More than 200 persons attended the Town of North Hempstead's ninth annual Women's History Month breakfast luncheon, where 19 residents were inducted into the TONH Women's Roll of Honor. Four of the inductees are Port Washington residents: Gloria Grafer, Corbey Hyman, Edna Turner and Kay Ullman.
Supervisor May Newburger said, "If anyone thinks that women are not interested in the accomplishments of other women, I wish that they had been at our Women's Role of Honor breakfast. We had one of the largest, if not the largest, turnouts ever."
Gloria Grafer is an outstanding volunteer in Rotacare, which provides primary assessment and health care for the poor and needy on Long Island. Grafer, an R.N. with a master's degree in health education, currently heads up the pharmaceutical section of Rotacare. She finds this very rewarding, because "if we diagnose, but can't give medications, we are only doing half a job." She also serves on the board of the North Shore Inn Glen Cove chapter of the Interfaith Nutrition Network (INN), with which she has been involved for over 18 years. Rotacare and INN, she said, "are the main focus of my life."
Grafer's faith is a driving force in her life and work. "God is allowing me to do this work for Him," she said. She is active at St. Peter's Roman Catholic Church in Port Washington, where she serves as a Eucharistic minister. She loves to sing and is a member of the "Not-So-Young Christian Singers." She also enjoys sports, playing tennis and golf. She has three children and "a great husband who encourages me to do all these things." Early in her career, Grafer was an elementary and high school teacher. Newsday honored her in 1992 as their Home Services Volunteer of the Year.
Corbey Hyman, another honoree, is past president of the Port Washington Parent Resource Center (PRC) and former chair of their membership committee. The PRC named her as their Person of the Year in 2001. She is also founder and leader of Troop 413 of the Girl Scouts. She lives in Port with her husband, Andy Hyman and their three children. In nominating his wife for the award, Andy Hyman described her as a "devoted spouse to an absent-minded husband." Both the Hymans are active in local politics and civic issues.
Edna Turner is a woman of outstanding achievement. Lauren Corcoran, press secretary for Supervisor May Newburger, commented, "she is remarkably overqualified for this award." Edna has been director of the Twin Pines Food Co-Op in Port Washington for the past 28 years. She joined the co-op just two years after its founding. In the first two years, the co-op closed twice; since then it has never closed, a tribute to Turner's leadership. Twin Pines began as a low-cost grocery. It still maintains its retail operations - according to Turner, it is the only existing retail co-op on Long Island. "It's a miracle," she said. Under her direction, it has expanded into a variety of relationships with other community organizations. Working with the Helen Keller Center for the Deaf and Blind and with Community Mainstream, Twin Pines trains individuals with developmental disabilities for employment at Twin Pines, at local supermarkets, and with other employers. The organization serves as a distributor for Long Island Harvest and is a major provider to food pantries and to other local nonprofits. Turner is a director of the Port Washington Chamber of Commerce, who named her as their Small Businessperson of the year.
She is an active parishioner at Our Lady of Fatima Roman Catholic Church in Manorhaven, where she serves as a Eucharistic minister and lector. She provides pastoral care at the Sands Point Nursing Home and North Shore Hospital and has been a mentor to young people preparing for their confirmation. She has five grown children, who live out of town, and nine grandchildren.
Kay Ullman has been a Port Washington resident for over 50 years. During her children's school years, she was very active in the school system, serving as board member and president of the John Daly, Main Street and Salem PTAs, as well as president of the Parent's Council. Ullman was on the school board for 12 years, three as its president - only the second woman president in its history. At each election, she garnered more votes than any other candidate.
After her children were grown, Ullman returned to school to earn a master's degree in library science, and is currently a research librarian in East Williston. She has been a trustee of the Village of Sands Point since 1994, serving as Road Commissioner and Police Commissioner.
Ullman is on the board of the League of Women Voters, a member of the Colonial Dames, the Daughters of the American Revolution, and a dues-paying Teamster.
Also honored at the breakfast were Amy Hughes, mother of Olympic Gold Medallist Sarah Hughes, and Sarah's coach, Robin Wagner.
Supervisor Newburger said, "Every woman of achievement is not necessarily famous, that's why our Women's Role of Honor is such an extraordinary mix. Every one of the 188 women who have been inducted over the past nine years deserves to be there."