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Community Activist Diane Bentivegna, Garden City Park Civic Association Corresponding Secretary Janet Bevers and Research Assistant to Village of New Hyde Park, educator Dr. Lorna Lewis, and cultural instructor Teresa Louie were named Women of Distinction by Senator Craig M. Johnson last week.

They were among 15 honorees from across the 7th Senate District who were recognized for their work in education, community service, advocacy, neighborhood activism, and other areas.

"Each has shown a real dedication and an inspiring record of real accomplishments in their respective fields," Senator Johnson said. "These women are here every day striving to make our communities better places and are a key reason why Nassau is such a wonderful place to live. I am honored to have this opportunity to recognize them, especially during Women's History Month."

Diane Bentivegna has been on the front lines of the grassroots movement to stop the MTA's Third Track Expansion Project. A lifelong resident of New Hyde Park and a 27-year special education teacher, Bentivegna was a founding member and one of the driving forces behind the New Hyde Park Save Our Village Association. She is now the author of the Sentinel 11040 - an online community news forum for residents of the Village of New Hyde Park. Janet Bevers serves vital roles in two close-by communities. As corresponding secretary of the Garden City Park Civic Association, which formed in 2007, she has provided leadership and helped spur a new level of civic involvement in the unincorporated community. Also, as the research assistant for the village of New Hyde Park, Bevers is instrumental in planning many events, not the least to be the village's annual street fair. Teresa Louie of Albertson is active in the Chinese-American Association of North Hempstead. She has dedicated herself to creating a greater cross-cultural exchange between the Chinese-American and greater North Hempstead communities. The CAANH has greatly expanded its cultural programs under Louie's leadership.

Dr. Lorna Lewis is the superintendent of the East Williston Union Free School District, where she works tirelessly to raise academic standards and improve the lives of her students. She is working toward having every school in her district recognized as a "School of Excellence."

These women were honored by Senator Johnson at a recent dinner at the Swan Club in Glenwood Landing. The reception featured a keynote address by Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice, the first woman to be elected as Nassau's top law enforcement official. The event was co-sponsored by the Long Island Fund for Women and Girls, and the North Hempstead Business and Tourism Development Corporation.


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