Niagara Gazette


December 21, 2012

A special holiday homecoming for local soldier

MIDDLEPORT: Army Sgt. Timothy Marciniak surprises daughter at school Friday.

Niagara Gazette — GASPORT –– Five-year-old Madison Marciniak was in the Royalton-Hartland Elementary School cafeteria Friday with her classmates, making Christmas cookies and singing carols.

Then, the best Christmas gift Madison could've received walked into the room. Madison's eyes lit up and a smile crept over her face as she ran over to put her arms around her father.

U.S. Army Sgt. Timothy Marciniak bent down to one knee and embraced Madison. As they did, Madison's friends started singing, "We Wish You A Merry Christmas."

"I was overwhelmed," her father said. "I thought it was going to be a little thing, this was exciting."

Marciniak has been serving in Qatar for about a year. Qatar is a Middle East nation that borders Saudi Arabia and the Persian Gulf, it also is home to three U.S. bases. Marciniak returned home three days ago.

He arrived at Roy-Hart Elementary in Gasport on Friday afternoon with his wife, Brittany. While the kindergarten classes were in the cafeteria for a holiday celebration, the rest of the school lined up in the hallways leading up to the cafeteria. The kids sat on the floor, then got up and cheered when music started playing and Marciniak made his way to the cafeteria.

Marciniak was led by two students holding an American flag and an Army flag. His mother and Madison's grandmother Lani Marciniak waited near the cafeteria door, with camera in hand.

"I had no idea it was going to be like this," Lani said.

The whole encounter lasted minutes, but there weren't many dry eyes in the building. Actually that was true for most of the day leading up to Friday afternoon, said Principal Donna VanSlyke.

After the embrace, a few people and kids went up to the Marciniaks. They welcomed the sergeant and thanked him for serving his country. Madison was very happy but didn't speak, rather keeping her face buried in her father's chest and neck as he held her.

After Friday's event, a tour of Mrs. Katie Fisk's kindergarten class was next for the Marciniaks. A couple of times Marciniak tried to put Madison down, but the daughter wasn't about to let go.



Contact reporter Joe Olenick at 439-9222, ext. 6241.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • NIA Photobomb art 1 072814 Photobombed — Grand Island woman gains internet fame for her momentary star power

    A Grand Island native has become an accidental superstar for photobombing Victoria's Secret model Karlie Kloss. On Monday, Kara Dudley, 22, had followed Taylor Swift into a SoHo clothing store hoping to catch a glimpse of the pop princess. Shortly after Dudley walked in Swift left, walking right past her.

    July 28, 2014 2 Photos

  • SUN LIFE tattoo 3 072714.jpg [Duplicate] Behind the tattoo gun — Niagara Tatoo Expo coming up

    Tattoos can be a touchy subject. Of course, people have heard they shouldn’t judge a book by its cover; still, people continue to report being denied jobs and being judged harshly for proudly displaying their ink. 

    July 28, 2014 4 Photos

  • NIA Fire ceremony art 4 072714 Lewiston Fire Co. No. 1 celebrates 100 years with a new addition During the Lewiston Fire Company No. 1's dedication ceremony on Saturday, worn, digitally transferred film ran on an electronic projector in the hall's clubhouse as the abundant guests ate and drank. The images were of celebrations long passed, bygone firefighters at bat taking strikes in a pick-up game and misty plumes dancing against the skeletons of burnt-out structures.

    July 26, 2014 4 Photos

  • NIA Lewiston K9 art 072714 New police K9 coming on board in Lewiston The Lewiston Police Department has announced it has acquired a new K9 for Officer Scott Stafford -- and that it needs a little help from the community.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA LaSalle reunion art 072514 LaSalle classes to meet again for Hyde Park golf outing Perhaps it's because their building was demolished, leaving no physical evidence of their high school years that LaSalle High School grads are so true to their school. That's what Joel Holka thinks, anyway.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Equistar art 072514 Equi*Star celebrating 20th anniversary on Sunday The Equi*Star riding center in Burt will host an open house this Sunday in celebration of twenty years of providing therapeutic riding services.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Hibbards anniversary art 1 072414 Hibbard's Original Frozen Custard celebrates 75 years in Lewiston When Jim Hibbard first heard the term "frozen custard," he thought somebody had put pudding in the freezer. "I thought it was like cooked custard when I first heard about it," he said recently, as he and his employees prepared to celebrate his business's 75th birthday this weekend.

    July 24, 2014 4 Photos

  • NAD Artpark review art 072414 A warm welcome back for Aretha Franklin at Artpark

    The Queen of Soul returned to her Western New York roots Tuesday night in what has in recent years become an annual pilgrimage. Aretha Franklin spent a good part of her youth in Buffalo and even told the Artpark crowd she loved the name Tonawanda so much when she was a child that she told people she wanted to live there when she grew up.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Aretha Franklin 1 072314 SLIDESHOW: Aretha Franklin performs at Artpark Aretha Franklin performed Tuesday night at Artpark.

    July 22, 2014 4 Photos

  • Western New York Land Conservancy nears funding goal for Stella Niagara Nature Preserve The Western New York Land Conservancy in partnership with the Sisters of St. Francis have now secured $2.6 million of $3.2 million in proposed funding for the creation of the Stella Niagara Nature Preserve by accepting a $300,000 grant from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.

    July 22, 2014

Featured Ads
House Ads
AP Video
Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage
House Ads
Night & Day
Twitter News
Follow us on twitter
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Front page