Theresa M. Reichel
Award: HONORING WOMEN IN NEW YORK
Theresa M. Reichel is known as a woman who is always there to step up and lend a helping hand, whether she is in the classroom guiding special education students or out in her Island Park community.
When Superstorm Sandy hit, Ms. Reichel, her family and many others found themselves in a state of chaos. With her house flooded and the surrounding neighborhoods totally devastated, Ms. Reichel did what she does best – figured out a way to help others. She immediately took to the streets of Island Park, assisting in any way she could. With a clipboard in hand, Ms. Reichel – a wife, teacher and mother of four – began organizing volunteers throughout the community. She successfully launched a Facebook page, which provided up-to-date information regarding relief efforts, including details on donation programs, income and distribution centers and any other information for those struggling with the aftermath of this terrible storm.
Ms. Reichel’s work assisting others goes well beyond that of her involvement following Superstorm Sandy. She helped coordinate donations and refreshments for the Caroline Previdi Playground at Masone Beach, coordinated a fundraiser for victims in Oklahoma and assisted in running a recent toy drive for the children of Island Park.
In December 2012, Ms. Reichel was named a Holiday Hero by CBS 2 News for her work in the months following the storm. She was recently appointed to the community board of New York Rising through the Community Reconstruction Program, and was named Secretary of the Island Park Business and Residential Hurricane Relief Fund, while also serving as a representative and liaison between Island Park and Friends of Long Island. In January, Ms. Reichel was elected Vice-President of the Island Park Chamber of Commerce.
Through her work in these positions, Ms. Reichel has been instrumental in advancing her primary goal of restoring Island Park’s downtown – bringing in businesses by creating a productive and supportive business environment. Whether it be helping those in her community or beyond, Ms. Reichel is always the fi rst to step up without hesitation. Her selfless acts to assist those around her and her ability to stay positive, despite personal times of trouble, are truly admirable and worthy of recognition.