OFA Award criteria
Fr. Joseph F. Girzone Crystal Pillar of the Community Award recognizes those persons who, by their outstanding achievements and actions, have shown their commitment to enhancing the quality of life for the older citizens of Montgomery County.
Diane G. Snell Humanitarian Award recognizes those persons who emulate the caring and compassion that Diane, a registered nurse with St. Mary’s Hospital Mobile Geriatric Outreach Program, showed to her clients and colleagues alike.
2023 Fr. Joseph F. Girzone Crystal Pillar of the Community Award recipients, Brent Phetteplace and Deborah Slezak
Brent Phetteplace and Deborah Slezak received the 2023 Fr. Joseph F. Girzone Crystal Pillar of the Community Award. Brent and Deb reside in Hagaman with their three children: Sam, Kate and Luke, their two dogs and one cat.
Brent is a successful local Real Estate Agent. His community involvement includes being an active member of the Amsterdam Rotary Club, Assistant Scout Master for Boy Scout Troop 5048, Sanford Home Board of Directors, Tribes Hill FD, and FMCC Foundation Trustee. He has served on the Town of Amsterdam Board of Assessment, the Planning Board, and recently joined their Town Council. Past recognitions include the Amsterdam Rotary Club’s Sok Nam Ko Rotarian of the Year Award, the Fulton-Montgomery County Regional Chamber of Commerce Herbert T. Singer Community Service Award, and the Twin Rivers Council Boy Scouts of America Flint & Steel Award.
Deb is currently a Principal at Cioffi, Slezak, and Wildgrube, PC – a women-owned and operated law firm in Schenectady, NY. During her 25+ years of practice, Deb has lectured on topics of elder law and estate planning for the NYS Bar Association, local bar associations, business and many community groups. She has held various public posts as the attorney for the Town of Amsterdam, Town of Florida, and currently the Village of Hagaman. She is also the a member of various Bar Associations including New York State, Schenectady County and Montgomery County, and the Women’s Bar Association of NY. She is a past recipient of the NYS Women of Distinction Award, currently serves on our agency Board of Directors and is a member of the Quality Supports Committee of Liberty ARC. In the past, Deb served on the Board of Directors of the former Amsterdam YMCA and Amsterdam’s St. Mary’s Hospital Board of Directors.
2023 Diane G. Snell Humanitarian Award recipient, Marcia Lyons
Marcia Lyons recipient of the 2023 Diane G. Snell Humanitarian Award and resides in Tribes Hill with her husband of 48 years, John (aka Bomber). They share two daughters and three grandchildren, with whom she enjoys spending much of her time.
Marcia has volunteered for over 40 years. She assisted with Tribes Hill Girl Scout Troops, was a member of the Tribes Hill Youth Commission and Past Vice President of the Tribes Hill Volunteer FD Auxiliary. She volunteered for the Community Hospice of Amsterdam Foundation. When the Amsterdam Council was formed, she was highly involved with their inaugural event and their first Annual Healing Hands of Hospice Awards luncheon and continued until they disbanded. Marcia and her dear friend Connie, started a weekly crochet and knitting group with residents of Wilkinson until the 2020 Pandemic. She volunteers at OFA offering clerical support and now helps with our agency’s special events, recently joining our Advisory Council. She serves on the agency’s nomination committee and as the liaison to the OFA and Foundation Boards. Marcia makes hats, scarves, shawls and lap blankets for those in need, and donates them to our county centenarians. Marcia was a 24hr. caregiver to a special friend and she has been, and continues to be, a caregiver for several of her own family members.
2022 Fr. Joseph F. Girzone Crystal Pillar of the Community Award recipient, Jeffery T. Smith
Jeffery T. Smith received the 2022 Fr. Joseph F. Girzone Crystal Pillar of the Community Award. He is a lifelong resident of Montgomery County and resides in Fort Plain with his wife of 31 years, Rebecca. They are the proud parents of two children, Justin and Ashley and the even prouder grandparents of three grandbabies. Jeff graduated from the FBI National Academy at Quantico in VA in 2002 and in 2012 received an Associates degree in Criminal Justice. He was elected Sheriff in 2019 after spending many years in the law enforcement field. Jeff has dedicated 35 years to the Fort Plain Fire Department as a Volunteer firefighter serving as Chief from 2014-2017. He currently serves on many civic organizations including the OFA Advisory Council, St. Mary’s Hospital Community Board, the Domestic Violence Task Force, FMCC Criminal Justice Advisory Board, EMS Advisory Board, is a 29 year member of the Canajoharie-Fort Plain Elks, and a certified American Red Cross Volunteer to name a few.
2022 Diane G. Snell Humanitarian Award recipient, Betz, Rossi, Bellinger and Stewart Family Funeral Homes
Betz, Rossi, Bellinger and Stewart Family Funeral Homes (BRBS) received the 2022 Diane G. Snell Humanitarian Award. They have been a trusted community partner for over 150 years, committed to providing a standard of exceptional care and compassion to the residents of Montgomery and Fulton Counties and are privileged to serve families in their time of greatest need. BRBS have been the recipient of several honors including the 2018 Fulton Montgomery Regional Chamber of Commerce Centennial Business of the Year as well as past director, Vincent Rossi, receiving the Fr. Joseph F. Girzone Crystal Pillar of the Community Award. They believe strongly in supporting the community and each Funeral Director assumes an active role in fulfilling that passion by serving local organizations such as Rotary Club, Kiwanis Club, Elks Lodge, Horace J. Inman Senior Center, Community Youth Center, Eccentric Club, Foundation for MCOFA and various others. BRBS are committed to their mission to provide compassionate, professional support to the community who entrust them to care for their loved ones and assist them in their grief and healing.
Crystal Pillar Award
2020-2021 – William T. Winsman
2019 – Matthew Ossenfort
2018 – Ronald O. Dievendorf
2017 – Dr. Dustin Swanger
2016 – Govind C. Rao, MD, PC, FAAP
2015 – Vincent J. Rossi
2014 – The Community Hospice Mountain Valley Hospice
2013 – Arkell Hall Foundation Inc.
2012 – Jeanne R. So
2011 – Frank Capone
2010 – Joan R. Pipito
2009 – Sheriff Michael Amato
2008 – Eileen S. Broyles
2007 – Sr. William Aloysius Fitzpatrick
2006 – Attorney Del B. Salmon
2005 – Peter Capobianco
2004 – Assemblyman Paul D. Tonko
2003 – Senator Hugh T. Farley
2002 – Dr. Helen Blanchard
2001 – Dr. Michael Sheridan
2000 – Father Joseph F. Girzone
2020-2021 – Jeff and Derek Brown
2019 – Liberty ARC
2018 – Emily Etzkorn, MD & Jerry LaMori
2017 – The Honorable Philip V. Cortese
2016 – Regina Cassetta, RN, CSJA
2015 – Karen A. Wright
2014 – Jeannette Stevens-Daury
2013 – Maria and Ramon Rodriguez
2012 – Dr. Michael M. Sheridan
2011 – Elizabeth R. Smitka
2010 – Helen M. Abrams, R.N.
2009 – the late Joanne C. Davey
2008 – Donald Massey/Victor Giulianelli
2007 – Kathleen Jones
2006 – Sr. Patricia Anne Corbett
2005 – Barbara Noordenbos
2004 – The Family of Diane G. Snell