Dear Madame President and Mothers of the Suffolk County Chapter of Jack and Jill Inc.,
When I think back over years, I have held a front row seat watching the Sensational Suffolk County Chapter evolve to a premier Chapter recognized throughout the Region. With each administration we have graduated to a new level of excellence, and behind the scenes I have observed a devoted mom who has been a consistent pillar in our Chapter, upholding up our principles, with grace, integrity and dedication also growing to a new tier of excellence. Humbly, she has demonstrated an extraordinary commitment to our Chapter, contributing selflessly, supporting administration, leading in multiple roles and giving endless support to fellow mothers, children and our community. For these reasons, with honor and enthusiasm, I am nominating Deon Retemeyer-Alston as the Jack and Jill Suffolk County distinguished mother for 2021- 2022 Program Year.
As a summary of her steadfast commitment Deon has been actively engaged for fifteen years. Yes. FIFTEEEN YEARS! She has served as the Age Group Coordinator for the 2-3’s, Age Group Coordinator for the 4-6 age group, and Age Group Coordinator for the 7-9 age group. Additionally, she has consistently been part of the Executive Board serving in multiple capacities. Currently she serves as the Protocol Chair, while previously she served as the Legislative Chair, Bylaws Chair, Foundation Chair and Recording Secretary. Furthermore, she has been actively engaged in a multitude of committees including Membership, Programming, Fundraising, Budget, Audit, Children’s cluster, Mother’s Area Workday and a Roses in Bloom mentor. Deon has been a member of the secret society, which handles internal affairs, the exclusive Grievance Committee. Perhaps unknown to most of you, at one point our Chapter was in crisis, suffering from debilitating internal conflict. Typical for her character, Deon rose to the occasion by securing a seasoned psychologist to mediate and resolve the intense internal tension which further unified our Chapter and upheld morale. Hence, the results, reinforcing our foundation, averting possible disciplinary action from the Region, the J&J Suffolk County Chapter lives on.
That was then, so what about now? There are so many examples that I can reference where Deon has gone beyond the call of duty, upheld morale, promoted enriching programs, modeled by example and supported the Chapter’s mission, vision and goals so will only cite a few current examples. During the pandemic, a graduated Jill contracted Covid in her dormitory leaving her stranded at the height of the global pandemic. Thoughtfully, Deon immediately went into action making arrangements to care for this Jill, upstate New York, in her parents’ absence offering much needed support to the concerned family in need. Similarly, Deon is always seeking opportunities to support our younger Jacks and Jills by providing guidance and resources for education, psych-social development as well as emotional health growth. Likewise, with genuine consideration, she is willing to enrich moms’ lives during crisis, quick to send a thoughtful care package, provide an inspirational book, share legal resources or even
show up to provide a token of joy on New Year’s Eve to a family in distress. Unreservedly, Deon is always willing to give unwavering support.
Also, Deon is the ONLY mother who carved out the time to research and recommend the two beneficiaries by requested deadline for our 60th Anniversary Gala fundraiser. Those two organizations, Choice for All and the Family Community Life Center, Inc., were overjoyed with being noticed, graciously accepting the donations at the 60th Anniversary Fundraising Gala. Had it not been for Deon’s recommendation, we may not have known about the great work that these organizations are doing for our community right in our backyards. Furthermore, on top of meeting basic assessment requirements, she sold others tickets and also secured a corporate donation for $10,000. She has actively participated in fundraising over the years including for Suffolk County’s 45th, 50th and 60th anniversary. Like a pro, she steps up to support and promote our chapter’s altruistic goals, including other community service initiatives always reaching beyond the call of duty.
Besides her steadfast dedication for more than a decade and half, coupled with the breadth and depth of her endless giving to our Chapter, Moms, children and community, Deon models by example. She was the mom that gave out the noteworthy advice to me and a host of other moms to set the Jack and Jill calendar as a priority. By doing this, our children will be well positioned to grow in alignment with the tenets of Jack and Jill, reaping the rewards generated from the Chapter’s mission and vision. Hence, a bunch of us share a chest of treasured memories from participating in rewarding Jack and Jill activities and community service initiatives. She has been a wealth of information sharing multi- faceted wisdom in multiple areas of expertise.
With high moral and ethical standards executed gracefully, behind the scenes, steadfast and consistent for a decade and half, Deon Retemeyer-Alston has clearly demonstrated the epitome of what it means to be a distinguished mother. Perhaps not widely known, I would like to share that Deon has been nominated in the past by other moms who have also noted her excellence. It is a notable recognition to even be nominated for the current year, but quite remarkable to see this dedication, consistently spanned over a decade and half with a demonstrated track record. She is clever, kind, humble and thoughtful keeping morale high while upholding noble ethical standards.
So, as Deon concludes her tenure, stepping into the land of associate jewels, with the esteemed designation of lifetime member, I believe that it is time to officially recognize Deon as the distinguished Mother for the 2021-2022 Program Year, acknowledging her current contributions, years of active service, dedication and love that she has devoted to her family, the Chapter and overall community. So, Suffolk County Moms, let’s vote to bestow this well-deserved honor as a first-time recipient for one of our very own “hidden figures,” who has been effectively engaged behind the scenes, then and now, for fifteen years, our beloved Deon-Retemeyer-Alston!
Respectfully and Joyfully Submitted, APL-TA-LTCC-MOM- Shiverne Taliefero