Southeast Queens leaders recognized for service during COVID-19 pandemic

Councilwoman Adrienne Adams (c.) honors community leaders for their service during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Courtesy of Adams’ office)

Southeast Queens community leaders were celebrated for their efforts one year into the COVID-19 pandemic when Councilwoman Adrienne Adams hosted a recognition ceremony in Rochdale Village to honor 15 local heroes who provided continuous services to local residents, students and seniors as the healthcare emergency impacted her district.

“This past year has been so difficult for our community and our city, with the COVID-19 pandemic upending every part of our lives. But the bright light during this year of darkness has been our local heroes and ‘sheroes’ who kept our community safe, active and engaged throughout this pandemic,” Adams said. “I am so proud to honor their service, resolve and commitment to Rochdale Village. It’s only a sliver of the gratitude our community owes them for everything they have done for us.”

In celebration of National Poetry Month this April, the event kicked off with a reading by local youth poet Naysa Harraway followed by a performance by members of the E.P.I.C. Dance Company, whose founder, Jasmine Coward, was among the honorees. Lance Feurtado and Todd Feurtadoof the King of Kings Foundation, Dr. Maria Hubbard of Agape Development Corp.., Kevin Livingston of 100 Suits for 100 Men, and Coach Keith Stevens of Rochdale Village Flag Football were among those recognized along with Christen Clark, the founder of Healthy Heart Hope Inc.

“This event was amazing, and it truly highlighted the great work and community service done throughout the Queens community,” Clark said. “The event magnified our union and efforts as a whole to prevail through the COVID-19 fight. It was a pleasure to be honored at this event by Councilwoman Adrienne Adams. I am proud to be a Queens resident and to serve our community.”

Educators including Principal Ativia Sandusky of M.S. 72Q and Principal Tammy-Katan Brown of Redwood Middle School were also recognized as were a host of leaders from Rochdale Village including its Board of Directors President Jean Randolph-Castro, Board of Directors Chairman Clifton Diaz, Public Safety Department Captain Ernest Gaither and Chief Adolph Osback as well as Conrad Duverney and Corey Poole of the Rochdale Village Maintenance Department.

“Councilwoman Adrienne Adams has done a great job for our community, more than any other council member has ever done for Rochdale,” Randolph-Castro said. “She has worked so diligently for us. Her generosity, sincerity, dedication and hard work for the Rochdale Village community and District 28 will stay with this community forever.”