Local Women Rise To The Occasion


Roll_040115AFor Manhasset’s Judy Tempkin-Jacobson and Patricia O’Brien, being named to the Town of North Hempstead’s 2015 Women’s Roll of Honor has been an exciting achievement.
Jacobson, a member of the League of Women Voters since first joining 35 years ago when she lived in New Jersey is now the voter service director for the League’s Manhasset-Port Washington branch and a member of its steering committee.
O’Brien, who has lived in Manhasset since 1973, has served as American Legion Auxiliary Unit 304’s President for the past five years.
“It makes me feel that I’ve found a home,” said Jacobson, reacting to her selection. “I’m honored and I’m deeply touched. I really can’t believe it. I’m absolutely thrilled. It makes me feel wonderful and appreciated.”
“It’s exciting,” said O’Brien. “I’m thrilled. There are so many women who are outstanding, and I’m just proud to be selected among them.  I think a lot of women in North Hempstead do wonderful things. I’m very proud to be part of this. It’s a real honor.”
Both women, along with 18 others, are on the list that is named after the late May W. Newburger, the first woman to ever serve as town supervisor in 1994.  They were honored at a  breakfast last Thursday morning at the Clubhouse at Harbor Links in Port Washington.
“I’m really honored to be in the company of these fabulous women who have been chosen in the past,” added Jacobson, who first moved to Manhasset in 2004.  O’Brien and Jacobson are now members of a group which had its beginning 22 years ago.
O’Brien credits Joy Billhardt for sponsoring her selection. “She is another woman who has done great things for our community,” said O’Brien.
Jacobson knows of two League colleagues who wrote letters of support, but doesn’t know if others also sent in nomination forms.
O’Brien, who spends a lot of time with her two grandchildren, Danny and Liliana Paciaroni, also finds time to volunteer at St. Mary’s as a consolation minister. “We assist people who have deaths in the family,” she explained.
Jacobson has mentored a student at the Munsey Park School for five years and is involved in the Adventures in Learning after-school tutoring program through the Unitarian Universalist Congregation. A retired schoolteacher, whose 34 years in the classroom were spent mostly in New Jersey, she and her husband have five children and five grandchildren.
O’Brien’s involvement with the American Legion has been motivated not only by her husband Donald’s service during the Vietnam War but also her career with the Metropolitan Transit Authority. Before she retired, she was vice president of the paratransit division, the department that provides Access-A-Ride services to the disabled.
O’Brien worked with many veterans during her time at the MTA. “I saw their struggles and wanted to do something for them when I retired,” she said. “These people made so many sacrifices.”
Of her work with the Legion Auxiliary, she says, “We’re a support to the American Legion. What we do is try to find a way to improve the lives of our veterans and their families.”
She’s proudest of the organization’s work with homeless and struggling veterans and of the work with Manhasset youth. “What we’re finding is that as our men and women are returning . . . some of them are having real life struggles,” she explained.  “So what we’ve tried to do is find ways to support them. Our homeless veterans actually go back all the way to the Vietnam War.”
“We’ve got the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts involved in supporting our military in Iraq and Afghanistan. We’ve regularly sent our soldiers care packages.”


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