The Pine Island Chamber of Commerce will hold its annual Social and Installation of Officers event on Sun., Oct. 29 from 12 noon to 3 p.m. The Chamber uses the occasion to recognize its Citizen of the Year and Distinguished Service Award recipient and to acknowledge two youths who have contributed to the community. The event will be held at the Landmark Inn, located at 526 Rte. 94 in Warwick.
John Redman Named P.I. Citizen of the Year
John Redman will be honored as the 2017 Pine Island Citizen of the Year. John is the President of Union Square Group, Ltd., located in Pine Island, an award-winning creative and production services company. He is a past president of the Pine Island Chamber of Commerce, the vice president of the Warwick Chamber of Commerce, and has served as vice president and president of the Florida Board of Education, now serving a sixth term. John also served as president of the Orange County School Board. He is a 26 year member of the Goshen Presbyterian Church and has served on either the Board of Deacons or the Session for almost the entire time. John has transported volunteers from Goshen on late Saturday “midnight runs” into NYC taking food and clothes to the homeless.
Pine Island has benefited tremendously from his talents. John is the chairman of the Black Dirt Feast and it’s impossible to exaggerate the investment of time and labor he puts into it. This year the Feast sold out in just six hours, a true measure of how his talents have grown this event into one of the most appealing and successful affairs in Warwick.
For many years, John has always been the first man on the scene of every Chamber event and the last to leave. John’s decorations create the magical atmosphere at Pumpkinfest and he orchestrates the holiday lighting in Pine Island every year. His contributions to Pine Island alone are endless.
Katherine Brieger to Receive the Distinguished Service Award
Katherine Brieger, Chief of Patient Experience and Staff Development at HRHcare, Inc., will receive the Chamber’s Distinguished Service Award for her tireless work and volunteerism with the Hudson Valley agricultural and migrant community. As Executive Director of the Warwick Area Migrant Committee and the Alamo Farmworker Community Center, she has devoted herself to transforming the migrant’s plight, constantly seeking to improve the lives of farmworkers and their families by providing health services, nutrition counseling, serving hot meals in the winter, finding transportation and places to live, homework help, and after school activities.
Kathy was the major force behind a six-week Summer Enrichment Program for the children of farmworkers. Migrant farmworkers work long, hard hours in the fields and are faced with the challenge of finding meaningful child care. The summer program offered peace of mind to parents and enriched the lives of one hundred children. “Working with these farmworkers [has been] one of the biggest gifts in my life,” Kathy said. “[They’ve] been woven into my life, the people of this black dirt.” Kathy and her family have lived in Pine Island for 36 years.
Local students Gutierrez & Maslanka to be honored
The Chamber will also present the Youth Achievement Award to Alex Gutierrez and Robert Maslanka. Alex has volunteered at the Alamo Farmworker Community Center. He was an intern at the Migrant Children’s Summer Enrichment Program held at the former Pine Island Elementary School, where he monitored the safety and welfare of children. Robert Maslanka is a varsity football player in the Warwick Valley Central School District and has volunteered at the Pine Island Summer Recreation Program, the Black Dirt Feast, as well as the Pine Island Easter Egg Hunt.
Tickets are $25 per person and can be reserved by calling the Chamber at 258-1469, Janet Zimmerman at 258-7008 or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org before Mon., Oct. 23.