Town Board notes accomplishments of women who made a difference
East Northport – Huntington Supervisor Frank P. Petrone and the Town Council marked the Town’s 16th Annual Women’s Networking Day by recognizing five distinguished women for their contributions to the Town.
More than 500 people attended the October 26 event, run under the auspices of the Town’s Division of Women’s Services and carrying the theme “Be Your Own Kind of Beautiful.” The major sponsor for the event, held at The Larkfield, was Island Better Hearing.
The day was highlighted by presentations to the honorees, each chosen by a member of the Town Board for her achievements in making Huntington a better place to live.
The honorees were:
Patricia Petrone, a retired assistant principal in the Half Hollow Hills School District who has helped parents of special needs children at committee meetings, been active in breast cancer support and research groups and volunteered at Ronald McDonald House. But, as the proclamation presented to her notes, she was also cited for the 24-years she “willingly and cheerfully” suffered through the trials, tribulations and demands of being the wife of a public official – Supervisor Frank P. Petrone, who is retiring. She was recognized by her husband, to much applause from the audience.
Marie Michele Destil, a native of Haiti who has lived in Huntington for the last 18 years and owns Gingerbites, a Haitian restaurant in Huntington Station. Last year, in response to Hurricane Matthew, which devastated her homeland and left children without food or medical supplies, she helped spearhead a fundraising effort for the “Meds and Food for Kids” charity that is devoted to saving the lives of Haiti’s children. She was recognized by Councilman Mark Cuthbertson, who joined with her to kick off the fundraiser and take part in the fundraising effort.
Jane Rosen, a teacher who helped found the gifted and talented program in the Half Hollow Hills School District, became district sales manager for an insurance firm and co-founded the Women’s Group of the Greens at Half Hollow, a large over-55 community in Melville. Under her leadership, the women’s group raised and donated more than $225,000 to over 40 charities. She also started the first annual Roll and Walk for GBS-CIDP, which raises money and awareness of Guillain-Barre Syndrome, from which she suffers. The event raised $40,000. She was recognized by Councilwoman Susan A. Berland.
Patricia Del Col, who has worked for the Town of Huntington in a number of different positions, including Director of Environmental Control and Director of Engineering Services, as well as in the private sector. Since 2010, she has served as Deputy Supervisor. She was recognized by Councilman Eugene Cook.
Marta Negron Smith, a community advocate, adult and teen mentor and volunteer who has worked as an English as a Second Language teaching assistant and translator at Huntington High School and in assisting community residents with immigration forms, job applications and in making the community transition to the Unites States. She is also a longtime member of the Town’s Hispanic Task Force and for 10 years was a foster parent, caring for a total of 20 children. She was recognized by Councilwoman Tracey A. Edwards.
In the photo: front row (l-r): Patricia Petrone, Marie Michele Destil, Marta Negron Smith, Patricia Del Col and Jane Rosen. Rear (l-r): Rhonda Shepardson, Town of Huntington director of women’s services, Supervisor Frank P. Petrone, Councilman Mark Cuthbertson, Councilwoman Tracey A. Edwards, Councilman Eugene Cook and Councilwoman Susan A. Berland.