The New Rochelle Council of Community Services held its annual luncheon and honored four individuals who have made their marks on the Queen City.
The people honored were as follows:
- Sylvia Samilton-Baker
- Deborah Blatt
- Mary Jane Reddington
- Alan J. Cohen
Samilton-Baker is program director at Providence House IV in New Rochelle. She has been in the position since 2005, coordinating all aspects of the shelter for women and children who are homeless. Prior to Providence House, Samilton-Baker helped individuals whose substance abuse led to HIV/AIDS.
Blatt is the founder and coordinator of The Sharing Shelf, a nonprofit organization which is part of Family Services of Westchester that collects new and used children's clothing and other supplies for distribution at no cost to children in need. Since the service was established in 2009, thousands of families have been beneficiaries. As a lawyer, Blatt focuses on family law and employment discrimination.
Reddington was born and raised in New Rochelle. She is approaching her 30th year as a trustee of the New Rochelle School District Board of Education. A former teacher, Reddington has been a member and served in official capacities in such organizations as the Woman's Club of New Rochelle, United Way of New Rochelle, the New Rochelle Public Library Foundation Board and the New Rochelle Youth Bureau.
Alan J. Cohen, who is better known as AJ, owns and operates the North Avenue restaurant . He is a product of New Rochelle schools and earned a bachelor's degree in hospitality management from Florida International University in 1981. Cohen and his food have become well-known presences at such events as the Memorial Day picnic, a variety of charity events and the classic car show for ArtsFest.
The council also awarded scholarships to students Carmen Rojas-Rivas and Catherine "Cassie" White.