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Massapequans Win Town Awards

Oyster Bay Town Supervisor John Venditto, together with members of the Town Board, honored eight extraordinary recipients at the 15th annual Town of Oyster Bay “Women of Distinction” Awards Ceremony, which was held at Town Hall in Oyster Bay. Three of the eight honorees are from Massapequa.

“The ‘Women of Distinction’ Program has certainly proven to be a memorable tradition, honoring women who stand as role models for the younger generation in the Town of Oyster Bay,” said Venditto. “These women are a shining example of the outstanding citizenship that has made the Town of Oyster Bay such a special place to live and raise a family.”

The winners from Massapequa include:

• Distinguished Woman in Community & Civic Affairs: Massapequa Moms Group

The Massapequa Moms Group started as a Facebook page as a forum for local moms (and dads) to be able to share information to other local neighbors. Facebook ‘friends’ not only were able to share a good place to find a plumber, a new children’s doctor or a local restaurant review, but also were suddenly forming new friendships through this group. That concept took on a life of its own following the events of Hurricane Sandy, when the group became a source of solace for many, where neighbors could turn to help other neighbors in their time of need.

• Distinguished Woman in Government: Rabbi Janise Poticha of Massapequa

Although she fits into a multitude of categories, Rabbi Janise Poticha was selected for the government category for her great work with local government to help others. Following the events of September 11, 2001, Rabbi Janise moved quickly to employ her EMA and chaplaincy skills. After working at Ground Zero of the World Trade Center during the initial days of the tragedy, she assisted the City of New York and the American Red Cross in establishing family/help centers. She also volunteered at St. Paul’s Cathedral as a First Responder and participated in the city’s memorial services. Most recently, following the events of Hurricane Sandy, Rabbi Janise worked with Senator Charles Fuschillo’s office to coordinate a donation drive by Long Island Cares at Temple Sinai to help those in need. She helped local families in reaching out to FEMA, was in contact with organizations to help families clean out their flooded homes, and reached countless individuals in need.

• Distinguished Woman Volunteer: Melissa Snider of Massapequa

Melissa is a dedicated wife and mother who has volunteered her efforts for more than a decade to helping others. As a ‘Parent Partner’ in the Massapequa School system, Melissa has assisted the parents of children with special educational needs attain available services, by helping them find resources and information. She served as PTA President at the Rosemary Kennedy School and is a founding member, former chairperson and current board member of the Nassau BOCES Educational Foundation. As chairperson, she organized some successful fundraising events, which helped generate funding for the organization, further helping affect the lives of children in need. Melissa’s efforts in helping others has been witnessed by countless children and families in her community, whom she has assisted without fanfare.

Other award winners were:

 • Distinguished Woman in the Arts: Susie Gach Peelle of Locust Valley

• Distinguished Woman in Business: Danielle Delgrosso of Syosset

• Distinguished Woman in Education: Joan Weinstein (works in Syosset)

• Distinguished Woman in Health Services: Amy Palmiero-Winters of Hicksville

• Distinguished Woman Humanitarian: Ellen Kamp of Sea Cliff