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Greater Olean Hospitality Sculpture Fund to honor area's hospitality industry

Sculpture to display and recognize Greater Olean Hospitality Wall of Fame inductees past and present

Mon, Nov 14th 2022 09:00 am

A new fund established at the Cattaraugus Region Community Foundation will honor the contributions of individuals who have contributed to the Greater Olean area’s hospitality industry by giving the Greater Olean Hospitality Wall of Fame a permanent home in the form of a sculpture that will display the names of wall of fame inductees past and present.

In 2007, the Greater Olean Area Chamber of Commerce established the Greater Olean Hospitality Wall of Fame to recognize individuals and/or businesses who have made a significant contribution and have given exceptional service to the local food service/hospital industry.

Past recipients were recognized at the Taste of Olean with a plaque that was then housed and displayed on a dedicated space at the Olean campus of Jamestown Community College. As JCC needed additional space, the plaques were recently given back to the recipients, said Joe and Susan Marra, members of the Greater Olean Hospitality Wall of Fame committee and former owners of the Old Library Restaurant.

More than 54 individuals who dedicated much of their lives to the area’s hospitality industry have been inducted into the wall of fame since 2007.

“What all these honorees have in common is more than serving a good meal at a good price. Their restaurants were home. Their popularity and customer loyalty stemmed from the way they have treated everyone,” stated Meme Krahe Yanetsko, GOACC COO.

In order to continue to provide deserved public recognition to past inductees, the Greater Olean Hospitality Wall of Fame Committee recently established the Greater Olean Hospitality Sculpture Fund to enable fundraising efforts to build and install a new Hospitality Wall of Fame sculpture/monument to be built and placed in an Olean park.

The monument will be designed and crafted by renowned area sculptor Glenn Zweygardt of Alfred. Zweygardt is an emeritus Professor of Sculpture at the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University.

“Hospitality is a leading industry in the Olean area, and we feel it is essential to honor the longevity and resilience of our industry and honor the individuals who devoted their lives to it,” said Tony Procacci, Napoli Pizza owner and wall of fame committee member.

“Our industry is one of the leading employers in the area as well, and anyone that has worked in the field knows it is not easy work,” said Procacci. “So it is important that we give our wall of fame honorees their due recognition.”

After the project is completed, the committee plans to convert the fund into a scholarship to support students pursuing a degree in hospitality industry related field of study.

The fund then is about more than honoring the history of hospitality and honoring future wall of fame inductees in the area. It is also about investing in the future of the industry by supporting its future leaders.

The committee will begin its fundraising campaign during Cattaraugus Gives on Tuesday, Nov. 29.

“Our committee feels this is an important project that honors not just the hospitality industry, but the history and culture of our area,” said Joe Marra. “We hope that the community will rally around our project and help make this a reality.”

Donations can be made to the Greater Olean Hospitality Sculpture/Monument Fund at CRCF, 301 North Union St., Suite 203, or online at cattfoundation.org.

The Cattaraugus Region Community Foundation is the area’s supportive, responsive and trusted community foundation. Established in 1994, CRCF is growing good by connecting donors to the causes they care about most in the region. Grants from the foundation support many areas, including education, scholarships, health care, the arts, community development, human service, and youth development. To learn more, call (716) 301-CRCF (2723), email [email protected], or visit online at www.cattfoundation.org. CRCF is also on Facebook (facebook.com/cattfoundation) and Twitter (@CattFoundation).