Local media honored at Chamber dinner

By Pauline Liu
The Central Catskills Chamber of Commerce gave a nod to local media at its Annual Recognition Dinner held at Hanah Mountain Resort and Country Club last Wednesday night.
The Chambers’s Executive Director Carol O’Beirne and Board President John Tufillaro presented special recognition awards to the Catskill Mountain News, the Watershed Post and Roxbury’s WIOX Community Radio.

The News received the Business Legacy of the Year award.  “The Catskill Mountain News is the oldest continually operating business in the Town of Middletown, tracing its roots to July 7, 1863,” said O’Beirne, which drew a round of applause from the audience of about 84. In accepting the award, publisher Richard D. Sanford, discussed how his grandfather, Clark A. Sanford, went into newspaper publishing with the purchase of the News in 1904.

Roxbury radio station WIOX 91.3 FM was honored with the Community Service Award of the Year. The radio station began broadcasting on August 27, 2010. It offers nearly 20 hours of live original programming daily. It’s staffed by more than 80 community volunteers, including program hosts, and many of them attended the dinner.

The station’s Consulting Manager Joe Piasek accepted the award on behalf of the station. He told the audience that the station has had a wide reach in the community. To illustrate his point, he asked those who’ve participated in the station’s event or visited the facility a visit to stand up and many in the room did.

The Watershed Post was given the Entrepreneur of the Year award.

O’Beirne praised new media owners, Lissa Harris and Julia Reischel for their hard work for more than two years, especially in the aftermath of the flood brought on by Tropical Storm Irene. She said the pair kept a live blog going, so that residents could find out what was going on. In accepting the award, Harris discussed the importance of the media and how each medium serves an important function in the community.

Resolutions of Commendation were also provided from Assemblyman Clifford Crouch and Senator John Bonacic.

Chamber Corporate Sponsor Awards were given to HealthAlliance of the Hudson Valley, Coldwell Banker/Timberland Properties, MTC, Directive, Inc. and Freshtown Market Place.

As the event drew to an end, O’Beirne called it, “A wonderful evening,” which was filled with good conversation and good food. “The Central Catskills Chamber of Commerce was pleased to honor the Catskill Mountain News, the Watershed Post and WIOX 91.3 Community Radio at our annual dinner. The communities in the central Catskills are fortunate to have the benefits of having news and current events at our fingertips via print, online and on the radio and we celebrate those who are working every day to connect our communities and provide support to our businesses, O’Beirne added.