YONKERS, N.Y. -- Mayor Mike Spano presented "Women of Distinction" Awards to five Yonkers women recently.
Spano handed out the awards in honor of Women's History Month to the five women "whose distinct achievements have improved the lives of others in the community and whose impact has changed Yonkers for better," according to a press release. The women were Barbara Smith, Lucy Casanova Moreno, Mary Hoar, Sarah Hreyo and Judith Koller.
The following are notes from the City of Yonkers on the five Women of Distinction Award winners:
- Barbara Smith - Barbara has been depicted as a crusader in her Yonkers community as both an educator and civic leader, although her love for community started much earlier, supporting the Civil Rights Movement in her young adulthood by participating in sit-ins, protests and other progressive and peaceful methods that facilitated change and brought about equality which shaped her in a multitude of ways giving her the knowledge to shape and shift her Yonkers community for better.
- Lucy Casanova Moreno - Upon moving to Yonkers from Puerto Rico, Lucy has had the opportunity to work with several businesses in Yonkers. She worked at Beczak Environmental Education Center on a very successful project, the Recycling Pilot Project and later began her career as the Community Garden Project Coordinator for the Greyston Foundation, expanding the Community Gardens Program to include seven growing sites, a strong educational enrichment offering at the Yonkers Public Schools, an environmental club for local youth, and numerous events and activities that has reached more than 3,000 people uniting and strengthening our neighborhoods.
- Mary Hoar - Mary has been actively involved in the community. Upon graduating from college, Mary began her career as a kindergarten teacher, eventually becoming a teacher for the Gifted and Talented in Yonkers in which Computer technology became a primary component in her teaching. Upon retirement Mary began teaching adults and now she teaches Computer courses at Pathways to Success and at the Aisling Irish Community Center.
- Sarah Hreyo - Sarah’s commitment to her community began as a youth -- as a Girl Scout, volunteering at E.J. Murray Skating Rink and supporting other local organizations, including the Yonkers Salvation Army. As a High School student, Sarah was recognized with the Congressman Eliot Engel’s Achievement Award along with various New York Association of Christian School statewide prizes.
- Judith Koller - Judith’s love for people and community is what prompted her to build her business Allways East Transportation. She has also given of herself and her business by donating buses to various events based on need, like Yonkers Parades, the Police Department, Fire Department and local churches.