Onondaga County Catholic Charities announces recipients of the Msgr. Charles Brady Awards

By Claudia Mathis
SUN staff writer

Catholic Charities will honor five individuals as well as a local parish at the 37th annual Brady Awards Reception on Wednesday, Oct. 7 in the Empire Room at the New York State Fairgrounds. The Brady Awards are presented each year to dedicated and selfless individuals and parishes who improve the quality of their community through their work and dedication.

John Sindoni, chair of Hiscock & Barclay law firm’s real estate practice group, will receive the Msgr. Charles J. Brady Award for his years of leadership as president of Catholic Charities’ board of directors. This award honors individuals who have a deep devotion and concern for all people, regardless of their race, age, religion, gender or economic standing. Their ability to respect and love all people evokes the memory of Msgr. Brady, who was known for his dedication and advocacy for people in need in the Syracuse community.

“He was an incredible person,” said Sindoni. Sindoni feels proud and honored to be recognized by an organization such as Catholic Charities. “It’s an incredibly devoted and dedicated organization whose main concern is to help others,” he said.

Sindoni also serves on the boards of Franciscans in Collaborative Ministries, Christian Brothers Academy, Woodlawn Cemetery and the Onondaga Community Foundation.

The Bernard J. Lawler Leadership Award will be given to Kimberly Boynton, Crouse Hospital’s Chief Financial Officer, for her demonstration of great leadership in the community, showing compassion, intelligence and courage.

Boynton serves on numerous boards in the Syracuse community. They are AAA of Western and Central New York, Rosewood Heights Health Center, Crouse Health Foundation, Crouse Hospital Auxiliary, McMahon/Ryan Child Advocacy Site, American Red Cross, Hiawatha Seaway Council of the Boy Scouts of America, United Way of Central New York and Elmcrest Children’s Center.

Boynton has also served as co-chairperson for the Catholic Charities Providence Dinner Committee.

A native of Syracuse, Boynton said she learned from her parents when she was very young that it is important to give back to the community and to give to those who are less fortunate. “It’s important that I give my talents and time to the life of the community,” said Boynton. “It’s very fulfilling.”

Boynton has been recognized with many awards. Most recently she received the “Crusader for a Cure” award from Multiple Sclerosis Resources of CNY, was a WTVH Women in Leadership honoree and was named 2009 “CFO of the Year.”

Mike Sullivan and Henry Nicolella, founders of the Oxford Street Inn, will receive the C. Walter Driscoll Award. This award is given to Catholic Charities employees who show exemplary commitment and dedication to the mission of Catholic Charities.

Sullivan, program manager at the Oxford Street Inn, feels humbled to receive the award. “It’s nice to be part of a group of people whom I admire and who have also received Brady Awards,” said Sullivan.

The Oxford Inn provides shelter to between 80 and 110 homeless men each night. “It always amazes me how resilient people are,” said Sullivan. “The biggest thing is to give people respect when they are down on their luck. We try to be a friend to them. The greatest part of this ministry is meeting such a great variety of people and the wonderful people from the community that support us with their time, talent and funds.”

Nicolella said he felt very flattered and honored to receive the award. Reflecting on his close to 30 years of service, Nicolella said that his limit of compassion was tested at times. “We understand the men’s needs,” he said.

The Marty Cuddy Award will be given to Julie Crane, administrative specialist at Toomey Residential and Community Services, for her exemplary dedication and commitment to the organization.

“I feel very honored and excited,” stated Crane. “This is the first time that an employee from Toomey has received a Brady Award. It’s nice to be recognized.”
Toomey Residential and Community Services provides assistance for youth through foster homes and group home facilities. “I have a soft spot for kids,” said Crane. “I have five children of my own.” She said that she chose to work at Toomey because it affords her the flexibility to be available to her family.

Born and raised on Tipperary Hill in Syracuse, Crane attended St. John the Baptist Ukrainian School and Bishop Ludden Junior/Senior High School before entering Onondaga Community College, where she majored in business administration.

After working at Davis Florist for 10 years, she transitioned to Toomey, where she has been employed for the last 11 years. “It’s a wonderful place to work,” Crane said.

St. Ann’s Church in Manlius is being recognized for its tremendous outreach services to the community with the Parish Services Award. St. Ann’s service extends to community organizations such as the Bishop Foery Foundation, Brady Faith Center, North Side CYO and Franciscan North Side Ministries.

Adult parishioners at St. Ann’s are joining with the youth group and confirmation classes to offer their time and talent to these organizations.

At the Bishop Foery Community, St. Ann’s parishioners participated in a spring clean-up, helped with homework, volunteered with the teen program, volunteered with the Fresh Food Giveaway every month and served at the teen community dinners twice monthly. They also raised money through a raffle in order to fund trips for teens and held a bathing suit drive.

At the Brady Faith Center, volunteers helped with the spring cleanup and provided lunches and taught at vacation Bible school.

At the North Side CYO, parishioners helped out during Paint Day and also assisted refugees in the English as a Second Language classes. Teens volunteered to help out with the summer program.

Volunteers donated their time to the Franciscan North Side Ministries’ Paint Day and the cleanup efforts on the outside property. Parishioners are committed to preparing approximately 1,500 sandwiches each month through the sandwich program. The parish’s doctors and nurses volunteer at the medical clinic and attorneys volunteer at the legal clinic.

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