The First Responders Lions Club honored five professionals for their outstanding contributions to their community and New York City, during its First Anniversary Gala and Awards celebration at El Caribe Country Club in Brooklyn, on May 18.
Plaques and citations from the offices of Senator Roxanne Persaud, Senator Jessica Stanton, and Assemblywoman Jamie Williams, were presented to Founder of Blue Lives Matter, NYPD Sergeant Joseph Imperatrice, NYPD Desi Society President, Detective Ravi Narayan, Founder Thank You NYPD Anna Delfaus, Edward Schloeman — retired chief master sergeant from the NY Air National Guard, and Marine Vietnam veteran and founder of Operation Warrior Shield.
George Dixon, retired United States Air Force Vietnam War hero, a member of the Kiwanis Club of LaGuardia Airport, and President the NAACP Corona/East Elmhurst Chapter, was also honored.
Governor Elect Antonio Robles and 1st Vice District Governor elect Romeo Hitlall presented Leo Anaya First Responders Leo Club’s President, 16-year-old Anaya Willabus with the Robert J. Uplinger award for her tireless work throughout the “Lionistic” year and her contributions and participation in District 20-K1 events and activities.
According to First Responders LC President Dimple Willabus the event was held during National Police Week from May 14 – 20. This time is set aside to recognize and highlight the tireless work First Responders and advocates do to support and foster community development while bridging the gap between police and community.
Those in attendance were NYC Deputy Commissioner of Employee Relations Lisa White, NYPD Chief of the Department Jeffrey Maddrey among other top officials.
First Responders LC was founded by NYPD Lieutenant Winston Willabus, and his wife Dimple Willabus, who felt that police officers needed more support and resources to navigate on the job and after retirement.
Many officers are also not taking care of their health and wellbeing as they should and by having well needed resources, they will be more effective while at work, within their communities they serve and at home. The couple gathered a group of 22 members to form the first of such organization within New York State, said Dimple Willabus.
First Responders LC membership consist of like-minded individuals from several business communities and within the First Responders community. Some members are from the NYPD, NYS Corrections, Medical and Military. Members engage in many community activities and service projects throughout the year.
Some of the organizations First Responders LC have supported include Bed-Stuy Volunteer Ambulance Corp, Visions- Serving the blind, Canine Companions.
First Responders LC members also made a $500.00 donation to this year’s high school graduate Leo Club member Justin Nuzzi.