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Celebrating the unsung heroes of Brooklyn

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Put your hands together for the stars and heroes of Citymeals-on-Wheels. Dwayne Pierre (right) of Flatbush and Bushwick resident Ray Vasquez (left) were presented the organization’s 2014 Star Awards for outstanding service and for going above and beyond the call of duty to help neighbors in need. The honorees were nominated for the distinction by their colleagues and administrators.

Standing O pals Dwayne and Ray are “true life savers,” according to Beth Shapiro, executive director of Citymeals-on-Wheels. “I would like to thank Dwayne and Ray for their dedication, compassion, and hard work in ensuring New York’s most vulnerable residents are safe and sound behind their closed doors,” she said.

Standing O hero Dwayne delivers life-saving meals with the Senior League of Flatbush. He came to the rescue of a 96-year-old client who had fallen inside his locked apartment. Dwayne was at the door about to deliver a meal when he heard a thud and realized the homeowner was on the floor. His quick-thinking call to 911 saved the day.

Our champ Ray works for the Ridgewood Bushwick Senior Citizen’s Council and faithfully delivers meals every Thanksgiving and Christmas to frail seniors who would otherwise be alone. In one of the city’s worst blackouts Ray helped cook, pack, and deliver meals, climbing stairs in complete darkness to make the deliveries. Recently one of his regulars did not answer the door when he came with a meal. Although he could hear the woman’s dog barking inside the apartment, he couldn’t hear the senior. He knew that she would never leave her dog alone, and instantly knew something was terribly amiss. He called the paramedics and they found her lying in her bed unable to move. The woman was taken to the hospital, and has since returned home and is recuperating.

Citymeals-on-Wheels [355 Lexington Ave. in Manhattan; (212) 687–1234].

Flatbush

Green-thumbed ‘Friends’

The Friends of Wingate Park, led by Vivia Morgan, is truly a pal to our green spaces. The organization received the Golden Trowel Award at the It’s My Park Awards reception hosted by Partnerships for Parks at the Museum of the City of New York. The accolade honored individuals who have demonstrated exceptional leadership and commitment to local parks — and we have more than 177 of those to talk about.

The Golden Trowel is presented to volunteers who have transformed these outdoor treasures into dynamic community assets, and Friends of Wingate Park was at the top of the list. The organization regularly hosts activities, including concerts and holiday-themed events. This past year, Friends partnered with B.M.S. Family Health Center on the “Parents 2 Children” forum, and offered program support and resources to parents who have lost a child to violence.

Awards and a Standing O — that’s some season for our Friends.

The Friends of Wingate Park; www.friendsofwin­gatepark@g­mailcom.

Coney Island

Take the plunge

Take the chill off New Year’s Day with a heartwarming swim in the frosty Atlantic to raise money for a worthy cause! The ninth Polar Dip benefits Camp Sunshine. Polar Bears are rarin’ to jump to boost the one-of-a-kind national retreat in Maine for children with life-threatening illnesses and their families.

Jump in on Jan. 1 2015 at 1 pm (registration begins at 10 am). Early registrants with a minimum $20 donation will receive express entry into the early plunge wave. People who raise more than 100 buckeroos will receive a long-sleeve “Freezin’ for a Reason-I Did It” T-shirt.

Standing O says, “What are you waiting for? Get a move on — Jan. 1 will be here before you know it.”

Coney Island Polar Dip (Riegelmann Boardwalk at W. 12th Street in Coney Island; www.freezinforareason.com).

Read Standing O every Thursday on BrooklynDaily.com!
Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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