by Bob Dumas
LEWISBORO, N.Y. – Two Lewisboro women have been honored with their inclusion into state Sen. Greg Ball’s (R, C – Patterson) Women of Distinction Hall of Fame at a ceremony last week.
Created by Ball, the Women of Distinction Hall of Fame was designed to honor outstanding women from throughout the 40th Senate District. Each city, town and village within the district was asked to nominate a woman to be honored at the event. All the nominees were inducted in the Hall of Fame at a district-wide ceremony at the Donald B. Smith Putnam County Emergency Services Building in Carmel.
Town Supervisor Peter Parsons, who made the Lewisboro nominations, said the women honored during the ceremony had one thing in common — community service.
“They all showed a real dedication to their communities by the extent in which they volunteered,” he said.
While most towns each had one nominee, Lewisboro was one of the three towns with at least two. Feted at last week’s ceremony were Joann Vasi, Lewisboro’s receiver of taxes and a prolific volunteer, and the late Laurie Gagliardi, a post office employee who was beloved for the way she always was ready to lend a helping hand.
Ball said Gagliardi was a vital member of the Lewisboro community until her death Dec. 2, adding she made the post office a center of community life, always looking for ways to ensure new residents received misaddressed mail and offering them help on settling into town. Additionally, Gagliardi was a 19-year fixture working the Friday night shift with the Lewisboro Volunteer Ambulance Corps.
At her funeral, Gagliardi’s friends and family remembered her for her “enormous impact on her co-workers and all the folks who came into the post office, whose day she brightened with her cheerfulness and pleasure in helping them.”
Besides being receiver of taxes, Vasi previously served on the Lewisboro Town Board as deputy supervisor from 1996 through 2008. Additionally, she volunteers for several civic organizations, including as president, vice president, and treasurer for the Katonah/Lewisboro PTA, as sole typist of “Spanning the Years,” a history of Goldens Bridge, as a volunteer with the Lewisboro Ambulance Corps, as a driver for Friends Indeed Serve and Help, as vice president and treasurer for the Westchester Receivers and Collectors Association, as co-chair of the renovation committee for St. Michael’s Chapel and as co-organizer for the first After-School Enrichment Program at Increase Miller Elementary School.
Vasi has earned the Vista Fire Department Civic Contribution Award, the 911 Westchester County Certificate of Appreciation, the 2000 US Census Appreciation Certificate, the 1991 Westchester Theatre Dance Performing Troupe Appreciation Award and was recognized in 2000 as a Notable American Woman.
Ball said all the Hall of Fame inductees had chosen a path of leadership and lived a life of “service before self.”
“Each one of these women is so well deserving of this honor because they have built a reputation of action, compassion and integrity – a path that that stands as an example to all,” he said. (ARTICLE)