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Awards dinner hails urban warriors • Brooklyn Paper

Awards dinner hails urban warriors

Way to go, mom! Honoree Maria Garcia gets a lovin’ boost from sons Matthew, Gabriel and Caleb (from left) during a community awards dinner in Coney Island, presented by the Neighborhood Improvement Association.
Photo by Steve Solomonson

Brooklynites shelled out big bucks to rub shoulders with their urban gladiators when the Neighborhood Improvement Association held its annual community tribute in Coney Island.

Seven honorees were hailed for their law enforcement, commercial and educational efforts during the group’s 30th Anniversary Recognition Awards Dinner at Gargiulo’s Restaurant on Sept. 22.

The honorees were: Inspector Philip Van Gostein, NYPD Patrol Borough Brooklyn South, who received the “Exemplary Leadership in Public Service and Law Enforcement”; Marathon Bank Senior Vice President Zoe Koutsoupakis, declared “Woman of the Year”; George and Dino Procovas, owners of 13th Avenue Florist, who accepted the “Business Achievement Award”; Brenda Champion, principal of IS 227 in Bensonhurst and recipient of the “Educational Leadership Award”; Maria Garcia, a social worker at PS 503 in Sunset Park who was presented the “Community Service Award”; and Association President Michael Bove, lauded as “Man of the Year.”

Bove also received the group’s “Founders’ Award.”

Contributions from the $125-a-head dinner will support free programs for youth and families, said Chair Mary Anne Cino.

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