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Outstanding Youth, Adults Recognized at 45th Annual Youth Board Awards Dinner

The Town of Tonawanda Youth Board recognized the accomplishments of youth and adults who work with youth from across the Ken-Ton Community at their 45th Annual Awards Dinner on Wednesday, May 11. Erie County District Attorney John Flynn presented a keynote address.

High schools in the community each nominated one student to be recognized as an outstanding youth: Maria Colosimo, Kenmore East High School; Emily Whalen, Mount St. Mary Academy; Evelyn Zent, Cardinal O’Hara High School; Jack Gradzewicz, Kenmore West High School; Juliana Bastian, Sweet Home High School; Ryan McLaughlin, St. Joseph’s Collegiate Institute; and Skylar Hotchkiss, Ken-Ton Career & Technical Center. Maria Colosimo was presented with the Outstanding Youth of the Year Award.

The top five Youth Engaged in Service (Y.E.S.) volunteers were also recognized: Drew Heltz, Joey Avino, Aislyn O’Malley, Cora Walker, and Grace Miller.

The Brian Dugan Outstanding Teacher Award was given to Sweet Home High School teacher Naryan Padmanabha. Phil Jarosz from the Ken-Ton School District was recognized with the Joseph Allen, Jr. Service to Youth Award for his work with school musicals and coordination of other District projects and services. Patrick Maddigan, who has coached soccer for 33 years and bowling for 10 years, received the Robert Swift Volunteer Service to Youth Award. Town of Tonawanda Police Captain Jesse Haug was presented with the Christine Milosich Public Safety Service to Youth Award. The Youth Board also recognized the newly opened Sheridan Parkside LIFE Center with the Community Service Award. The LIFE Center boasts a free laundromat, healthy kitchen, and adult clothes closet, in addition to free classes, resources, and more with the goal of helping teens and adults in the Sheridan Parkside neighborhood gain life skills.

The Youth Board will have some big shoes to fill next year with long-time member Denise Huard and the member behind the return of the 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament, Chris Monaco, stepping down. Youth Board student representatives Mykayla Pielich of Kenmore East and Meghan Jones of Kenmore West, who will be graduating this year, were also recognized for their service as board members.

“We applaud the outstanding achievements the youth recognized this year have made in their schools and community, and we appreciate the work done by all of the adults honored,” said Councilman and Chairman of the Youth, Parks & Recreation Committee Carl Szarek.

To learn more about the Youth Bureau, visit https://tonawanda.ny.us/youth-parks-recreation/youth-bureau.html. The Youth Board will be seeking three new student representatives for a term beginning in September 2022; an incoming sophomore or junior from Kenmore East, Kenmore West, and the Ken-Ton Career and Technical Center. The Board will also be accepting applications for interested adult board representatives. The Board meets monthly throughout the school year, in addition to planning and volunteering at a variety of community events. Please contact Nicole Ruberto at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information.


The Town of Tonawanda Youth, Parks & Recreation department unveils preliminary details for its 2022 summer camps at the former Thomas Jefferson Elementary School. Camp Minis is for children ages 4-6, or incoming Pre-K through 1st graders. Camp Minors is for ages 7-9, or incoming 2nd through 4th graders. Camp Majors is for ages 10-11, or incoming 5th through 6th graders. Each camp will follow the same structure, guidelines, and high-quality programming, but will be specially formatted to be age-appropriate.

Daily activities include instructor-led arts and crafts, sports, group games, teambuilding, enrichment, and other activities that fit with the camp's weekly theme. Each week, campers will enjoy swimming at Lincoln Pool, a special event such as Camp Olympics, a carnival, or a talent show, as well as guest presenters and entertainers like magicians and wildlife education groups. Parents also have the opportunity to register their children for an off-site field trip each week, for a slight additional cost.

The facility has a gymnasium, auditorium, cafeteria, lounge, game room, Funland room for younger campers, outdoor space, basketball court, baseball diamond, playground, and a few classrooms for programming. Camp hours are 7:30am-6pm Monday-Friday, July 5-August 19, to accommodate working parents’ various schedules. Jefferson is located at 250 Athens Blvd.

Jefferson Summer Camp operated successfully for eight weeks in 2020 and for nine weeks in 2021, with approval and cooperation from New York State, Erie County, Town of Tonawanda, and Ken-Ton officials. Though guidelines specific to summer day camps have not yet been released by NYS for 2022, anticipated guidelines include masks, social distancing, and limited gatherings. As such, we will be limiting our enrollment and encourage early registration.

The cost is $195 per week for Town of Tonawanda and Village of Kenmore residents, or $247 per week for non-residents. There is a sibling discount available to Access Card holders. We do offer two part-time options: Monday/Wednesday/Friday enrollment or Tuesday/Thursday enrollment.

Registration opens March 7 for Town of Tonawanda & Village of Kenmore residents and on March 28 for non-residents. You can sign up at the Youth, Parks & Recreation office at 299 Decatur Road (open Monday-Friday 8am-4pm) and online at www.ttypr.com.

More information is available at www.ttypr.com. Please contact 831-1001 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with questions.

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Thank you,

Scott Brinkman

Recreation Coordinator


The Town of Tonawanda’s Youth Parks & Recreation Department looks forward to the possibility of your Business Becoming a Corporate Sponsor, Lets Work Together to Build Your Business and Our Programs! If you are interested in more information click on the link below.

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