Legislative messengers honored at luncheon

Gazette photo by Bridget McGuigan

A luncheon was held last week to honor the members of the Legislative Messenger Service who help keep the Senate and Assembly running smoothly every day.

The messengers and the administrators for the program gathered to enjoy a relaxed meal and reflect on the hard work they had done this past year. Theses luncheons have been held for nearly 30 years as a way to say thanks for the countless hours of delivering important documents around the state plaza every day.

The messenger service provides a communications network throughout the Empire State Plaza and neighboring state buildings for Senate and Assembly legislators and their staffs.

“These are hardworking individuals who love their jobs,” said Assemblyman Micahel Benedetto, who organizes the thank-you luncheon, and has been since Assemblyman Harvery Weisenberg retired. “When he left three years ago, I thought ‘when Harvey goes, will the luncheon go too?’

“As a former teacher, you always praise people for doing well in class. The same applies here; you always want to pat people on the back for doing a good job,” Benedetto said. “This luncheon is for them, and for a lot of them, this is not just a job they do for one session, it’s a life profession. A lot of them work here 10-20 years and retire from this job. They do a great job and it is always good to recognize a job well done.

The director of the program, Kevin Kather, greeted everyone when they first arrived to the celebration, which was held in room 711-A in the Legislative Office Building. Kather said the program was created in 1973 and he has been the director since 2003. He said is proud for the messengers’ hard work every day.

The messengers were laughing and catching up with one another before and during lunch, which included pizza and sandwiches.

The room erupted with cheers and hollers when Assemblyman Benedetto arrived, just off the Assembly floor.

Almost all of the messengers ran up to greet him, shaking his hand, giving him homemade crafts and artwork, and asking him to pose for pictures with him.

Assemblyman Benedetto couldn’t stop smiling. Every time one of the messengers thanked him for supporting the program, he thanked them for their hard work.

Additional reporting by Rob Piersall.