Nominee Finalists

Nicholas Ferraro

Military: Navy

Nick voluntarily signed up to do an overseas tour in the middle east. He served our country for many years. Since marrying and moving to the Buffalo area, he has done projects for area veterans. At Christmas our family, including Nick sand his wife, give up giving presents to each other. We take the money and support a veterans cause instead. Nick has a heart of gold and thinks of others first.

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Adam Herbert

Military: Air Force

I am nominating Adam because over the last 10 years I have watched his back slowly deteriorate and become worse. He never complains no matter how much he is hurting, he always puts his kids first. Like most we have come across hard times financially to the point where we had to get rid of our van due to mechanical issues and not having money to fix it. So now we can no longer can travel anywhere as a family with our kids. He is no longer able to work so is a stay at home dad while I work and go to school full time to become a nurse. I would love to give my husband a car so he is able to travel with our kids.

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Cara Partridge

First Responder: Nurse Practitioner

Mother of 3 children. Hardest working person I know and is all about helping other people. She dedicates all of her time on improving other people’s lives and takes care of everyone while putting herself last. The true definition of a first responder. There isn’t a person who is more deserving.

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Benjamin Stryker

Military: US Army

Ben comes from a long line of military people. He attended Alexander Central School. Ben has always been a hard worker. He even overcame some learning issues while in school. As a very young man, he went through the battle of a lifetime watching his mom deal with cancer, and eventually, losing her life to that awful disease. Like his father, he has always been a patriot and lover of this great country of ours. Hence, he joined the Army. Ben joins Genesee Life to share his experiences in Afghanistan and talk about the Veterans service program he founded. Ben has dedicated his life to the foundation "Stryker Support". When you speak to him about this, his face lights up and you know he's "All In" on helping veterans. Not only has he overcome many adversities, he continues to strive in making the lives of fellow veterans better. His services are free, and so is his love for our country. This is what our country needs more of right now! Thank you Mr. Stryker!!

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James Schaller

Military: Army

My husband is a Vietnam Veteran with a Purple Heart. He dedicates his spare time supporting and volunteering to help other Veterans. He puts up a display on our front yard every Memorial Day to honor those Veterans who have passed.

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Jonathon Negron

First Responder: Buffalo police Officer

Jonathon Negron has put his life on the line attempting to get these criminals who was shooting in the city of buffalo in 2021 which put him in the hospital in serious condition and also coma. He is now home with his family but will never be able to work again with buffalo police. He has suffered in so many different areas since then but still manage to remain humble and look out for his family and friends. Jon was the main provider for his family and now his wife has to be that. Jon said it’s nothing he would have changed that day because he was trying to protect a street that in the east side of buffalo and children were outside.

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Joshua Myers

First Responder: Fire Chief and Air Force Veteran

As a Fire Chief, a NYS Fire Instructor, and an active member of the Air National Guard, Josh holds himself to the highest standards of excellence. This allows not only his team, but the community he serves, to reach their greatest potential. The combination volunteer and career department Josh leads has seen a renewed sense of unity and an increase in confidence among members to strive for more professionally; due to specialized training, new equipment and safety measures Josh provided. Anyone who is privileged to spend time with Josh, knows that he will be the first one to support them in anything they are pursuing. As someone who constantly puts others and their successes before his own, there is no one more deserving of being recognized for his unmatched dedication and passion for the fire service, extensive accomplishments, and heart of gold. Watching Josh beam with pride over his firefighters, soldiers, and especially his children instantly makes it an honor to know him.

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Michael Sisti

Military: Airforce

As a 20 plus year veteran of the Air Force Para Rescue team, Mike rescued hundreds of downed pilots and injured soldiers behind enemy lines during multiple tours in Vietnam and Iraq. A true American and son of Buffalo, Mike is a proud veteran who currently works at Cabelas and volunteers his time on the Spirit of Buffalo sailing ship to support other veterans. He is also a wonderful step-father and beloved ‘Pop-Pop’ to his grandchildren. Always there to help and support friends and family with a big smile.

Israel Soto

Military: Army National Guard

I nominate Israel Soto jr. He was a Army medic with the Army national guard out of the Connecticut street armory who were deployed for Operation Iraqi freedom. He was both in Taji and Baghdad Iraq during his tour. Also, prior to his deployment he along with his unit answered the call during Sept. 9/11 serving the country at ground zero. He has also served as Cadre for the Corp of cadets helping" at risk youth" earning him citizen soldier of the year. He has been a loving and faithful husband for 20 years. He's a wonderful and encouraging father to his two sons. I feel he deserves the opportunity to win a new vehicle because he's given and done so much for our country. A new vehicle at this time for him would be a God send as his current is now over 15 years old.

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Demetrius Reynolds

First Responder: Police

I feel Demetrius should be nominated because he truly loves what he does and it shows every time he’s on the job. He shows people that he is different than what they would think, which to me is top tier! He’s working with not only others issues but his own as well, which they all do. I truly feel with all of this plus more it would be nice to see him rewarded for it!

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Malysa Battaglia

Military: Army

I believe Malysa is deserving to receive a new vehicle from Basil because of her dedication & commitment of service she has given to help support our military. She traveled to Long Island to provide security while Covid-19. Malysa just returned May 2023, home to the USA, while living in a tent for 10 months deployed to Germany. Malysa has always given her 110% in all she does. She is dedicated, devoted, alert, responsible, respected and always let's you know you have an important role to play, helping you step up as a team player. Malysa is a firm, loving mother to 6 yr old twins who are her world and how they admire her for Malysa's capability to give a healthy balance of her time & love. Malysa needs a new dependable vehicle since she has driven the engine & wheels off of her now equinox back & forth to Long Island, her officer's training, her drills, & all of her personal family needs & children's appointments. She is so giving that she would never see this coming, but deserves help

Monica Lynch

Military: Marine corps/ driver

My aunt is my hero. She enlisted at age 20 and was in the Gulf War serving for her 21 birthday. She was in Dessert Storm/Dessert Shield. She has 5 children, 4 were adopted. She is a cancer survivor. My aunt was on the frontlines in the war , which makes her one of WNY’s first women to receive a Combat Action Ribbon(1991). Women were not allowed in combat until 2013. This vehicle would allow her transportation to really help a lot of people in the community. Her and her disabled twins are opening up a resource center within the next two months in the twins name. Bernard and Eric Resource Center, Inc. a 501(c)3. She is always giving her all to everyone everywhere even though she has limited use of her arms due to cancer wrapped at the nerves. I admire my aunt’s ability to give 200% no matter what. She uses her brain, hands, will power to get all sorts of jobs done. People are always calling on to her for guidance and assistance in doing things. My aunt is a great person and deserves it

Jenine Kumpf

First Responder: Nurse

Driving an additional 3 hours a day to fill a needed position at our Batavia Va so veteran in need can have appointments. Putting over 40000 miles alone on vehicle this this year.

Kenneth Walker

First Responder: 2nd Assistant Cheif

I feel that Ken exemplifies what it is to be a leader within his fire district. He pursues his passion of firefighting to be a compassionate servant and help his community. He is always working toward obtaining more wisdom and knowledge of his position. With that said, due to his willingness to alway be better and strive for the best he has worked up the ladder numerous positions, from President to the various ranks of Lieutenant, to Captain and now 2nd Asst. Chief in the last 4-5 years. He is an inspiration and a staple in the community.

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Steven Klimtzak

Military: Marine corps

Steve is a purple heart recipient and an Iraq War veteran. Steve has faced and overcome many obstacles since his time over seas and has not only persevered, but has come out a stronger and better man/father. Steve is always reaching out to help his family/friends and even strangers while never expecting anything in return. Steve's current vehicle is in need of expensive repairs and is also proving to be unreliable to transport his 3 boys and all their extracurricular gear.

Daniel Lengel

First Responder: Firefighter

Dan has been a member of the Buffalo Fire Department since 2012 and previously worked for Rural Metro Ambulance as well as in the ECMC ER and per dime at Lancaster Volunteer Ambulance (LVAC). He has dedicated his life to helping the public and the residents of Buffalo. On December 31st, 2022, Lieutenant, Dan Lengel of BFD Engine 33, along with several other first responders responded to a house fire on Dartmouth Avenue. Lieutenant Lengel, along with his crew and other members of the BFD, AMR, and BPD worked quickly and tirelessly to find and remove all residents from the home. Lieutenant Lengel personally rescued the four year old child and provides emergent care on location until relieved. Lieutenant Lengel approaches his job as more than just a job, it’s a way of life and he strives to provide the best care and quality of service to all members of the community he serves. He is a dedicated Father, devoted Husband, and a trustworthy Lieutenant for his crew.

Austin Ladd

First Responder: EMT

Austin lost his mother in a car accident at a very young age. I am his godmother, and he used to tell me that he wished he could’ve been there to try to save his mom the night of the accident. And he said he was going to be an EMT when he grew up in order to save people like his mom. And he did just that!! He currently works nights and other shifts as an EMT, he’s one of the most hard-working kids I’ve ever met in my life and absolutely loves being an EMT

John Baker

Military: Army Sargent

He has done 2 tours in Iraq and has gone through things and i couldn’t even imagine. He has been active in the army even being home works in the armory downtown coordinating and services call lol and tiring etc. and he just got back from Germany where he was for a year helping train the troops over there. He is a dedicated father to 2 great children and is involved in absolutely everything they do! He helps anyone in need, will give you the shirt off his back! He is a remarkable man! And has dedicated his life to this country and his family, and community. He’s an incredible person and deserves so much appreciation but never Asks or looks for it. He doesn’t even tell people that he’s in the army let alone a sergeant. Yes, song, credibly, humble, and never look for any sort of special treatment or handouts. I don’t even think he takes advantage of military discounts. He’s just grounded and humble. He’s without a doubt one of a kind and deserves this more than anyone else I know!

Romair Parrett

First Responder: Buffalo Police Officer

Romair gives back to his community every day without ever expecting anything in return. It is his time to at least be a candidate to where he can be shown that his love and dedication to everyone around him doesn’t go unnoticed. Aside from protecting the city of Buffalo and engaging the community in a positive way, he started his own non-profit organization , Reach for Ro, that gives back to mothers, fathers, children and families by hosting various events throughout the year. He is such a bright light and an amazing role model for people of all ages to look up to. He would be there for anyone at any given point and I know I am not the only one whose life has improved since meeting him.

Meet The Finalist

Maria Faso

First Responder: Patrol Officer

Officer Faso has been a Patrol Officer with the Niagara Falls Police Department for one year. Prior to that she spent five years as a Domestic Violence Advocate with the Niagara County District Attorney's Office. Officer Faso continues to advocate for victims of all crimes. She is dedicated to be the voice of crime victims daily. In addition Officer Faso enjoys being a role model to young people in her City.