile on everybody’s face.”
• Dr. Joseph Luz, Schoharie, for volunteering for more than a year in Iraq.
• Cappy Santos, Schoharie, for more than 30 years of volunteering for Scho-Wright Ambulance.
• Michael Lent, Cobleskill, captain of the Cobleskill Rescue Squad, for his service to the community and many long hours going to ambulance calls.
• Bev and Neil Stanton, Cobleskill. “The definition of volunteer is to give freely of your time to help others in desperation and need. Beverly and Neil Stanton are two very fine examples of volunteers.”
• Anne Myers, Summit, for her vision as SUNY Cobleskill provost.
• Maryann Nyback, Charlotteville, for going above and beyond her job at the Office for the Aging.
• Linda Karker, Seward, for the time and energy she donates to the community, especially with her Make A Wish campaign.
• Jackie and Ed Guntert, Middleburgh, who are retiring in June after riding with the MEVAC Ambulance for more than 30 years and for their work with the Renaissance Council.
• The late Paul “Smiley” Thorington, a longtime member of the Cobleskill Fire Department…”He was an expert at extricating injured persons from wrecked vehicles and rendering compassionate medical aid…I personally saw him save people’s lives.”
• John Radliff, Cobleskill, for among other things, his countless lobbying on the part of local New York’s dairy farmers and his role in getting the Dairy Investment Act passed by the State Legislature and signed by the Governor.
• Ray Briggs, Carlisle for his leadership role in Carlisle’s 200th anniversary celebration, for making Carlisle’s history come alive in its bicentennial book, and for working to create a Carlisle Historical Society.