An annual event that brings together the community is once again paying homage to outstanding neighborhood volunteers.
The 45th Precinct Community Council recently announced that it would honor several civilians, along with police personnel, at its annual breakfast on Wednesday, May 9.
The gala will take place at 8:30 a.m. at Villa Barone Manor with tickets costing $15 dollars and sponsorships available.
“What makes this a great event is that we get everyone from every part of our community,” said Bob Bieder the 45th Precinct Council’s president.
Michael McNerney, Country Club Civic Association president; Michelle Torrioni, Pelham Bay Taxpayers and Community Association president; Fred Ramftl, City Island Civic Association vice-president; Junius Williams, Riverbay Public Safety Committee director; former Councilman James Vacca and Bill Mahoney, Edgewater Park Security Committee chairman will all be recognized, said Bieder.
The precinct council president said that while elected officials are not honored generally, an exception was made in Vacca’s case since he is now out of office.
Vacca’s been serving his community since he was a 13-year old fighting for better bus service, said Bieder.
Fellow council board member John Doyle has said that he was impressed by how Vacca has mentored so many people who came out of his office to have fantastic careers in public service.
Torrioni is someone who has done a phenomenal job leading her community’s association, and is someone who’s committed herself to her neighborhood, cares what is going on and is a fighter for their concerns, said Bieder.
Annie Boller, a council board member, said Torrioni was able to look at both sides of an issue.
McNerney said the honor was the first he was ever contacted on in ten years of community volunteer work, and that he is thrilled to be recognized.
Doyle said that many of the 45th Precinct’s police officers hold McNerney in high regard.
Award recipient Fred Ramftl said that the award was very unexpected and that he appreciated being recognized.
Ramftl recalled that he got his start in the 1990s when he was not even in his teens. He was riding on a bicycle and hit a pothole on Carroll Street, damaging the bicycle chain. He then corresponded with the city to get it fixed.
“It is the little things that can improve a community,” he said.
Mahoney was honored, said Doyle, because he was a stalwart in attending 45th council meetings and often brings a contingent from his Edgewater Park community.
According a published report, the committee Williams leads recently received a grant from Assemblyman Michael Benedetto’s office for the installation of security cameras in Co-op City. Williams is a Riverbay board member and he’s been an activist for safety and security for years, said board member Joe Boiko.
To purchase tickets, or for information about sponsorships, call (718) 828-4400 and ask for Bieder or purchase them during a 45th council meeting.