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Brasher’s Demo urges SUNY Canton students to give back to their communities

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CANTON - A retired St. Lawrence Central teacher inspired community service and generosity for a new generation of students at SUNY Canton’s annual Scholarship Luncheon.

William D. (Bill) Demo, a graduate of the class of 1957, and the recipient of the 2012 Distinguished Alumnus Award and Hall of Fame inductee said that scholarship sponsors believe deeply in the quality of a SUNY Canton education.

“I too was the recipient of a scholarship while I was studying here,” Demo recalled. “I deeply appreciated that scholarship then, and I hope that you cherish yours today.”

Demo is a member of the SUNY Canton College Foundation Board of Directors and created the Bill and Kathleen Demo Scholarship, awarded to two students from St. Lawrence Central School.

Nearly 350 students received scholarships or awards at SUNY Canton this year. The College Foundation awards nearly $450,000 annually for student support.

“Your sponsors and I believe in you and the future you represent,” Demo said to the collected students at the luncheon. “You are our investment in SUNY Canton, the area and world. Your commitment to others will make our world and our college a better place. I hope you will follow in the footsteps of your sponsors and will want to help future students accomplish their goals.”

SUNY Canton Interim President Carli C. Schiffner complimented the Demo family’s commitment to education.

“Mr. and Mrs. Demo have dedicated their lives to the success of north country scholars, through their scholarship and their teaching careers,” she said. “On behalf of SUNY Canton, I thank you for your support.”

Demo won the Brasher-Winthrop Firefighter of the Year Award in 1994. He was the first town of Brasher parade marshall to in 2004, recognizing his community service.

In 2008 he received the Quad-Town Lion’s Club first-ever Melvin Jones Fellowship Award, the highest form of recognition given to acknowledge his dedication to humanitarian services, an award presented through the Lion’s Club’s International Foundation. He was also named Quad Town Lion of the Year for his community service in 2009.

Among his other accolades, he was named the St. Lawrence County Senior Citizen of the Year at the St. Lawrence County Council of Senior Citizens Annual Festival in 2005.

He is a life-long member of St. Patrick’s Church and Parish in Brasher Falls, has served on the Parish Council and has chaired numerous fundraising efforts.

He was the co-recipient of the 2011 Betsey Kaplan Award for his years of dedicated service as a town of Brasher councilmember.

Demo, who is now retired, owned and operated an auctioneering and appraisal service.

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