Monday night’s Orient Heights Neighborhood Council was bittersweet for outgoing President Joanne Pomodoro who made the decision to step down as president of the group in order to help her family through a tough time.
Over the summer Pomodoro’s niece Jackie Habeeb suffered a medical emergency due to complications from diabetes. Complications of her diabetes left her without enough oxygen for a number of hours which in turn caused significant trauma to her brain.
Pomodoro has been focusing her time now on helping her family raise money to cover some of Habeeb’s medical expenses not covered by insurance.
“I want to thank all who came to the meeting Monday night,” said Pomodoro. “It was a very emotional night for me as I submitted my resignation as president of the OHNC. I will miss the honor and privilege of leading the board and working for our neighborhood. This year, more than any other, there will be so many major developments requesting approval. I’m wishing you all the best of luck and the patience to withstand the challenges before you.”
Pomodoro also thanked members and the community at large for offered donations to her niece’s fundraising efforts.
The process of moving Habeeb via med flight to Boston alone cost the family $13,000 and while insurance will cover a lot of the actual costs associated with her medical care there is still a significant portion that the Habeeb family themselves will incur.
So far the family has been able to raise $77,000 in donations.
Replacing Pomodoro as president of the OHNC will be Joseph Ruggiero III, who runs the Ruggiero Family Memorial Home established by his father Joseph Ruggiero Jr. Ruggiero’s father also served for many years as OHNC president.
Aside from Ruggiero members elected include Lisa DeAngelico as the board’s assistant and Sarah Plowman to replace Nancy Lagro as secretary.
Remaining on the board is Vice President Liz Bagley.
Outgoing OHNC President Joanne Pomodoro, second from left, with the new board. From left, Secretary Sarah Plowman, outgoing President Pomodoro, President Joseph Ruggiero III, outgoing Secretary Nancy Lagro and Vice President Liz Bagley. Not pictured is Lisa DeAngelico, the OHNC’s assistant.