OLEAN, NY – The YMCA of the Twin Tiers will honor six persons for their commitment to making their community a better place on March 5 ,during the 35th Annual Salute to Olean. 

The event will be at the Good Times of Olean's Banquet Center, 800R E. State St., and will feature a reception at 5 p.m., followed by a dinner at 6 p.m.

Honorees are Wesley Gilbert, George Hendrix, Tom Palumbo, Jeff Spears, Jody Spears and Lanna Waterman, all past or present Olean residents. The award selection committee considers professionals, educators, key leaders, members of the faith community and people who give generously of their time to many causes.

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Gilbert, a lifelong Olean resident, served the Olean Department of Public Works for 33 years until he retired. He has worked as a transit and school bus driver, a chaplain at Olean General Hospital and a courier for CA BOCES. Additionally, Gilbert is the pastor and founder of the House of Prayer Evangelistic Center.

Hendrix, who has lived in Olean since the 1930s, has served as president of the Olean Rotary Club, the United Way of Olean and the Allegany-Cattaraugus County Association of Independent Insurance Agents and has been involved with numerous other community organizations. 

Palumbo, born and raised in Olean, owns the Sports Locker, 711 W. State St., for which he and his brother and business partner, Jason Palumbo, received the Greater Olean Area Chamber of Commerce Enterprising Business Award.

Jody Spears, raised in Angelica, has served as treasurer and president of the Cuba Rotary Club and treasurer of the Olean Rotary Club. Her husband Jeff Spears, raised in Olean, has served as president of the Olean Sports Boosters for the past six years. Both are involved in community organizations and local volunteering. 

Waterman, born and raised in Olean, opened Enchanted Mountain Quilting, a quilting store, in 2009; the store is no longer open. She is a ruling elder of the First Presbyterian Church of Olean.

Dinner reservations are $50. Patron options are $65. Corporate or patron tables, seating 10 people, are $650 each.

Reservations can be made by calling Mark Johnson at (716) 701-1338. The deadline is Feb. 26.

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