PORT HENRY - The Port Henry Volunteer Fire Department held its 135th annual Firemen's Banquet at the King's Inn in Port Henry recently.
Approximately 55 people attended the traditional event that recognized several members for many years of service to the department and community. Assistant Chief Jim Hughes acted as Master of Ceremonies.
Distinguished guests in attendance included Village of Port Henry Deputy Mayor John Sheldon and wife, Nancy, Village Trustee Linda DuRoss, Village Trustee Ruth McDonough, Town of Moriah Supervisor Thomas Scozzafava, guest speaker, James King and wife Mary, Ralph Jaquish, chief of the Moriah Fire Department and wife, Ruth, and Don Jaquish, Moriah FD first assistant chief, and wife Louann.
Several presentations were made throughout the evening beginning with recognition given to the new administrative and line officers of the department that included Richard DeFelice, president,Ron Nesbitt, Jr., vice president, Phil Huchro, captain, and George Edwards, lieutenant.
The Port Henry Fire Department Ladies Auxiliary was also present. New officers recognized included: Brenda Baker, president, Jeannie Ball, vice president, Laura Venne, secretary, and Paula Huchro, treasurer.
Port Henry Fire Department members recognized for several years of service included: Allan Burch III (5 years) and Frank Blaise (40).
A moment of silence was offered to James "Jimmy" Scozzafava who passed away on May 25 of this year. Firefighter Scozzafava was recognized and remembered for 45 years of service. His lapel pin and a Fireman's Bible were presented to his family.
Special recognitions were given to those senior volunteers with 40 or more years of service to the department. Members recognized included Thomas "Turk" Boyle (43), Lester Daby (49), John Sweet (51), Leroy Vanderhoof (53) and John "Jack" Waldron (60). Each volunteer received department anniversary lapel pins.
Waldron received special tributes and many proclamations marking his 60th anniversary with the department from the Village of Port Henry, Town of Moriah, Essex County Board of Supervisors, Gov. David Paterson, State of New York, Assemblywoman Teresa Sayward, State Sen. Betty Little, Rep. John McHugh, Essex County Department of Emergency Services and the New York State Association of Fire Chiefs.
Waldron, in honor of his many years of service, was presented a special plate which will be affixed to the new, 2009 E-One Typhoon Series Pumper recently received by the village marking his achievements. In addition, a plaque was presented to past Chief Waldron from Chief Jaquish and the members of the Moriah Fire Department.
A special recognition was extended to Huchro for responding 71 out of 85 calls in 2008. An engraved Leatherman Tool was presented to him marking this achievement. This marks the second year in a row that he achieved this recognition.
Huchro, with 38 years of service to the department, was recognized and presented the Firefighter of the Year Award for 2008. He was presented a firefighter statue engraved with his name and gold uniform medal marking this achievement.
Michele and Kevin Flanigan, proprietors of King's Inn, were presented a framed photograph of the members of the department for their support.
DJ Mike "Doc" Vilardo provided a variety of music throughout the evening.