Updated 07/24/2012 06:24 PM
Ceremony honors Maria Zobniw
Just days after officials broke ground on a memorial for the 13 victims of the American Civic Association shooting, the community came together once again in memory of the event. Tuesday marked the third annual Maria Zobniw Day in the Town of Dickinson. Our Melissa Kakareka was there as friends and family paid tribute to her life.
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DICKINSON, N.Y. -- It's been more than three years since Maria Zobniw was killed during the mass shootings at the American Civic Association. But her memory is still very much alive for those who knew her.
"Maria was a loving wife, a caring, nurturing mother and sister and a kind aunt and friend who often attended to a large circle of family and friends," said Zobniw's daughter, Oresta Lisowsky.
"She would not be standing here and saying all these words about herself, her main thing was the example, the quiet example, the ability to listen to people, to listen to what hurt them," said Maria's husband Lubomyr Zobniw.
It's those qualities that members of the community gathered to remember at Zobniw's Memorial in the Town of Dickinson on Tuesday. The ceremony comes shortly after Zobniw's birthday. She would have turned 64 on July 21.
"I think it’s important we do things by honoring her. Her legacy of kindness and caring for community, her laughter, spirit needs to be recognized on a regular basis and that will be her legacy in the future," said Assemblyman Clifford Crouch.
The American Civic Association also presented a donation in Zobniw's name to her alma mater: Seton Catholic High School. An act that stands as testament to Zobniw's giving spirit and involvement in her own community.
"We must have something that is living and breathing and can continue the important work that Maria did and try to continue it through others in the community," said ACA Executive Director Andrew Baranoski.
It's the third year that Maria Zobniw Day has been held in the town. This year, the event also serves as an important reminder to many people.
"Shortly after this weekend's horrific and senseless tragedy that occurred in Aurora, Colorado, I thought about canceling today's event. But then I realized that we, as a community, should not and will not allow evil to overtake our lives and so we gather once again as a community to honor one of our own, Maria Zobniw," said Town of Dickinson Supervisor Michael Marinaccio.