They’re unsung no more!
Bay Ridgites awarded 15 of the neighborhood’s quiet do-gooders at the Bay Ridge Community Council Hidden Treasure Awards at Shore Hill Neighborhood Center on Feb. 23. The honor came as a “beautiful surprise” for one Saint Anselm Catholic Academy teacher honored for influencing kids in the classroom over the last 20 years.
“I feel very blessed and I didn’t expect it — I think that I’m the one who’s been blessed to be a part of the Bay Ridge community,” eighth-grade math teacher Janet Batista said. “ I didn’t realize I was nominated until I got a call that I was getting the award.”
The council also honored Batista’s colleagues Christine Deem and Pat Riley. Their fellow honorees were Eileen LaRuffa with the Fort Hamilton Citizens Action Committee, Rabbi Dina Rosenberg at the Bay Ridge Jewish Center, Roseanne Miller with the Knights of Columbus, Elizabeth Connors with the Daughters of the American Revolution, Dorothy Garuccio with Community Board 10, Kathleen Sinagra and Jill Rizzi with Saint Bernadette Church, Dr. Robert Flanzer and Eleanor Rosenblatt with the Bay Ridge Mental Health Council, and Richard Haugland, Jessica Amato and James Johnson with the Narrows Botanical Garden.
Community council member Alex Conti detailed each recipient’s work in the community and presented each with a plaque.
And the honors did not stop there — Councilman Vincent Gentile (D–Bay Ridge) and a proxy for state Sen. Martin Golden (R–Bay Ridge) handed out their own awards alongside the council’s recognizing the honorees.
The secret to building a thriving community like Bay Ridge is being ambitious and wanting good for the people around you, according to one honoree awarded for founding an open-mic poetry series at Narrows Botanical Garden.
“All the people that do this great work, we’re really rooted in the community,” Jessica Amato said. “It was a great honor to be among those great and talented people who give back to the community — that’s what keeps us so strong.”