Vivian Spady, a New Rochelle resident and volunteer, went door to door during the holiday season and personally delivered toys to underprivileged children during her annual toy drive.
“It was the look in the kids’ faces that I remember most,” said Spady.
It was volunteer work like the toy drive that earned Spady—and six other women—an award Monday for their dedication to service in the community, many of which work with those who are less fortunate, at the annual Martin Luther King Jr. Breakfast held at the Bethesda Baptist Church of New Rochelle.
At the breakfast, the Rev. Dr. Harry Dawkins III presented Jean Anderson with the Drum Major award, Barbara Davis with the Jaquetta Cole Community Service award, Marion Gray with the Napoleon Holmes Award and Vivian Spady, Monica Rosario, Patricia Lester and Annette Viarengo with the Program Volunteer Service Award.
This is the first time in the program’s 41-year history all the awardees were women, Dawkins said.
“We are honoring people we feel are exemplars in carrying out Dr. King’s dream here in the City of New Rochelle,” said Dawkins.
The women were chosen by the nine members of the New Rochelle Community Action Program’s advisement board based on a number of qualifications said Rev Dawkins. But the most important, he said, was the commitment to New Rochelle’s “unprivileged” and “under resourced.”
Anderson received the Drum Major award, which honors an individual who exemplifies the Martin Luther King Jr.’s commitment to service. The College of New Rochelle Graduate serves as the Commissioner of the New Rochelle Youth Bureau and the Democratic District Leader for District 3. Her resume includes time as the president of the Interreligious Council of New Rochelle as well as Vice President of the New Rochelle Branch of Westchester Black Political Caucus.
Davis received the Jaquetta Cole Community Service award, serving as the community relations coordinator for the New Rochelle Public Library as well as serving her second term as co-president of the New Rochelle Council of Community Services. Davis is also the City Historian for New Rochelle.
Gray, a Community Action Program advisement board member, earned the Napoleon Holmes award for community activism, for her work through the NAACP and the New Rochelle Community Action Program.
Vivian Spady, Monica Roasario, Patricia Lester and Annette Viarengo were each awarded the New Rochelle Community Action Program for their work with the people of the New Rochelle community.
State Senator George Latimer, Mayor Noam Bramson and Councilman Jared Rice, D-District 3, were in attendance.
Bramson said he knows all the awardees personally, and they have all made significant contributions to public affairs and assisting the underprivileged.
Spady said, “This award means the world to me.” And said her work will continue. She said her next project will be a tutoring program for children, who otherwise wouldn’t be able to afford lessons, in grades kindergarten to sixth.