The American Legion, Lt. B.R. Kimlau Chinese Memorial Post 1291 was established in 1944 in memory of Lieutenant Benjamin Ralph Kimlau. Lt. Kimlau served as an Air Force bomber pilot during World War II. He was killed in action during an air battle over the New Guinea Islands in March 1944.
Aixa Torres was born in Santurce, Puerto Rico, to Domingo Arturo Torres and America Figueras. She moved with her parents and sisters to New York City in 1955, where she attended public schools. Ms. Torres graduated from the City University of New York and Lincoln University.
Among her many achievements, Ms. Torres was instrumental in working with Senator Squadron and his colleagues to push the New York City Housing Authority to fully repair old, faulty gas pipes at Smith Houses that sometimes forced residents to go without cooking gas for weeks or months at a time. Under this leadership and partnership, Smith Houses residents can reliably use their ovens and stoves without having to worry about looming gas outages.
The youngest of three, Danylo Rakowsky was born in Cleveland, Ohio, to Roman – an honorably discharged Vietnam Veteran – and Christina Rakowsky. In 2000, Danylo enlisted in the Army National Guard while attending college. He completed basic training and advanced individual training in South Carolina and drilled out of Akron. In 2004, his Unit was activated and deployed for a 13 month tour in Iraq.
Elizabeth R. OuYang is President of the Organization of Chinese Americans – New York Chapter (OCA-NY) Asian Pacific American Advocates, a non-profit, volunteer civil rights organization that promotes the political, economic and social well being of Asian Pacific Americans.
Visit Carroll Park, Brooklyn, in the warm months, and you will most likely be witness to a busy hive of children’s activities being expertly, patiently and lovingly overseen by Kathleen Henderson. Dubbed the “den mother of Carroll Park”, Ms. Henderson is a treasure to the Carroll Gardens community. For the last 16 years, she has worked as a playground associate for the New York City Parks Department, entertaining Carroll Gardens’ children with arts and crafts, organized games and recreation projects during the spring and summer months. In the fall, she turns the park house into a “playhouse”, and also organizes sign language and Spanish classes.
Born in Schenectady, Mary Spink moved to New York City in her late teens. Though life in New York was difficult for a young woman on her own, Ms. Spink soon found her way through volunteer work. It was by giving of her time that she found her true vocation. She worked at many different jobs, but her quick mind, energy and organizational abilities soon pushed her into positions where she could and would make a difference.