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Met Council Hosts Hurricane Sandy Heroes Recognition Event

By Staff Writer

Honorees Josh Commer, an EMT worker, and Debbie Burack, an art teacher, who were critical in bringing support to all of Staten Island.
Honorees Josh Commer, an EMT worker, and Debbie Burack, an art teacher, who were critical in bringing support to all of Staten Island.

In the month since Hurricane Sandy hit New York, tens of thousands of lives have been dramatically changed. As the crisis of the initial weeks slowly gives way to the long recovery and rebuilding effort, Met Council took a moment to shine the spotlight on the everyday individuals who performed heroic acts in the face of disaster.

On Tuesday, December 4, 2012, Met Council held the Hurricane Sandy Heroes Recognition Event at the Solo Event Space, 40 Broad Street. The cocktail reception highlighted inspirational stories of heroism from the frontlines of the storm's aftermath.

Met Council Residents Director, Dena Johnson, who evacuated most of the 116 housing residence living in Abraham I and II in Seagate, Brooklyn.
Met Council Residents Director, Dena Johnson, who evacuated most of the 116 housing residence living in Abraham I and II in Seagate, Brooklyn.

The evening would not have been possible without our generous sponsors: Solo Event Space, Solomon Langer, Royal Wine Corporation, The FoxStone Group, Abe Ziegermann, The Real Deal, HMS Associates, and The Judy Networks.

Honored heroes included Josh Commer, an EMT worker, and Debbie Burack, an art teacher, who were critical in bringing support to all of Staten Island. Since day one, Josh and Debbie have been pinpointing homes in need and providing whatever clean-up and construction services they can. Together they have led more than 80 volunteers to the relief efforts in Staten Island.

Staten Island resident, Lina, 31, sharing her post-hurricane struggles during the event.
Staten Island resident, Lina, 31, sharing her post-hurricane struggles during the event.

The event also recognized Met Council Residents Director Dena Johnson after she evacuated most of the 116 housing residence living in Abraham I and II in Seagate, Brooklyn. Dena tirelessly directed staff and coordinated emergency relief efforts - all while knowing the status of each individual resident. Dena continued to work around the clock until finally taking her first day off since the storm on Thanksgiving. Her efforts ensured safety for all residents and brought order to a chaotic situation.

Staten Island resident Lina, 31, shared her post-hurricane struggles during the event. She and her husband came to Met Council seeking help after their home was flooded. The family lost all clothing and belongings in the storm and are still living in a severely damaged home without heat. Fearing for the wellbeing of her 2-year-old son and quickly running out of savings, Lina applied for emergency mortgage payment and electric bill assistance with Met Council to help rebuild their lives.

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