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Last Chance: Who Made a Difference in 2012?

Nominate your Syosset neighbors for Patch's list of people who mattered this year.

Syosset 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 Syosset a better place.

Joshua Lafazan won the 2011 title for his work founding Safe Ride Syosset. He was later elected to the Syosset Board of Education and is one of the youngest elected officials in New York State.

"I am humbled and honored to be nominated as a person who matters in Syosset," reacted Lafazan to the announcement. "I want to wish a special congratulations to my fellow nominees, and everyone else whose efforts help make Syosset the special place it is. I wish everyone a happy New Years, and please remember to DESIGNATE before you CELEBRATE."

A year has passed since his win and now we're looking for the most influential Syosset and Woodbury residents of 2012.

Nominate candidates in the comment section below, on our Facebook wall, or by Tweeting us @SyossetPatch. Give us the name of your nominee and why they belong on our list. We will run a poll with the top 10 nominees in the last week of December. Previous honorees are exempt from being nominated.

Marc Jamenson December 19, 2012 at 03:24 AM
i want to renominate JOSHUA LAFAZAN for his work on the syosset school board. he has brought transparency to the BOE, and when i attend the meetings, i can finally see some discussion taking place. josh has gotten this community aware of whats going on with the BOE and is trying to get us involved! goodluck josh and keep doing what youre doing! -MJ
Giovanni L. Graceffa December 19, 2012 at 02:50 PM
It has taken me a bit, but I have come up with an individual that volunteers his time in many ways, but none more noticable than helping the Chamber of Commerce with its Holiday Celebration or the VFW/American Legion with the Memorial Day Ceremonies....Tom Montalbano. Tom's involvement in assisting Syosset Organizations, his desire and determination to memorialize Syosset's past, and giving us an idea of what Syosset was once all about is why I am nominating Tom Montalbano. Giovanni Graceffa
Heather Doyle (Editor) December 19, 2012 at 04:41 PM
Hi Marc, Unfortunately everyone can only be elected once, but Josh will forever be a title holder as the Most Influential Person of 2011!
Heather Doyle (Editor) December 19, 2012 at 04:41 PM
Thanks Gio! Agreed!
rena damon December 21, 2012 at 12:51 AM
How about noting or at least giving an honorable mention to all the out-of-town/out-of-state workers who came to our community and worked to help us get power restored after the hurricane.
Christopher DiFilippo December 22, 2012 at 01:27 PM
I nominate an individual we should all be aware of and most proud to service us in our community. That person is Chief Robert Kaplan of the Syosset Fire Department (SFD). I do not think everyone knows the amount of dedication and personal sacrifices this man makes to serve our community and coordinate the efforts of the SFD. Chief Kaplan has made thousands of calls day and night this year, for fires, automatic alarms, medical emergencies, motor vehicle accidents, carbon monoxide, mutual aide to other fire department and wellness calls to make sure anyone who requires help is provided that help. Before Hurricane Sandy arrived Chief Kaplan and his (3) other Chiefs were in communications with Nassau County Government and other emergency response departments to prepare for one of the worst storms to hit our area. When the Hurricane hit Chief Kaplan commanded a well thought out plan and engaged all the required resources, SFD fire fighters’, medics, LIPA, TOB etc. Going to homes, schools and businesses to check on wires down, escalating calls to LIPA for electrical matters and TOB for removing trees on wires and on our roads. Chief Kaplan surely deserves the 2012 award as he makes a difference in our daily lives.
Papa Tom December 22, 2012 at 02:00 PM
Truthfully, as honored as I am to have been recognized, I, too, would agree that there are many more worthy recipients of this year's award. I have been active in community service and local history my entire adult life here in Syosset and I hope to continue to do so for a long time. Barring any major catastrophes in 2013, I will gladly accept a nomination this time NEXT year (insert smiley face here); however, this year's recognition should go to the MANY responders to Hurricane Sandy in the Syosset Fire Department and the Town of Oyster Bay, as well as all the community members who volunteered their time to help get us back on track. Happy New Year to All. Tom Montalbano
Giovanni L. Graceffa December 22, 2012 at 02:18 PM
Chris, I agree with your nomination and concur with what you've written. I thank you for putting this up because if I did it, it could be seen as self-serving. Regards, Giovanni Graceffa
Christopher DiFilippo December 22, 2012 at 02:53 PM
I would like to add that the Chiefs and SFD members who respond 24/7 are not paid. All the SFD Firefighters as we should know did a wonderful job, and they do it because they wish to help other peope and make a difference.
Christopher DiFilippo December 22, 2012 at 03:03 PM
Hi Tom, I agree with your post and wish to also commend, Town of Oyster Bay for the extraordinary clean up and restoration efforts. I know that the TOB worked to ensure that services were provided and and make the streets safer with removal of down trees, which greatly assisted to the children going back to school on safe roads and parents to their jobs. Happy Holidays and Happy New Year Chris DiFilippo
Papa Tom December 22, 2012 at 05:19 PM
And let's not forget the educators and parents of our community who had to figure out a way to explain the Newtown tragedy to our children, however far removed we are from the actual incident.

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