Goddard Riverside‘s annual “Good Neighbor Awards” recognize New Yorkers who help make uptown neighborhoods better, devoting long hours towards initiatives like fundraising, volunteer work and advocacy.
Out of the six honorees – who, by the way, range in age from 15 to 94 – the following four are Upper East Siders.
Emma Justus. While attending the Upper East Side’s Wagner Middle School (220 East 76th Street) as a sixth grader, Emma cofounded Club Care, a charitable organization which supports children and families dealing with cancer. Now 15, Emma was inspired to do this after her father was diagnosed with terminal glioblastoma brain cancer. Club Care has created care packages for pediatric oncology patients at a local hospital, hand delivered staff appreciation gifts for the oncology team, created room makeovers for pediatric cancer patients, and more. Emma is working to open chapters across the country.
Dorothy Reiss is one of the founding members of the Friends of Webster Library, which worked to get the library (at 1465 York Avenue) designated landmark status. In 2004, the Friends opened the Book Cellar, a used bookstore in the basement of the Webster Library, which collects and sells donated books from community members. Dorothy has been there for over 19 years and can still be found behind the cash register. Through the Book Cellar, she helped to raise over $1 million for branch libraries of the NYPL. That money has funded special projects at the libraries, buying computers, books, and most recently, a selection of books called the Harlem Collection. Carolyn Breidenbach has been volunteering at P.S. 198 (1700 Third Avenue) for twenty years, coming in four days a week to serve as an assistant teacher, helper, and overall positive presence. She helps the PTA with fundraising and obtaining items for the school auction, encourages her friends and family to donate to the school, and, at 94 years old, has seen four principals come and go. Carolyn has a close relationship with the teachers, students and school community, and is constantly trying to find ways to improve the school.
Wilma Lorraine Johnson has been volunteering with the Stanley M. Isaacs Center (415 East 93rd Street) at the Older Adult Center, After School Program, and Beacon for over 23 years. She is the president of the Stanley Isaacs Older Adult Center, and is currently serving on the advisory board of Metropolitan Hospital (1901 First Avenue). At the Isaacs Center, she regularly coordinates and leads free art events for all age groups, including art lessons, crochet activities, and making flowers out of recycled materials. She donates art materials and has always been available to assist during community events. She is a community activist who continues to put her best foot forward and is involved in all aspects of the community.
To this year’s honorees, East Side Feed thanks you for making the neighborhood better!