2003-11-14 / Community

Rockaway Chamber 2003 Honorees Named

Rockaway Chamber 2003 Honorees Named

Rockaway Chamber Of Commerce Officials at an earlier dinner.Rockaway Chamber Of Commerce Officials at an earlier dinner.

On Thursday, November 20, at Russo’s on the Bay, four Rockaway residents and one dedicated corporation will receive the Rockaway Chamber of Commerce’s 2003 accolades for outstanding dedication to the Rockaway community.

All of the 2003 honorees have contributed to that community with an eye toward the future – a future, which promises to be an exciting one for the Rockaways, according to Chamber president John Lepore. "This is a special occasion," explains Lepore, "it gives us the opportunity to thank very special people in our community and celebrate their contributions."

According to Lepore, Florida Power and Light (FPL) Energy is receiving the 2003 Corporate Friend of the Rockaways award. "The community outreach shown by FPL during the three years it has been a part of the Rockaways, has been more than corporate – it has been very personal," Lepore says. "From the time the plans for a new energy plant began to develop until today, FPL has kept Rockaway informed of its plans.

It has repeatedly sought comments, input and suggestions so that it would be able to construct and ultimately provide clean energy to us with the least amount of impact. FPL Energy has an outstanding national reputation for being an environmentally conscious energy provider and has shown nothing less here in the Rockaways. FPL, through its affiliates, arranged for an incredible contribution to Rockaway’s Tribute Park in the form of thousands of dollars of electric lighting and conduits along with a professional lighting design.

Working hand in hand with the Bayswater community (the area most impacted by the energy plants) as well as the rest of Rockaway, FPL sought solutions to long standing concerns and has made remarkable improvements which, because the decisions were well thought out and collaboratively made, will last and thrive well into the future."

Barbara Smith, President of the Deerfield Area Civic Association and recipient of the 2003 Outstanding Civic Contribution Award, lives by the motto that "service to others is the most rewarding experience in life". "Over and over again, Barbara has shown this devotion to her community and has led the Deerfield Area Civic Association to a position of strength and positive action. She is most proud of holding our elected officials accountable for their decisions and actions and is always ready to volunteer her services to her community. The many hours of community service are coupled with a full time job at St. John’s Nursing Home – a combination which gives Barbara a sense of "purpose and satisfaction." Her many years of service to her adopted community make Barbara a "natural" to receive this award," Lepore adds.

The organization president said that the 2003 Environmental Conservation Award is "richly deserved" by honoree Mr. Daniel Mundy of Broad Channel. "As a former captain in the FDNY, Dan is no stranger to action and that is precisely what he has taken to preserve one of Rockaway’s greatest as­sets – Jamaica Bay. Dan is well known throughout the environmental community and most recently, as the Pres­ident of the Jamaica Bay Eco Watch­ers, a group advocating for the restoration and funding to protect Jamaica Bay’s vital salt-water marshes. Dan graciously offered his expertise to the Chamber/Partnership and procured all necessary environmental permits for the construction of Tribute Park and the new revetment. Al­though for many years, Dan’s volunteer efforts have extended well beyond the environmental realm, he remains today Rockaway’s expert resident environmentalist," Lepore said.

Greg Carter, a resident of Far Rock­away, has earned the Chamber’s 2003 Community Youth Service Award. Lepore says, "Carter’s name is synonymous with the word "Coach" and has made it his personal mission to involve as many Rockaway children as possible in organized sports. Having been personally involved in sports throughout his life, Coach Carter be­lieves that children involved in sports are better equipped to handle the challenges that lie ahead, he has developed sports programs which draw youth from all of Rockaway. He form­ed the Rockaway Sports Associ­ation and now provides sports activities on a year around basis. One only has to watch a game or a practice to see that Coach Greg Carter is very much a part of the lives of our youth."

The Chamber of Commerce is also "very pleased" to present the 2003 Pat Brackley Beautification Award to Nadia Murphy. "In so very many places throughout Rockaway, Nadia’s personal touch is visible. Every garden she touches turns to magic. Nadia ser­ves as President of the Shore Garden Club of Neponsit and Belle Harbor and uses her expertise as a certified horticulturist and graduate of the Cor­nell University Master Gardener Pro­gram, to beautifully enhance so many community areas with carefully selec­ted plantings and design. Re­cen­tly, Na­dia was one of the lead designers of Tri­bute Park and its landscaping plans. Because of her golden touch, the gardens she has carefully created will be beautiful and lasting. It is only fitting that Nadia should receive the award created for one of her best friends, Pat Brackley, our Gardening Angel," Lepore concludes. Reserva­­­tions may be made by contacting the Chamber of Commerce office.

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