The Bay Ridge Community Council
Honors St. Anselm Volunteers
St. Anselm Parish and Saint Anselm Catholic Academy had reasons to celebrate on Tuesday evening, February 23rd. The Bay Ridge Community Council presented its annual Hidden Treasures of the Community Awards at Shore Hill Residence. The awards, established in 2004 as a way of recognizing volunteer service within the communities of Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights, and Fort Hamilton honored fifteen individuals from nine different area organizations, especially three of Saint Anselm’s own: Mrs. Christine Deem, Mrs. Janet Batista, and Mrs. Pat Riley.
Mrs. Christine Deem, coming to Bay Ridge from her native Philadelphia via Pittsburgh, has made herself, and her family, at home at St. Anselm and in Bay Ridge. A member of the Home School Association Board, she volunteers many hours at the Academy, in activities such as the Walk for Education, the Oktoberfest Fund Raiser, Ladies Night Gala, the St. Patrick’s Day Parade and the Memorial Day Parade. She has put in countless hours as the school’s STEM Coordinator, working through the Sciences, Technology, Engineering, and Math to develop in Academy students’ 21st century skills and concepts. Mrs. Deem volunteers several days each week with the Academy’s three-year old full-day program, the chess club, and lunch room duties. She can be found Sunday mornings as a catechist for the parish’s Religious Education Program. Pennsylvania’ lost is our gain. We are so pleased that Mrs. Deem has adopted St. Anselm and Bay Ridge as we have adopted her. Christine Deem is a Hidden Treasure.
Mrs. Janet Batista has for fourteen years been one of the most respected and beloved teachers at Saint Anselm Catholic Academy where she doesn’t simply teach Math, but rather teaches the value of high academic and personal standards. Every day she strives to nurture not only academic skills but also the emotional, social, and moral growth of her students. With boundless energy she volunteers in the Academy, handling the needs of the eight grade students in shepherding their applications to over fifteen Catholic and public high schools. All aspects of the eighth grade graduation, the awards presentation, the dance, and the Graduation Ceremony itself receive her devoted attention. To every (and any) request for assistance Mrs. Batista’s answer is always a cheerful and emphatic “yes”! For her tireless years of devotion and volunteering to the Academy and its students, Janet Batista is a Hidden Treasure.
A life-long resident of Bay Ridge, Mrs. Pat Riley, who was represented for the occasion of the Awards presentation by her daughter Bridget, has for twenty-three years been an essential part of the parish’s Youth Activities Program. She has served as President, Softball Commissioner, and as Softball and Baseball Scheduling Coordinator. As overall Coordinator of Youth Activities Mrs. Riley has annually juggled, gracefully and efficiently, the needs of more than a thousand children, young men and women, coaches, leaders, mentors, and families. Her service has been of importance in coordinating activities as varied as instructional basketball for early grades, cheerleading, softball, baseball, soccer, and swimming to intramural basketball competition in local and wider geographical competition. At all times Mrs. Riley’s service has been within the stated goal of Youth Activities programs to have “ young girls and boys and young women and men experience a full range of character building activities, sports and sportsmanship opportunities and to grow socially and emotionally in a safe and nurturing environment”. Pat Riley is a Hidden Treasure.
In presenting the Hidden Treasures of the Community Awards to our St. Anselm honorees, the Bay Ridge Community Council and Mr. Alex Conti, Chair of the event, recognized three individuals, whose record of volunteer service is in the grand tradition at St. Anselm Catholic Academy, St. Anselm Parish and the Bay Ridge community. We thank Mrs. Deem, Mrs. Batista, and Mrs. Riley for their service and for the countless ways they have made so many lives better. They are truly Hidden Treasures of the Community!
All the best,
The St. Anselm Publicity Committee