Kerri Kiefer and Anthony Ciuffo of Franklin Square were the recipients of the Town of Hempstead Make a Difference Awards for their contributions to others and the community.
Kerri was the neighborhood babysitter and kindly cared for an elderly gentleman who was homebound, providing comfort and friendship during his later years. When her grandfather got cancer, Kerri was the devoted caregiver until his passing.
Strong ties to community service and concern for others is something that runs in the Kiefer family. On September 11, 2001, New York City firefighter Michael Kiefer, brother to Kerri, and son to Patricia and Bud, died trying to save others.
Through her enormous strength and courage, Kerri is determined to keep her brother's memory alive through the Michael Kiefer Fund. Fundraisers such as the "Michael Kiefer Walk/Run," held in June, and the "Back in the Day with Mike," held in October, help raise money for the New York Firefighters Burn Center Foundation and Fire Family Transport Foundation. These two successful events have raised almost $200,000 to help burn victims and provide the necessary transportation for injured firefighters to and from any facility that is needed.
Anthony Ciuffo, the other honoree from Franklin Square, has made significant contributions to the youth of the community as well as for the sick and the poor.
Anthony joined the Franklin Square Little League as an assistant manager in the early 1970s and he dedicated himself to the growth and development of the program.
He was instrumental in forming the Lakeview Little League and founded the "Challenger Program" on Long Island to provide a Little League experience for children who are physically and mentally challenged.
Anthony also founded and directed the Franklin Square Athletic Association karate program for boys and girls and encouraged them to achieve their personal best.
Anthony also serves as a Eucharistic minister at St. Catherine of Sienna Parish and stays every Saturday evening after mass to clean and close the church. On Sundays, he visits the homebound and the sick in Franklin Hospital. Anthony has been a benefactor and supporter of the Little Sisters of the Poor from Queen of Peace Residence, a home for the aged poor.