Honoring two outstanding Woodhaven women
by Ed Wendell
Mar 15, 2016 | 5059 views | 0 0 comments | 14 14 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Pictured from left to right are (top row) Detective Brenda Reddick, Deputy Inspector Schiff, Lourdes Ventura, Assemblyman Mike Miller, (bottom row) JoAnn Bartos, Patt Grayson, Patti Eggers, and Ida Hillmeyer.
Pictured from left to right are (top row) Detective Brenda Reddick, Deputy Inspector Schiff, Lourdes Ventura, Assemblyman Mike Miller, (bottom row) JoAnn Bartos, Patt Grayson, Patti Eggers, and Ida Hillmeyer.
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Assemblyman Mike Miller and students from St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Academy with Woodhaven's Women of Distinction, STA teacher Patti Eggers and JoAnn Bartos of the Woodhaven-Richmond Hill Senior Center.
Assemblyman Mike Miller and students from St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Academy with Woodhaven's Women of Distinction, STA teacher Patti Eggers and JoAnn Bartos of the Woodhaven-Richmond Hill Senior Center.
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In a ceremony last week commemorating Women’s History Month, Assemblyman Mike Miller honored six “Women of Distinction” for all that they do in the communities that he serves.

From Woodhaven, both JoAnn Bartos and Patti Eggers were honored; both of them were very recently honored by the Woodhaven Residents’ Block Association as “Woman of the Year” and their honors are well deserved.

Bartos is a beloved figure at the Catholic Charities’ Woodhaven-Richmond Hill Senior Center, operating out of the American Legion. She can be found there each and every weekday, leading the seniors in activities and working in the kitchen to serve meals.

Bartos is very enthusiastic about the center and all of the possibilities it offers the seniors in the community.

“It’s important for seniors to get out of the house,” she says, noting that the center keeps them active and busy.

As noted by Miller (and having had the privilege to watch her in action I can confirm), Bartos has been a wonderful spokesperson for the seniors. When the center was forced to relocate due to the collapsed building next to the ambulance corps, she spoke passionately about the seniors’ frustrations over the ongoing mess, both at rallies and on the news.

Eggers is someone I have had the privilege to work alongside over the past few years, notably during the ongoing restoration of the Wyckoff-Snedicker cemetery on 96th Street and 86th Avenue, behind All Saints Church.

She is a teacher at St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Academy on 87th Street and her passion for local history has excited and enthused her students, who formed the STA Woodhaven History Club, and whose hard work has helped transform the cemetery from an eyesore to an eye opener.

But beyond the hard work of cutting down weeds and turning the soil, Eggers has worked with the students as they have researched the history of those founding families that are buried in our cemetery, and is working with them to make the information they have gathered accessible to all.

The skills her students are learning now will serve them well in the future, teaching them not only to be inquisitive but also to be good citizens and generous to their community. She is helping build a better tomorrow through the eyes of our youth here in Woodhaven.

We were also honored to meet some of the other Women of Distinction outside of Woodhaven, including:

• Ida Hillmeyer, who along with her group, the Blessed Mother Sodality group at St. Mary Gate of Heaven, has done a great job collecting donations for Miller’s annual Valentine’s Day Drive for the veterans at St. Alban’s Veterans Nursing Home.

• Lourdes Ventura, who last year became the first Latina elected as president of the Queens County Womens Bar Association. Ventura is also involved in several local civic organizations and, as noted by Miller, has a lengthy list of awards and accomplishments.

• Patt Grayson has been involved in numerous educational endeavors, both in schools and in libraries, and has also worked with the Department of Sanitation to educate people on recycling, earning the nickname “The Recycling Lady.”

• Detective Brenda Reddick, a 14-year veteran of the NYPD who started a program dealing with truants that improved the relationship between police and youths in her precinct.

Congratulations to all of the women who were honored and thank you for all that you do.

On a last note, please remember that the next Woodhaven Town Hall will be held this Saturday, March 19, at noon at the American Legion Hall (89-02 91st Street behind PS 60). There is a lot happening in our community that needs to be discussed, and we hope you will come out to be a part of the conversation.
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