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James Dalimonte Honored as ‘Hometown Hero’

North Hempstead Town Clerk Leslie Gross and the Port Washington News recently honored 9-year-old James Dalimonte of Port Washington as the first “Hometown Hero.” James was selected due to his altruism and compassion towards animals.


James’ interest in helping began when he collected tennis balls for the North Shore Animal League last summer. For his ninth birthday last fall, James asked his friends and family to purchase items for animals in need in lieu of gifts. Additionally, he asked his parents, Mariann and Jim Dalimonte, to make a donation to help animals instead of purchasing party favors for his birthday party guests.

James said that 20 of his friends came to his birthday party, and some of them gave him pet toys and others gave him gift certificates to King Kullen, Stop & Shop, and Petland. One of his best friends, Ryan, followed James’ example and collected tennis balls, which he gave to James at his birthday party.

Mariann said that she was worried how he would feel after the party, in that he did not receive any gifts for himself. However, she said that the day after the party, James was excited about all of the gift certificates and asked her when they could go shopping to purchase items for the animals at the shelter. James said that it was fun to deliver things for the dogs, and that the people who worked at the animal shelter were very happy to receive these donations.

James Dalimonte is a hero to animals for donating items that will help them and improve their lives. He is also a hero to people in this community for setting such a positive example of goodwill and selflessness.

“On behalf of the whole town, we are really proud of you for helping the animals,” Leslie Gross said to James. “You are an example to everyone in the community – kids and adults.” She added that through this good deed, James showed “The Power of One,” meaning that just one person can have the power to make a positive difference in the world and also inspire other people to get involved.

James wants to be a baseball player when he grows up, and he also enjoys playing soccer, lacrosse, and football. He and his family have a dog named Nala, who James said is 98 years old in dog years and 14 years old in human years. When asked what his hope is for the future, James said that he hoped all of the animals in shelters would find homes.

North Hempstead Town Clerk Leslie Gross is looking for additional people within the Port Washington area to recognize and celebrate as “Hometown Heroes.” The Hometown Hero can be of any age and we will accept nominations up until August 31, 2010. A Hometown Hero could be a person who has enriched and improved another person’s way of life or he or she could be an unsung hero who continues to make positive strides within the community.

If you know someone who you believe should be honored as a Hometown Hero, please let us know about this person so they can be recognized and honored for their positive work. Winners will receive a citation from Town Clerk Leslie Gross and they will also be featured in Port Washington News. Nomination applications can be found on the Town of North Hempstead website’s home page. They are also available at the office of Port Washington News, located at 270 Main Street in Port Washington or at the office of Town Clerk Leslie Gross located at 200 Plandome Road in Manhasset.