We go through this every year. We have to pick one Woman and one Man of the Year and it is hard because we are lucky to have so many people who deserve recognition.
So here are the others who were recommended for this honor, who are points of light in our community. Gary Kaufman was chosen by Rosemarie Demaio because of his kind and tender focus on pets. He provides food, shelter and medical attention to pets in need, helping to find them, and helping families feed their pets during a financial crisis via his nonprofit Nobody Starves on Long Island. Wade Banks was the choice of Lisa Polizzi. Banks is a local radio host who provides an annual event for the homeless, getting local businesses to donate all sorts of items for raffles. All proceeds are donated toward veterans and local homeless shelters. Joseph LoSchiavo was the hero for sister Cathy LoSchiavo. A former Patchogue-Medford board of education member for 15 years, Joe is a guitarist for The Gateway and can be seen in many productions. He coordinates and manages children’s bands in Patchogue-Medford, Sayville and Holbrook as well as being a standout in other areas. Long Island Community Hospital president and CEO Richard Margulis was selected by Cynthia Ruff as not only being a devoted hospital leader, but also because of his commitment to community sponsorship events, spending focused time on each individual he meets.
Brittany Loesch was nominated by her mom, Lori Gonzalez. Brittany is president of Angels of Long Island and, as her mom says, devotes her entire day to her community for zero pay, helping single moms or moms experiencing domestic violence situations. Lori Ann Gonzo of Mastic Beach also got a heads-up because of her Donating LI page on Facebook. Lori Ann collects money and presents for those in need 365 days a year and provides her home as the pickup and drop-off location as well.
We are lucky to have these people, and other unsung heroes, in our midst.