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Nonprofit lauds 2 from Qns.

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A citywide nonprofit volunteer organization has honored a Long Island City man and a Woodside woman for their long-term volunteer work assisting recent immigrants and underprivileged children from Queens and the Bronx.

New York Cares, which annually draws 40,000 volunteer workers from the five boroughs and works with more than 850 nonprofit groups and public schools in the five boroughs, bestowed its 2008 leadership awards upon Long Island City's David Halloran, 36, and Woodside's Beth Lehman, 44, at a ceremony earlier this month for their work with the volunteer group.

Halloran, who has been volunteering since 2001, was honored for leading orientations for the group's new volunteers.

"The most rewarding thing for me is making a difference in people's lives," he said. "I like seeing new volunteers being excited about the opportunities to go out and make a meaningful difference in New York City."

At New York Cares, Halloran also helps recent immigrants from Mexico, Ecuador, El Salvador, Morocco, Bangladesh and the Middle East improve their English-speaking skills at a weekly class held in Long Island City.

Lehman, a volunteer since 2000, was recognized for reading bedtime stories to children, ages 5 through 12, at a transitional housing center in the Bronx.

"I always thought children should be read to and be able to read," she said. "A lot of them have parents who don't speak English."

Lehman, a nanny in Manhattan, also takes underprivileged children from Queens on adventures around the city and beyond, including a rock-wall climbing day, a tour of a local church, an aquarium, a medieval work shop, a corn field maze in New Jersey and a hip-hop dance class. She also plays board games with AIDS patients at Manhattan's Rivington House.

Halloran has completed more than 200 hours of volunteer service, while Lehman has dedicated more than 960 hours to the program, a New York Cares spokeswoman said. The group's leadership award is given to participants who go above and beyond the typical amount of volunteer work, the spokeswoman said.

Reach reporter Nathan Duke by e-mail at news@timesledger.com or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 156.

Posted 6:40 pm, October 10, 2011
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