Chamber Awards Gala: Claudia Fleckenstein & Ellie Murphy named Town of Porter Citizens of the Year

Claudia Fleckenstein and Ellie Murphy of the Care-n-Share Food Pantry.

The Niagara River Region Chamber of Commerce will honor businesses and individuals at its annual Chamber Awards Gala from 6-11 p.m. Friday, April 28, at The Conference & Event Center Niagara Falls. The chamber’s series of profiles on the 2017 gala honorees continues.

Town of Porter Citizens of the Year Claudia Fleckenstein & Ellie Murphy

Claudia Fleckenstein and Ellie Murphy have been chosen by Supervisor Merton Wiepert and the Town of Porter Council as the 2017 Town of Porter Citizens of the Year. This year, two recipients were chosen, because of their unwavering support and volunteer hours given to the Care-n-Share Food pantry that serves our local community.

As residents of the Town of Porter, Ellie and Claudia realized poverty extends outside of city locations and there was a growing need in the rural areas close to home.

The Care-n-Share Food Pantry in Ransomville started in 2010 at the Ransomville Free Methodist Church, in cooperation with the Food Bank of WNY. The pantry was located at the church for a few years before it required a larger space to help the increasing number of families in need of services. It moved to the current location at 3628 Ransomville Road in 2015.

Ellie has been a mainstay of the organization from the beginning and leads the operations of the pantry. She remembers every face and name and likes getting to know those who utilize the services the pantry provides. Ellie devotes countless hours behind the scenes at the pantry during the week, taking care of the many details.

Claudia signed up to volunteer through a program at Niagara University, originally dedicating one to two Saturdays per month. It wasn’t long before she was recruited to serve on the board of directors.

For the past five years, Claudia has spearheaded the Ransomville Festival of Wreaths, including the celebration of the event’s 25th anniversary.

Claudia and Ellie are members of the board of Inter-Community Services Inc., the 501 (c)(3) organization that oversees Care-n-Share Food Pantry. The board, which they emphasized is a “working” board, is filled with civic-minded individuals who all volunteer with the pantry and take the lead for other services provided, such as the annual school supply giveaway and holiday baskets.

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