PLATTSBURGH — Essential workers on the local frontlines of COVID-19 are recognized with the Plattsburgh Sunrise Rotary Club's annual "Spirit of Ianelli" Award.

"Throughout this pandemic, I have seen a multitude of care, concern and kindness from frontline workers," Club President Sue LeBlanc-Durocher says in a release. "These are our friends, family, and even co-workers.

"Let's remember we are all in this together."


Founded in 1987, the Plattsburgh Sunrise Rotary Club has a current membership of some 45 and has donated thousands of dollars and hours to local and international causes.

The local chapter has helped fund a variety of community projects over the years, including murals downtown, the Max Moore Community Tree House on the Saranac River Trail and the Champlain Park Gazebo. 

The club organizes and operates the Mayor's Cup Regatta each year, as well, which is a major focus of the annual Mayor's Cup Festival & Regatta in the City of Plattsburgh.

The event has helped to raise money for a variety of community causes.


In light of the continued pandemic, the 43rd Annual Mayor's Cup Festival & Regatta has been canceled, but the boat race will go on. 

The Mayor’s Cup Regatta will take place Saturday, July 11, but will not include any group activities on shore. 

"On a brighter note, Sunrise Rotary’s Mayor’s Cup Regatta & Festival will return next year on Saturday, July 10, 2021," the club website says. "The club has plans to host the one-day Mayor’s Cup Festival at a new and exciting venue and is in the process of designing a festive logo and t-shirt."

More information on the 2020 boat race can be found online at:


The annual award was established in 2010 in honor the late Mayor John Ianelli, former Platttsburgh City Mayor and co-founder of the Mayor's Cup Regatta back in 1978. 

"This honor is bestowed upon an individual or individuals — sailor or landlubber — who exemplify the same 'community does matter' spirit that inspired Mayor Ianelli 42 years ago, empowering our lake community to thrive, not only on race day, but every day," the release says. 

Due to the cancellation, the 2020 Spirit of Ianelli awardees will not be honored in person, but the Sunrise Rotary’s Mayor's Cup Regatta & Festival Committee "felt it was important to continue the tradition of honoring community spirit and dedication." 

"In fact, we are honoring those very individuals that have and are continuing to help our community survive and limit the spread of this deadly virus,"  Committee Co-Chair Kjell Dahlen says in the release, adding that, in general, the committee preferred to identify a single individual or individuals to exemplify the spirit.

"However, in times of crisis, as in the case of the Dannemora prison break in 2015, it is difficult to put a face to all the individuals who are risking their lives to protect ours.”


Plattsburgh City Mayor Colin Read said the contributions of frontline workers and first responders would continue on for a while as "we are not out of the woods yet."

"So many people risked their lives to save our lives," he says in the release. "I heartily thank those who kept us safe, and ask that we continue to keep them safe by wearing masks.

"I thank them, and ask us to do our part.”


Spirit of Ianelli awardees from years past have included: 

• Bob Pooler, 2010. 

• Matt Spiegel, 2011. 

• Roger Harwood, 2012. 

• Bob Wallet, 2013. 

• Kit and Sally Booth, 2014. 

• Local Law Enforcement, 2015. 

• Gordie Little, 2016. 

• Janet Duprey, 2017. 

• Leigh and Stephens Mundy, 2018. 

• Plattsburgh Air Park Restoration Group of Volunteers, 2019.

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