Exemplary community volunteers honored at ceremony

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City Councilman Daniel Dromm (D-Jackson Heights) and David Shin, president of Sunnyside nonprofit Healthy Family & Aging Service Inc., recognized exceptional community volunteers at an awards ceremony held last Thursday at the Elmhurst/Jackson Heights Senior Center.

Those honored ranged from a 75-year-old woman caring for her 100-year-old father to volunteers at the senior center to a band made up of students from Stuyvesant High School that raises money for charity. About 150 seniors at the Elmhurst/Jackson Heights Senior Center, at 75-01 Broadway, watched the ceremony, which included music performances from the New York Evangelic Opera Co.

Dromm said David Shin was responsible for organizing the event. He said he appreciated the ceremony as awards often go to elected officials who earn many such honors.

“Mr. Shin tries to recognize people who are not always recognized,” Dromm said.

While she did not attend the ceremony, the first person to be singled out was 75-year-old Young Choon Lee, who is taking care of her 100-year-old father.

Shin’s organization is focused on encouraging strong family relationships.

“He’s a deep believer in the family structure,” Dromm said.

The next group to be honored were volunteers at the senior center. Lucy Garcia, the center’s director, said the center has been working with Shin’s group for 15 years and that they always recognize the volunteers, especially the senior volunteers.

“A lot of them feel useful by doing different types of work at the senior centers,” Garcia said.

Shin and Dromm also gave awards to C3 and Friends, a band made up of Stuyvesant students who play a variety of music from traditional Korean tunes to Korean pop music, or K-pop, to American songs.

Andrew Kwang, 16, the band’s bass player, said the band has held concerts to raise money for charitable causes. Most recently they raised $5,000 in relief for victims of the tornadoes that hit the Midwest in April 2011.

Andrew said he was surprised at being honored because he did not think the band was able to raise all that much, but realized later every bit helps.

“It’s one step closer to providing relief,” Andrew said.

Others recognized by the ceremony included volunteers Cynthia Caceres and Ruci Bansal, who were recommended by the Regal Heights Rehabilitation and Health Care Center, at 70-05 35th Ave. in Jackson Heights. Han-Chang Kim and Eun Kim, were honored for arranging this year’s award ceremony. Finally, 13 other student volunteers received certificates for their work for Habitat for Humanity, Christian humanitarian organization World Vision and other organizations.

Reach reporter Rebecca Henely by e-mail at or by phone at 718-260-4564.

Updated 11:30 am, October 12, 2011
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