Seven of Bay Ridge’s involved community members and activists were honored for their work by the Bay Ridge Community Council at the 11th annual Hidden Treasures of the Community Awards, held at Shore Hill Housing on Tuesday, February 24.
“It’s known as the Hidden Treasures of the Community Awards but it was created to recognize and thank the people in the community who have given their time, talent and treasures over the years,” said BRCC Co-Chair Alexander Conti. “It was the council’s desire to highlight those contributors, both individuals and groups that are unsung heroes in the Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights, and Fort Hamilton area.”
According to Conti, those honored with the award represent “quiet participation and activism within the community.”
Each honoree was nominated by the organization he or she is part of to receive the award. This year’s recipients were Beverly Peare (Bay Ridge Mental Health Council); Ramona Pontone (Knights of Columbus – Archbishop John Hughes Council No. 481 Columbiettes); Habib Joudeh (Bay Ridge 5th Avenue Business Improvement District); Jeff Samaha (Ridge Chorale); Terence Greene (St. Anselm’s Youth Activities); Maria Gambino (St. Anselm’s Academy Home School Association) and Josephine Ghorra (St. Anselm’s Academy Home School Association).
“It’s a great honor that the Fifth Avenue Bid chose me,” said Joudeh. “Bay Ridge is a very diverse community and I’m proud to be a part of it. Since I started going downhill with my age, I thought I would bring some other treasures to this community – I have four kids to carry on the path that I started and I’m sure they will.”
“The Hidden Treasures of the Community Awards has always been something that I look forward to,” added Conti. “The reason, to me, why the award is important and why the program is important, is [because] I think it recognizes a lot of people in the community that are the stars of the community. This meeting sort of restores my faith because with all of the negative things going on in the world, it’s nice to know that regular people like us can make a difference.”