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Yaman to get tourney honor

Council of Churches memorializes realtor for his spirit

Bob Ellis/file photo

Jim Yaman, left, and Steve Cinquanti have lunch at Pita Gourmet in 2015, where Yaman and Cinquanti’s father Bill would meet for lunch. The pair combined their real estate companies.

This year, Jim Yaman will be posthumously honored at the Cortland County Council of Churches Golf Tournament as someone who lived the ecumenical spirit of its mission to work on the behalf of the well being of others and the community, the council has announced.

Yaman, owner of Yaman Real Estate who put in more than 60 years in the profession, died in 2016 at the age of 96. He was known for his integrity and generosity.

The tournament will be 8 a.m. July 26 at Elm Tree Golf Course in Cortlandville. The golf tournament is the Council of Churches’ major fundraiser for the year. Register before the event by calling 607-753-1002 or visiting cortlandchurches.org. People can sign up 7:30 to 8 a.m. the day of the event.

Yaman embodied the caring and open response to persons in need that is still a guiding principle for the council’s ministry and mission today and for the future, it said.

Yaman, born and raised in Cortland and a 1940 graduate of the Cortland Normal School, served in the military from 1942 to 1946. He established Yaman Real Estate in 1950.

He donated land to the City of Cortland in 1969 to create a park —Yaman Park, in honor of his father Dieb Yaman, a Lebanese immigrant who loved children. The park provides free, supervised swimming in the summer, and a playground, picnic area and skate park open through the year.

Over the years, Yaman contributed more than $400,000 to the park for equipment, landscaping and to keep parking free when the city was considering charging in the mid-90s.

He developed neighborhoods in the city and fostered businesses like Pita Gourmet, a Lebanese restaurant on Main Street he frequented daily for 20 years.

Yaman never lost sight of the importance of community and its health and vitality, the council said, but it is his person and his loving, kind, and generous spirit that will be remembered and honored.

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