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Good Neighbor Awards

ERIE, Pa. — Mary Krysiak helped save neighbors from a burning house in Erie’s Land Lighthouse neighborhood.

Gary McEnery restored a home in the Little Italy neighborhood and taught teens to garden. Laura Reed, of the southwest Erie neighborhood, cared for a critically ill neighbor.

When Dave Deter took on the task of building strong neighborhoods as the executive director of the new nonprofit Neighborhood Resource Organization, he said he was struck by the quiet good works being performed across the region.

The NRO handed out plaques for three categories — individual, business and community allies, and neighborhood association — during a ceremony at the Snoops Neighborhood Association, 1401 Wallace St.

Candace Battles, of the West Bayfront Neighborhood Association, said she had a hard time getting Phillip “Scottie” Askins, owner of the Farrell’s Superette, 363 W. Fourth St., to leave his store long enough to accept his award. The neighborhood group nominated Askins for his yearslong support of the community through festivals for children and neighborhood “soup nights.” Askins, through the Eastminster Presbyterian Church, also contributes to a yearly Thanksgiving dinner and youth activities at the Martin Luther King Center.

Other winners in the business category were Miriam Crossman of ServErie; Daniel Serafin of Serafin’s Food Market for his close ties with customers in his neighborhood and support for the Eastside Neighborhood Association; and Gary Schneider, owner of Howard Industries in Fairview, for his help in creating a new Isaac Baker plaque at Baker’s Field between East 32nd and 33rd and French and Holland streets.

The Academy Neighborhood Association took home a Good Neighbor award for neighborhood cleanup and the rejuvenation of Baker’s Field. Other winners were Marie Scalera for her work on welcome signs of south central Millcreek Township, and Michelle Totleben and Brian Zimmer for their support of the Academy Neighborhood Association.

LISA THOMPSON can be reached at 870-1802 or by e-mail. Follow her on Twitter at