At the Jan. 16 East Rockaway Board of Education meeting, the board recognized Theresa Gaffney as the January 2024 Hometown Hero Award honoree.
Gaffney is a mom, community activist, and tireless public servant who has dedicated her life to enhancing the lives of others. She currently serves the community as an EMT with the East Rockaway Fire Department as well as Secretary of Grant Avenue Hose Co. #1 and as the Village Clerk/Treasurer of the Incorporated Village.
She is also a member of the Ladies Auxiliary of American Legion Post 958, Ladies Auxiliary for the Knights of Columbus, East Rockaway Kiwanis Club, and Director of the Kiwanis Pediatric Trauma Center Foundation.
In the past, she has served as Deputy Mayor of the Village of East Rockaway, president of the Village Foundation of East Rockaway, and president of the East Rockaway Library Board.
As Deputy Mayor, Gaffney used her role to offer invaluable opportunities to students in the East Rockaway Jr./Sr. High School, including those in the Life Skills and Achievement class, by facilitating visits to Village Hall and the local Senior Center.
Notably, Gaffney, herself a survivor of the 9/11 attacks, is responsible for the community’s 9/11 Memorial “Gateway to American Heroes” at Memorial Park. In her work as past President of the East Rockaway Village Foundation, she helped procure the steel girders from the rubble of the World Trade Center that stand tall at the entrance to the community’s 9/11 tribute to our fallen heroes.
In recognition of her extraordinary character, selfless dedication to public service, and positive contributions to the East Rockaway community, the Board of Education was proud to bestow the Hometown Hero honor on Gaffney.