45th Precinct Community Council holds annual breakfast and awards on May 11

Brenda Prohaska, City Island Community Center president, will be recognized.
Photo courtesy of Ron Turner

The 45th Precinct Community Council’s largest event is coming up soon – and there is still time to purchase tickets.

The precinct council’s annual breakfast will take place at Villa Barone Manor on Wednesday May 11, honoring both police officers and five community members who work hand-in-hand with the precinct.

Invited special guests are William Bratton, NYC Police Department commissioner and the newly sworn-in District Attorney Darcel Clark, said Robert Bieder, the council’s president.

The event honors one community activist from the precinct’s six geographic areas, Bieder explained.

“The whole community is being supportive of this breakfast and that is the greatest thing about it,” he said, adding “Every neighborhood is represented and it is a great feeling to have them all sit and break bread together.”

Sponsorships are coming in from Castle Hill to Co-op City, said Bieder.

Civilian honorees are Al Carena, president of the Spencer Estate Civic Association; Hanna Acampora, a community activist from Westchester Square; Fr. Robert Grippo, longtime pastor of St. Theresa Church; Lynn Gerbino, Throggs Neck Home Owners Association president; Archbishop Angel Rosario, Church of God’s Children and Brenda Prohaska, who runs the City Island Community Center.

Prohaska has labored away for two decades on behalf of the island’s community center and the P.T.A. at P.S. 175.

Fr. Grippo, was the pastor of St. Theresa for more than two decades and became a staple in the Pelham Bay community.

Archbishop Rosario said that he has worked with the police department as a member of the clergy for 35 years.

“As a member of the clergy, I am supposed to be working with the police department to make sure the community comes together with them and we have support for the officers,” said Rosario.

Carena was a police officer and then a sergeant, on the force for 33 years, working in the borough at the 41st Precinct, 42nd Precinct and the 52nd Precinct.

“It feels great to be recognized,” said Carena. “I accept this award merely on behalf of the board of officers (of the SECA) who do a lot of work and who donate their time.”

Gerbino was a chief of staff to former Assemblyman Steve Kaufman and has been involved in her community for decades, and Acampora is dedicated to her Westchester Square community.

The precinct itself has been blessed with some stellar commanding officers over the past several years, and Captain Danielle Raia, who took the helm in September, is no exception, said Bieder.

The council president said that Raia selected five of the precinct’s cops for honors: Sargent Jason Diaz, Sargent Louis Martinez, police officer Ronnie Mejia, police officer Yilson Melendez and police office John Quis.

Tickets for the event come with a $15 donation. The breakfast starts at 8:30 a.m.

For more information, call Bieder at (718) 828-4400.

Reach Reporter Patrick Rocchio at (718) 260–4597. E-mail him at procchio@cnglocal.com. Follow him on Twitter @patrickfrocchio.
Father Robert Grippo, a longtime past pastor of St. Theresa Church, is one of the honorees for the 45th Precinct Community Council breakfast.
Photo courtesy of St. Theresa Parish

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