Two Falls men were honored during an Aug. 15 ceremony held as part of the 2020 National Health Center Week celebration themed “Lighting the Way for Healthier Communities Today and in the Future.“
Dr. LaVonne Ansari, executive director and CEO of the Community Health Center of Buffalo, Inc., presided over a dedication ceremony at the Niagara Falls site located at 2715 Highland Ave.
Flanked by local clergy, city, state, and national elected officials, Ansari announced the dedication of the Niagara Falls pediatric wing in honor of long-time local pediatrician Dr. Edward Brown. “We are also renaming our first floor Community Room in memory of the late Jesse E. Richardson. He was a pillar of the Niagara Falls North End community.”
Ansari added, “We sit on one of the seven wonders of the world… and yet we tend to marginalize ourselves in Niagara Falls as if we are not part of the global community. We’re honoring these two men not just for their contribution to Western New York and Niagara Falls, but for what they have done for the whole of humanity."
Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26) said, “We often speak of the nation in terms of platitudes, and we divide the economy between Main Street and Wall Street. I think this misses the point. It’s really about the side streets, the neighborhoods, and homes where real people struggle. That is where the pulse of the nation beats most proudly.”
Niagara County 4th District Legislator Owen T. Steed also spoke on both the men.
“Dr. Brown not only makes kids healthy on the outside but as a Deacon at New Hope, he works with kids on the inside, saving souls," Steed said. "Jesse was the unofficial Mayor, councilman, school board member, and pastor, and a good friend…he always offered encouragement.”
Added Mayor Robert Restaino, “Jesse Richardson was a true friend. Both he and Dr. Brown are very much deserving of this tribute to their lives.”
Niagara Falls Police Superintendent Thomas Licata implored the community to come forward with any information in the Richardson homicide case, regardless of how insignificant they think it may be.
“We have not seen enough evidence to arrest anyone, but that does not mean we stop trying,” he said.
Jeria Hunt, the granddaughter of Jesse Richardson, made a heartfelt plea to the community – “If you see something, please, say something!”
Rev. Raymond Allen, CHCB Board member and Pastor, Bethany Missionary Baptist Church, Rev. Harvey L. Kelley, Pastor, New Hope Baptist Church, state Sen. Timothy M. Kennedy (63rd District) and Joseph Marranca from state Sen. Robert G. Ortt’s office also delivered remarks.
State Assemblyman Angelo J. Morinello, 145th District, stated, “Jesse was the community. He took care of this community; he took care of everyone ..., and I’m so happy they have given Dr. Brown a wing …”