IWI President Dave Ballinger reports:
I had the distinct pleasure to attend a commemoration ceremony in Rochester, N.Y. on Friday, June 22, 2012, where a new park building was named after our former president (and current vice-president) Tom Grasso.
In her speech Maggie Brooks, Monroe County Executive, hailed Tom Grasso as a ‘statewide leader in the preservation of the Erie Canal and […] strong advocate for revitalization efforts of the canal throughout our community. It is fitting that our County Park System’s newest lodge, which was inspired by structures found along the Erie Canal, will bear his name and honor his legacy’.
There were many colleagues, family members and friends at the event under a sunny sky to see Tom and his grandchildren cut the ribbon. The lodge, for those not familiar with this type of building, is a multi-use building for rent that can accommodate up to 99 people. This particular building is the first of its kind in the Monroe County Park system to incorporate geothermal heating and cooling, while also providing air conditioning for summertime rentals. It also includes first-class amenities, such as a gas fireplace, stainless steel appliances and a covered outdoor area. The architectural design firm, Architectura P.C., recently won an AIA-Rochester design award for the lodge. The crowning piece of the lodge is the Canal boat weather vane on its peak.
Larry Staub, Monroe County’s Director of Parks. further defined the importance of the event and stated that ‘having the new lodge named for Tom Grasso is a lasting tribute to a man who has devoted so much of his life to educating us about the Erie Canal and its importance to our community’s past, present and future’.
So IWI’s past president and Council member has been formally recognized in his community for his tireless work promoting and protecting the Erie Canal which is such a valuable resource to Rochester and New York State, and in turn an important contribution to the world of waterways and canals. Congratulations Tom and also Monroe County for recognizing the importance of its canal, its history and its citizens who are involved with the Canal.
Congratulations to my old Lackawanna HS friend Tom Grasso on becoming the authority on the Erie Canal and canals worldwide!