Written by By Katie Piacentini Friday, 25 March 2011 00:00
Thirteen women within the Town of North Hempstead were honored at the 18th Annual May W. Newburger Women’s Roll of Honor Breakfast at the Roslyn Claremont Hotel on March 16. The honorees were Evelyn Atanas, Alice Chan, Helen Tom Chin, Sara E. Danzi, Elaine Kennedy, Victoria Laura, Phoebe Lazarus, Elise Ledda, Edith L. Mendel, Jean Pierce, Dorothy Royal, Julia Shields, and Jane Thomas.
In honor of Women’s History Month, the Town of North Hempstead holds these annual breakfasts to honor local women who have made contributions to their community, possess a special personal talent, or have accomplished a significant achievement through public or quiet work. Town Clerk Leslie Gross, who was the event chairperson, decided this year’s theme, which was “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes.” She said that the theme was inspired by the following quote: “Sure he (Fred Astaire) was great, but don’t forget, Ginger Rogers did everything he did, only backwards…and in high heels” (Bob Thaves 1982).
“For the most part, society has always recognized men for their accomplishments. But it’s time to understand that women are equal and it’s time to step up and say ‘you have made a difference in our lives’,” said Town Supervisor Jon Kaiman. “We have before us today a group of women who have taken responsibility, a group of women with the skill, intensity and passion to make a difference in all our lives,” he added.
Town Clerk Leslie Gross added, “It is nothing short of an honor for me to meet the women who have had an impact on the lives of so many in their communities.” In the Presentation of the 2011 Certificates to the honorees, Ms. Gross spoke to the audience about the many accomplishments of these women, and the contributions they made to the community.
Evelyn Atanas of Williston Park was one of the honorees. She has worked in the real estate industry for 30 years, and opened her own agency in 1984. Ms. Atanas currently serves as a director of the Long Island Board of Realtors and Zone Chairperson for Multiple Listing Services. Community service is a primary activity in Evelyn’s life. Named 2003 Chamber Person of the Year for the Willistons, she has worked on Neighborhood Watch and served Meals on Wheels to elderly shut-ins. Her agency works with other Realtors Against Hunger collecting food for families in need. In addition to volunteering in the community while running her own business, Evelyn helps neighbors who are having financial difficulties. Leslie Gross noted that her concern is for the well-being of others, without seeking recognition.
Alice Chan of Albertson was honored at this event. Born in China, Alice grew up in Hong Kong where she received her Teacher’s Certificate. Ms. Gross said that Alice’s commitment to education brought her to the United States where she earned an additional degree that now serves her well as president of First Jane Investments, Inc. As president and co-president of various non-profit organizations, Alice Chan has promoted cultural exchanges and encouraged quality education through college scholarship programs. Under Alice Chan’s leadership, North Hempstead’s first Asian American Festival took place. In addition, Ms. Gross said that Alice was instrumental in organizing the American Cancer Society/Asian Initiatives for Making Strides Against Breast Cancer.