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Queens Impact Awards

May, 2016

A Message from the Editors

The TimesLedger Newspapers, a subsidiary of the Community News Group, is saluting the unsung heroes of Queens for another year. Comments (1)
A woman from Broad Channel who teaches math and physics at a College Point high school spends her time trying to motivate her students to be interested in the sometimes intimidating subjects. Comment
Astoria resident Brendan Fay fought for a quarter of a century for the 255-year-old St. Patrick’s Day Parade to be opened up to gay groups and in March, as 330 members of his Lavender and Green Alliance turned onto Fifth Avenue to cheers from the crowd, tears of joy flowed down his face. Comment

Claire Shulman: Queens grew under her stewardship

Queens experienced extraordinary growth under the leadership of Claire Shulman, the first female borough president, from 1986 to 2001. During that time, dozens of neighborhoods were rezoned, generating development which led to the economic revitalization of downtown Jamaica, Flushing and Long Island City. Comment

Dan Mundy: Fire chief monitors Jamaica Bay ecology

“The funny thing about firemen is, night and day, they are always firemen.” Comment

Danny Lye: College Pt. restaurant owner seeks to help his community

A restaurant owner in College Point who made waves in December when he hosted a Christmas Eve community meal for Flushing residents says the meal was a stepping stone for him to give back to area residents. Comment

David Close: Conductor celebrates 50 years with Oratorio Society

Maestro David Close’s relationship with the Oratorio Society of Queens stretches back nearly 50 years. Throughout the decades, he has worked to ensure that the society remains accessible to all listeners, including those who are not familiar with classical music. Comment

Edwin Boison: Cowbell Man cheers on Mets fans

Edwin “Eddie” Boison, also known as the Cowbell Man, has no official seat at New York Mets home games. But he has been a diehard Mets fan all his life and has hardly missed a New York game in over 40 years. Comment

Ed & Josephine Wendell: Couple preserves Woodhaven’s rich history

Ed Wendell and his wife Josephine are self-described lifers. They have lived in Woodhaven for almost their entire lives, and they have made the neighborhood and its rich history their life’s work. Comment

Erica Ford: Jamaica activist and leader works to curb gun violence

Erica Ford and LIFE Camp Inc., the organization she founded, work in a designated impact zone in South Jamaica, trying to keep the area free from gun violence. LIFE Camp covers the area from 146th Street to Guy R. Brewer Boulevard, between 111th and 118th Avenues. And its approach is clearly working: There hasn’t been a shooting in the impact zone in more than 500 days. Comments (2)

Gail Mellow: Helps at-risk students succeed at LaGuardia CC

When Dr. Gail O. Mellow took over as president of LaGuardia Community College in 2000, she inherited one of the most ethnically diverse campuses in the nation with more than 50,000 students, two-thirds of whom are now new Americans. The students at LaGuardia’s Long Island City campus face a unique challenge in that the majority have family incomes of less than $25,000 per year. Comment

James Trent: Civic leader founded Queens Farm Museum

Jim Trent’s commitment to the betterment of his Bellerose community and to the borough as a whole makes him a true Queens hero. Comment

John Kane: Doctor battles stigma of mental illness

“Please hear this: There are not ‘schizophrenics.’ There are people with schizophrenia,” says Elyn Saks, a mental-health policy advocate who lives with the baffling illness. Comments (1)

Joseph Mantovani: Pastor shares church with community

The pastor of St. Jacobus Evangelical Lutheran Church in Woodside has helped the church become more connected to the surrounding community. Comment

Jose Prince: Pediatric surgeon heads premier trauma center

Dr. Jose Prince’s history with Queens began in an apartment he shared with his parents and two brothers near Elmhurst Hospital. Comment

Kathleen Thelian: Animal rescuer touches heart of many

“I am in favor of animal rights as well as human rights. That is the way of a whole human being.” — Abraham Lincoln Comment

Kevin Montalvo: ‘El Capitano’ starts first Queens Marathon

“Running is the greatest metaphor for life because you get out of it what you put into it.” —Oprah Winfrey Comment

Lester Linn: Volunteer leads mission for shelter dwellers

Lester Lin loves Elmhurst. He loves human beings more. Comment

Maria Blacque-Belair: Humanitarian helps torture victims

Wars, persecution and global warming have forced more than 60 million people to flee their homes and seek refuge in other countries—more than at anytime since 1949, when the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees began keeping records. Comment

Mohamed William: Nurse runs children’s boot camp at Queens Hospital

Mohamed William, who was a combat medic in the United States Army for eight years, doesn’t consider himself a tough guy. Rather he’s a joker. Comments (5)

Sister Cathleen Feeney: Nun helps found Woodhaven center for underserved women

It seemed a divine plan was in the works when Sister Catherine Feeney, along with Sisters Jean McLoughlin and Janice Algie, were asked by their congregational leaders to establish a center in Queens, where underserved and marginalized women could further their education. Comment

Sonia Goode-LeMelle: Director of academy finds inner artist in children

Alisha Johnson, who won a Queens Impact Award last year, recently nominated her friend and colleague Sonia Goode-LeMelle for the 2016 award, citing her hard work and giving spirit. Comment

Taryn Sacramone: Director of Queens Theatre celebrates borough’s artists

Taryn Sacramone, the managing director of the Queens Theatre, believes the performing arts space and concert venue is located in one of the most buoyant areas for artists in the country. Comment



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