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Chamber to hold annual awards ceremony

The Greater Manlius Chamber of Commerce will this year recognize a teacher, a firefighter, a small business owner and a non-profit organization at its 13th Annual Distinguished Citizens Award ceremony on Friday Nov. 19. Honorees include Paul Muench, Maria Dawson, Paul Whorrall and the Fayetteville Senior Center.

Educator of the Year

Fayetteville-Manlius High School social studies teacher and football coach Paul Muench grew up in DeWitt and was a graduate of Jamesville-DeWitt High School. He has taught at F-MHS since 2000, with a focus on teaching ninth and 10th grade world history. Muench also serves as the varsity football coach and was selected as the All-CNY Coach of the Year in 2001 and Coach of the Year in 2004 and 2005.

Muench lives in Manlius with his wife Susan and their three children, Mary, William and Anna.

Business Person of the Year

Maria Dawson, of Manlius, is the owner of Feats of Clay, a paint your own pottery studio that also offers pottery classes. Dawson is involved in community efforts and with Christ Church in Manlius.

Public Servant of the Year

Manlius Fire Chief Paul Whorrall is a 38-year member of the Manlius Fire Department. He has been a chief officer of the department for 22 years, served as a certified paramedic for 10 years with the ambulance service and spent 11 years as deputy fire coordinator for Onondaga County. Additionally, Whorrall was president of the Onondaga County Fire Chiefs Association in 1983, a member of the International Association of Fire Chiefs Volunteer/Combination Officers Section, a chairman of the training and education committee for the Firemen's Association for the state of New York and New York state director for the board of the International Association of Fire Chiefs.

Non-Profit of the Year

The Fayetteville Senior Center regularly strives to provide seniors in the greater Fayetteville area with opportunities for health education and awareness with programs such as Neurofeedback and Brain Health. It offers a healthy lunch during the week for a recommended donation of $3.50, in addition to special dinners on evenings and weekends. Seniors also get a chance to experience art and exercise through regularly scheduled programs. Karen Fitzgibbons, director of the senior center since 2003, lives in Fayetteville with her husband.

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