Shapiro Toasted By JCCRP And Council Speaker
What started as a way to recognize her many contributions to the area with a service award at the Jewish Community Council of the Rockaway Peninsula Legislative Breakfast last Sunday, turned into a toast for longtime Rockaway resident Joanne Shapiro.
Shapiro, who has served as the chief of staff for Assemblywoman Audrey Pheffer for 20 years, found herself listening to one speaker after another offer compliments for her work in the Rockaways.
"I don't know of one person who workers harder in the five boroughs than Joanne Shapiro," said Congressman Anthony Weiner.
Assemblywoman Michele Titus called Shapiro "a Rockaway pearl."
Pheffer said, "To have someone who knows what I care about is so reassuring. She is an expert on everything in the Rockaways."
Pheffer, who considers Shapiro a friend as well as a colleague, said, "By honoring her, you're honoring me."
Representing Quinn, Howard Pollack presented Shapiro with a crystal apple "for her dedication to serving the community."
The Wave spoke with Shapiro on Tuesday.
"I was surprised at the accolades," said Shapiro, who explained that she does what she does because she loves Rockaway and "my friends, my neighbors and the community I live in."
"I was very humbled to be in the company of the police officer [Kevin Campbell] and firefighter [James Byrne]," said Shapiro about some of her fellow honorees at the breakfast. "Their jobs daily put their lives on the line."
Shapiro is a past member of the 101 Precinct Community Council, is the chairperson for the Rockaway Senior Network, was the chair of the American Cancer Society's Rockaway Relay for Life for five years, has served as the American Cancer Society's Community Ambassador and Legislative Liaison in Washington, is the chair of the Rockaway Catholic School Cluster, and is active in her church - St. Rose of Lima.