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Buffalo City Court reopens children's center in memory of Sharon Thomas

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Buffalo City Court has re-opened its children's center, renaming it in honor of a distinguished longtime colleague.

The Children's Center provides youngsters a place to be cared for while parents handle their legal business. elsewhere within the building. The center closed approximately six years ago due to lost funding.

The reopened center is named in memory of Sharon Thomas, who served as Chief Clerk of Buffalo City Court from 1999 until her death in 2015. She worked for 41 years within the state's Unified Court System and, according to those dedicating the new center, she was the first African-American to hold a Chief Clerk's position within the system outside of New York City.

Andrew Isenberg, District Executive for New York State's 8th Judicial District, says Thomas led the effort to reopen the center just one day after it closed.

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"By dedication of the Children's Center in memory of Sharon Thomas, it's my hope and prayer for the future that we forever have a space where children can have a place of joy, where they can be nurtured, grow and mature, so they can continue to be our teachers, our source of wisdom and compassion, regardless of who we are and regardless of the actions that have brought us to court in the first place," Isenberg said.

Kimberly Johnson, Sharon Thomas' daughter, was among those present for the dedication ceremony.

"I want the court to understand that this center that is opening today, we can't close it again. It's necessary," she said. 

Mary Catalfamo contributed to this report.

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