125 Years: A Virtual Celebration

Introduction to the 125th Anniversary Celebration

Zonta Club of Niagara Falls, NY – Legacy Builder Award

Dr. Dana Radatz – Peggy Addoms Volunteer Service Award

Service Spotlight – Domestic Violence Services

Renee DeCarolis – Staff Leadership Award

Service Spotlight – Care Management Services

Women of Steel, United Steelworkers 9434 – Labor of Love Award

Service Spotlight – Parenting Services

Cornell Cooperative Extension of Niagara County – Gerald J. Kozak Community Partner Award

Service Spotlight – Youth Services

125 Years of Service

Founded in 1895, Pinnacle Community Services has met the ever-changing needs of our community for more than a century by providing the residents of the Niagara region with a wide range of community and social work services.

O.W. Cutler, editor of the Daily Cataract, “crusaded for the idea of ‘better-organized charity work.’” The Gorge Road and Niagara Falls and Suspension Bridge Railway companies gave part of the proceeds of one week’s travel over their roads to start a new charity. The community came together, and on June 1, 1895, sixteen women met to form the Charity Organization Society and the rest is history.

Over the years our name has changed and our services have been modified to meet the needs of the community in the 21st century, but our work of helping people help themselves has remained. Thousands of children, adults, and families have turned to the agency for compassionate, affordable and professional help to meet their needs. Pinnacle Community Services is truly a “family” service agency providing a mosaic of inter-related services for the benefit of the entire family from infants to adults.

Learn more about the history of Pinnacle Community Services here.

Thank you to our Planning Committee: Taylor Cirrito, Zach Holbrook, Teddy McDuffie, Vickie Shank, Sara Carella, Kelley Swann, Megan Carey, Eileen Wrobel, Kevin Ford, Justin King, Laura Pennington Gawel


Dana L. Radatz, Ph.D. – Peggy Addoms Volunteer Service Award

Dr. Dana Radatz is an assistant professor in the Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Niagara University. She received her doctorate in Criminology and Criminal Justice from the University of Nebraska at Omaha, and her undergraduate and master’s degrees from Eastern Michigan University. Dr. Radatz’s research interests include batterer intervention programs, corrections, evidence-based practices, female offenders, and a wide range of victimizations (e.g., domestic violence, prostitution, rape/sexual assault). Her most notable work examines domestic violence offenders and the effectiveness of batterer intervention programs using correctional evidence-based techniques. She teaches an array of courses at the undergraduate and graduate levels, such as Victimology, Violence, Women & Crime, and Domestic Violence. Dr. Radatz strives to bridge the gap between the academic and practical realms, and places emphasis on the value of both realms in their response to violence and victimization. Her passion for raising awareness about victimization and promoting victim advocacy is evident in her role as co-organizer of Take Back the Night and the Red Flag Campaign & Domestic Violence Awareness Event each year at Niagara University. In addition to her research, teaching, and advocacy work, Dr. Radatz volunteers her time as a research consultant for several agencies within Niagara County that work to end family violence. She has served as a Pinnacle Community Services Board Member for the past three years, and works collaboratively with Passage Domestic Violence Services.

Christian Jones – Journey Award

Christian Jones is 20 years old and has been involved with Pinnacle Community Services for about 10 years. He has been with Casey House and Passage House, and is currently involved in LEAP Transitional Services as well as youth counseling. All of these programs have constructed him to become who he is today. Growing up was difficult and he mostly spent his years alone, however, these services were able to give him guidance, help, support, and stability. These services have been his family, and as of today he can officially say that he has become the man that he needed when he was a child. Christian currently works for the Youth Action Board to help other youth that are without homes. He also works with a great program that focuses on substance abuse and mental illness. Being able to work in these areas is fulfilling to him because he feels that he can finally make a difference in his community.

Renee DeCarolis – Staff Leadership Award

Renee received a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work from Buffalo State College and has been with Pinnacle for 15 years. She began as a Supportive Case Manager and was promoted to the position of Adults’ and Children’s Care Management Supervisor in 2008. Since that time she has had the opportunity to move toward focusing solely on the Children’s CORE program and the development of the current Health Home program structure. She loves what she does. Watching her team learn and develop their skills keeps Renee going and striving to be a better leader for them. She represents the program at the Niagara County CSPOA meeting and is a member of the Children’s Network of Care Committee and Pinnacle’s Trauma Informed Care Team. Renee is the mom of a spunky 6 year old girl, Chloe, who teaches her every day to enjoy the simple things. She has been married to her husband, Christian, for 8 ½ years and calls North Tonawanda home. In her spare time, Renee enjoys camping, 4-wheeling, beach trips, reading, spending time with her family, and just being outside.

Women of Steel – United Steelworkers 9434 – Labor of Love Award

Women of Steel is an activist-arm of the USW that evolved from the early women’s caucuses that demanded that women have their rightful place in the union. Originally, WOS was designed as a Leadership Course for union sisters to learn how the union works and is still offered in each district annually, but now, the USW Constitution requires that each local union with female members establish a Local Union Women’s Committee. All female members of the USW are considered Women of Steel regardless of their union-position or the industry or service they work in – some are activists, and some serve on their local’s Women’s Committee. Local 9434 has developed their Women of Steel group to commit to local causes and contribute to charitable organizations. They volunteer at community events, sponsor families who are in need, and have dedicated the end of each year to a toiletry drive for Passage House. Their goal is to be positive influences in the community, while creating strong examples of and for women in the workplace. They aim to encourage women to take active roles in their union and communities. Brook D’Angelo has been the Chair of USW Local 9434 Women of Steel since 2014. A graduate of Buffalo State College, she and her husband Max Greco reside in Niagara Falls. She is very involved in the local arts and volunteers for various local organizations, events, and causes. Prior to working for the City of Niagara Falls, Brook was an employee here in the Healthy Families Niagara program.

Zonta Club of Niagara Falls, NY – Legacy Builder Award

The Zonta International Club of Niagara Falls, NY has been working towards empowering women and girls through service and advocacy since 1924, as the 29th club in the now 100 year old organization.  Over 95 years, they have worked to support women and girls, locally and around the world. Zonta has supported many local organizations, including Passage House at Pinnacle Community Services, the Safe Harbor Project at the Child Advocacy Center of Niagara, and the Magdalene Project. At the most recent International Convention, the local club was recognized for first prize for their “It’s Not Your Fault Cards” that raise awareness about sexual assault and give information on community resources for victims. They recently partnered with Passage House and were awarded one of 62 Centennial Anniversary Grants internationally to be used for their Fresh Start Fund. They also provide community awards and scholarships for young girls to attend STEM camp at Niagara University, for college students attending the Safe At Home Conference, the Jane M Klausman Women in Business Award, and the Young Women In Public Affairs Award. They were thrilled to charter Z Club at Niagara Falls High School this past spring. Zonta members strive to learn about the needs of women and girls in the community and around the world so that they can effect positive change.

Cornell Cooperative Extension of Niagara County – Gerald J. Kozak Community Partnership Award

Cornell Cooperative Extension of Niagara County (CCE) puts knowledge to work in pursuit of economic vitality, ecological sustainability, and social well-being. They bring local experience and research-based solutions together, helping New York State families and communities thrive in our rapidly changing world. CCE is committed to having a wide-ranging community impact over five program areas: Health & Nutrition; 4-H & Youth Development; Agriculture & Food Systems, Community & Economic Vitality; and Environment & Natural Resources.







Thank you to our in-kind donors

  • A Gust of Sun Winery & Vineyard
  • Albright-Knox Art Gallery
  • Arrowhead Spring Vineyards
  • Bernadette Franjoine
  • Big Ditch Brewing Company
  • Blackbird Cider Works
  • Branches of Niagara Campground & Resort
  • Brave Spirit Arts
  • Buffalo & Erie County Botanical Gardens
  • Buffalo Bisons
  • Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Herschell Carrousel Factory Museum
  • Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc.
  • Christeen Salimbene – Bella Vita Salon
  • Dana Radatz
  • Delta Sonic
  • Douglas Haak
  • Eileen Wrobel
  • Flight of Five Winery
  • Flying Bison Brewing Company
  • Fortuna’s Restaurant & Banquets
  • Freedom Run Winery
  • Friends of Eileen Wrobel
  • Friends of Megan Carey
  • Helium Comedy Club
  • Historic Palace Theatre
  • Hyatt Place Niagara Falls
  • Irish Classical Theatre Company
  • Jim Ingham
  • Julia Pitman
  • Karrie Gebhardt
  • Kristi Yerger
  • Leonard Oakes Estate Winery
  • Merritt Estate Winery
  • Michael Kineke
  • Mindy Gray
  • Midnight Run Wine Cellars
  • Mighty Taco
  • MusicalFare Theatre
  • Parkway Prime
  • Partners in Art Studio
  • Pellicano’s Marketplace
  • The Penalty Box
  • Regina Howard
  • Riviera Theatre
  • Sara Carella
  • Savage Winery @ Woodcock
  • Sharon Lomison
  • S.J. McCullagh, Inc.
  • Sugar Street Cafe
  • Wedge Discount Liquor Store
  • Whirlpool Jet Boat Tours




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