Garden City's own Dorothy Episcopia was among 10 women Assemblyman Tom McKevitt honored Saturday at his fifth annual Women of Distinction awards ceremony.
The honorees were chosen by a review committee, according to McKevitt, and were recognized for their dedication and the impact they have had on their communities as "business, military, civic, education, health care, volunteer and government leaders."
"The women that we honor today represent some of the most courageous and accomplished individuals in the state and the nation," McKevitt said. "Together, their achievements and dedication have resulted in the continuous enjoyment of our community.
"We are very lucky to have these women as our friends and neighbors. Special thanks should go to the families of our honorees who have allowed their loved ones to spend so much time caring for others."
Episcopia, a 38-year village resident, has served the Garden City community since 1976 in various roles, including president, vice president and secretary of the Eastern Property Owners' Association (EPOA), which represents 40 percent of Garden City's residents.
She was humbled by her nomination as a 2011 Woman of Distinction. "It is such a nice award," said Episcopia, a senior paralegal with a Mineola law firm. "It really made me reflect on all these years."
As EPOA president, Episcopia was instrumental in developing the basic plan now used by all four village POAs to run elections within their districts and also serves as a poll coordinator for the Nassau County Board of Elections.
She was outspoken at Town of Hempstead and Nassau County hearings on the HUB plan, zoning and the county's master plan while serving as chairperson of the Mayor’s Committee to Monitor Development Outside of Garden City.
Further, Episcopia volunteered her time serving on the Nassau County Advisory Council to the New York State Division for Women under former governor George Pataki.
In the early 1980s, Garden City's Board of Education appointed her to the first Long-Range Facilities Planning Committee, which was instrumental in reconfiguring grade levels; was founding co-chair of the district's Arts-in-Education program; served on the PTA Executive Committee (a district-wide position); and was named fundraising chair of the PTA Student Loan Fund.
Her volunteer efforts didn't stop there. In addition to raising two children, Episcopia also became one of the first civic members of Garden City's Chamber of Commerce and, with her husband, Nick, a current village board trustee, was a group leader for the St. Joseph's Church pre-cana program.
Episcopia said her efforts over the years were worthwhile because she had the opportunity to work with "so many wonderful people."
"Nobody does all these things by him/herself," she said. "All this work has never been about me ... There's no 'I' in 'Team.' This whole thing was a day I will never forget."
Episcopia shared the honor with Deborah Beatty of Williston Park; Janet Bevers of Garden City Park; Gloria Brech of Williston Park; Jane Cubilette of Floral Park Centre; Jodi DeSantis-Helming of East Meadow; Sharon L. Eriksen of North Merrick; Kathleen Flynn of Carle Place; Denise Goodstein of North Bellmore; Charlotte Van der Waag of East Williston; and Jeanne Woods Ludwig of Mineola.