Pawling Public Radio honored seven community members for volunteerism at their second annual Voices of Pawling Awards ceremony held April 22 at the Pawling Fire House.
See additional photo’s of the event:
This year’s honorees were businessman John Ammaturo, for community building through mentoring youth due to his involvement with Rotary International and mentoring the Pawling Rotary’s Interact Program; Betsy & John Brockway for their community service not only to Pawling, but to all of Dutchess County; Betty Gallagher, for her life-long love and nurturing of Pawling’s children and her commitment to education and family values; Forbes Linkhorn for his community building through promotion of the arts; David Stenton, for teaching cooperation and teamwork through youth sports; and Charlotte Whaley, for her life-long community building through long standing and continuous service to Pawling, her church, friends, family, and neighbors.
Both Mrs. Gallagher and Ms. Whaley were honored for their life-time achievements in volunteering. Mrs. Gallagher taught kindergarten in Pawling for more than 30 years; and at 93 years young, Ms. Whaley is still an active volunteer in the Pawling community.
Forbes Linkhorn, a vital part of the Pawling Shakespeare Club, was unable to attend. His award was accepted by his wife, Dona Wayman. Both Ms. Wayman and her son, Shannon McKinney, spoke on Mr. Linkhorn’s behalf.
The awards brunch was attended by more than 130 people, including the student members of the Rotary’s Interact Club, who were there to honor John Ammaturo, and members of Pawling Girls Softball teams, who came to show their appreciation of Mr. Stenton’s contributions to their organization.
Proceeds from this event will be used to further Pawling Public Radio’s goal of FCC licensing, and to enhance their mission of Building Community…One Voice at a Time.
PPR is a not-for -profit educational radio station, by, for, and about the Town of Pawling and surrounding communities in the lower Harlem Valley. All inquiries and donations may be sent to Pawling Public Radio, 26 E. Main St., Pawling New York, or on this website’s homepage.
Voices of Pawling Award Winner:
John Ammaturo is the owner and manager of Dutchess Auto Body & Service Center located in the Village of Pawling. Originally from Pelham, NY he grew up working at his father’s auto body shop located in The Bronx. He eventually ventured out on his own at 20 years of age, and started his own business. Dutchess Auto Body was established in 1974 and will be celebrating its 38th anniversary in September of 2012.
John, 58, has been an active member of the Pawling Rotary Club for nineteen years and serves as their treasurer, as well as the Advisor for the Interact Club, a newly formed youth service group that is part of Rotary International. Under his direction, the Interact Club has grown to more than 40 student members, and has a junior group of approximately 20 waiting to join their high school friends. John is also the executive director of the Westchester Putnam Valley, and the Rockland Auto Body Association.
Mr. Ammaturo lives in nearby LaGrangeville with his wife, Fran. They have two sons, John, Jr., who is assistant manager of the repair shop, and Nicholas, who works for PepsiCo.
John and Betsy Brockway:
John and Betsy Brockway bought their home in Pawling in 1975. While their two children, Brian and Amie, completed schooling here, John and Betsy were involved in Cub Scouts and Girl Scouts, coaching soccer/Little League, active in the Pawling Community Theatre, and served on many of Christ Church on Quaker Hill’s committees. Both John and Betsy served on the Town of Pawling’s 200th Birthday Steering Committee, with John concentrating on documenting and repairing many of the town’s cemeteries and Betsy assisting with fundraising activities.
Betsy was employed as the Town of Pawling Recreation Director from 1982-1987. She returned to college as an adult and graduated from SUNY Purchase in 1992, along with her daughter Amie. Also in 1992, Dutchess County Executive Bill Steinhaus hired Betsy to serve his administration in various positions: Youth Bureau Executive Director, Health & Human Services Cabinet Director, and Commissioner of Services for Aging, Veterans, and Youth.
During the past 20 years, Betsy served as the DC STOP-DWI Coordinator, created the Children’s Services Council, implemented the Health & Human Services Cabinet, assisted in creating a culture of using outcome language for human services, and published timely benchmark data for Dutchess County. She was appointed by the NYS Senate to the NYS Office of Children and Family Services Advisory Board. She also served as a member of the DC Criminal Justice Council and Office of Aging Advisory Board and a member of the Dutchess Community College Foundation. She was honored by the Community College in 2007 with the Alumni Hall of Fame award.
During this same period, Betsy volunteered in Pawling as a Board Member of Managers for Holiday Hills YMCA Conference Center, as a Trustee/Treasurer of Pawling Free Library, and currently is the Treasurer of the Christ Church on Quaker Hill Nursery School. Betsy retired from Dutchess County government at the end of November, 2011.
John retired in 2004, after 36 years as a Fifth Grade teacher at the George Fischer Middle School in Carmel, and now fills his days as a community volunteer. He is a board member of the Pawling Resource Center and a volunteer driver. As a Vietnam era U.S. Navy veteran, he is a proud member of Hasler-Kamp #215, American Legion. John is finishing a six year commitment as an Elder of Christ Church on Quaker Hill. He has been a proud member as a tenor in the Christ Church Singers and the Double Quartet since 1976. He also serves on the historic Quaker Hill Burial Grounds Association. As chair of the Christ Church Outreach team, he has organized six mission trips to New Orleans to rebuild homes with the St. Bernard Project, and develops work teams for Rebuilding Together – Dutchess County and Midnight Runs to feed the NYC homeless.
John currently serves as President of the Historical Society of Quaker Hill & Pawling and in 2004 started the end of school year educational Colonial/Revolutionary War workshops that have fascinated Pawling, Mizzentop, Dover, and home-schooled Fourth Graders. As an enthusiastic rail fan, John initiated, with friends, the Pawling Model Railroad Club, and for nine years he personally designed and constructed various eye catching holiday layouts displayed in The Book Cove. He spent four years as a mentor for Big Brothers/Big Sisters. As a member of the Pawling Chamber of Commerce, John served for many years on the December-Fest Committee.
The grandparents of five, their volunteer schedules now center around traveling, and Brian & Kim’s two daughters’ sport activities and school events in Shrewsbury, NJ; and upcoming Pawling summer visits with Amie & Evans’ two sons and daughter.
“Pawling is a wonderful, caring and supportive community to raise a family and we enjoy sharing the experience with the next generation,” say John and Betsy.
Elizabeth Gallagher and her family have long been a part of the Pawling community. Her father, James Sheridan, attended Pawling Central School, and then went on to Fordham Law School. Upon graduation, he opened his own practice in Pawling, where he practiced for over thirty years. Her mother, Teresa Sheridan, taught elementary school in Pawling.
Mrs. Gallagher grew up in the house her father built on Sunset Ave., and attended Pawling Central School. She took singing and piano lessons, and learned to love music and singing. Mrs. Gallagher’s grandfather often asked her to sing for him. His favorite song was “God Bless America.” This is the first song she recalls singing.
Mrs. Gallagher went to Manhattanville College of the Sacred Heart. She became a student teacher at Ridgeway School in White Plains, where they offered her a full-time position teaching kindergarten when she was just a junior in college. She chose to wait until she graduated. Mrs. Gallagher’s first days as a kindergarten teacher at Pawling Elementary were hard, but to the students, parents, and faculty she made it look easy. Helen McNett, a Pawling kindergarten teacher and a friend of Mrs. Gallagher’s father’s, helped her along with these words of advice: “just love them.”
Mrs. Gallagher married several years later and returned to Pawling with her husband, Thomas, and their two young sons, Ted and Peter. They moved into the house on Dykeman St. where she still lives. Mrs. Gallagher had no thought but to take care of her family. Nonetheless as her children began school, she resumed her career as a substitute teacher. One day Principal Jay Sherlock approached her and told her she would be a full-time kindergarten teacher the next fall. Mrs. Gallagher said she needed time to think about it.
The decision was hard, but one she never regretted. She loved days spent with her young charges. She planted flowers behind the school in a place that became known as the Fairy Garden. She had Christmas and ice cream parties. Every Halloween, the children dressed in costumes. She taught the children to “listen to the sounds of the world.”
Mrs. Gallagher instilled a love of the arts in her students. She played the piano for them and taught them to sing. They had recitals where the children dressed formally and everyone ate finger sandwiches.
Mrs. Gallagher was a soloist at village churches for many years, regularly at St. John’s Church and Christ Church. The highlight of the year was Midnight Mass at St. John’s. She has become a staple at many Pawling events with her rendition of the “Star-Spangled Banner.” She sings every Memorial Day, at Cub Scout and Boy Scout dinners, the Veteran’s Day dinner, and at the triathlon every June.
Mrs. Gallagher has served the Pawling community selflessly and generously for decades. She would not have it any other way.
“Forbes Linkhorn is best known for The Fine Films of Pawling series shown every Monday evening. Forbes, having traveled widely as a film critic, and Peter Martin shared a mutual interest in the great films of yesteryear. This led to a wonderful collaboration. When Peter moved, Forbes continued showing the films, sharing some personal, some humorous, and some factual anecdotes while introducing each film session, followed by delicious pastries and coffee (all for a $2.00 donation!).” (Condensed from “Bits and People” by columnist Mae Green)
A prolific graphic illustrator, Forbes formerly worked with McGraw Hill and Ziff-Davis in NYC. Locally, Forbes has designed the revolutionary soldier proudly displayed by the Pawling Historical Society on its stationary, as well as the wooden replica of the soldier guarding the John Kane House garden. He also designed the logo for McKinney & Doyle Fine Foods. A nine-year active member and current vice president of Pawling Shakespeare Club, Forbes recently designed its new flag. In addition, he coordinated many of PSC’s programs, served as study leader, continues to arrange for speakers, and introduces with humor and affection classic Shakespearean films throughout the year, most recently, The Life of King Henry V, while sporting a Scottish beret and imparting a story or two about the director and actor Sir Lawrence Olivier.
Forbes has also been a board member of the Community Resource Center for seven years; a docent at the Kane House for eight years, has served as a deacon at Christ Church on Quaker Hill for six years, and chairman for one year. He also presented “Mr. Owl” as the speaker for “time with the children” during frequent Sunday services.
Kudos to Forbes for bringing joy and color to all his neighbors. He is an inspiration to all who meet him, and loved by all who know him.
David Stenton has lived in Pawling since 1998. He has been extremely active in the community through volunteerism and coaching.
Dave was recognized by the Pawling Public Library for his help during their renovation, and as a volunteer at their annual Library Book Sale.
He has been involved with Pawling Little League as a coach, assistant all-star coach, softball all-star head coach, and all-star volunteer pitch counter. Dave has been a Pawling Swim Team volunteer and coach, and has organized and conducted Pawling Little League Softball Skills and Pitching clinics in both the winter and spring. Dave also designed the logos for Pawling Swimming, Pawling Little League, and the LEAF logo for their golf auction. Several pieces of his artwork have also been donated to auctions to benefit the Pawling Elementary School playground.
Dave and his wife, Lorri, have a daughter, Gaby. In his free time he works at Wings Over Water Swim School as a Swim Instructor and Teacher/Trainer.
Charlotte Whaley was born August 20, 1919, to Edward B. and Lina B. Whaley of Patterson. She was an only child and enjoyed growing up on a dairy farm. Ms. Whaley attended elementary schools in Patterson, and graduated from Pawling High School in 1935. She attended Hekes Business School in White Plains.
Ms. Whaley started working as a bookkeeper for B&S Chevrolet Co. of Pawling in 1927. Her 43-year career at the Pawling Savings Bank began as a teller in June of 1940. She retired from the bank (now M&T) as a vice president in 1983.
She is a Trustee and vital member of St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church; an active member of the Pawling Fire Department’s Ladies’ Auxiliary; a member of the Board of Trustees and driver for the Pawling Resource Center; and a tireless volunteer for the Pawling Chamber of Commerce. She was also a member of the former Pawling Health Association and a member of the Historical Society of Quaker Hill & Pawling.
Ms. Whaley is a wealth of information on Pawling and is an inspiration to her family, friends and neighbors.
When not volunteering, Ms. Whaley enjoys gardening and mowing her lawn. She loves all animals, especially her two cats, Buckey and Misty.