“My dad took me aside and he said, ‘See these men and women in these uniforms? . . . These people will give the last ounce of energy, the last resource they have, to help people they don’t even know, because they helped me.’ ”
Thus recounted Curtis Sliwa, popular talk–radio host and founder of The Guardian Angels, in his response to guests at the Greater New York (GNY) Division’s 61st Annual Luncheon on December 3rd. Sliwa, the 2008 Pinnacle of Achievement Award recipient, described how his dad, Chester, a merchant seaman stranded at a port–of–call, once received help from the Army that probably saved him from being arrested for loitering—a gesture the elder Sliwa never forgot.
During his remarks, Sliwa introduced his dad, now 86 and a stroke victim, who attended the luncheon in a show of gratitude to the Army.
The award to Sliwa, presented by Major Guy D. Klemanski, divisional commander, was the culmination of a lively program that also included presentations to Zeckendorf Development LLC (the Partnership Award), lead sponsor of this year’s luncheon, and Mrs. Kathleen Hatab, accepting the Community Service Award on behalf of her late husband, John O. Hatab, a member of the GNY Advisory Board for more than 20 years.
“This is a great honor for John,” said Kathy. “. . . He felt truly lucky to be a part of this organization.”
The Community Service Award presentation also included tributes from presenter Bob Martin, John’s successor as GNY board chair, and John Hennessy, a longtime board member who had served for many years with John. “He was a class act, a gentleman, a true humanitarian, and a friend to all of us on the Board,” said Martin.