Daniel Ambrosio and Andrea Wong are always helping out their community — whether it’s by coaching local sports teams, serving in the Lynbrook Fire Department or volunteering at Our Lady of Peace, they never pass up an opportunity to lend a hand.
For their drive to help residents, they were named the Village of Lynbrook’s Man and Woman of the Year at the village board’s June 3 meeting. “I was proud to present the award to two people that are outstanding citizens in Lynbrook,” Mayor Alan Beach told the Herald. “They are caring, kind and helpful individuals.”
Ambrosio, 41, has been a volunteer firefighter for more than 20 years, serving as both a captain and lieutenant of the Vulcan Company. Additionally, he has coached “pretty much every sport,” he said, including the Lynbrook Little League, Lynbrook flag football, Titans lacrosse and Our Lady of Peace basketball teams.
And after his son was born in 2005 without Factor VIII, an essential blood clotting protein, Ambrosio and his wife, Kelly, vowed to raise money for hemophilia research. In 2009, the Ambrosios founded Christopher’s Hemophilia Benefit to raise money for the National Hemophilia Foundation in their son’s honor. This year, the fundraiser garnered more than $40,000 for the organization to invest in research for a cure.
“I like to help people,” Ambrosio said.“I’m just a very giving person, I guess.”
Ambrosio, who has lived in Lynbrook his entire life, said his family received a letter informing him that he was named the village’s Man of the Year one day while he was out shopping and that he was suprirsed. “It was very humbling to be nominated,” he said.
After Wong, 57, moved to Lynbrook 12 years ago, she decided she wanted to be a stay-at-home mom, and volunteer her time as a lunch monitor at Our Lady of Peace School to be near her daughter.
“I found my niche, and that was it,” she said, adding that, as a stay-at-home mother, she was “able to do pretty much whatever I wanted to do.”
Evidently, what she wanted to do was continue volunteering at Our Lady of Peace, splitting her time between the church and the school.
At the church, she is a member of the Arts and Environment Committee, putting together raffle baskets for the church’s fundraisers. Additionally, as a member of the Parish Social Ministry, she drives the senior nuns to and from their doctors’ appointments and spends every Tuesday shopping at Walmart to pick up items for the church’s pantry. Wong even drives around the community, delivering meals to those who are unable to leave their home.
“She basically does everything,” said Sister Barbara Faber, the director of the Parish Social Ministry.
Wong said she, too, received a letter informing her that she would be named the Woman of the Year, but said that when she saw an envelope with the village’s logo on it sticking out of her mailbox, she thought she either received a parking ticket or forgot to pay her taxes.
“I just read it like seven times,” she said. “I was in total shock.”
Wong’s shock only intensified, she said, when she walked into Village Hall on June 3 and saw a line of Our Lady of Peace students and their parents standing there to cheer her on as Beach handed her a citation.
“It was more of a surprise than when I had my bridal shower,” Wong joked. “It was just a touching moment.”