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Carl Paladino accepts Niagara Rises Developer of the Year Award

June 28, 2010

Nikola Tesla Developer of the Year Award – Carl Paladino

Many know me as the Chairwoman of Niagara Rises, Inc. which is a grass roots organization in Niagara Falls that is focused on reversing the course Niagara Falls is taking and reducing poverty in the Cataract City.    Part of Niagara Rises Mission includes a four day celebration at the end of June called Niagara Homecoming.   Niagara Homecoming includes a Career Fair, our Kickoff to benefit the NCCC Culinary School, Real Estate Open Houses and a focus on some of the very best things happening in Niagara County.   At our 2nd annual Kickoff, we handed out our Frank Thomas Croisdale Volunteer of the Year Award to Dr. David Taylor of Niagara University for his work with at Risk Youth.   We work very closely with Dr. Taylor and have some very exciting news coming up in the coming weeks about how Niagara University and Niagara Rises will be partnering together.

There were two new awards that we added this year.  The first was our Excellence in Media Award which was given to Mike Hudson of the Niagara Falls Reporter.    Their support of our organization when we couldn’t get a single bit of coverage by other outlets is not forgotten.  Neither is the fact that the Reporter has become the official program to all events related to Niagara Homecoming is so very appreciated.   Like the cover this past week said “there is no place like home”.     In an age where Newspapers are dying on the vine, the Niagara Falls Reporter is strong in a city that has not one but two major papers and a third producing a Niagara Section.   Western New Yorkers are very lucky to have the options that many communities no longer have.   Today they celebrate their 10th Anniversary — a great achievement.

Carl Paladino & Colleen Kulikowski at Niagara Rises Kickoff on  June 25, 2010

On Friday night, at the Rapids Theatre it was my honor to present our other new award — the Niagara Rises Nikola Tesla Developer of the Year award to Carl Paladino of Ellicott Development for his work on the Giacomo.  Below is my speech introducing Carl Paladino to the audience that attended our Kickoff Gala:

It was a very dark day when they first opened the United Office Building in Niagara Falls.   Fortunes were crumbling across the country as the stock market crashed on October 29, 1929.  Despite such an infamous introduction, the building rose tall into the sky in the city’s South End and the citizenry seemed to embrace its existence as a standard bearer of prosperity and hope.

Throughout it’s early life it was home to some of the top business names in the city, before it was abandoned in the 1980’s. The elegant, art deco structure with its distinctive monochromatic-colored brick and decorative Mayan sculptures became the topic of much tangled bargaining as many government agencies and private developers tried and failed to breath life back into the abandoned structure.  For a long time it stood, empty, crumbling and towering over the city 20 stories high, a reminder to anyone who looked up of great promise gone sour.

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