- Cutchogue's Toni DeMeo
, 89 years young, a tireless community volunteer and leader has been selected by New York State Senator Kenneth P. LaValle
as the First Senatorial District's Woman of Distinction for 2012.
Toni currently serves as a volunteer and director of volunteers, a position she has held since 1995 at Greenport's Eastern Long Island Hospital (ELIH). She also serves as the Chairperson of Volunteer Service and is responsible for day-to-day scheduling, recruitment, interviewing, position assignment and overall supervision and training for all hospital volunteers.
"I am proud," Senator LaValle said, "to honor Toni DeMeo as this year's Woman of Distinction for her tireless work, volunteerism and commitment to our community. Her name will join that of other women whose accomplishments, sacrifices and good deeds are deserving of special recognition." Toni will receive the award at a May 15 reception in Albany with women from across New York State.
"Toni DeMeo personifies the spirit of volunteerism through her 'service above self,'" said Paul J. Connor
, President and CEO of ELIH. "Eastern Long Island Hospital would not exist, as we know it today, without the many hours Toni DeMeo and all our valued Auxiliary members devote to helping others. The Auxiliary is a force 400 strong who raise more than $350,000 each year. To a 90-bed hospital, that's impressive," Connor added.
"At the end of your life, every day counts," Toni DeMeo explained. "I like being in charge, and I like that I can still make an impact at ELIH, my community hospital. I am honored to be chosen by Senator LaValle to receive the NYS Senate Woman of Distinction award. I feel proud, overwhelmed, a little flustered and self-conscience, but mostly proud to be able to make a difference," DeMeo added.
LaValle noted that the Senate's "Women of Distinction" program was created in 1998 to honor New York women who exemplify personal excellence or whose professional achievements or acts of courage, selflessness, integrity or perseverance serve as an example to all New Yorkers. Women from the worlds
of business, academics, and civic life, as well as those who have performed heroic or selfless acts, made significant discoveries, or provided examples of personal excellence against difficult odds have been honored at the annual event.
More About 2012 NYS Senate Woman Of Distinction Toni DeMeo
• 1986: Started at ELIH, volunteering in the Opportunity Shop (thrift shop)
• 1987: Elected to Auxiliary Board - continues to serve on Auxiliary Board today
• 1994-1996: Served as President of the ELIH Auxiliary (with Ex-Officio seat on ELIH Hospital Board)
• 1995-1996: Active with Nassau-Suffolk Hospital Council Auxiliary
• 2002: Received the ELIH Theodore Roosevelt Award for Volunteerism
• 2011: Received service pin for 16,000 hours of service
A tireless community volunteer and leader, Toni has also served in many other capacities on the North Fork as a member of the Board of Trustees for the Cutchogue-New Suffolk Free Library, as Vice President for the Cutchogue-New Suffolk Chamber of Commerce, and as Treasurer for the Cutchogue-New Suffolk Historical Council.
Prior to retiring to the North Fork, Toni managed Island Visuals, Inc. for 21 years, a company she owned with her husband, Roy. She is also a past member of the Malverne Merchants and Professionals Association, and was voted "Woman of the Year" in 1987 (Malverne, NY). She attended the College of Mt. St. Vincent and St. John's University, and earned Certified Financial Planner certification at Adelphi University in 1986.
During WWII (1943-1945) Toni served as a Red Cross
Nurse's Aide at Tarrytown and Grasslands Hospitals; and worked at Eastern Aircraft, which built front half of Grumman planes for aircraft carriers.