25 influential women from Bronx honored by Bronx Times

25 influential women from Bronx honored by Bronx Times
Photo by Silvio Pacifico

Scavello’s on the Island recently hosted the Bronx Times Reporter’s seventh annual ‘25 Bronx Influential Women’ awards gala.

On Tuesday, June 28, 25 women were honored at the event for their commitment, dedication and excellence in the Bronx.

The annual event started with a cocktail reception and was followed by opening remarks by Bronx Times Reporter publisher Laura Guerriero, Community News Group president and publisher Jennifer Goodstein and CNG CEO Les Goodstein.

Jennifer Goodstein also acted as the mistress of ceremonies for the event and spoke on behalf of the Bronx Times in congratulating the 25 influential women who were selected.

Following the event’s keynote speaker, Lieutenant Governor Kathleen Hochul, who praised the Bronx and paid homage to the 25 influential women, the awards were ready to be presented to each honoree.

The planning committee members, Rosemary DeLuca from the Wildlife Conservation Society, Elizabeth Figueroa from New York Botanical Garden, Geri Sciortino from the Bronx Design Group, Lisa Sorin from the Westchester Square BID and Anna Vincenty from the Wildlife Conservation Society each presented five honorees with their awards.

This year’s 25 Bronx influential women are: Peggy Robles Alvarado, Maria Aponte, Effie Ardizzone, Debra Arles, Leenda Bonilla, Linda Cunningham, Joyce Higginson Davis, Meiling Viera Delgado, Gianna Dell’Olio, Hetty Fox, Avril Francis, Lynne Greco, Zelideth Diaz Hatch, Pamela Hamilton-Johnson, Majorie Velasquez-Lynch, Chrys Napolitano, Nicole Perrino, Catherine Praino, Evern Gillard-Randolph, Joyce A. Rivera, Andrea Siegel, Giselle Melendez Susca, Olga Luz Tirado and Tiffany Warren.

Each honoree was presented with a glass engraved trophy that read “Commitment, Dedication and Excellence” as a tribute to their hard work over the years.

This year’s group, which included artists, community activists, environmentalists, teachers and writers, among other professions, all possessed qualities of being leaders and role models in the Bronx, which ultimately led to their inductions for the event.

Each woman said that they were extremely grateful and humbled by the honoring, despite the well-deserved honors that they received.

“This was a wonderful event – one that is very important, in fact, vital to the the Bronx,” said Peggy Robles Alvarado, an author, poet and teacher who has been featured on HBO Habla Women, Lincoln Center Out of Doors for La Casita and the Pregones Theater Block Party, among other venues.

She has also made appearances at various local colleges including, John Jay College, Bronx Community College, Hunter College, New York University and Fairfield University, among others.

“Events like this one continue to provide motivation and inspiration, and has pushed me to strive even further through my work. I am very grateful for this honor and this legacy should continue, because there are so many female role models from all backgrounds here in the Bronx.”

“This was a very exciting process and I was so grateful to be one of the honorees for the event,” said Hetty Fox, a community activist who has lived on the same block in Foxhurst, Lyman Place, for 75 years, with the exception of an eight-year period.

Fox also started her very own ‘Play Street’ in 1977, where she closes down the block for 12 hours so that kids can take part in physical outdoor activities. “I was very happy because this event brought attention to my area of the Bronx, an area I am very proud to have come from. I am blessed that the Bronx Times-Reporter recognized my hard work and my attempt to maintain the value of culture in my community.”

“It was a wonderful feeling to be honored – especially for my writing,” said Chrys Napolitano, who is the author of a bi-weekly column in the Bronx Times-Reporter called ‘Food for Thought’, where she shares various cooking recipes and provides eating tips for her readers.

She also has experience as a community activist, being with the Locust Point Community Association for 13 years. “This was very gratifying – and I look forward to seeing more women get honored in the years to come, because there are so many important women who do so much for their communities in this borough.”

Each year, the Bronx Times Reporter honors 25 women from the Bronx who have made a difference for their communities and the residents within them.

Readers are invited to nominate women for the 2017 awards by contacting the Bronx Times. The annual tradition was started by former publisher and current Bronx Times Reporter editor John Collazzi in 2010.

This year’s event was sponsored by University Diagnostic Medical Imaging, P.C.

The Bronx Times extends a special thanks to Scavello’s on the Island, Jerome Florist and BronxNet for their participation in the event.

See the photospread of the event on pages 24 and 25.

Reach Reporter Steven Goodstein at (718) 260-4599. E-mail him at sgoodstein@cnglocal.com.