STAR OF BROOKLYN: Maria Makrinos

COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT: Makrinos has beeninvolved with BRCC’s Halloween Art Window Painting and PosterContest since she was a teenager, first participating as a studentin the project, which involves painting Halloween decorations onthe windows of participating Bay Ridge and Dyker Heights stores.Makrinos was BRCC’s vice president for several terms, and since1980, has owned Arista Plumbing and Heating with her husband.

PERSONAL: Makrinos has been married for 36years, and has three children – Dean, who is in the familybusiness; George, who currently attends NYU and is pursuing acareer in the entertainment industry; and Renee, who is pursuing anEnvironmental Engineering degree.

JOB: Makrinos not only works with her husband,but dedicates her free time to helping others. It’s not alwaysthose who are book smart [that can help others], she said abouther volunteer work. We have to do something to help everybody.Makrinos doesn’t like to be thanked for her volunteer work. Iwould rather have people join me in helping the kids – all theblessings that are given to me are more than enough ways ofthanking me, she said.

BIGGEST CHALLENGE: For Makrinos, the biggestchallenge is finding funds for the BRCC Halloween Art WindowPainting and Poster Contest. We need volunteers. We need windows,she said. This is the way we help the kids. We help them getscholarships, she said. The program, which has been around forabout 60 years, has helped many children go on to college afterassisting them to harness their skills and find what they reallylike doing, said Makrinos.

FAVORITE MEMORY: Makrinos’ passion foreducation is evident, even more so when she talks about how she hashelped her children pursue a higher education. Every form ofeducation has its blessings, she said.

INSPIRATION: Helping others is somethingMakrinos is never too tired to do. There are resources out there.Not a lot of people know about them. I want to let them know. Shegoes on to note the different ways she has helped families obtainhigher education for their children free of charge, as well as howshe wants to continue her work with the BRCC Halloween Art WindowPainting and Poster Contest. Makrinos urges those, who want to findout more or get involved to contact her [email protected].

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