NeighborWorks® Rochester is thrilled to announce the winners of its Celebration of Rochester Neighbors Awards. The awards were distributed on Monday, June 5thfrom 5:00PM to 7:30PM at the City of Rochester Public Market. Like a city-wide block party, the event featured live music, food and a chance to have fun with neighbors from throughout the city.
SouthWest Quadrant Community Champion : Mrs. Nolia Brooks, grew up in the PLEX area, and is a 50-year resident who has a love for her community. She consistently cleans and plants flowers in the PLEX neighborhood round-about on Ford Street and Plymouth Avenue, and other locations in the area. She regularly participates in the United Way Day of Caring and the City’s Clean Sweep. She’s very supportive of the PLEX meetings and supports neighborhood issues at additional meetings of concern to the neighborhood. Mrs. Brooks helps to plan social gatherings and heritage celebrations for the neighborhood. Her nominator, Dorothy Hall, says she is “someone who is deserving of this award, and who gives so much to her community.”
NorthEast Quadrant Community Champion: Andre Morrison, the Community Champion for the Northeast Quadrant, is described as “an individual who is eager to bring about a difference in people’s lives regardless of recognition,” by his nominator, Carlos Santana. In addition to providing hundreds of free haircuts at his barbershop, Mr. Morrison is always “thinking how to improve the neighborhood he grew up in and uplifting and encouraging people so they may see a better future.” By hosting an annual Cut The Violence event in his shop, Mr. Morrison has helped many families with more than just a free cut for students to go back to school, he has also offered guidance to those in trouble, mentored youth and shared his skills and advice with those interested in a barbering career. Carlos added that Mr. Morrison is “A soft-spoken individual who cares for those in need by providing a service that brings these children self-worth and self-pride and doing it from the heart.”
NorthWest Quadrant Community Champion: As a 17-year resident of the Edgerton Neighborhood, the Northwest Quadrant Community Champion, Ms. Piper Dailey-Seman, is an active member and leader in the Edgerton Neighborhood Association. As the Association’s Acting Vice President, she encourages neighbors to come together and communicate their concerns about their community. She often is a team leader for the city’s Clean Sweep Program. Her nominators from the Northwest Neighborhood Service Center team states,”her activities have brought awareness (safety) to the Edgerton Neighborhood and her work has been integral, drawing others to the neighborhood and the association.”
SouthEast Quadrant Community Champion: Ms. Kelly Bush, is a member of the Monroe Avenue Merchants Association (MAMA) and is actively involved with the Wadworth Square Neighborhood Association. This creative and energetic business owner supports many neighborhood initiatives and beautification efforts. The Southeast Neighborhood Service Center team nominated her, saying, “She never says it can’t be done. She is a positive force on Monroe Ave that keeps the avenue working together as they continue to grow…She cares for the neighborhood and it shows.”
Community Leader Award: The Community Leader Award recognizes volunteer leaders who spark change by engaging others in improving their community. Geri and Joe Machado are the embodiment of this award, having spent more than 20 years as leaders and organizers in their Highland Park community. As 45-year residents of the Highland Park neighborhood, they have volunteered countless hours organizing their neighborhood’s National Night Out Against Crime, serving as president of the May Street Block Club, participating in PAC-TAC and neighborhood watch programs, organizing the neighborhood Clean Sweep efforts, and much more. The Machado’s were nominated for the award by Lt. Frank Alberti, of the Rochester Police Department. He said, “They have worked tirelessly for years without recognition and do not seek such. They are modest, humble people who care about our community more than anyone I know.” The couple has hosted community outreach and holiday events in their immaculate home, welcoming neighbors and first responders, and improving the area’s quality of life, as well as relationship between the neighbors and the Rochester Police Department
The couple also communicates regularly with the D.A.’s Office, Judges and defense attorneys, participates in Operation Court Watch and spends long days in the courtroom following cases pertinent to their neighborhood. They also report to the community and the police department of the progress of cases, and solicit feedback from the community to relay to the D.A.’s Office and Judges.
Geri and Joe are also very supportive of other community events and represent their neighborhood at NBN6 meetings. This power couple are true leaders in their community and the heart of their neighborhood.