Sal Conforto says he is driven by a personal commitment to give back to the Bronx and his Morris Park community, leaving both a better place than when he first got there almost 40 years ago.
It was after the passing of his 22-year-old daughter Maryann of a brain aneurism in 1990 that Conforto, 70, dedicated himself to serving his community.
“Every since that day, I have tried to do good works in my daughter’s memory,” said Conforto.
Those good works include four years as treasurer of the Morris Park Community Association, being a frequent visitor with the Morris Park Kiwanis to Calvary Hospital for patient birthday parties, serving as a legal guardian to an incapacitated neighbor, and a co-founder of the Americans Civics Institute which holds an on-going food drive for local food pantries and those in need, as well as providing educational programming to local youth.
Another reason for his good-works, he said, is that after raising four children here with his wife Sun Hee, he feels that his efforts are best dedicated in the borough, even though he spends time elsewhere, including South Korea, where his wife is from originally.
Sal emigrated from Italy when he was 13-years-old and was later drafted into the U.S. Army.
“I am very proud of serving my country,” he said. “I was a Green Card Resident Alien when I served, later becoming a citizen.”
As treasurer of the MPCA, Conforto found ways to save money, citing purchasing, instead of renting communications equipment used by the MPCA community patrol and for the Bronx Columbus Day Parade, saving thousands of dollars.
Conforto also got involved with helping an incapacitated man on Pierce Avenue who was duped into selling a house he owned for $10 in 2006. It took three years, but the house was returned in 2009, thanks to Conforto, who rallied community support for the legal fight.
Conforto is also one of the organizers for a Thanksgiving turkey and food-drive by the Morris Park Kiwanis at St. Clare’s; sits on an Albert Einstein College of Medicine neighborhood advisory board, and is a member of Community Board 11.
Patrick Rocchio can be reach via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (718) 742-3393