Pine Island Chamber of Commerce honors citizens

| 05 Oct 2017 | 01:50

WARWICK — The Pine Island Chamber of Commerce will hold its annual Social and Installation of Officers event Sunday, Oct. 29, from noon to 3 p.m., at the Landmark Inn.
The Chamber uses the occasion to recognize its Citizen of the Year and Distinguished Service Award recipient and to acknowledge two youths who have contributed to the community.
Pine Island Citizen of the Year John Redman will be honored as the 2017 Pine Island Citizen of the Year. John is the president of Union Square Group, Ltd., located in Pine Island. It is an award-winning creative and production services company.
He is also past president of the Pine Island Chamber of Commerce, vice president of the Warwick Chamber of Commerce, has served as vice president and president of the Florida Board of Education, now serving a sixth term.
Redman also served as president of the Orange County School Board.
He is a 26-year member of the Goshen Presbyterian Church and has served on either the Board of Deacons or the Session for almost the entire time.
Redman has transported volunteers from Goshen on late Saturday “midnight runs” into New York City taking food and clothes to the homeless.
Pine Island has benefited tremendously from his talents. Redman is the chairman of the Black Dirt Feast and it’s impossible to exaggerate the investment in time and labor he puts into it. This year the Feast sold out in just six hours, a true measure of how his talents have grown this event into one of the most appealing and successful affairs in Warwick.
For many years, Redman has always been the first man on the scene of every chamber event and the last to leave. Redman’s decorations create the magical atmosphere at Pumpkinfest and he orchestrates the holiday lighting in Pine Island every year.
His contributions to Pine Island alone are endless.
Distinguished Service AwardKatherine Brieger, chief of Patient Experience and Staff Development with HRHcare, Inc., is to receive the chamber’s Distinguished Service Award for her tireless work and volunteerism with the Hudson Valley Agricultural and Migrant community. As executive director of the Warwick Area Migrant Committee and the Alamo Farmworker Community Center, she has devoted herself to transforming the migrant’s plight, constantly seeking to improve the lives of farmworkers and their families by providing health services, nutrition counseling, serving hot meals in the winter, finding transportation and places to live, homework help and after school activities.
Brieger was the major force behind a six-week Summer Enrichment Program for the children of farmworkers. Migrant farmworkers work long, hard hours in the fields and are faced with the challenge of finding meaningful child care; so, the summer program offered piece of mind and enriched the lives of one hundred children.
“Working with these farmworkers (has been) one of the biggest gifts in my life,” Brieger said. “(They’ve) been woven into my life, the people of this black dirt.”
Brieger and her family have lived in Pine Island for 36 years.
Local students to be honoredThe Pine Island Chamber will also recognize Alex Gutierrez and Robert Maslanka with the Youth Achievement Award.
Gutierrez has volunteered at the Alamo Farmworker Community Center. He was an intern at the Migrant Children’s Summer Enrichment Program held at Pine Island Elementary School, where he monitored the safety and welfare of children.
Maslanka is a varsity football player in the Warwick Valley School District and has volunteered at the Pine Island Summer Recreation Program, the Black Dirt Feast, as well as the Pine Island Easter Egg Hunt.
Essential informationThe chamber is a non-profit, self-supporting community organization, and we value your assistance and welcome your attendance.
Tickets are $25 per person and can be reserved by calling the chamber at 845 258-469 or by emailing before Oct. 23.
You may also reserve a ticket by calling the Chamber Vice President Janet Zimmerman at 845 258-7008.
Tickets will not be sold at the door.