“It takes dedicated women with a strong sense of community to build better neighborhoods. It is an honor for the State of New York and me to salute the commitment, spirit and energy of these outstanding volunteers,” said Assemblywoman Markey in a ceremony at her district office.
Each year, during National Women’s History Month, Assemblywoman Markey reaches out to major community organizations and institutions in the 30th Assembly District to identify exceptional women who volunteer in their communities and assist at local non-profit groups and institutions to improve the quality of life for their neighbors.
This year’s honorees were nominated by: Community Board 2, Central Astoria LDC, Maspeth Town Hall, Woodside Senior Center, United Forties Civic Association, Community Board 1, St. Mary’s Church, Selfhelp Maspeth Senior Center, C.O.M.E.T, Dutch Kills Civic Association, Sunnyside Community Park, Maspeth Chamber of Commerce, Maspeth Kiwanis Club, Woodside on the Move and the Middle Village Maspeth Civic Association.
“We all benefit from the selfless devotion of women like these 2008 honorees,” said Assemblywoman Markey. “This year’s ‘Women of Distinction’ have earned this tribute by working with seniors and children, advocating on community issues, organizing neighborhood improvement projects, and providing leadership for vital local organizations and institutions. They help improve the neighborhood and the lives of all around them.”
Following are the 2008 “Women of Distinction” and their community contributions:
Joan Bonaccorsi, nominated by Woodside Senior Center, where she is been advisory board secretary and helps take blood pressure readings. She is also an active member of Ravenswood Senior Center and Peter della Monica Senior Center, and participates in and leads sing-alongs and entertains at hospitals and other facilities. She also works with Apple Aides staffing the information desk at La Guardia Airport.
Marie Breslin, nominated by the Maspeth Chamber of Commerce, is President of the Maspeth Kiwanis Club, where she also served as chair of its auction committee for five years. She regularly represents the Chamber and Kiwanis at various events.
Tania Broschart, nominated by the Middle Village Maspeth Civic Association, is the chairperson and driving force behind the highly successful annual Spring and Fall Festivals in Juniper Valley Park. She also volunteers with the graffiti removal program and other beautification programs for those neighborhoods.
Anne Bruno, nominated by Community Board 1, is active with the board and the 114th Precinct Community Council, where she heads fundraising for the precinct’s annual Christmas party.
Dorothy Cavello, nominated by Sunnyside Community Park, where she is an active board member. She is Co-President of the Phipps Tenants Association and is a passionate community leader committed to help Sunnyside families.
Theresa Cavallo, nominated by the Dutch Kills Civic Association, where she has been a member since its inception and serves Recording Secretary. A live-long resident of Dutch Kills and active participant in community life, she has also served as secretary at St. Patrick’s Church in Long Island City for many years.
Barbara Coleman, nominated by Community Board 2 where she is an active member. Her research and perseverance resulted in a memorial plaque honoring Woodside residents who lost their lives in World War One, erected by the Woodside Civic Association.
Sister Mary Conroy, nominated by St. Mary’s Church, where she runs the food pantry and thrift shop for the area serving 40-60 families weekly. She also provides counseling and makes appropriate referrals to various service agencies.
Olga Demko, nominated by Selfhelp Maspeth Senior Center, where she used her sewing talent for 20 years to help fundraising for the center and now volunteers in an intergenerational sewing project where she teaches Builder’s Club youth how to sew “hospital dolls” used by physicians to explain surgical procedures to children.
Diane DeSilva, nominated by Maspeth Town Hall where she is a regular weekly volunteer. She is also involved in community concerns and advocates about quality of life issues in the neighborhood.
Elizabeth Montanegro, nominated by United Forties Civic Association, where is a long-time member and chair of its Planning Committee. She also Volunteers at St. Raphael’s School and is active with the 108th Precinct Community Council. She also uses her bi-lingual skills to bring together non-Spanish Latino and Anglo-English residents.
Joan Sammon, nominated by Maspeth Kiwanis Club, where she is active on many projects including chairing its anti-graffiti program. She is also an active member of the Maspeth Selfhelp Senior Center.
Marie Torniali, nominated by Central Astoria LDC, where she initiated a successful housing hotline for tenants. She also coordinates an annual concert series that brings summer entertainment to thousands each year, and is currently undertaking an extensive street beautification program.
Catherine Volpe, nominated by Woodside on the Move, Inc., is a long-time community leader. She is currently President of the Board of the Berkley Towers Co-op, one of the best run co-ops in Queens. She is also a long serving member of the Kiwanis Club of Woodside and was a long-time elected member of Community School Board 30.
Lucille Winsko, nominated by C.O.M.E.T, has been a school crossing guard for more than 20 years and is a block captain for the organization, helping identify important community issues, and distributing notices and information to inform residents about neighborhood activities and concerns.
please call Mike Armstrong 718-651-3185, 917-279-8437