Competition especially tough for 2016 Star
By Patsy Nicosia
In the 25 years the Times-Journal has been awarding the T-J Star, this year's recipient, Cherie Stevens, probably received more single nominations than any other.
Which didn't make selecting the 2016 winner any easier.
A total of 20 people were nominated for the award, which recognizes someone who's made a positive contribution to his or her community over the past year.
This year's other nominees were:
Greg and Barbara Furlong, for their dedication and leadership of Leatherstocking Honor Flight, which sends veterans to visit their memorials in Washington, DC free of charge.
"To date, the organization has sent more than 1,400 veterans on the trip of a lifetime."
Park Theatre owner Tom Nigro for investing in the 70-plus-year-old family business with upgraded projector and stereo systems.
Alyson Montione, program director at the Schoharie Free Library, for her creative and intergenerational efforts reaching out to the community.
Tim Snyder, an active community supporter for all of his life in organizations including: Little League, the Cobleskill Recreation Commission, Schoharie County Youth Board, Planned Parenthood and as a village trustee.
"Tim has certainly given freely of his time for our community and its youth."
Harvey Eaves, for his volunteer efforts at the Zion Lutheran and St. Christopher's Church, and for sharing his vegetables with and helping his neighbors.
Emma Robert, for, with the help of Fusion Church, raising enough money to install handicapped-accessible swings at every local school playground.
Trista Bradt, for spreading kindness everywhere, especially through her Toasty Toes Project, begun four years ago and this year, delivering more than 1,000 sets of pajamas and goodies to children in need.
Vicki Hoerz, for all of her work in the Middleburgh community, starting with the school and continuing with the Middleburgh Rotary and veteran's events.
"Rarely does she appear in public but that a child or an adult former student rushes to her with a hug and a happy greeting."
Brent Ridge and Josh Kilmer-Purcell, for the work "to keep it local," most recently by finding a way to keep their shipping facilities and jobs in Sharon Springs.
The late Blair Hartman, a volunteer with Rotary, the Sunshine Fair, Literacy Volunteers, and Cobleskill-Richmondville, until his death in 2016.
"Blair left some very, very big shoes to fill."
Alexis Ryder, a Schoharie businesswoman who worked hard this year to get local businesses together to adopt a family for the holidays.
She "deserves to be the Star because she is caring, always giving, and hard-working."
Janice Peters, for her work with the Schoharie County Home of Ongoing Learning (SCHOOL), non-credit classes offered in partnership with SUNY Cobleskill.
Barbara DiCocco, "for her timeless efforts in serving the community," through the Chamber of Commerce, hospital, and more.
David DeSando, for his work in addressing opioid abuse through education, advocacy, and with state-approved drop-off boxes for no longer needed drugs.
Rev. Brandan Eddy for being instrumental in establishing the Schoharie Christian After School Program at the Schoharie United Presbyterian Church.
Bob Holt, for his longtime leadership with the Depot Lane Singers and his passion for local history.
Pat Costello, for his work around the clock on community projects including the Joshua Project, Middleburgh Booster Club, Neighbors Eating Together, and more.
"His heart is huge, his love is deep, and his back is strong."