The Brooklyn Bridge Rotary Club held its second annual gala, dubbed “What Starts Here Changes the World,” at the Dyker Beach Golf Course on Tuesday night, when it honored five recipients of its Service Above Self award in front of a packed ballroom.
“I’m very happy to celebrate this wonderful night with all of you,” said the club’s president, Angelicque Moreno. “Not only do we have our many distinguished honorees to celebrate tonight, but this year marks 100 years of Rotary in Brooklyn.”
The honorees included Dr. Christopher Kyriakides, who received the Rotary Visionary award; Denise Scaravella, who took home the Rotary Public Service award, the Rotary Club of Verrazano, which received the Rotary Champion award; Dr.Oluyemi Badero, who was honored with the Rotary Humanitarian award; and theBrooklyn Daily Eagle’s own publisher Dozier Hasty, who was honored with the Rotary Advocate award.
Guests at the gala were treated to cocktails and hors d’oeuvres while they participated in a silent auction and other fundraising activities. Afterward, awards were presented to the honorees.
Dr. Kyriakides was the first to receive his award. Kyriakides is the founder of New York Orthopedic Surgery and Rehabilitation, a multi-facility orthopedic surgery and physical rehabilitation private practice that has been around for 15 years, as well as many other medical collaborations.
“His passion for medicine and helping others is shown by his tireless work in the sick and injured individuals who he treats at all hours of the day and night,” said Scott Rynecki, before presenting Kyriakides with his award. “I have personally witnessed his work with disabled children and it is truly amazing.”
Scaravella, who was honored next, is the director of Park Slope Christian Help, Inc. (CHIPS), a non-profit agency that she joined in 2011. She is credited with helping to stabilize the organization after she took it over during a “period of crisis and great transition” and turned it into a thriving organization.
“I’m so very grateful for this honor, but it really belongs to many,” Scaravella said. “All of us have a humanitarian quality. I just happen to be fortunate enough to make this my life’s work. There is an army of people who do it alongside me, and this award really belongs to all of them.”
Ralph Succar, president of the Rotary Club of Verrazano, accepted the Rotary Champion award on his club’s behalf, but quickly called all of its members to the podium to accept the award alongside him. That club helped to sponsor the Brooklyn Bridge Rotary Club and was thanked for its work in response to the Superstorm Sandy devastation.
“The best part of being a Rotarian is my fellow brothers,” Succar said. “The love that we have every Wednesday when we meet… we gather, we have opinions, we make decisions, we have likes and dislikes, but we have one thing in common — service above self. You’ll hear that over and over again, but that is what it is to be a Rotarian.”
Dr. Badero was presented with his award by Clover March, who told a story about how the doctor personally helped her. Badero is CEO of Cardiac Specialists of Brooklyn and is an Assistant Clinical Professor of Medicine at SUNY Medical School.
“I’m more than overwhelmed just to be here tonight,” Badero said. “I have to tell you, as a young boy growing up in Central Africa, I never thought that I would be standing 5,000 miles away, standing at your rotary club to receive this award.”
Finally, Hasty was presented with his award by Brooklyn Daily Eagle consultant Ed Weintrob. Weintrob, who recalled having a great deal of respect for Hasty while serving as the publisher at The Brooklyn Paper, added that once they met at Rotary, his admiration for Hasty greatly increased.
“Dozier is committed to some very old and very important values — service above self, the rotary value,” Weintrob said. “Dedicated to helping Brooklyn’s civic and cultural institutions — that’s what Dozier is about, and that’s what the Brooklyn Eagle is about.”