Since the 1950s, the Parent Teacher Association of P.S./I.S. 104 has been holding an annual International Brotherhood Tea, which honors a dedicated member of the community.
This year, on Thursday, February 14, the main attraction was Bill Guarinello, president and CEO of HeartShare Human Services.
Each year, we honor someone who represents some type of goodness or action brought to the community, said Principal Marie DiBella. We find a way to exemplify what brotherhood is all about.
During the ceremony, eighth graders put on short skits with themes like befriending a lonely student, helping others and overcoming a bully. They also sang inspirational tunes, including Pinks Try, and Alicia Keys No One.
Guarinello, who is also chair of Community Board 11, said that receiving the award was a humbling experience.
I have received many awards over the years but this one really came from the heart, he said. On Valentines Day, to receive all the love I am receiving, it cant be bought. It touches my heart.
Guarinello advised students to work hard. Always think of the motto, Pay it forward, he said. Always remember the people you meet on the way up because you may meet them on the way down.
He also thanked his family and friends, who showed up en masse to congratulate him, and his wife, Donna, to whom he will be married for 40 years, this year.
Its always really a true privilege to be recognized from the heart, Guarinello concluded.