In recognizing the altruistic and professional strides that women have contributed to the local community, Assemblyman Brian Curran officially joined fellow elected officials county supervisor Kate Murray and Councilman Anthony Santino, in honoring 14 female volunteers from across Nassau County for their dedication to service at his third annual Women of Distinction ceremony at Lynbrook Library on Sept. 7.
"The selflessness and dedication these women have shown to our community is an uplifting example of devotion to our area and residents," Assemblyman Curran said. "It is my honor to show them this small token of recognition for the hard work and perseverance they have showed for our community."
Among the two-dozen honorees at this year’s ceremony were Sheila Norris and Marie-Antoinette Vitelli of Malverne and Lakeview Fire Chief Heather Senti of Lakeview Fire Department, who were all escorted by members of several local Girl Scout troops to receive their certificates of recognition.
In her 56 years as a Malverne resident, Norris has served as president of the Mother’s Club at Sacred Heart Academy and Our Lady of Lourdes Rosary, a coach for CYO Girls’ Basketball, a member of the Malverne Women’s Club and a mother of six children, one of them being Mayor of Malverne Patti McDonald.
“Volunteering is so important now, it’s so needed now,” said Norris, who thanked her family and late husband for motivating her to achieve her goals. “I know how hard the work force is now.”
Norris currently works with Mercy Medical Center as president of the United Hempstead League and the Council of Leagues and as part of the Executive Board of Nassau-Suffolk Council of Hospital Auxiliaries.
“I think that what makes these small communities so special are the people who live there and their devotion to community,” said McDonald, who honored Norris at the ceremony and credited her mother as her inspiration for volunteering in the community. “We need to keep that going for generations and generations — if we lose that, then we’re in trouble.”
After moving around the country for most of her life, Vitelli, 76 — who was also recognized by McDonald at the ceremony — said she always returned to Malverne ever since she had moved there in 1940.