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PRAHD Honors Dorothy Daniel During Black History Month, Perth Amboy 2/27/15

Story below • *Photos by Paul W. Wang • Click on each photo to enlarge.

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PERTH AMBOY – Dorothy Daniel was the recipient of the Second Annual Arturo Alfonso Schomburg Award held at PRAHD. This award is given by PRAHD during Black History Month to recognize local African-Americans who have contributed to the City of Perth Amboy.

The following are some of the accolades that were spoken  about Dot:

PRAHD Board Member Bob Durso said, “Dot, you helped a lot of men and women become the men and women that they are. You helped me become the man I am after my parents were no longer here.”

Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno read a quote where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. stated, “I wanted to be known as a drum major for righteousness, peace and justice. Dot – you are the drum major for Perth Amboy.”

Woodbridge Mayor John McCormack amused the crowd by telling of his first encounter with Dot. “There was an event held in Woodbridge when I first became Mayor. At this event, the front row was reserved and Dot Daniel came up to me and said, “Hello, my name is Dot. Can I sit in one of the seats in the front row?” Something told me not to mess with this woman. She then said, “By the way, here is a bag of groceries for the food pantry,” and handed it to me and told me to put them with the rest of the bags of food on the stage. Dot comes to all of our summer concerts and she is our favorite non-resident.”

“I am truly blessed,” Dorothy Daniel said. “Perth Amboy nurtured that. I was nurtured, loved and mentored by the City of Perth Amboy. People saw something in me that I didn’t know existed and brought it out. My grandparents raised me from birth. I went to a lecture at Rutgers presented by Bruce Perry who impressed me. People that I knew who came from good backgrounds went off and messed up. Growing up I would always ask what would Momma (Grandma) think?  She died at the age of 97.”

“My Grandma used to say that God always loves you and he always has his hand in his shoulder. My aunts and uncles were good role models.”

Dot mentioned others who influenced her such as John Moskowitz who was the principal of the school where her children attended. “He decided he wanted an active P.T.O. He picked who would be the president and vice-president. That was the start of my community involvement.”

Dot mentioned several people who helped mentor her on the way. “They all nurtured me. I lived in Delaney Homes in the projects. They all lived in houses. I was invited into their homes and was treated as an equal. I never saw racism until I became an adult.”

She also acknowledged the  late Nathan Witkin who was a well known humanitarian and civic leader in Perth Amboy.

“Ray Geneske gave me what I needed and then some. Former Deputy Police Chief Mike Kohut helped me with my problems and I helped him with his. It was because of me that Eddie Rodriguez became a judge.”

She thanked representatives of the Housing Authority, the YMCA and St. Peter’s Church who were present. “In my darkest hours Pat Czarniski lifted me. Tom Keating read the bible when I was sick. I want to thank everyone at my table. I raised my kids in the way I was raised.”

She asked Gloria Rebovich to stand up to acknowledge her for her love and support.  She thanked Susan Keating and the Gonzalezes. “This day will stay with me as long as I live.”

Daniel acknowledged PRAHD Executive Director Yvonne Lopez, “You are a phenomenal woman.”

Mayor Diaz congratulated Dot for her many contributions to the City that were too numerous to mention.

Congratulations Dorothy Daniel. The tribute will air on PA-TV in a couple of weeks.

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