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Emily Gualdino, 2017 Public Health Honoree Award WinnerEmily Gualdino 2017 Public Health Honoree
Emily Gualdino, a ninth grader at Mahopac High School, was recognized for promoting the health and well-being of children at the Elizabeth Seton Pediatric Center and John A. Coleman School, both in Yonkers. 

From the time she was 10 years old, Emily was extremely empathetic and concerned for the health and well-being of others. On her own, she decided to donate her 10th birthday party gifts to hospitalized children.  Discovering the Elizabeth Seton Pediatric Center in Yonkers by chance on a family drive, Emily became determined to help the medically fragile children there in any way possible. At first, she read stories to preschoolers and delighted the children with her violin playing. Emily made it her mission to visit each week, and for the past few years has been matched up with a young female patient. At first, Emily was paired up with a teenage patient with complex medical needs who depends on a mechanical ventilator to breathe. They shared laughs and bonded over their mutual interests. This year, Emily has befriended a younger girl. Together, they participate in a weekly dance therapy group called the Groovy Girls and share a love of music.

 

 

 

Chloe Krugel, 2017 Public Health Honoree Award WinnerChlow Krugel 2017 Public Health Honoree
Chloe Krugel, a senior at Horace Greeley High School in Chappaqua, was recognized for promoting adolescent mental health through her work with Northern Westchester Hospital’s President’s Junior Leadership Council and at her school.

She energetically volunteered wherever she was needed -- at health fairs, farmer’s markets and school events. She helped young children overcome their fear of hospitals by giving them and their teddy bears tours of the emergency room. A highlight of her participation was her effort to help high school students cope with anxiety by initiating a Mental Wellness Club at Horace Greeley High School in Chappaqua, where she is a senior. As well, her work on the “There is a World Outside” awareness poster campaign has sparked community conversations about this important topic.

 

 

 

Joe Rogot, 2017 Public Health Honoree Award WinnerJ.Rogot 2017 Public Health Honoree
Joe Rogot, a New Rochelle resident, was recognized for promoting the health and well-being of New Rochelle residents by transforming a rocky field in Ward Acres into a thriving community garden.

Joe breathed new life into the Ward Acres Community Garden in New Rochelle. The erstwhile garden had been neglected and was overgrown with weeds and rocks. In search of a sunny patch in which to grow some vegetables, Joe approached city officials and was told about the available communal space. Enlisting the help of a group of like-minded residents, Joe and his fellow gardeners tilled and transformed the forgotten field into a thriving organic garden. Today, the garden is managed by a steering committee on which Joe serves. Vegetables grown in the Ward Acres Community Garden nourish locavores throughout the city and are cooked into the meals served at Hope Community Soup kitchen. In its ninth year, the fertile soil in the garden’s 88 plots teems with life.

 

 

 

SPRYE Inc, 2017 Public Health Honoree Award WinnerBetti Weimersheimer 2017 Public Health Honoree

Betti Weimersheimer of Rye realized that some seniors in her area needed a bit of support to continue to live out their years in dignity in the place where they were most at home. She developed the idea of neighbors helping neighbors into a grass roots organization, Staying Put in Rye & Environs, or SPRYE, which is now in its sixth year.  

Betti and her team of nearly 80 volunteers have helped hundreds of seniors age in place in the comfort of their own homes in Harrison, Port Chester, Rye and Rye Brook. For a nominal fee, SPRYE, or Staying Put in Rye and Environs, offers social and cultural outings, lectures, technical support, handyman help, rides, reliable referrals and a support system composed of neighbors they might not have otherwise met. Students, younger adults and other seniors help SPRYE members with their electronic devices, provide rides to the supermarket or medical appointments, and organize social outings to movies, dinner, Broadway shows and museums, along with guest lectures.  SPRYE gives seniors independence and their families peace of mind.