Dave Rath of Fulton and Jim Wright of Volney were named the 2008 Tourism Ambassadors of the Year. The annual award recognizes extraordinary support and commitment of time and energy to the Oswego County tourism industry.
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œThese two gentlemen have volunteered countless hours representing Oswego County and other Lake Ontario counties that we partner with at consumer fishing and hunting shows,ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â said County Legislator Shawn Doyle, Pulaski, chairman of the Oswego County LegislatureÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s Economic Development and Tourism Committee. ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œThey have shared their enthusiasm for our county with thousands of potential visitors, setting up displays, patiently answering questions, and distributing brochures across New York State and beyond.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â
The Tourism Advisory Council has given the award since 1995. Those previously honored include Helen Chetney and Edwin Lighthall, 1995; Sandy Resnick, 1996; Barbara Egelston and Charles Krupke, 1997; Tim Nekritz, 1998; Jim Walker, 1999; Shirley Guenthner, 2000; Capt. Dick Pfund, 2001; Fred Crisafulli, 2002; Doug Ververs, Donald Feck and Hank Cosselman, 2005; Mike Redding, 2006; and Paul Lear, 2007. The council presented an honorary lifetime achievement award to Charles Krupke in 2007.
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œWe know from a report released last year by the Northern New York Travel and Tourism Research Center, that tourists generated more than $123 million in economic impact in Oswego County in 2006, and we appreciate everything that our volunteer partners do to help drive that business,ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â said David Turner, director ofÃƒâ€šÃ‚Â Community Development, Tourism and Planning.
The LegislatureÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s Economic Development and Planning Committee oversees the Department of Community Development, Tourism and Planning. The department participates in the I Love NY matching funds program and markets Oswego County as a tourism destination through advertisements in national and regional sportfishing and leisure publications, the Oswego County tourism Web site at www.visitoswegocounty.com, production and distribution of brochures, participation in trade shows, and networking with outdoor writers and news media.
In addition to Legislator Doyle, the legislative committee includes Morris Sorbello, committee vice chairman, Granby; Jack Beckwith, Hannibal; Arthur Gearsbeck, West Monroe; Louella LeClair, Fulton; Douglas Malone, Town of Oswego; and Kim Seager, Phoenix. The Tourism Advisory Council is chaired by Edwin Lighthall of Mexico. Members are appointed by Legislature Chairman Barry Leemann and represent tourism businesses and attractions throughout Oswego County.