Honorees include Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez, Greenpointers and Apple Bank
By Oona Milliken
The Greenpoint YMCA held its sixth annual Spirit of Community service awards dinner and auction at Giando on the Water on Wednesday Oct. 4 to celebrate important community leaders within the neighborhood. The honorees at the event included Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez, Apple Bank’s Maureen Douglas, Executive Vice President, Debbie Hootam, Vice President, Business Relationship Manager and Monika Nowicka, Assistant Vice President, Branch Manager as well as those of the Greenpointers blog, Julia Moak and her team.
Tatiana Terzouli, Regional Director for Communications, Marketing and Fund Development at the Greenpoint YMCA, said the event was a chance to highlight another year of the YMCA’s goal of making a difference in the community.
“I thought this year’s Greenpoint Y’s ‘Spirit of Community’ Service Awards Dinner was another success, providing us with a great opportunity to come together, connect with old and new friends, celebrate, and fortify our commitment to another year of making a positive impact on the community we love. The event was filled with camaraderie, inspiration, and a shared sense of purpose as we gear up for another year of giving back,” Terzouli said in an email.
La-Asia Hundley, the co-master of ceremonies, said the honorees were exceptional, not only in their fields of work and passion but also in their commitment to providing for their communities.
“These honorees are not just exceptional leaders, and I will say they are exceptional in their own right, in their own fields, but they are role models for the young people at the Y. Their everyday actions aligned with the core values of the Y: respect, honesty, responsibility and caring. They are driven by a deep passion for serving others,” Hundley said.
Elaine Brodsky, the former co-founder of Citistorage, a Brooklyn-based archival storage and records-management company, the chair of the North Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, and keynote speaker at the event, said the YMCA was an important part of her upbringing and wanted to give back to the organization.
“I was a little girl when I learned how to swim at the YMCA upstate in Elmira, New York. The was a central location for all activities back in the day, much as it is in Greenpoint now. We are so fortunate to have such a strong culture of diversity, acceptance, and solidarity in our neighborhood,” Brodsky said.
Terzuoli said it was important to hold community events in order to both recognize community members, bring people in the community together as well and inspire others to dedicate some of their time to service and helping others.
“First, it makes people feel valued and appreciated for the good things they do in our community. Recognizing and celebrating influential individuals acknowledges their efforts and motivates them to continue their support and involvement,” Terzouli said in an email. “Additionally, recognizing influential community members at these events can serve as an inspiration to others. When people see others getting involved with organizations like the YMCA, it encourages them to become actively engaged, volunteer, and contribute to causes they are passionate about, not just the Y. This means more support for essential community programs and services.”
Disclaimer: Walter Sanchez is a board member of the Greenpoint YMCA