2005-11-25 / Columnists

Chatting with Chapey

Dr. Geraldine ChapeyDr. Geraldine Chapey

by Dr. Geraldine M. Chapey, Democratic District Leader

Judge Ann Dufficy Memorial Scholarship

On Wednesday, November 16, the Southwest Queens Rotary Club held a dinner at Russo’s on the Bay with the proceeds to fund a scholarship in honor of the outstanding life and accomplishments of Judge Ann Dufficy. dinner was chaired by the energetic, effervescent and capable Mary Rooney. Andrew Bauman, the founder and director of New York Families for Autistic Children, a persevering and passionate advocate is the President of the Rotary Chapter.

On May 19, under the sign of the bull, in the Keystone State, Ann Dufficy made her debut as the daughter of Frank and Catherine Bender, in what was to become an extraordinary life. She was a pioneer who excelled in all her endeavors.

Dufficy achieved the highest level of self-actualization as theorized by Abraham Maslow, a humanistic psychologist. In Maslow’s ideal, a self actualized person, shows high levels of the following characteristics: spontaneity, creativity, identification with other human beings, democratic character structure, satisfying relationships with other people, a sense of value, a freshness of appreciation and richness of emotional reactions, problem solving ability and the acceptance of self, of others and of nature.

Her democratic character structure was realized through her graduation from New York University School of Law and her subsequent election as a Judge to both the New York State Civil Court and the New York State Supreme Court. Ann was a true pioneer. She was the first woman to be elected in Queens County as a Judge in the Civil Court. Prior to becoming a Judge, Ann Dufficy served as an elected Democratic District Leader and subsequent to being a Judge she was again elected as a Democratic District Leader in the 38th Assembly District. Ann had a passion for the law and politics. She firmly believed that a nation cannot exist without shared values and a sense of common mission. She worked to bring elected officials together with the community in order to achieve common goals.

Ann’s problem solving ability showed itself in her joining the WAVES in World War II. Ann trained at Smith College and achieved the rank of Lieutenant Junior Grade. Ann was part of a pioneering group. WAVES in the Navy performed admirably in every conceivable job imaginable in order to make our world a safe and secure place for future generations. Ann met and married her husband in 1944. He was Lieutenant Commander John F. Dufficy.

Ann’s identification with other human beings led her to be a member of the Board of Directors of the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) in Queens County. The BSA is the largest youth organization in the United States. Over one hundred million Americans have been members. Its educational programs for boys and young adults aim to build character, participation, citizenship, and personal fitness. Ann was awarded the highest award given to a civilian for her distinguished service to young people – The Silver Beaver Award.

As the Chairman of the Board of Directors at Jamaica Hospital, Ann again demonstrated her tremendous value for service to others. In 2002 she was awarded the hospital’s highest award. The plaque read: Jamaica Hospital Medical Center – “in gratitude for your invaluable service to our hospital and for your tenacity, vision and leadership and in building an outstanding community institution.” Ann served for three decades. She served as the Chairperson of the Medisys Health Network Inc. It combines Jamaica Hospital Medical Center, Brookdale University Hospital and Medical Center, Flushing Hospital Medical Center, Trump Pavilion for Nursing and Rehabilitation, the Shulman and Schachne Institute for Nursing and Rehabilitation, the James and Sarah Brady Institute for Traumatic Brain Injury, the Palomino Rehabilitation Institute and a network of 20 Neighborhood Family Care Centers. The Resources are: 10,000 employees, 125 psychiatric beds, 1200 acute care beds, 650 long term care beds, two level I Trauma Centers, $1 billion dollars in annual revenue, 600,000 ambulatory care visits annually, and 250,000 emergency department visits annually.

Ann’s creativity was evident in her leadership role as an instructor in “The Small Craft Association (TASCA). This club introduces the sport of sailing to the general public. They work in conjunction with the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation. They are an independent organization offering inexpensive basic sailing lessons to anyone who wants to learn. The program includes classroom lectures and actual water classes. Classes are held in Flushing Lake. After practicing on the Lake, Ann Dufficy would assist the newcomers to learn the ropes on trips to destinations like Chesapeake Bay, Block Island and Boston. Ann loved sailing and was very happy to help others and be part of the crew.

Ann’s proudest moment was when she swore in her son, Timothy as a Judge of the Civil Court. She made history there too. She was the first mother to swear in her son as a Judge of the Civil Court. Another true source of pride to her was when her only granddaughter Doreen Dufficy went to St. John’s Law School to follow in the steps of her father and grandmother. On Thursday, November 17, Doreen Dufficy was notified that she passed the bar. Doreen is a very capable, focused and creative professional who will succeed. Congratulations to Doreen and all the Dufficy’s.

Ann’s ability to relate to others shows itself clearly in her relationships with Mary Dufficy, her son’s wife. Mary is warm, cheerful, sensitive, empathetic, nurturing and a source of strength. She and Ann shared common family values. They shared a passion for family. Ann admired her grandson Tim for his outgoing personality and his concern for others shown through his outstanding work with the Volunteer Fire Department. Tim is a student at Iona College.

I want to congratulate all the Dufficy’s for their outstanding contributions to our community, city and state. They are continuing an outstanding family tradition.

Dufficy was a strong believer in the value of education. She continually told her grandchildren that someone can take away your house, your car and all your possessions, but no one can take away your education. Therefore I am very pleased that the scholarship has been established in honor of Judge Ann Dufficy. It will allow youngsters to flourish in their educational endeavors. This scholarship is a living memorial to a great lady – Judge Ann Dufficy. If you wish to contribute call (718) 474-1641.


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