Members and coaches of the Canton Golden Bears girls basketball team, Sami Curtis, Sen. Patty Ritchie and Dede Scozzafava.
CANTON -- Sami Curtis, a Canton teen who has helped raise more than $100,000 to find a cure for cancer, was honored at Thursday night’s Canton Golden Bears girls’ varsity basketball game with the New York State Senate’s Liberty Medal.
In a surprise presentation, State Sen. Patty Ritchie, R-Heuvelton, bestowed on the 17-year-old the medal, one of the highest civilian honors that a New Yorker can receive.
Curtis first became involved in the fight against cancer when she was just two years old and participated with her family in the annual Edward I. Moses Walk/Run for Life.
By the time she was 13, she had already joined the St. Lawrence County Cancer Fund’s board of directors.
“Sami Curtis has done far more than just raise money,” said Ritchie, whose district includes the western half of St. Lawrence County including Ogdensburg, Canton and Gouverneur. “She has inspired others, and made people in our community and beyond realize that whether you’re a young person or an adult, everyone can help. I’m humbled to be able to present Sami with this award, and am extremely grateful for all the work she has done to inspire people to fight back against cancer.”
At Thursday evening’s presentation, Ritchie also honored the Canton Golden Bears Girls Basketball Team with a special certificate for being part of Sami’s efforts to find a cure for cancer.
Joining Ritchie was Dede Scozzafava of Gouverneur, a New York State Deputy Secretary of State for Local Government, who presented Sami with a proclamation on behalf of the governor, honoring her for the work she has done to fight the disease.