By Kellen M. Quigley
The past 12 months in Ellicottville have been busy, making 2018 one memorable year for local government, organizations, businesses, athletes, schools and public figures alike.
Although the many events neighbors and visitors experience every year were still as well attended as ever, the area saw dozens of new, different or noteworthy moments.
As Ellicottville continues to establish itself as the place to be all year round, here are some of the most memorable news items from 2018. Happy New Year!
Jan. 5, 2018 Edition — This month, Holiday Valley celebrates 60 years of operation since the first T-bar and slope opened to the public on Jan. 4, 1958.
Jan. 12, 2018 Edition — Members of the Ellicottville School Board got a first-hand look Tuesday at the school’s new security system recently installed throughout the campus.
Jan. 19, 2018 Edition — Town of Great Valley officials reached out late last week to the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance looking for possible solutions to the sales tax error that has resulted in sharply higher county taxes for town taxpayers.
Jan. 26, 2018 Edition — The Great Valley Town Board appears to have found a solution to the 20 percent increases town residents recently found in their tax bills.
Feb. 2, 2018 Edition — Griffin Chudy didn’t need it, sinking the first shot to end a 59-58 CCAA East II victory, avenging a 75-41 loss at Franklinville and putting a co-division championship in play.
Feb. 9, 2018 Edition — HoliMont Ski Resort member Darren Gardner will fulfill his dream as a competitor in the Winter Olympics as he heads to PyeongChang, South Korea, to represent Team Canada in the parallel giant slalom.
Feb. 16, 2018 Edition — Tricia Mangan’s path to PyeongChang is not your typical U.S. Olympic Alpine Ski Team story. It begins not on mountains, but on hills in Western New York at HoliMont, which features a mere 700-foot vertical drop.
Feb. 23, 2018 Edition — Ellicottville Brewing Co. is branching out to neighboring Little Valley. It already has craft brew pub/restaurants in Ellicottville, Fredonia and Lakewood.
March 2, 2018 Edition — A brief overview on school security — and how Superintendent Bob Miller has been responding to questions from concerned parents — was presented Tuesday to the Ellicottville School Board of Education. Miller explained to the board that following the Feb. 14 school shooting in Parkland, Fla., school safety is a topic that has been on parents’ minds.
March 9, 2018 Edition — The Ellicottville girls alpine ski team repeated as NYSPHSAA state champions Tuesday, Feb. 27, thanks to some top-10 performances from freshman twins Hayly and Logan Fredrickson.
March 23, 2018 Edition — On March 14, one month after the massacre, a New York statewide school walkout was planned. The idea was simple: at 10 a.m., students would leave their classrooms for 17 minutes, a minute for every life lost. Many schools planned to participate. Ellicottville was one of them.
March 30, 2018 Edition — A week after winning his gold medal in PyeongChang, Page made a visit Sunday to Holiday Valley and the Lounsbury Adaptive Ski Program in Ellicottville.
April 6, 2018 Edition — After nearly 20 years as director of the Lounsbury Adaptive Ski Program, Mary Ellen Racich will retire in May and pass the torch to assistant director Bill Bredenberg.
April 13, 2018 Edition — The April 2018 Meeting of the Village Planning Board opened with a welcoming of Sean Cornelius, the newest member of the VPB.
April 20, 2018 Edition — For 15 years, Kristen Sciara has been a fixture at Holiday Valley, so it’s no surprise to the friends she’s made along the way that she’s been recently promoted to marketing manager.
April 28, 2018 Edition — This week, Holiday Valley announced they are planning a $3.2 million upgrade this year. Highlights include expanded automated snowmaking, a new groomer, a conveyor lift on Slippery Streets, slope work including several “tree trails” for kids and a new shuttle van.
May 4, 2018 Edition — The Town of Great Valley kicked off its bicentennial celebration April 15 when it officially turned 200 years old, but the festivities didn’t end there and continue all summer long.
May 11, 2018 Edition — A letter from the Internal Revenue Service is not always welcomed by many, but a letter recently received by board members with the Ellicottville-Great Valley (EVGV) Trail was a cause of celebration. They are officially a 501(c)(3) organization exempt from federal income tax.
May 18, 2018 Edition — The new multipurpose gymnasium at Ellicottville Central School will now be known as “The Ward” as part of a tribute to Mark Ward, who oversaw the facility’s construction as one of dozens of ties to his local school district.
May 25, 2018 Edition — Ellicottville Central School has announced Kourtney Robinson is valedictorian for the Class of 2018 with a weighted average of 113.13. Lisa Krotz has been named salutatorian with a weighted average of 111.19.
June 1, 2018 Edition — A new crop wil soon be growing on a family farm in the town of Mansfield after Chris Golley, his sister Jessica Golley-Halftown and their mother Judy Gollery have decided to grow hemp on their property through an agricultural pilot program.
June 8, 2018 Edition — The West Valley Fire District No. 1, along with Bertrand Chaffee Hospital in Springville and Mercy Flight, was recently presented a check for its services on behalf of the West Valley Demonstration Project.
June 15, 2018 Edition — New York Army National Guard Specialist Anthony Caputi of Salamanca recently received the Humanitarian Service Award for his service last autumn in the hurricane response in Puerto Rico.
June 22, 2018 Edition — A Grand Opening Celebration will be held on Saturday, June 23 at 11 a.m. to officially welcome Mister Happy Gem Mining Company to Holiday Valley’s Sky High.
June 30, 2018 Edition — A pre-merger feasibility study of the West Valley Central School District concluded that merging with the Springville-Griffith School District would not only be a better fiscal fit than Ellicottville, but that a merger with Ellicottville doesn’t even make sense financially.
July 6, 2018 Edition — Kent may have never become a competitor but his involvement in rodeos has spanned decades as he has owned and managed the Ellicottville Championship Rodeo on Sommerville Valley Road alongside his wife, Karen, for 30 years.
July 13, 2018 Edition — After only one season, Holiday Valley Snowsports Director Allie Doro has made great strides, and now she’s being recognized on a national level. Ski Area Management Magazine names 10 resort employees under 30 who are enthusiastic about the industry. Doro, 28, was nominated.
July 20, 2018 Edition — The Great Valley Bicentennial features a return to Old Home Days Saturday with a parade and family events at the Great Valley Volunteer Fire Company. More than 25 parade units are registered for the parade so far.
July 27, 2018 Edition — Students from the Cosmetology Program at the Ellicottville Career and Technical Center (CTE) volunteered at the 2018 Hunter’s Hope Family & Medical Symposium held July 18-22 at Holiday Valley Resort.
Aug. 3, 2018 Edition — As a 2009 West Valley graduate continues to recover from a mid-May car accident that has her still at Erie County Medical Center, a group of friends have organized a benefit to help pay for her medical costs.
Aug. 10, 2018 Edition — HoliMont Ski Resort has found its next leader following last winter’s retirement of Dave Riley, who had served in the position for 18 years. The board of directors at the resort officially named Ed Youmans as HoliMont’s new general manager, a position he began in mid-June.
Aug. 17, 2018 Edition — Pumpkinville will mark its 50th season this year with several new attractions, as owners Dan and Diane Pawlowski and their family have been busy getting ready for the special anniversary.
Aug. 24, 2018 Edition — The town of Little Valley is celebrating its 200th anniversary with some old-fashioned fun mixed with education about the town’s history. The public is invited to the bicentennial celebration, scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 25 and Sunday, Aug. 26.
Aug. 31, 2018 Edition — The sign outside St. Paul’s Lutheran Church on Route 219 started as a temporary sign — 35 years ago. At the end of the month, the sign will be retired under an agreement between church officials and the Ellicottville building code enforcement officer.
Sept. 7, 2018 Edition — Starting her fourth year as varsity girls volleyball coach in Ellicottville coach Katie Auge sounds comfortable, not just in knowing her players but the coaching staff around her.
Sept. 21, 2018 Edition — The Ellicottville Central School District is again searching for an elementary principal and curriculum coordinator after William Delity, who was assigned to the posts in August, chose to return to his position as an elementary teacher at the school.
Oct. 5, 2018 Edition — HoliMont will soon be ready to welcome members and guests for the upcoming ski season. In the meantime, fall is full of ways to enjoy Ellicottville’s private ski resort. Perhaps the biggest change HoliMont has seen in the off-season is a new General Manager.
Nov. 30, 2018 Edition — Thanks to the largest snowmaking system in the East and second-largest in the country, Holiday Valley plans to open for skiers and snowboarders Friday morning.
Dec. 7, 2018 Edition — Ellicottville officials believe Saturday night’s shooting was an isolated incident that won’t deter the roughly 1.5 million visitors who come through the village each year.
Dec. 14, 2018 Edition — Dr. Brian Walters, an EMS physician from Ellicottville, spent several days this past week in Washington, D.C., providing medical support during the state funeral for former President George H.W. Bush.
Dec. 21, 2018 Edition — There’s a new face on the bench leading the Ellicottville girls basketball team, but Chelsea Cole hopes to keep things as familiar as possible for the Eagles.