Friday, 29 March 2013 00:00
Sixteen women in the Town of North Hempstead were honored for their contribution at the town’s 20th Annual Women’s History Breakfast at Harbor Links Clubhouse on March 21, in celebration of Women’s History Month. The event was held in memory of North Hempstead’s first female supervisor May W. Newburger, who passed away in August at the age of 92 and was known as a trailblazer to local women.
Town Clerk Leslie Gross called Newburger “a mentor, ally, devoted friend, a shrewd courageous leader, and a role model,” as well as a “champion of women’s rights.”
Town Councilwoman Lee Seeman, who first met Newburger back in 1955, was the guest speaker for the morning. “May appreciated women who were accomplished and wanted the community to know about them,” said Seeman. “We live surrounded by greatness in the Town of North Hempstead and she felt that we must take a look at our neighbors.” That idea is what spurred the creation of this groundbreaking event by the late supervisor back in 1994.
The trailblazers honored in the Town of North Hempstead, which included sixteen wonderful and deserving women, included Manhasset residents Cindy Cardinal, Marion Endrizzi, and Stella Spanakos.
Since moving to Manhasset in 1998, Cindy has been an active member of the Manhasset community, dedicating endless time and energy to the public schools. In 2003, Cindy was elected to the Manhasset Board of Education serving as vice president from 2004-2005 and President from 2005-2011. Cindy has been a member of the Coalition Against Substance Abuse (CASA) since 2000 and served as vice president for several years. Before serving as a trustee, she was an active member of the school community serving as Hospitality Chair of the SCA from 1998-1999, teaching “Project Self Esteem” from 1999-2001, participating in the Manhasset School District Shared Decision Making Committee from 1999-2001 and the Foreign Language Committee from 2000-2001. Her determination and passion to serve her community can only be surpassed by her love and devotion to her husband and three children.
Marion was the driving force in reactivating the Plandome Heights Civic Association in 2010 and now serves as the president of the association. In 2012, she became a committee member of the Town of North Hempstead Plandome Road Parking Study. Marion continues to serve as a civic leader with the Greater Council of Civic Associations. She is a charter member of the Village of Plandome Heights Women’s Club and enjoys her role as chair of the Nominating Committee. She was elected and served for 16 years as a trustee and the Mayor of the Village, and currently serves on the VPH Planning Board. Not only did Marion get involved with the SCA when her children attended school but she also served on its executive board. Marion spends a great deal of her time volunteering to make her community a better place for all who live here. She takes great pride in her town and her village and has been devoted to the community since she moved to Plandome Heights in the 1970’s. Many residents also know Marion as the guardian of Plandome Pond Park.
In 1996 Stella Spanakos started a holiday party at Polo Ralph Lauren at the Americana in Manhasset to benefit the Manhasset Auxiliary of the AHRC. This annual event became so successful that Stella approached executives at the Americana Manhasset and presented her brain child: “Champions for Charity,” a holiday shopping benefit event. Since its inception, the benefit has raised $6.2 million, supporting over 90 local not-for-profit organizations. Stella is responsible for the development of the life skills/vocational special education program that exists in the Manhasset Public Schools today. She served as president of the Manhasset Parents Association for Special Education and was honored by the Manhasset Board of Education and PASE for serving as president for eight years. Stella was a founding member of the ELIJA School for Autism, and served as vice-president board of trustee until February 2011 when she founded the Nicholas Center for Autism and Spectrum Designs Foundation Ltd. located in Port Washington.
Congratulations to our neighbors honored at the 20th Annual Women’s History Breakfast.
Shirley Romaine, one of the Women’s Roll of Honor’s first inductees, maintained her tradition of performing a poem at each event. This year, she read “When Great Trees Fall” by Maya Angelou, and dedicated it to Newburger. Attendees were visibly touched when Romaine recited the last verse of this poem:
“And when great souls die,
after a period peace blooms,
slowly and always
irregularly. Spaces fill
with a kind of
soothing electric vibration.
Our senses, restored, never
to be the same, whisper to us.
They existed. They existed.
We can be. Be and be
better. For they existed.”