Adams honors a summer’s worth of heroes
by Salvatore Isola
Oct 08, 2019 | 3646 views | 0 0 comments | 272 272 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Borough President Eric Adams recognized one organization and five exceptional individuals who went above and beyond.

In the latest “Heroes of the Month” ceremony last week, Adams handed out official citations at Borough Hall to honorees for the months of June, July, August, and September.

“Often times the front pages of our daily tabloids talk about some of the horrific things that happen in the city,” Adams said. “We want to acknowledge the everyday New Yorkers who really go above the call of duty.”

Bay Ridge Cares received the honor for June, the same month Bay Ridge resident Diana Murolo passed away in her Shore Hill senior living facility.

Volunteers of Bay Ridge Cares helped Murolo’s daughter Stephanie pack up the apartment to make the space ready for a new occupant, and in the process called attention to the need for senior housing.

“Our organization supports those in need, helping to nurture the sense of our ‘small town in the big city,’” said group president Karen Tadross. “Many hands make light work, and together we can make our communities a better place for all.”

On July 22, a severe rainstorm flooded a number of roads, including an underpass near exit 25 on the Long Island Expressway. Daphne Youree of Williamsburg happened to be driving there with her son.

Youree waded into the water, and for 30 minutes used an orange traffic cone to clear a drain that was clogged, getting traffic moving again.

Her son Nikola recorded a video and YouTuber Casey Neistat shared the video, which went viral.

“I think it’s so important that as human beings we just do stuff,” said the honoree for July, who now keeps a traffic cone in her car. “Just go out and take care of things.”

August saw three honorees.

On July 29, Eric Boyo was operating the G train when he saw someone waving from the platform. He braked and stopped the train just 75 feet away from a woman on the tracks.

“To stand out in Brooklyn is really something,” said Boyo, “home to some of the most dynamic, creative, and yes, heroic people on the planet.”

Similarly, Larry Moreno was driving the Q train on August 7 when he brought the train to a stop just before it hit a woman on the tracks.

August’s third honoree was Joe Gonzalez. After hearing about the water crisis in Newark, Gonzalez started a borough-wide water drive. When all was said and done, he collected 9,000 bottles.

“I want to share the award with everyone who bought bottled water,” Gonzalez said. “If everyone does a little, nobody will have to do a lot.”

The final honoree was Captain Frank Stonitsch of Engine Company 10. On September 4, Stonitsch was biking with his infant daughter by Pier 6 at Brooklyn Bridge Park when he heard a member of a ferry crew shout, “man overboard!”

A former lifeguard, Stonitsch entrusted his daughter to a stranger and jumped in the water and pulled the man from 20 feet below the surface. The victim escaped with only minor injuries.

“I think the scariest part of this whole thing was trying to come up with a story to tell my wife on who I left my daughter with,” Stonitsch joked. “Luckily everything worked out, and it was a great New York moment.”
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