77-year Fillmore firefighter honored by Allegany County legislators

A Fillmore resident who has been an active member of the community’s fire department for 77 years, has been recognized for “extraordinary contributions to the betterment of Allegany County.”

Charles (Chuck) Yanda, left, speaks at recognition ceremony at Allegany County Board of Legislators meeting. At center is Legislator Jennifer Ricketts-Swales of Fillmore, with Board Chair W. Brooke Harris of Alfred at right.

Charles (Chuck) Yanda was the latest recipient this week of an ongoing effort by the county Board of Legislators to “recognize community members that exemplify the spirit of volunteerism and service” in Allegany County.

Born in 1924, the former Fillmore Texaco station owner joined the fire department in 1945, serving during his tenure at times as both fire chief and in the fire police.

He also was an active member and one-time president of the Fillmore Rotary Club, having a perfect attendance record prior to its disbandment, served on the Genesee Valley Rotary Camp Board of 25 years, and was the Sea Scouts advisor for the Rotary-sponsored Boy Scouts program.

The honoree also volunteered as the chairman for the public budget of the Fillmore Central School for over 40 years.

He is a member of St. Patrick’s Roman Catholic Church in Fillmore, and has served as a member and past president of its Altar and Rosary Society and for 20 years as a member of the church’s Holy Cross Cemetery Board.

County Legislator Jennifer Ricketts-Swales of Fillmore shared memories of the Yanda family during the ceremony, saying that the “Genesee Valley Rotary Camp was the perfect example of the Yanda’s dedication to others.

“Tucked away for one week each summer, exceptional children who otherwise wouldn’t be able to go to camp had fun, freedom, and friendship,” she said. “Chuck made sure this always happened, .demonstrating true service above self.

“Community service without notoriety is the way for the Yanda family. A smile, a joke, a helping hand was always the way assistance was given,” the legislator added.

Yanda briefly addressed the gathering saying that “God put me on this earth to do good things. I think I’ve done that.”