February is designated as African American History Month. In the Town of Hempstead we are proud to acknowledge that designation and also to pay tribute to the many African-American men and women who make a difference in our township.
On Tuesday, Feb. 22, the Town of Hempstead will host our annual African-American History Celebration. Dr. Donna Mendes, the first African-American female vascular surgeon certified by the American Board of Surgery, will be our guest speaker for this very special event, which this year is themed "New Challenges, New Horizons...The Journey Continues."
Demonstrating a unique commitment to the African American community, her latest clinical research focuses on the impact of race on vascular disease. Through her work on the board of the Association of Black Cardiologists in the summer of 2003, Mendes participated in an outreach campaign with poet Maya Angelou. They joined five generations of women from one family to discuss ways for African-American women to maintain cardiovascular health. Videos of that discussion were distributed across the country through physicians, churches and retail stores. Dr. Mendes also reaches out to young women aspiring to become healthcare professionals. Three young women she mentored at St. Luke's Roosevelt Hospital have become vascular surgeons themselves.
An important aspect of this celebration is the recognition of those who have committed themselves to community service within the town, positively impacting the lives of our residents. The recipients of this year's Community Service Awards are Pastors L. Victor and Laura Lowery, Rev. Reginald Tuggle and Hempstead Town employee Bernice Brown-Taylor (posthumous).
In addition, the town will be recognizing town employees for 25 years of service. It is a true honor for me to be able to commend Catherine Brooks, John Frazier, Claudette Harrison, Trannie Hickson, Juliette Johnson, Delorese Nero, Ervie Pace, Emmett Simmons, Arnold Stone, Ronald Stuckey and Gwendolyn Wint for their dedication to providing the highest level of service to all our residents.
I would like to invite all our residents to attend the Town of Hempstead African American History Celebration Tuesday, Feb. 22, at 3 p.m. The event will be held in the Nathan L. H. Bennett Pavilion at Town Hall. Residents also may visit town hall throughout the month to view the art exhibit featuring works of students from local high schools.