Hometown Heroes

Therapy Dog Owner a ‘Hometown Hero’
This week's "Hometown Hero" is Louise Belensz.
Louise volunteers throughout her community, including at a local school tutoring children and teaching others how to ski at the Double H Ranch. But she really enjoys bringing her therapy dog, Otis, to local nursing homes to help an…
4-H Youth Program Volunteer a ‘Hometown Hero’
Breanne Duesler, of Ames, was not only honored as one of our "Hometown Heroes"-she was recently honored by her peers as well.
Breanne was recognized as an outstanding 4-H volunteer for her work with the 4-H Youth Development Program of Cornell Cooperative Extension in Fulton and Mon…
Amsterdam Mailman a ‘Hometown Hero’
Rafael Chaverri, of Amsterdam, does much more than deliver mail to local residents. He delivers cheer.
Many neighbors along his route have come to love and respect Rafael, a Costa Rican native who came to America at age 18 and has been delivering mail for the past 10 years...
Amsterdam Mentor and Coach a ‘Hometown Hero’
John Sumpter was moved by the loss of two teenagers in Amsterdam two years ago and decided to create a not-for-profit organization geared toward mentoring and coaching the community's youth.
He started W1shfu1 Th1nk1ng and currently mentors 100 to 200 local kids of various ages and grade levels.…
Local Children in Crisis Founder a ‘Hometown Hero’
Rayn Boncie has devoted her life to helping children in need, providing clothing and essentials to them through a non-profit foundation she started, Children in Crisis. The Scotia mother of four sacrifices much of her own time to help between 4,000 and 5,000 children per year...
Coxsackie Nurse & Firefighter a ‘Hometown Hero’
There are few things Jennifer McKeon, of Coxsackie, does not do.
By day, McKeon works as a nurse at a pain clinic in Clifton Park and at night she teaches phlebotomy students. In between, she volunteers as a firefighter and also finds time for her three children and one grandson...
Halloween Hot Dog Donors ‘Hometown Heroes’
For the past 19 years, Michele and Hal Bergeron, of Schenectady, have been helping the children of their community not only have a fun Halloween night, but one that includes a full meal.
After noticing that many children had little else to eat but candy on that night, the couple started "The Ber…
Amsterdam EMT + Soldier a ‘Hometown Hero’
Stephen Kolbe, of Amsterdam, dedicates his life to others, currently serving as a firefighter, EMT and member of the Army National Guard.
As part of the “Hometown Heroes” series, we’ve partnered with County Waste and Latham Ford to celebrate local unsung he…
Maddie’s Mark Founder a ‘Hometown Hero’
This week we honor a local not-for-profit foundation on a mission to give children with cancer and other diseases their "Best Day Ever."
Erin Musto, president of Maddie's Mark, started the foundation with her husband and family last year in honor of their daughter, Madeline, wh…
Albany Teacher + Coach a ‘Hometown Hero’
This week's Hometown Hero is Jillian McGuire Gonch of Albany. Jillian is a teacher and coach who "always puts the needs of her students and players first," according to the person who nominated her.
She is the assistant coach of women's basketball for the Albany Lady Falco…
Castleton Volunteer a ‘Hometown Hero’
Louann Ingraham, of Castleton, has dedicated her life to helping people in need.
She works at the Castleton Anchor, a nonprofit charity that supplies food, household goods and clothing to families in the community who need them most.
As part of the “Hometown Heroes” series, we’ve partnered with County…

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