Residents Forward holds waterfront gala

Residents Forward holds waterfront gala

Nearly 240 people gathered at North Hempstead Beach Park on Friday, June 3, for the Residents Forward gala, No Dream too Big, No Job too Small, honoring Minday Germain and Melissa Vissicchio. 

It was the organization’s first in-person gala since before the pandemic and the first to be held at the town park.

“It was such a pleasure to gather in person,” said Residents Forward’s Executive Director Trish Class, “and the evening was made all the more memorable by the backdrop of our breathtaking waterfront. It was certainly a fitting setting to recognize the extraordinary work of Mindy and Melissa, who have both done so much to promote our community’s beauty and environmental sustainability.”

The pavilions were festooned with paper lanterns and twinkling string lights. Guests dined at tables decorated with driftwood centerpieces and danced on the boardwalk under the stars. 

Dawn Serignese and Residents Forward board member Shari Shedrofsky donated pashmina shawls for the event, which were distributed to guests when the night turned chilly.

Former board president Betsy Liegey of True Elizabeth Flowers provided the archway and tablescapes. 

Later in the evening, guests gathered in front of two large screens to watch a short video by film editor Isabel Del Rosal, highlighting the honorees’ work on behalf of Residents Forward.

“The gala video was a wonderful way of showcasing Mindy’s contributions as a community leader and visionary and Melissa’s as a beautification guru and all-around dynamo.”

Many elected officials were in attendance, including representatives of state Sen. Anna Kaplan and state Assemblywoman Gina Sillitti, County Comptroller Elaine Phillips, Town of North Hempstead Supervisor Jennifer DeSena, Councilwoman Mariann Dalimonte, Councilwoman Veronica Lurvey, Receiver of Taxes Charles Berman, Baxter Estates Mayor Nora Haagenson, and Sands Point Mayor Peter Forman.

Germain and Vissicchio received proclamations from each of these officials, as well as from Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman and Nassau County Legislator Delia DeRiggi-Whitton.

Funds raised at this year’s gala will support projects and initiatives that continue this work, including Clean Green Main Street and Clean Green Manorhaven, Phase Two of Let’s Walk PW, the 2023 Youth Climate Summit, the Climate Awareness Garden at Schreiber High School, and other Environmental Education programming.

Residents Forward’s gala also received support from Waterfront Preservation Sponsor, The Vissicchio Family; Beautification & Pride Sponsors, The Peter & Jeri Dejana Foundation, Annette Oestreich of Precision Work Inc., and the Johnson Family; Drinking Water Protection Sponsors, Mindy & Victor Germain of Eco-Leap LLC, Jen & David Rimmer, Gennaro Sbarro, and Ellen Zimmerman; and Education & Action Sponsors, Dr. & Mrs. David Adler, Community Chest of Port Washington, D&B Engineers and Architects, Daniel Gale Sotheby’s International Realty—Port Washington, Dawn Serignese, Associate Real Estate Broker of Daniel Gale Sotheby’s, Stephen & Sara Edelson of Smusht, Mrs. Paula Germain, Cynthia Litman of MomTime Events, Jeff Schor & Alex Trinkoff, Michelle Shain, and Well Read Ladies. 

In addition to financial supporters, Residents Forward would like to thank the Town of North Hempstead for allowing them to hold the gala at a town park and Councilwoman Mariann Dalimonte for her support.

Residents Forward, established in 1971 as Residents for a More Beautiful Port Washington, is a non-profit organization that has worked to promote environmental substainability for more than 50 years.

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