NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. (WIVB) — A woman known as a hero in her community was honored on Wednesday for her selfless contributions.
The Hyundai Salute to Heroes program was created to acknowledge the special people who do heroic things every day. Western New Yorkers had until Nov. 27 to nominate their favorite hero.
Margaret “Marg” Domagalski was surprised with a brand new 2023 Hyundai Tucson for her compassion and sense of duty.
In 2009, Domagalski saved and repurposed the former Holy Trinity Church in Niagara Falls into the non-profit organization, Niagara Heritage of Hope and Service, which works to make a positive difference in the community and bring people together through family-friendly events.
“When the Diocese of Buffalo was closing the complex, I ran into a former classmate and he had mentioned to me that my picture was in our history room and I’m like, ‘What do you mean?'” Domagalski said. “I thought, ‘How are we gonna preserve those pictures?’ So it was truly just a seed that started. When we found out that the complex was available to purchase, we said we needed to give back to our community, that this once-thriving school and complex that’s been around 1906, we needed to save it and help others.”
Centered around faith, community, integrity and awareness, those close to Domagalski say she is a blessing and inspiration.
“Marg welcomes all people to Niagara Heritage of Hope and Service, Inc. with open arms, a kind word and a smile,” said Claudette Walk, who nominated Marg for Hyundai’s Salute to Heroes program. “Marg embraces all chances to assist people of all ages and walks of life, especially those in need.”
For Domagalski, caring for others always came naturally to her. She said she is truly humbled by this recognition.
“There are so many great people that do so many great things and to be put in that class of honor with those of us that wanna help others and give freely, I thank you very much,” Domagalski said. “I have a beautiful, awesome car that I’m just so thrilled to be able to drive.”
During the surprise car presentation, Tamir Rennert, a district sales manager for Hyundai Motor America, started getting emotional over Domagalski’s story.
“I can’t think of a more deserving person. You’re clearly a hero in your community. You mean so much to everybody here,” Rennert said to Domagalski. “I’m so happy you were picked.”
Before Domagalski drove away in her shiny new car, she couldn’t thank the community enough for what they do for Niagara Heritage of Hope and Service, which is always in need of volunteers.
“It’s a community effort here to help our city,” Domagalski said. “We are a board of directors, 100% volunteer-based and donation-based. Every dollar we make does stay here to keep this national landmark going.”
Hyundai’s Salute to Heroes program was brought to the Buffalo area by the Western New York Hyundai Dealers Advertising Association.