Agency awards local volunteers - Catholic Courier
Ellen Wayne (top left), Executive Director and Bob Kernan, Board Chairperson of Catholic Charities of the Finger Lakes with 2015 Sharing the Light Award recipients. Back Row: Wayne, Kernan, Thomas McClure, Menzo Case, Frank Pullano. Seated: Rev. Sandi Perl, Marcia Webster, Maxine Alberici and Donna Pullano Ellen Wayne (top left), Executive Director and Bob Kernan, Board Chairperson of Catholic Charities of the Finger Lakes with 2015 Sharing the Light Award recipients. Back Row: Wayne, Kernan, Thomas McClure, Menzo Case, Frank Pullano. Seated: Rev. Sandi Perl, Marcia Webster, Maxine Alberici and Donna Pullano

Agency awards local volunteers

Catholic Charities of the Finger Lakes honored seven individuals with its Sharing the Light Award during a June 17 dinner and ceremony at the Scandling Center at Hobart and William Smith Colleges in Geneva.

The Sharing the Light Award is presented each year to area residents who dedicate their time and energy to make the community a better place.

“It has always been as much about recognizing their efforts as it is about providing attention and support for Catholic Charities,” Ellen Wayne, the agency’s executive director, said of Sharing the Light.

This year, the award was presented to Maxine Alberici, Menzo Case, Thomas McClure, the Rev. Sandi Perl, Frank and Donna Pullano, and Marcia Webster.

“I don’t know of any single issue in our community that all of these honorees don’t have their hands directly involved in,” Wayne noted of this year’s recipients. “Many of them are working and they have full and active lives, families and careers, yet, they still find time to do an incredible amount of work.”

Wayne said this year’s group also is very diverse, coming from different faith communities.

Alberici is a member of Sacred Heart Parish in Auburn and serves on a number of committees and developing new programs and events. The now-retired teacher spent 23 years in Port Byron, Auburn and Union Springs schools. In the community, Alberici has been involved with the Maroon Sports Boosters, Community Preservation Committee, Friends of Hospice, Matthew House, “The Home,” and historical and cultural sites. She also has been a member of the committee for Auburn Summer Celebration, the Auburn Founders Day Committee and of the Wednesday Morning Roundtable. Alberici was active with the Owasco Parent and Teachers, serving two years as chair. With her husband, Gino, she cochaired the United Way of Cayuga County campaign.

Case has been serving others since the day he joined the U.S. Marine Corp more than 30 years ago. After serving in the military for five years, he worked at a variety of financial institutions before joining Seneca Falls Savings Bank, now called Generations Bank, as CFO in 1999. In 2008, he became president. Case is active in his community, serving as a board member with Catholic Charities of the Finger Lakes, Habitat for Humanity of Seneca County, Finger Lakes Health, Merry-Go-Round Theater, Finger Lakes Christian Fellowship, National Women’s Hall of Fame and Seneca Falls Development Corp. Previously, he served on the boards of Boy Scouts of America, Finger Lakes Workforce Investment Board, Geneva LDC and United Way of Seneca County’s finance and audit committee.

McClure taught instrumental music in the Geneva City School District for more than 30 years. Though now retired, McClure is still very involved with music. He serves on the board of the Geneva Music Festival, Geneva Light Opera, Hobart and William Smith Community Chorus and Geneva Community Projects. He also is in charge of arraigning music ensemble assembly performances in all of the Geneva city schools. McClure also is the coordinator of the Musical Moments recital series at the Geneva Public Library and provides musical entertainment at the Living Centers in Geneva, Seneca Lake Terrace and Phoebe Nursing Home in Allentown, Pa. McClure is a member of the Presbyterian Church in Geneva and has served as a deacon and choir member there. He also has been active with Meals on Wheels and Catholic Charities of the Finger Lakes’ Geneva Community Lunch Program.

Rev. Perl is a pastor in the United Methodist Church, serving the Milo Center and Branchport Methodist churches and The Living Well in Penn Yan. In addition to her ministry, Perl is involved with the Penn Yan Rotary and Penn Yan Library. She also has served on the board of directors of the Child and Family Resource Center and as a trustee of the Penn Yan United Methodist Church. Rev. Perl also has been a member of the Penn Yan Area Council of Churches. She previously was the executive director of the Penn Yan chapter of the American Red Cross and also was an adjunct faculty member in the business department at Finger Lakes Community College.

The Pullanos are members of Our Lady of Peace Parish in Geneva, where Donna was confirmed in 1989. That also was the same year the couple was married. Frank has served as vice chairman on parish council and chairman of building and grounds, as well as ministers as head usher and lector. In the community, Frank has served on numerous committees, including the Toastmaster’s Club and the Junior Chamber of Commerce. He also has chaired several fund drives for local organizations and has held leadership roles in the Geneva Area Chamber of Commerce, Kiwanis, Geneva Country Club, Geneva Bicentennial and Geneva Festival. He cochaired the fundraising drive that built the current YMCA and was one of the original founders of Geneva Little League Football and the Annual Lake Trout Derby.

Donna is a cantor and member of the traditional choir at Our Lady of Peace. She also serves as one of the facilitators for the parish’s Bible study and has participated in an ecumenical Bible study. Both Frank and Donna served on the diocesan Stewardship Committee under Bishop Emeritus Matthew H. Clark.

Webster moved to the Finger Lakes region from Massachusetts after she and her husband, John, were offered teaching positions in the Canandaigua City School District. Webster also taught religious education to children at St. Mary Parish in Canandaigua. An active member of St. Benedict Parish, which comprises St. Mary and St. Bridget/St. Joseph in East Bloomfield, Webster volunteers her time to price and organize sale items for the Giant Lawn Sale, held at St. Mary every August. She also volunteers with St. Vincent DePaul Society. Webster was involved with her parish community’s “No Where to Go” initiative on homelessness and has organized a reception at St. Mary’s for the All Soul’s Day prayer service for more than 20 years.

Tags: Catholic Charities, Faith in Action
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