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Women honored at JSPOA gala

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Dozens of seniors honored the hardworking women of southeast Queens during the Jamaica Services Program for Older Adults 43rd annual gala at Russo’s on the Bay in Howard Beach.

The Nov. 5 gala honored women who live in southeast Queens and have dedicated their lives to improving the lives of others within their community.

The honorees were York College President Dr. Marcia Keizs, Community Board 12 President Adrienne Adams, Executive Director for Cultural Collaborative Tyra Emerson and Director of Dress for Success Shandeeyaky Shabazz.

Jamaica Services Program for Older Adults Board President William Collins said the women being honored were “women who make Jamaica work.”

Borough President Melinda Katz, who attended the event, said Queens “is a great place to be. We are still at our core a borough of neighborhoods. Folks are fighting for better lives, to take care of their parents. JSPOA represents some of that great work.”

Katz said the honorees could not be thanked enough for the work they do in their respective communities.

ABC News anchorwoman Sandra Bookman, host of the Sunday afternoon show “Here and Now,” was the mistress of ceremonies.

“There is not time or space to list all of the achievements these women have accomplish­ed,” Bookman said, who received a lifetime achievement award at the gala.

Each honoree spoke after being presented with the award.

Keizs remembers when she started her journey to the United States.

“I am delighted to be among the women who make Jamaica work. At York we are trying to fulfill the vision of its founders. As a little girl, I did not know I was started my long walk from Kingston, Jamaica to Jamaica, Queens.”

Adams, who has become a potent force in the community by fighting for resources, said she would continue to stand with her community and take on any obstacles.

Emerson, who organizes the annual JAMS festival in downtown Jamaica. She said JSPOA was important to her family, especially her 85-year old mother. “She goes to JSPOA every day of the week,” Emerson said.

The evening included a cocktail hour, dinner and dancing to old-school music such as Marcia Griffith’s “Electric Slide” and the Temptations “Beauty is only skin deep,” performed by The Brown Sounds.

Reach Reporter Sadef Ali Kully by e-mail at skully@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 260–4546.

Posted 12:00 am, November 15, 2015
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Joe Moretti from Jamaica says:
The Jamaica Services Program for Older Adults 43rd annual gala at Russo’s on the Bay in Howard Beach was held on November 5th to honor women who live in southeast Queens and have dedicated their lives to improving the lives of others within their community. Borough President Melinda Katz, attended the event and said Queens “is a great place to be. We are still at our core a borough of neighborhoods. Folks are fighting for better lives, to take care of their parents. JSPOA represents some of that great work.” Katz said the honorees could not be thanked enough for the work they do in their respective communities.

Yet one women from Jamaica was obviously missing for all her hard and continuous work she had done for the community for years, helping to improve the quality of life in a community that has major quality of life issues due to poor leadership from local elected officials. Community Activist/Advocate Pamela Hazel, who has a full time job and a family, works tirelessly organizing clean up projects of garbage strewn areas that our local leaders have continuously ignored, not afraid to get her hands dirty. She monitors the area, taking photos of problem sights and contacts elected officials and city agencies from garbage issues to leaky MTA buses and everything in between. She passes out flyers about problems in the areas. She not only organizes many clean up projects, but she organizes protests as she recently did on Monday (11.17.15) in front of Senator Leroy Comrie’s office to protest the huge number of homeless shelters that are constantly dumped into a community that is struggling to improve itself.

But there in lies why you will not see someone like Ms. Hazel honored or given an award (not that she would care anyway). She is not afraid to speak out and criticize elected officials like Katz, Comrie and many others for their neglect of this community, their lack of addressing issues and action plans for solving problems. See, these public servants (a word you hear less and less), who work for us and our tax dollars pay their bloated salaries, which pretty much amount to part-time jobs, do not like to be criticized, they do not like to be called out on their BS, they do not like to be held accountable, they do not like to be held in a negative light, no matter how much they deserve to. They do not like folks who rock the boat.

And so someone like Pamela Hazel will never be honored for her constant hard work she does does in this community for no pay. Now, not too take anything away from the women who were honored, many whom it is their job and they get paid for improving lives, but Ms. Hazel, does this in the true definition of a public servant, not to be paid or recognized or have photo ops or attend ceremonies to name streets or other useless crap that really serves no purpose, but to truly help improve a community that she lives in and obviously cares about.

Kudos to Pamela Hazel, even if Katz or others refuse to acknowledge her contribution to the Jamaica community.

https://cleanupjamaicaqueens.wordpress.com/
Nov. 17, 2015, 2:36 pm

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