Brothers Cory and Holden Lee of Montgomery were named Orange County Citizens of the Month Award for August for their efforts to raise awareness about ovarian cancer and for their dedicated community service.
Their aunt Corinne Feller, a scholar-athlete at Valley Central High School, died in January 1999, at age 18, after a 10-month battle with ovarian cancer. With the help of their family and friends, Cory and Holden have kept her memory alive by raising awareness about ovarian cancer, which, according to the American Cancer Society, will kill approximately 13,980 women this year.
“Cory and Holden have done a wonderful job raising awareness about ovarian cancer and paying tribute to their aunt, who was a talented and beautiful young woman,” said Orange County Executive Steve Neuhaus in making the announcement. “They have found innovative ways to engage their peers and the public about ovarian cancer. In addition to this important campaign, Cory and Holden have volunteered their time to other important causes in their community. The dedication and hard work of these two civic-minded young men should be commended, and I’m proud to recognize them for their efforts.”
Four years ago, Cory led an effort with his John S. Burke Catholic football team teammates to raise awareness about the disease and pay tribute to Feller during Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month, which is in September. Cory and Holden, along with the Burke Catholic football team, tied teal ribbons on trees in the Village of Goshen, and distributed awareness posters and cards to local businesses to educate residents as part of the Turn the Towns Teal Campaign. Cory is entering his sophomore year at the University of South Carolina, but Burke Catholic’s football team has continued raising awareness about ovarian cancer every September.
Holden, who will be a senior at Burke Catholic in the fall, helped organize an awareness presentation by Olympic medalist and ovarian cancer survivor Shannon Miller. The event drew 700 local girls and high school athletes. He also designed an awareness tee shirt, with proceeds going to the Corinne Feller Memorial Fund.
Ever since they were young children, the brothers have volunteered at the Corinne Feller Memorial Basketball Tournament at Valley Central High School. The tournament has distributed $58,000 in scholarships to graduating Valley Central seniors since its inception 21 years ago. In addition, Cory volunteers locally with the Boys and Girls Club. At the University of South Carolina, he serves as a Gamecock Connector and volunteered with the Capstone Scholars garden cleanup and feed the homeless efforts.
Holden Lee is a volunteer Little League coach, was past-president of the Burke Catholic Key Club, and currently serves as lieutenant governor of the Key Club’s Division 13, representing all participating schools in Orange County. Both Cory and Holden have been awarded the Random Acts of Kindness award at Burke Catholic as well as the St. Sebastian Award for athletes who show high moral character.
“It’s great to honor young people doing wonderful things in their community,” Neuhaus said. “They are truly role models for their peers.”
To nominate someone for the Citizen of the Month Award, email firstname.lastname@example.org or mail a letter to “Citizen of the Month” at 255-275 Main Street Goshen, NY 10924. Be sure to include the nominee’s name, hometown, a list of their accomplishments, why you are nominating them and any other pertinent information. Nominees must be from Orange County.