Manhasset women named to honor roll

Bill San Antonio

Three Manhasset residents were named to this year’s 20th annual May W. Newburger Women’s Honor Roll, which commended the Town of North Hempstead’s “trail blazers.”   

Cindy Cardinal, Marion Endrizzi and Stella Spanakos were recognized, along with 13 other noteworthy women from throughout the Town of North Hempstead, at a breakfast reception March 21 at the Clubhouse at Harbor Links in Port Washington for their contributions to their communities.   

Cardinal was honored for her work within the Manhasset School District, while Endrizzi has served the Village of Plandome Heights’ board of trustees in various capacities and Spanakos had started various benefits and organizations to raise funds for and awareness of autisim research. 

This year’s celebration was held in memory of Newberger, the former Town of North Hempstead Supervisor who founded the honor roll. Newburger died last August.

“I’ve always tried to do what May did, to stand up for what I felt was right,” said Town Clerk Leslie Gross, who cited Newburger as her mentor and friend.  

Town of North Hempstead Supervisor John Kaiman was not in attendance, but his wife Kim spoke on his behalf about the impact Newburger made on her family, saying she named stars after each of the Kaiman children when they were born. 

“I am delighted to announce that we are adding another group of outstanding women to our Women’s Roll of Honor,” Kaiman said in a release earlier this month about the event.  “I invite all Town residents to help us honor the women who have made a continuing difference in the Town.”

In providing some perspective to Newburger’s impact on the environmental issues of the North Hempstead community, Councilwoman Lee Seeman said that without Newburger’s work, the golf course and park at which the breakfast took place would still be a sand pit.

Cardinal, a Manhasset resident since 1998, was first elected to the Manhasset School District board of education in 2003 and has served as a trustee, vice president and president.  

Prior to her election, she was active in the school community by serving as the hospitality chair of the SCA, teaching “Project Self Esteem” from 1999-2001, participating in the district’s Shared Decision Making Committee from 1999-01 and the Foreign Language Committee from 2000-01. 

Endrizzi served the Village of Plandome Heights as a trustee and its mayor for 16 years, and is currently on the village’s planning board.

Endrizzi, who has lived in the village since the 1980s, also serves as the president of the Plandome Heights Civic Association, which she helped resurrect in 2010, and is a representative for the Greater Council of Civic Associations.

She is also a charter member of the Plandome Heights Women’s Club and is chair of its nominating committee.

Last year, she joined the Town of North Hempstead Plandome Road Parking Study committee. 

Spanakos is the founding member of ELI-JA School for Autism and served as its vice president and trustee until  February 2011, when she founded the Nicholas Center for Autism and Spectrum Designs Foundation Ltd., which is located in Port Washington.

For eight years, she was the president of the Manhasset Parents Association for Special Education and has been honored for her work by the organization and the Manhasset Board of Education.

In 1996, Spanakos organized a holiday party at Polo Ralph Lauren at the Manhasset Americana to benefit the Manhasset Auxiliary of the Nassau Association for the Help of Retarded Children. The event was so successful that she partnered with the Americana on “Champions for Charity,” an annual shopping event that has raised more than $6.7 million in support of 90 local non-profit organizations. 

Also among the honorees was Linda Leaf, a Great Neck resident who retired from her job with the Nassau County Human Rights Commission, is a longtime member of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration Committee of Nassau County and is active with the Great Neck/Manhasset Chapter of the NAACP and the American Jewish Committee Nassau Chapter, of which she’s a founding member, the United Synagogue of Youth and the Sisterhood of Temple Beth Shalom of Roslyn Heights.

She has served as a board member of the NYACLU-Nassau Chapter, where she has defended freedoms of speech, privacy, religion, due process of the law and equality before the law.

In addition, Leaf is the vice president of the Long Island Advocacy Center, where she has worked to protect the legal rights of students and people with disabilities. 

Leaf has also been the recipient of the Freedom Award from the Great Neck/Manhasset chapter of the NAACP.

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