Written by Margaret Whitely Friday, 28 August 2009 00:00
On a picture perfect Saturday afternoon, New York State Assemblyman Thomas McKevitt held his Third Annual Women of Distinction Ceremony at the Albertson VFW Hall on Shelter Rock Road.
This year he honored 10 vibrant women all of whom “made a difference” in their neighborhood.
Assemblyman McKevitt said, “The women that we honor represent some of the most courageous and accomplished individuals. Together their achievements and dedication have resulted in the continuous enjoyment of the community.
“We are very lucky to have these women as our friends and neighbors. Special thanks should go to their families who have allowed their loved ones so much time caring for others. ”
McKevitt concluded, “On behalf of all the residents of the 17th Assembly District and the state, I thank you all for your hard work and tireless efforts and I look forward to working together to build an even better place to live, work and raise a family.
Prior to the presentations of citations, Assemblyman McKevitt introduced the guest speaker Mary-Grace Tomecki who spoke about the values of all being honored.
McKevitt then went on to introduce each honoree and present them with citations including:
Lori Carrick, of New Hyde Park, is an extremely involved mother and community member. For more than 10 years she has served as a member of the NHP/Garden City Park School PTA. During this time she has served on almost every committee. She also served two years as PTA first vice- president and two years as president. In addition she also served as the secretary to the board of directors from the Merillon Little League. She has coached for years and became the director of the Boys Minor Division, and was recently awarded Coach of the Year.
Dorothy Easton of Mineola fills everything she does with humility and charitable caring. A music teacher, she has gone beyond the call of duty and has truly taken her teaching to new levels. She is extremely involved at the First Presbyterian Church of Mineola. She directs many musical groups including the chancel choir and the handbell choir. Further, she is a Youth Group leader, organizes fundraisers and makes soup to bring to sick parishioners. Easton also teaches music at the Little People Academy and accompanies concerts at the Hampton Street School. She is also a private teacher for music students and gets them ready for the New York State School Music Association (NYSSMA).
Marylou Hansen, of New Hyde Park, has for the past 16 years taught nursery school at the Gloria Dei Lutheran Church of New Hyde Park. At the school she nurtures her students and lovingly prepares them for kindergarten. She also serves on the nursery school board and works at the school summer camp and has recently been appointed assistant director of the nursery school program. Hansen has also been involved with the New Hyde Park public schools, serving as the secretary of the PTA. She organized two reading incentive programs entitled Parents as Reading Partners and Books and Beyond that were used schoolwide. She has served on the Social Ministry Committee and led the Women’s Service Group for the past 20 years.
Rita Hesse, of Williston Park, is and has always been an extremely active member of the community she has lived in for close to 30 years. As president of the Williston Park Historical Society, she has categorized and collected documents and photographs that will keep the Village of Williston Park alive for all current and future residents of the community. She is also a volunteer for the Beautification Committee and the Neighborhood Watch, but she has also assisted with the Village’s annual Christmas Tree Lighting, Senior Barbecue, Easter Egg Hunt and Gazebo Concerts for many years along with her husband Bob. She also represents Williston Park on behalf of the mayor on the Nassau County Planning Commission. In her “spare” time she spends time with her husband, three daughters and four grandchildren.
Ann Marie Smith, of Williston Park, is an integral part of the community. She is a retired New York City Police Officer, from the Medical Division and is currently the deputy mayor of the village, having served previously as a trustee. She was instrumental in obtaining a traffic light at Hillside Avenue and Broad Street, a major traffic safety concern for the residents of the village. She is also the liaison to the Williston Park pool and also runs many activities for the village during the year including the Annual Easter Egg Hunt, Santa visits on Christmas Eve, the Nassau POPS concert and the Annual Night Out Against Crime, just to name a few. In addition she is extremely involved with St. Aidan’s Church and school. She volunteers many hours working as a member of the Rosary Altar Society as well as Mercy League. Her willingness to help those around her is extremely appreciated by all.
Marilyn McClean, of New Hyde Park, has brought joy to the members of her community for many years. She began her musical career at the age of 18 when she first appeared at the featured singer at Radio City Music Hall. After marrying her husband Robert and beginning her family, her involvement with the theater took a new route and she tried her hand at directing instead. For more than 25 years she has given her time to the New Hyde Park and Holy Spirit Players. In addition, she directs productions at the Theatre Box Community Theater in Floral Park and for many years was part of the popular duet entitled The First Nighters. She has made a huge impact on local community theater.
Mildred Tassone, of New Hyde Park, exemplifies the spirit of giving in her community. For many years she has served as an original member of the Parks Civic Association and recently the New Hyde Park Hillside Avenue Beautification Committee. She seeks to improve the safety and quality of life for her neighbors. In addition, she is an extremely generous craftswoman, co-founded an organization called “Clickits” that brings together the community in order to knit and crochet scarves, blankets and baby layettes for children of Anna House and Race Track Chaplaincy Backstretch. They also auction off some of the items to raise money for the organizations. The group has also run children’s clothing drives, furniture and toy drives and food drives. To enhance the local awareness of community service, Tassone is the host of an Internet radio show called WelcomeToTheNeighborhoodNY where she interviews local groups and leaders.
Pamela Naso, of Garden City Park, is an extremely generous and dedicated mother and community member. She has served as the Garden City Park PTA president for the past two years where she has participated in several fundraising events. She always finds time to help with the community as an active member of the Garden City Park Civic Association. In addition she is an active supporter for Breast Cancer Awareness where she has been involved in many of their annual walks. Aside from her community involvement, she is never too busy to find time to take her son Nicholas to his numerous sport activities because in her life he is her priority. She is a kind and caring woman who never hesitates to help anyone who needs assistance.
Dawn Ward, of Garden City Park has selflessly taken an active role in the community by volunteering her time in many different places. Aside from working three jobs, she gives generously of her time. At Garden City Park School she has been a class parent, a member of the Garden City Park School PTA Executive Committee and Garden City Park School PTA Executive Board, part of the Building Level Team and chair of numerous other committees. She is also a member and past treasurer of the Garden City Park Civic Association. As a mother of four, she is always willing to do whatever she can to benefit the children of the community. To that end she is on the board of the New Hyde Park Wildcats Soccer Club where she has also been a soccer coach for many years.