Celebrate summer, celebrate the Village of Florida

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FLORIDA Celebrate summer in the Village of Florida at Fun Fest beginning at 1 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 12.

Food, rides for children and vendors showcasing their wares will be available to visitors who explore Main Street and the area by S.S. Seward Institute.

DJ “Nat the Cat” will MC, and this year’s performers will include The Matt Mulhare Band, The Somerville Brothers, Tangent and Jimmy Sturr and his Orchestra.

Community awardsThere also will be two community awards:

Lifetime Achievement Award: The Highland Engine & Hose Company

Here’s how organizers of the Florida Family Fun Fest described the efforts of the fire company:

“Over the past 133 years, the men and later, women of the Highland Engine and Hose Company, as it came to be known, have answered the call for literally thousands of fires, auto accidents, ambulance needs, hazardous conditions, public service calls and more,” organizers They have answered calls in the district as well as in neighboring communities, and as far away as Buffalo, Manhattan, and Long Island. The fire service has changed a great deal over the years from its humble initial equipment, including a dozen red pails, to the modern pumpers, tanker, rescue truck and “jaws of life” today—but, the call is the same: help our friends and neighbors whose lives or property are in danger, and serve our community in whatever ways we can, through events like the Halloween parade, Christmas tree lighting, rides at Fun Fest and Memorial Day barbecue.

“We thank the Fun Fest Committee for this auspicious award and dedicate it to all members and families of the Highland Engine & Hose Company past, present and future.”

Citizen of the Year: Lona Olejniczak

"There are people in our small village of Florida, N.Y., that exemplify the meaning of community," the organizers wrote in explaining their choice. "Lona Olejniczak is one of those people. Lona is a prime example of how one person can affect the lives of almost every single person she encounters. She has been a member of the Florida Fire Department and Rescue Squad for nearly 40 years. Over this time, there have been countless occasions where Lona has rushed to give aid at motor vehicle accidents, in turn, making vital decisions that have saved lives and limbs. In addition to these rescue efforts, she has continuously been involved in countless fund raisers, raffles, dinners and blood drives that have benefited our community throughout the years. Not only can she manage the magnitude of large scale events, but she is an integral part in advising, training and mentoring the new members of the rescue squad. Whether Lona is overseeing an event, a new member of the corps, or an accident victim, the common response is this, Lona’s here, it will all be okay.

“ Her presence in our community is a constant reminder of just how much her acts of concern, care, and kindness, backed with action, have an everlasting effect on all of our lives. We are truly blessed to have her as our neighbor. This recognition for Citizen of the Year in our small village of Florida, N.Y., translates into one very big thank you, Lona, from all of us!”

• For information, visit http://floridafamilyfunfest.org.

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