Locals honored by Schuyler Chamber

At their 119th Annual Banquet on Friday, January 11, 2008, the Schuyler County Chamber of Commerce will recognize three residents for their efforts in business and community.Charlie Haeffner will receive the 2008 Community Spirit Award, and Joe and the late Helen Franzese will receive the 2008 Lifetime Achievement in Business Award.The man behind “The Odessa File” on-line newspaper, Charlie Haeffner “has created a unique platform to disburse news and acknowledge achievements about the Schuyler County community and residents,” according to one of two nominations received in his name. “He has become the leading recognized news source for Schuyler County.”Haeffner’s site at www.odessafile.com highlights local news stories and vivid photographs. On a daily basis, Haeffner is visible with notebook and camera throughout the Schuyler County community, at government meetings, grand openings, festivals and sporting events.The Odessa File, writes another nominator, “keeps us connected to the community at large and, more importantly, keeps individuals connected to each other.” His commitment to community is clear, and his one-man site is supported solely by donations and advertising. “He has made a huge impact on our community in how we receive our news.”Founder of the Glen Motor Inn and Montage Restaurant, Joseph J. Franzese (age 93) and his deceased wife, Helen, established their facility as the first motel unit in Schuyler County in 1948. The business began as the Glen Motor Court, with a Texaco gas station that was also a coffee and souvenir shop. In 1967, the business became the Glen Motor Inn, with 40 motel rooms, a full service restaurant, cocktail lounge and pool. As their nomination reads, “Joseph and Helen became internationally famous hosts to celebrities from entertainment, politics, auto racing and society.” The Franzeses branched out, building in the 1980s what is now the Villager Motel, owned and operated by family members. In 1957, the Franzeses donated 76 acres of farmland to build the Watkins Glen Golf Course in 1957. In addition to hosting the Glen Motor Inn Invitational for over two decades, the Glen Motor Inn also sponsored a men’s softball team which won the 1959 NYS Men’s Softball Championship.In their local community, Joseph served as Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Schuyler County Chamber of Commerce, and was also involved with the Knights of Columbus and the Watkins Glen Elks Club. Both Joseph and Nancy were involved with St. Mary’s of the Lake Church, and Helen also sponsored many young girls in their first “Little Miss” Beauty Pageants.Now operated by son and daughter-in-law Vic and Linda Franzese and granddaughter Nancy Sutterby, the Glen Motor Inn celebrates 70 years of business in 2007.

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