CHEEKTOWAGA, N.Y. (WIVB) — A late war hero from Williamsville was honored Thursday night as a new Boys and Girls Club in Cheektowaga was named in his honor.
The club was named after Marine Gunnery Sergeant Aaron Kenefick.
Kenefick’s mother Susan Price said her son decided he wanted to be a marine when he was in 10th grade and he never looked back.
He served more than 12 years before dying during the Ganjgal Ambush in the Kunar Province of Afghanistan in 2009.
“My family and I and other gold star families have to decide do we want to be a victim of circumstances or do we want to rise up,” said Price.
Price chose the latter and has become an advocate for veterans and their families. She said the new Boys and Girls Club being named after her son is the biggest honor.
“It’s the personification of my son, it’s the epitome of who he was as a man,” she said. “Aaron loved being a marine and a mentor to young men and women coming up through the ranks.”
Price said if Aaron were here today he’d be at the club, mentoring to the young people. But she said now he’ll always be there in spirit.
“We’re grateful that our son, our hero, will be able to live on forever in time and inspire the young hearts and minds of the youth coming up.”
The grand opening ceremony happened Thursday evening at the Alexander Community Center. The Club is ready to open its doors officially and plans to serve 100 youth participants, second through eighth grade, beginning on September 7.