‘He is always there’ ‘Hop’ Manapol receives Gordinier Memorial Award

Livingston County News File PhotoAward winner. Hop Manapol of Geneseo does some gardening in Long Point Park, a venue he has long championed.

Felicisimo Manapol of Geneseo, best known by his nickname “Hop” and a his broad smile, is the 2020 recipient of The Father William Gordinier Memorial Services Award.

The award is presented in memory of Father Gordinier, who was a priest of the Roman Catholic Diocese for 58 years and served as pastor of St. Mary’s in Geneseo for nearly 20 years. Gordinier died in 2016.

After his death a former classmate sought to honor Gordinier’s memory and established the award. A local committee solicits nominations each year and selects the recipient.

The committee seeks to recognize annually, an individual who exemplifies the qualities of Father Gordinier, reflected in their character, commitment, and activities in the community.

Hop’s nomination described him as an individual who has served his community in a variety of ways. He has held elected office on the town board for more than 20 years, was instrumental on committees to maintain and promote Long Point Park and the Town of Geneseo, including the Promote Geneseo tourism committee. He is also a longtime member of the Geneseo Garden Club and has for several years led the selection and planting of the tree or bush planted by the club in recognition of Arbor Day.

“He truly exemplifies Father G. Always a smile, handshake or a hug and a willingness to help,” said the award committee.

Hop has worked with others to beautify and maintain a small town park at Route 20A and Volunteer Road, across from Genesee Valley Plaza.

At St. Mary’s, he has served as an usher, chair of the Men’s Club, member of the Pre-Cana team, and organized numerous social events.

“He is always there to give a helping hand,” said the nominating letter.

Hop immigrated to the United States in 1965. He was a dairy farm herdsman in the Mayville area before moving to Geneseo in 1973, where he managed a heating and plumbing supply business. Hop and his wife Kathy Trainor raised two children, Michael and Nicole.

Hop’s community efforts have previously been recognized with the Livingston County Chamber of Commerce’s George Traber Community Service Award and as a Livingston County Senior of the Year.

Hop said his desire to volunteer is “part of my DNA.”

“My family back in the Philippines was involved in every aspect of our village parish and also with the community,” he said.

The Gordinier Award includes a cash gift of $500. Honorees are listed on a memorial plaque in the front hall of St. Mary’s Parish Center. Gordinier was a driving force behind the building of the parish center.

Past recipients of the award include Patricia Putnam of Geneseo, Joe Kane of Geneseo and Anna Macaulay of Groveland.

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