Post-Hurricane Sandy storm relief dominated the annual Five Towns Community Chest meeting held in Gold Hall at the Hewlett-Woodmere Public Library on Monday.
From videos showing the work done by Community Chest members and other Five Towns groups and residents to awards given to individuals, community service in the aftermath of Sandy was the talk of the night.
“That was some effort and we were all proud to be a part of it,” said Chest Executive Director Bob Block, who received the group’s 2012 Joseph M. Sokol Memorial Award. “This a heck of a team and I’m glad to be a part of it,” Block added.
Woodmere resident Ann DeMichael, who works as an aide to 7th District County Legislator Howard Kopel (R-Lawrence) was recognized for her contributions post-Sandy with Community Chest’s Citizenship Award. “I want to thank my boss for letting me go out into the community and help,” she said.
Using the endowment and stretching their resources to the limit, “put our organization to test and I have to say we passed with flying colors,” said Chest President Steven Spiro.
Whether it was loading pallets and trucks with supplies, assisting at the food pantry or supporting the Lawrence School District’s Health Fair and the Hewlett-Woodmere communities’ Arts Below Sunrise festival, Chest Chairman Eric Keslowitz said these things are done because of his organization’s dedication and affection for the Five Towns. “We are committed to our community, because we love it,” he said.
Keynote speaker, Town of Hempstead Councilman Anthony Santino, spoke about all that was done in the Five Towns and reminded everyone that the recovery continues. “Remembering the damage of Hurricane Sandy, we have come a long way, but we still have a long way to go,” he said, adding that this is a “strong and resilient community.”
Looking toward a better year in 2013, Spiro said he was proud of, “the way we looked out for each other,” and he wants to, “reach out to groups that have not been part of our group.”
Distinguished Community Service: Peter Sobol
Community Service Felipe Plaza
Public Service Award (3) Howard Kopel Anthony Santino James Darcy
Citizenship Initiative Award Ann DeMichael
Community Leadership Award Billy Gildin – Satco Products