YONKERS, N.Y. – Greyston Bakery, well-known throughout the country as a leader in social enterprising, recently honored some of the community’s most dedicated volunteers, during its annual benefit on May 21 at X20 Xaviars on the Hudson in Yonkers.
Greyston coordinates programs for hard-to-employ individuals, and with the help of its supporters, the event helped raise more than $400,000. The money raised will help continue the programs and community initiatives that Greyston coordinates.
The company recognized Joe Armentano, board chairman and chief executive officer of Paraco Gas Corporation, and John M. Tolomer, president and chief executive officer of the Westchester Bank. Both men discussed Greyston’s dedication and importance to the community and its organizations.
Lucy Moreno-Casanova, coordinator of Greyston’s Community Gardens, was presented with the 2014 Bernie Glassman PathMaking Award. Glassman was the founder of the program, which raised $42,000 from a special auction during the benefit. Moreno-Casanova was recognized for her achievement in helping an individual to grow and move toward self-sufficiency.
With Moreno-Casanova running Community Gardens, the program has expanded to seven locations, and offers educational enrichment opportunities in Yonkers Public Schools and an environmental club for young people in the community, along with many other activities.
“Opportunities are the best thing we can give our children, especially in the community of Yonkers,” Moreno-Casanova said. “With the Community Gardens, we create a positive environment for children to be in, where they learn about care for each other and for the community.”
Several people who have benefited from Greyston’s services shared their stories.
Among those who spoke were Julian Vasquez, Greyston’s building superintendent; Gladis and Alan Martinez, who are Community Gardens volunteers; and Kim Fudge,was hired by the bakery after spending 36 years in prison and then was able to find employment at Paraco Gas, thanks to Greyston’s Next Steps program.
“Greyston afforded me an opportunity to re-establish myself in the world of work,” Fudge said. “I am truly appreciative that Greyston gave me a job and the opportunity to move on.”