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State Senator Patrick Gallivan, Barney Pedraza, and Wyoming County Board of Supervisor Chairman Doug Berwanger


Doug Berwanger, Arc Board Treasurer Lyle Lehman, Barney Pedraza, Arc Executive Director Chris Peterson, and Patrick Gallivan


Representatives from all attending agencies


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Hilltop's Pedraza, Sen. Gallivan Mark International Disabilities Day


In a ceremony attended by representatives from human services agencies and health providers throughout Wyoming County, State Senator Patrick Gallivan proclaimed Monday, December 3rd as New York's first "International Day of Persons with Disabilities."


Accepting a signed copy of the proclamation on behalf of The Arc of Livingston-Wyoming was Hilltop Industries' Barney Pedraza, who is best known to Mount Morris shoppers as the always-helpful jack-of-all-trades at the program's Finders Keepers thrift shop.


What customers might not know is that Barney's can-do attitude extends to the world of athletics, where it has taken him to great heights on the ski slopes. In February, Barney will represent the United States during the Special Olympics World Games in South Korea, where he'll participate in various slalom events.


Sen. Gallivan congratulated Barney after sharing inspiring anecdotes about people in his own life who have faced physical or intellectual challenges with bravery, including his closest childhood friend and sister-in-law. He noted that New York's recognition of an International Day of Persons with Disabilities is part of a larger shift of community inclusion for those with varied abilities.


"We've come a long, long way," Sen. Gallivan said.