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Tell Us: Who Made a Difference in 2012?

Nominate your Patchogue/Medford neighbors for Patch's list of people who mattered this year.

Patchogue/Medford is filled with special people who make a difference, people who make an impact on our lives on a regular, sometimes daily, basis.

There are educators, business owners, volunteers, public officials, clergy members and others working to make Patchogue/Medford a better place.

Many people went to extraordinary lengths to help others cope and recover from the hurricane. School officials worked diligently to get their schools reopened after Hurricane Sandy; food pantries fed the hungry at warming shelters and firefighters, police officers and volunteers helped the community.

Patchogue/Medford Patch is compiling a list of 10 local people who mattered in 2012. We need your help.

Nominate candidates in the comment section below, or write on our Facebook page.

Please give us the person's name and the reason they belong on this list.

Kathy Ljungqvist December 27, 2012 at 02:12 PM
Rev. Dwight Lee Wolter of the Congregational Church of Patchogue belongs on this list because of his tremendous efforts in helping those in the community that are in need, in particular those affected by Hurricane Sandy. During one of the busiest times on the church calendar, he dropped everything and had two fundraisers back to back to raise money for two people who lost their homes, one being a church member and one a Long Island musician who lives in Breezy Point. Rev. Wolter is a very caring person and not because he is a minister, but because he is a wonderful human being!! He definitely belongs on this list.
Christine Maciaszek December 27, 2012 at 06:23 PM
Crystal Gajewski. I would like to nominate Crystal Gajewski to the list. Crystal co-founded Ski's Open Heart Foundation in memory of her father, Mark Gajewski, who died from a rare form of lung cancer after he gave his all in the 9/11 Attacks. The Foundation helps heroes of 9/11 who are ill, lost wages, and can barely afford basic essentials they need. The also help the families left behind. Throughout Hurricane Sandy, the Ski's Open Heart Foundation held fundraisers and delivered truck loads of water, clothing and food to those in need. They also worked with the USVMC to fill containers with necessary supplies to reach those in need. With Crystal's help, the Foundation also holds an Annual Strength and Hope Walk to remember 9/11 victims and is very involved in the Toys-for-Tots campaign each year. Crystal is a smart, caring, young woman who gives much of her time--without question--to help others in need and brighten their lives.
Shana Braff December 31, 2012 at 04:52 AM
I would like to nominate Patchogue resident Cindi Sansone-Braff. She is a relationship coach and spiritual advisor who has provided solace to countless members of the community through her one-on-one sessions, radio show, book Grant Me a Higher Love, and public appearances, and is a frequent and popular blogger on Patchogue Patch. She has helped so many people to find peace after the loss of a loved one, as well as aided many in improving their relationships and living a more fulfilling life. Cindi serves as a beacon of light in the community and works tirelessly to make the world a better and more loving place.
Diane Perry January 06, 2013 at 11:38 PM
I agree with Christine that Crystal Gajewski should be recognized for this honor. In the face of losing her Dad, who she was very close to, she and her family found the strength to honor the memory of Mark Gajewski by creating Ski's Open Heart Foundation and following in her Dad's footsteps. She has spent countless hours planning events and organizing many different fund-raisers, including a blood drive, in addition to what has been mention previously. Crystal does this straight from her heart and she truly cares about and believes in what she is doing. Family first, forever family. Diane Perry
Maggie Brideau February 25, 2013 at 04:49 PM
I would like to nominate Crystal and Sean Gajewski "Ski's Open heart Foundation founders. Not only have they given of themselves, their time, they have made a difference in the lives of those affected by the events of 911, Hurricane Sandy, a blood drive, and Children from New York to Michigan on Christmas morning continueing in their dad's foot prints to ensure that as many children as possible had a Christmas.

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