Assemblyman Thomas McKevitt held his second annual 17th Assembly District Women of Distinction Awards Ceremony last month. "The women that we honor today represent some of the most courageous and accomplished individuals in the state and the nation. Together, their achievements and dedication have resulted in the continuous enjoyment of our community," stated McKevitt in his opening remarks.
He continued, "We are very lucky to have these women as our friends and neighbors. Special thanks should go to the families of our honorees who have allowed their loved ones to spend so much time caring for others.
"On behalf of all the residents of the 17th Assembly District and the state, I thank you for your hard work and tireless efforts and I look forward to working together to build an even better place to live, work and raise a family."
Village of Floral Park Trustee Mary-Grace Tomecki was the guest speaker and she expressed her thanks at being chosen for the position of "keynote" speaker. She gave an inspiring speech and ended with, "There is no glass ceiling and no limits as to what women can achieve today."
McKevitt introduced, one by one, the 2008 Women of Distinction, including Garden City residents Dr. Francisca Ariola-Hopkins, Lynn Anne Cipriani and Angela Heineman. His remarks follow:
Acting as an attending physician at Winthrop-University Hospital for the past 36 years, Dr. Francisca Ariola-Hopkins has dedicated all of her time and effort into giving back to the Garden City community and taking care of the sick and needy. Dr. Ariola-Hopkins received her MD from U.S.T Medical School followed by her residency training in internal medicine at New York Hospital-Queens and training in psychiatry at numerous hospitals. She has also shown attendance at the New York School of Psychiatry and a fellowship from the Nassau Academy of Medicine. Dr. Ariola-Hopkins shows true leadership and is an asset to our community.
Angela Heineman has dedicated herself to making the education that her children and other children receive, the best that it possibly can be. As a working mother of two, Heineman has strived to raise the quality of education and has demonstrated great passion and loyalty. As a volunteer to be class mother and teacher at the Bible Study at St. Joseph's School, Heineman's selflessness has allowed children to meet higher expectations and has shown strong leadership skill. Most recently, she was elected to the Garden City Board of Education. Heineman's cheery disposition and strong-minded objectives will help lead community members in the right direction.
As a distinguished humanitarian, leader, and caregiver Lynn Anne Cipriani has given herself selflessly to the people of our nation and those who need help the most. Cipriani devotes her time to aiding the struggle to eliminate poverty and homelessness nationwide. As an active member at the University of Florida, she jumped at the chance to join Habitat for Humanity where she provides invaluable service to the community members of Gainesville, Florida, assisted with the relief efforts in New Orleans, and was granted the opportunity to bike from Boston, MA to Santa Barbara, CA to help build funds and raise the awareness of poverty but also build homes for those who cannot afford them. Cipriani has not only demonstrated leadership and courage; she has shown dedication and a true spirit that those who follow her can look up to. Cipriani's sister, Marissa, accepted the award on her behalf.