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Robert Stopper Citizen of the Year for Lyons Chamber of Commerce

The oldest of 12 children, he was born and raised on a small farm just outside on the outskirts of Williamsport PA. He graduated from Saint Francis College in Loretto, Pennsylvania with a bachelor’s degree in English and Philosophy. He attended SUNY Oswego where he received a masters in Educational Administration and a Certificate of Advanced Studies and Supervisor.
He taught in Newark, NY.as an English and Public Speaking teacher for 35 years. While at Newark, he was appointed Chairperson of the English Department, he also served as coordinator of the FLCC Gemini Programs. Several years he also served as an FLCC adjunct Professor teaching English and Public Speaking. He is retired now from the Newark School System. He was also a former Village Trustee and Chainman of the Village Planning Board. He is a member of ST. Michael’s Parish where he serves as a Pauley Box volunteer and caretaker of the outdoor flower gardens. He is a member of Mainstreet , The Wayne County Museum, Trailworkers, and NYS Parks and Trails.
Perhaps he is best known as a volunteer boat greeter, a Lyons promoter, and an Erie Canal Ambassador. During the past 6 years, he and a group of volunteers have welcomed over 1000 boats from around the world to the Lyons community.
According to him, “ The Lyons Community is truly blessed with the volunteer greeters”, they are hosts-they welcome, answer questions, give directions, and sometimes even escort tourists around the community. He and these volunteers are recognized the entire length of the Erie Canal and have been praised by hundreds of boaters in their boating blogs. He has been and is in contact with many of these boaters.
 He believes that the only way to receive Lyons, is to actively promote the history of Lyons, especially along the Erie Canal. In a effort to better attract and assist tourist, he designed the Historic Lyons brochure, a trifold colored brochure featuring photos, and descriptions of Lyons and all 6 National Historic Register parcels and buildings. With help from others, he has designed the Welcome to Historic Lyons Map, which is given to all boaters. The map highlights the route of Clinton’s ditch and The Enlarged Erie through the village of Lyons. A large sized 2’x3’ map welcomes boaters to the dock. Many years he has promoted Lyons and the Erie Canal both by photos, and articles. His writings and photos have appeared in Wayne County Life. Com, The Messenger Post, and the Fingerlakes Times. He has contributed to Waterway Guide, Active Captain, Boater Bob, and New York Boater. He has contributed to the blogsite – “Tugster” .
His photos, depicting Erie Canal activities in Lyons and neighboring communities have frequently appeared on the Facebook pages of NYS Canal Corporation. Recently two of his photos and reference to Lyons and his writings appeared in the nationally known publication Canoe and Kayak. His photos also appear on the Lyons Chamber of Commerce website.
His interest in historic waterways extends far beyond Lyons, he is a board member of Canal NY. He is also a member of The Canal Society of NY. , The Erie Canal Museum, The FingerLakes Boat Museum. The Antique Boat Museum in Clayton, NY. , The Lake Champlain Maritime Museum in Vermont, and the American Great Loop Cruising Association. When not involved with boats and the Erie Canal, He enjoys boating, fishing, hiking, genealogy research exploring blue highways with his wife Vickie, and reading. Once in a while he even enjoys fiddling around with the piano, guitars, and banjo. He enjoys and spoiling his grandchildren. Bob and Vickie are the proud parents of two daughters and 3 grandchildren. Theresa is an instrumental music teacher in Comstock, NY and mother of Noah and Ambrose. Katrina is an athletic trainer and Chiropractic Sports Doctor in San Diego, she and her husband Mathew are parents of Xavier.


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