By Joe Pinter, News Editor, @JPinter93
This Day in Bonaventure History
March 22, 2007
St. Bonaventure University honored five generous Western New Yorkers with Gaudete Medals at an annual awards dinner at the Statler Towers in Buffalo, N.Y. on this day.
The honorees included: Edward C. Cosgrove, former Erie County District Attorney; Angelo Fatta, Ph.D., president of BuffLink, Inc.; Jill and Jim Kelly, founders of Hunter’s Hope; and the late Sr. Karen Klimczak, S.S.J., founder of Bissonette House. Sr. Karen was honored posthumously.
The Gaudete Medals honor business and community leaders who, through their actions, show the spirit of St. Francis of Assisi. Gaudete translates literally to ‘rejoice’ in Latin.
“We are so proud to honor all of these remarkable people with our Gaudete Medal,” said University president Sr. Margaret Carney, O.S.F., S.T.D. “They are shining examples of joyful service, making visible and sustained contributions that change the lives of others around them. I only wish that Sr. Karen could be there to accept this honor. I know her spirit will fill the room.”
Cosgrove started the Roman Catholic Diocese of Buffalo’s Retirement Fund for the Religious Drive. Since 1988, the drive has raised more than $19 million for the elderly and infirmed sisters and priests. He has been chairman of the board of trustees of Christ the King Seminary and D’Youville College. The Buffalo News named him Outstanding Citizen of Buffalo during his time as district attorney in 1977. His wife Dorothea was an Orchard Park School Board member for 14 years.
Before joining BuffLink, Fatta was president and CEO of ACTS Testing Labs with 10 offices in six countries. He is chairman of the board of trustees of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra and has previously been chairman of the board of directors of Cradle Beach Camp, a trustee of Canisius College, a director of the Western and Central New York Automobile Association of America, and the Shaw Festival. He and his wife cofounded The Fatta Foundation, a charity supporting the welfare and development of Western New York children.
The Kelly’s started their foundation after their son Hunter was diagnosed with Krabbe Disease at the age of 6 months. Hunter outlived doctors’ predictions by eight years. He passed away in August 2005. Hunter’s Hope has awarded more than $14 million to leukodystrophy and other neurological disease-related research. The Kelly’s say they receive all of their strength from God.
Sr. Karen, a member of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Buffalo, spent her life manifesting the healing presence of Jesus. She began Hope House, a ministry to recently released prisoners, in 1985. She gave many people a second chance in life. Unfortunately, she became a victim of violence in 2006.