Seventh grader wins award, part of Bishop Fisher's installation mass

January 20, 2021

Northern Chautauqua Catholic School is pleased to announce that seventh grader Olivia Cole is the 2021 recipient of the Fifth Annual Natalie Mattimore Lewis Kindness Counts Character Award! This award is given by the Foundation of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Buffalo to a faculty-nominated seventh grade Catholic school student in the Diocese of Buffalo who exemplifies Natalie’s spirit of kindness.

Natalie was a graduate of St. Rose of Lima School in Buffalo and a young woman of great faith, who demonstrated dedication to bringing happiness to people through acts of kindness. In 2014, Natalie died tragically in a hot air balloon accident. To honor her memory and to encourage other youth to adopt a practice of working for mercy and simple acts of kindness, the Natalie Mattimore Lewis Kindness Counts Character Award was established in 2016. The award includes a $1,000 tuition scholarship and a $100 cash award.

This year’s recipient, Olivia Cole, is the daughter of Garrett and Erica Boner of Dunkirk, and she has been a student at NCCS since PreK-4. NCCS Principal Andrew Ludwig nominated her for the award for her dedication to the community and activism in her church, St. Elizabeth Ann-Seton. Olivia’s community service activity includes helping with her church’s annual Christmas basket project, which provides gifts and food to local families in need. She has also been active in her school’s Mission Club, which gathers weekly to provide ways to serve those in need, such as the annual Thanksgiving food drive. Olivia also serves at weekly Sunday masses, as well as masses throughout the year including Stations of the Cross during Lent, and so many more.

Normally, the award is presented at an annual banquet in Buffalo; however, due to COVID-19, the awards ceremony is taking place via Zoom in February. To further recognize Olivia’s award, the Diocese of Buffalo invited Olivia and her family to attend the installment of Bishop Michael Fisher in a mass on January 15, 2021 at St. Joseph Cathedral. “Five people from the Diocese were picked to represent the Diocese in different ways and were allowed to go up and greet the Bishop, Olivia being one of them,” said Erica Boner. “She went up and said greetings to the Bishop, representing the youth and Catholic schools...It was a beautiful mass! The amount of love in the cathedral was so powerful, you could feel it.”

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