Chenango County 2022 Distinguished Citizens Of The Year: Frank And Betsey Baio
Published: April 12th, 2022

Chenango County 2022 Distinguished Citizens of the Year: Frank and Betsey Baio New York Pizzeria was honored on its 40th anniversary by state and local officials. Pictured are: Assemblyman Joseph Angelino (R,C,I-Norwich), New Berlin Mayor Peter Lennon, Owners Frank and Betsey Baio, NY Sen. Peter Oberacker (51st district), Owners Meredith and Rosario Baio. (Submitted photo)

NEW BERLIN –  The Baden-Powell Council, Boy Scouts of America announced Frank and Betsey Baio, owners of New York Pizzeria, will be honored as the 2022 Distinguished Citizens of the Year for Chenango County.

They will be honored at a dinner on Thursday, May 12, 2022 at the Canasawacta Country Club in Norwich.


The Baios were selected to receive the award in 2020 and the Covid-19 pandemic postponed the recognition dinner. Selection was made for the award by a committee of local citizens which includes past recipients and is co-chaired by Neil Bartle and Mark Golden.

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This is the 35th Annual Distinguished Citizen of the Year dinner benefiting the local scouting program.  Each year the scouts recognize a local community leader for their outstanding contribution to the betterment of the community and service to their fellow citizens.

Frank and Betsey Baio, owners of New York Pizzeria, have been blessed to share their family and their lives with the people they have served since New York Pizzeria’s opening in 1982. Frank arrived in America from Sicily in 1972, working as a baker in New Jersey, but happened to discover in New Berlin, New York the perfect opportunity to open a pizzeria. Although he had actually planned to return to Sicily eventually, everything changed when he met Betsey. He and Betsey were married, started a family, built a house, worked and struggled together through the years, putting down deep roots in the community they called home ever since.

Both Frank and Betsey were honored as Citizen of the Year in New Berlin in recognition of the work they have done to strengthen their community. In the early years when their children were young, they were involved in the pre-school, PTO, soccer camps, Chenango Chargers, Youth Days, as well as Cub Scouts and Brownies.

Through the years, they have given time out of their busy lives to serve on various boards and committees including Commerce Chenango, the RC Smith Foundation, CMH Auxiliary, Hospice, Helping Hands of New Berlin, St. Theresa’s and Rosa Mystica. They have given support to local fire departments and auxiliaries, sports teams, Rotary Clubs and churches. In recognition of her years of dedicated service to the wider community, Betsey received the Volunteer of the Year Award for Chenango County in 2010.

Through their life’s work in New York Pizzeria, the Baio’s are grateful to have been part of so many celebrations and gatherings through the years. Living within a community encompasses the fullness of life, in its joys as well as its sorrows. In giving of themselves to their community, rejoicing with those who rejoice, mourning with those who mourn, their lives have been abundantly blessed.

Reservations for the event may be made by contacting the Baden-Powell Council service center at 607-648-7888 or toll free at 1-877-674-8876 and asking for information on the Chenango Distinguished Citizens Award Dinner. Reservations can also be made at . Seating is limited, so please send in your reservation early.

The Baden-Powell Council, Boy Scouts of America served 400 youth members within Chenango district in 2021 during the Covid-19 pandemic.  Frank & Betsey encourage the citizens of Chenango County to join them in their efforts to support the local scouts. Tickets are limited and expected to sell out quickly; reserve yours today.

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– Submitted by Kellie J. Amlin District Executive Boy Scouts of America