By Queens Gazette

On Friday, May 11, New York State Assembly Member Aravella Simotas and Congress Member Carolyn B. Maloney hosted their annual luncheon to celebrate Women’s History and to honor three exceptional local women for their commitment to community service. The celebration, which was held at George’s restaurant at Kaufman Astoria Studios, was attended by invited guests.

The 2018 Honorees were: Sister Tesa Fitzgerald, founder and Executive Director of the non-profit organization Hour Children which is based in Long Island City; Sadete Mujovic, an English teacher at NYC’s Legacy High School and Public Relations Coordinator for the Astoria-based Queens chapter of the Muslim American Society; and Marie Torniali, Executive Director of the Central Astoria LDC and Chair of Queens Community Board 1.

Assembly Member Simotas said: “Congresswoman Maloney and today’s honorees inspire me to continue serving the needs of my community and putting my heart and soul into that work, as each of them has done in their own unique way. Throughout our nation’s history, women have fought for justice, equality and the well-being of their communities and these special women continue in that tradition, making better each of the different worlds that are touched by their wholehearted commitment to serving others.”

Congress Member Maloney said: “These three women are outstanding members of the Queens community, and well deserving of this honor. As Chairperson of Community Board 1, Marie Torniali helps to shape the landscape and to keep our neighborhood thriving. Sister Tesa Fitzgerald’s work as Executive Director of Hour Children has helped countless incarcerated and formerly incarcerated mothers and children successfully rejoin our community and rebuild their lives. As Director of Education for the Muslim American Society, Sadete Mujovic is an integral part of a movement to better the individual, and society as a whole, through imparting Islamic learning, promoting community service, and engaging in political activism. Without these women, Queens would not be what it is today. Their dedication and commitment serves as an inspiration to us all.”