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Saturday, March 28, 2015
Cornerstone Arena Board President John Ottaviano, at right, recognizes the board of the Grigg-Lewis Foundation, whose $4 million grant made the arena possible. (PHOTOS BY SCOTT LEFFLER / ENP STAFF)

By +Scott Leffler

About 200 people were on hand Friday night for a gala dedication ceremony at Cornerstone CFCU Arena.

This plaque now hangs in the entranceway to the
While the arena had somewhat of a makeshift grand opening in January when the Lockport Express hosted all 10 teams from the NA3EHL, the arena board of directors wanted to take time to thank those who made the arena itself possible, according to Patricia Barry.

Several speakers explained that given all night, it would be impossible to thank everyone involved in making Cornerstone Arena a reality, so they focused on a few key players including the Grigg-Lewis Foundation, the Oishei Foundation, board members and select politicians who helped to promote the cause.

Lockport Mayor Anne McCaffrey was on hand to help dedicate the arena, as was state Sen. Rob Ortt. Former state Sen. George Maziarz made an appearance as well, joking that it was nice to have a crowd to listen to him again. He retired from office at the end of 2014. Several city and town officials were on hand for the gala, as were numerous business owners.

Cornerstone Arena Board President John Ottaviano spoke at length about the facility's finer points and those who served for seven years meeting semi-weekly the whole time to make it happen — even though many thought it was merely a pipe dream. A few of the speakers admitted as such throughout the evening including Maziarz and Grigg-Lewis Foundation board president Christa Caldwell.

The evening was jovial with several of the speakers making jokes at other speakers' expense — lightheartedly, of course. A plaque was revealed to end the ceremony, but guests lingered, enjoying conversation with fellow attendees and food from the YWCA's Catering Crew.

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