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Town Honors Garden City Resident at ‘Make A Difference’ Awards Ceremony

Hempstead Town Supervisor Kate Murray and the town board recognized 14 extraordinary community members for contributions to their local neighborhoods at the 15th Annual “Make A Difference” Awards ceremony. In addition, Supervisor Murray posthumously honored a man from Lido Beach who was a dynamic presence in the seaside community.

“The inspirational people being honored this evening are truly the unsung heroes of our communities,” said Murray. “Their selfless acts of volunteerism and leadership are true symbols of Hempstead Town and make our township such a great place to live, work and raise a family.”

The honorees have all dedicated themselves to enriching the lives of others. Hundreds of nominations were received for the prestigious award. Those selected, Murray noted, have quietly carried out acts of selfless generosity for many years.

Among the honorees recognized at the Nov. 15th ceremony was Tom Deierlein of Garden City. “For all intents and purposes, Garden City resident Tom Deierlein was a hero from the day he signed up to serve our nation in the U.S. Army. In 2006, during his deployment in Iraq, Tom was shot by a sniper. He then rehabilitated at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington D.C. But Tom did not let his battle injuries get in the way of his calling to help others. His affinity for helping children originated during his deployment, as he often handed out clothes, food, water, toys and vitamins to needy children living in the slums of Iraq and Afghanistan. After rehab, he formed the Tom Deierlein Foundation, which has raised more than $500,000 to help children in Iraq and Afghanistan, providing for five to 10 life-saving surgeries annually. Tom also helps his fellow Wounded Warriors, mentoring veterans and helping them brush up on job search and interview skills,” Murray said.

“Our award recipients do not seek recognition, expect rewards or even look for a simple thank you. These special people just care. They care for their neighbors, their colleagues, their friends, their families and their communities,” concluded Murray. “Tonight we are personally thanking them for making the world a better place.”