Sure, plenty of people recycle, or give an old lady a seat on the bus. But other Brooklynites do more — and the Brooklyn Community Foundation decided to recognize them with its first-annual “Brooklyn Do-Gooder Awards.”
The original list of 250 nominees has been culled to just 20 finalists, thanks to more than 300,000 votes. The five winners will be announced on Nov. 3 at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden.
Here they are:
• Sister Kay Crumlish has helped start numerous art centers and programs for children with autism and other disabilities at the Mercy Home for Children.
• All the borough’s a stage thanks to Lynn Parkerson, founder of Brooklyn Ballet, which provides instruction and outreach to children of all backgrounds.
• Chinita Pointer is the Pied Piper of Central Brooklyn, using music to lead children on a path toward a better education through the Noel Pointer Foundation.
• John Strohbeen of Red Hook knows the plight of the starving artist, and through the Brooklyn Waterfront Artists Coalition, helps nascent artists start their careers.
• Leticia Alanis immigrated from Mexico 11 years ago, and now advocates for immigrant reform as the head of La Union de la Comunidad Latina in Sunset Park.
• Tony Gentile is the owner of the Lonestar Bar and Grill. In addition to providing the community with much-needed alcohol, he hosts countless charity events at his restaurant.
• Denise Rosario ensures low-income children are placed into caring foster homes and have access to basic medical care in Bushwick as the executive director of Hispanic Family Services.
• Vegetables grow in Brooklyn thanks to Melony Samuels, the executive director of BedStuy Campaign Against Hunger, which provides locally-grown food to the community in addition to health screenings and job training.
• Chip Cafiero is synonymous with community activism in Bay Ridge. He is involved in numerous organizations such as the Bay Ridge Food Co-op, and also organizes several parades and concerts throughout the year.
• Linda Sarsour helps recent Muslim immigrants transition to life in the city through the Arab American Association of New York, which provides language classes, health workshops, and after-school tutoring.
• As a Big Apple Greeter, Brad Smith’s face is the first one that tourists see when they come to visit the borough. Luckily, it has been smiling and dispensing interesting information for the last 17 years.
• Hizam Wahib helps recent immigrants navigate the often-frustrating road to citizenship through his work with The Arab-American Family Support Center.
• Sharon Content provides children of imprisoned parents with afterschool activities and academic help through her charity, Children of Promise NYC.
• David Goldsmith helped transform PS 8 in Brooklyn Heights from a failing school into a sought-after institution as president of the PTA. He’s now an advocate for helping failing schools.
• Abu Muhammad works intimately with small groups of failing high school students, helping them achieve success through his organization, Pyramid Incentive.
• Barnabus Shankur helps low-income youth in Bedford-Stuyvesant and Crown Heights by providing them with opportunities to build their careers through training and workshops.
• Murad Awawdeh educates residents of Sunset Park about the dangers of pollution, as well as advocates for more green space in the neighborhood. He works with the environmental justice organization, UPROSE.
• Jed Marcus doesn’t hide his ambitions for the neighborhood — Green Fort Greene and Clinton Hill is the name of his non-profit, which has helped widen tree beds, install bike racks, and encourage businesses to sell green products.
• The power of crops compels you! Zenobia McNally works to exorcise fried, fast, and junk foods from East Flatbush residents’ diets. She started a community garden to provide residents with healthy, affordable, and locally grown eats.
• Anne-Katrin Titze is the unofficial guardian angel of Prospect Park wildlife. She rescues animals from fishing lines in the park, and educates children about the importance of protecting the environment.
Brooklyn Do-Gooder Award presentation at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden [1000 Washington Ave. at Eastern Parkway in Crown Heights, (718) 623-7220]. Nov. 3 at 6 pm. Free. For info, visit www.dogoodrighthere.org.
©2010 Community News Group
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