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Westchester County Parks Awards Honorees At Reception In New Rochelle

(L-R) Mark Tulis, Michael Israel, Joe Stout, Marsha Gordon, Maria Bronzi, David Kiyak, JJ Jameson, Joanne Fernandez, Robert DelTorto and Christine La Porta.
(L-R) Mark Tulis, Michael Israel, Joe Stout, Marsha Gordon, Maria Bronzi, David Kiyak, JJ Jameson, Joanne Fernandez, Robert DelTorto and Christine La Porta. Photo Credit: Contributed

NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. -- Friends of Westchester County Parks honored several individuals during its annual Best Friends Awards Reception April 8 at the Glen Island Harbour Club in New Rochelle.

With the theme “Celebrate a Year of Growth with Friends,” this year’s honorees were Westchester Medical Center, Business Council of Westchester’s Rising Stars, Robert DelTorto and REI.

“We celebrated the achievements of our ‘friends’ of Westchester County Parks and we saluted deserving honorees who have contributed to keeping our county parks green and growing,” said Joanne Fernandez, chairwoman of Friends of Westchester County Parks. “We also had the opportunity to celebrate all of the wonderful programs we have been able to fund in order to keep our fifty county parks growing and beautiful, including Bicycle Sundays, Pitch in for Parks and Winter Wonderland to name a few.”

Awards were given as follows:

  • Westchester Medical Center, who received the "2015 Best Friend" Award, for their support of Westchester's Winter Wonderland.
  • REI, who received the "2015 Best Green Friend" Award, for their growing partnership with Friends and the Department of Parks, Recreation and Conservation.
  • Robert DelTorto, who received the "2015 Best Volunteer Friend" Award, for his many years of service to Westchester County Parks.
  • The Business Council of Westchester's Rising Stars, who received the "2015 Best Business Friend" Award, for their relationship with the Friends and encouragement of parks.
  • A special fundraiser was held for Camp Morty during the awards reception.

Guests participated in a dedicated auction to pay for several enhancements to the program, including a Help Fund a Gaga Pit!; a 3D projector; a new library of books for kids of all ages; “Superhero” grants for guest artists and special programs; and iPods with portable speakers.

Camp Morty hosts approximately 300 children annually through the Department of Social Services. Children that visit the camp each summer come from homeless shelters, the foster care system, or are on public assistance in Westchester County.

“It was an honor to have the opportunity to present the honorees with awards during our Best Friends awards reception,” said Joe Stout, executive director, Friends of Westchester Parks.

For more information about Friends of Westchester County Parks, visit http://www.friendsofwestchesterparks.com .

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