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Final "Mayor's Medal of Honor" is Bittersweet for Brede

December 12, 2018 06:13 PM

(ABC 6 News) -- For their work in human services, to assisting those with disabilities, to outright heroism, Rochester Mayor Ardell Brede bestowed person after person with the "Mayor's Medal of Honor" Wednesday.

"It's nostalgic, and it's bittersweet," he said, "having done these for 16 times where I have been at the podium."

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The Mayor's Award went to Dr. Richard Brubaker, a leader in patient care, who made and donated five metal sculptures to the Art 4 Trails program. He died in October; his wife, Nancy, accepted the medal on his behalf.

"We are both sharing a little, not a little, a lot of grief," Brede said. The funeral for his own wife was held just a week and a half ago.

Honoring those who are no longer here was a common theme.

Abe Sauer, founder of Old Abe Coffee Company, was awarded the Industry Medal. He used his time at the podium to honor Nicci Sylvester, the owner of Tonic Local Kitchen and Juice Bar, who died late last month.

"Nicci was, for any minuscule amount of impact I had on Rochester, she had a huge amount, and it will be really hard to replace her," Sauer said. "I would like to make sure this award is actually in her honor."

Even with some heavy moments, Brede says the ceremony was a celebration.

"There is joy in knowing what goes on in this community," he said. "And we recognize the good that people do and we are just so happy to be able to recognize them in one way or another."

The winners: Artistic/Cultural Achievement: Amarama Vercnocke; City Service: Paul Fleissner; Community-wide Service: Larry Vomhof; Services to the Elderly: Mary Pat Jewison; Services to those with Disabilities: Christie Lyke; Youth in Community: Sandhya Kumar; Human Services: Ted Alberts; Industry: Abe Sauer; Schools/Education: Sara Lopez; Legacy: Ed Hruska; Diversity Award: Christina Killion-Valdez; Mayor's Award: Dr. Richard Brubaker.

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Hannah Tiede

Copyright 2018 - KAAL-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

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