[From left to right: Cheyanne Alberti (accepting on behalf of Hazel Martinez), Senator Greg Ball and John Hyland]

Albany, N.Y. – (5/08/13) – Senator Greg Ball (R,C,I-Patterson) honored Hazel Martinez of Patterson and John Hyland of Brewster as the Putnam County New York State Senior Citizens Of The Year. New York State Senior Citizens’ Day was created to honor those who help others and make their communities better for citizens of all ages.

Hazel was unable to make the trip to Albany so accepting the award on her behalf was the President of the Golden Age Seniors of Patterson, Cheyanne Alberti.

“I am so happy to honor both Hazel and John as Senior Citizens Of The year,” said Senator Greg Ball. “These are two remarkable people that are prime examples of how  important it is to contribute to the community and help those who are less fortunate.”

Hazel Martinez was born in Pennsylvania and has lived in Putnam Lake for 66 years. She worked for 8 years at Green Chimneys as a social worker. Among her achievements, she is the proud mother of three sons. Unfortunately one son, PFC Robert Gracia, was killed during the Vietnam War. Since her son lost his life in the service of his country, with a heavy heart, she became a member of the American Gold Star Mothers organization. Hazel is a member of the Golden Agers of Patterson and has been a member of the VFW Ladies Auxiliary 9257 of Putnam Lake for 35 years. She has volunteered for 5 years at the Castle Point Veterans Hospital where she brings clothes and items to help those in need. Hazel says she has been volunteering for close to 50 years and does not have any plans on stopping.

John Hyland was born and raised in the Bronx and currently resides in Brewster. John had a 33 year career with what is now Verizon Communications. John has been part of the NYC Auxiliary Police since 1969 and won several awards including an Award for Valor for saving a woman trapped in a burning building. He has been President of the NYC PBA since the early 1970’s as well as an active Hibernian, holding every elected office in Division 7 in Bronx County. Mr. Hyland is closely affiliated with the annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Manhattan and was an aide to Grand Marshall in 2010. John is President of Samuel Gompers High School Alumni Association in the Bronx. For the annual Putnam County Humane Society Parade, John fills the role of Santa Claus and does the train exhibit at Brewster Library as well as the September 11th exhibit. He serves on the Board of Directors of the Association of Bell Tel. Retirees with over 128,000 members. Lastly John is affiliated with the Archdiocese of NY and the old St. Patrick‘s Church.


For more information, please contact Joe Bachmeier: (845) 200-9716.


About Greg Ball

Assemblyman Greg Ball (R, C, I – Patterson) is the Senator for New York State's 40th district. A former Vice President of Exceed International Development Corporation, Ball holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from the United States Air Force Academy, is currently completing his Masters Thesis of Liberal Studies in International Affairs at Georgetown University, and received an honorable discharge in 2005 at the rank of Captain after service as an active duty officer in the United States Air Force. View all posts by Greg Ball →
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