Distinguished Mother AwardCreated by Sanderal S. Brown to honor outstanding service and commitment
2020-2021 Distinguished Mother
Neerja Baijal-Jones nominated as our chapter’s 2020 Sanderal S. Brown Distinguished Mother recipient
Dear Madame President,
Please accept this nomination of Mother Neerja Baijal-Jones for the Suffolk County Chapter Distinguished Mother Award for the 2019-2020 Program Year.
Since joining our chapter in 2018 as a transfer from the Nassau County Chapter, Mom Neerja has shared her “Power to Make a Difference” and jumped right in to serve our chapter, children and community. She has been an active and engaged member of the Membership Committee, offering her time, resources, talents and her home to support our activities. In her first year of membership in our chapter, she opened her home to host the New Mother Mentor Dinner. For every event she is often the first one to raise her hand to help with a task. She shows up and shows out! Currently she serves as our Gavel Club Chairman and has succeeded in taking our club and children to the next level of excellence….exemplifying “We Can Do More”. When our chapter hosted Children’s Cluster, Mom Neerja offered her service and took on the instrumental task of developing the expense budget for the cluster, and during that weekend she showed up early, energized with sleeves rolled up to ensure our chapter shined in our Sensational Suffolk County way! But this is truly who Mom Neerja is. During a Mother’s Cluster, I fondly recall many Nassau County mothers expressing loving jealousy that we now have Mom Neerja.
Mom Neerja demonstrates grace and ease in a mighty way. Upon first meeting her, I felt an instant energetic connection. Warm, welcoming, creative, helpful, generous, and compassionate are the perfect words to describe Mom Neerja. I’m sure all of you can reflect and think of a time when she has shown all of these, with love and kindness, to you and your children. Mom Neerja has never missed an in- person Mother’s Meeting and continues to attend and participate in our virtual events. When our nation recognized the coronavirus as a pandemic and our state sent quarantine orders, Mom Neerja reached out and asked, how can we help our mothers and families? Her thoughtfulness and consideration of others is endless.
It is with gratitude and pleasure that I submit this nomination for Mother Neerja Baijal-Jones as our 2019-2020 Distinguished Mother.
VP Retha Fernandez
Associate Mother Tonia Alea Watts
Associate Mother Tonia Alea Watts received the 2019/2020 Distinguished Associate Mom Award
Lea, as she is known to us, has been a member of Jack and Jill for fifteen plus years. She has been an active participant in the Jack and Jill culture, and in chapter government, having served as Program Director and chair of the Health Committee before graduating
out. Currently as an Associate Mom, Lea raised her hand to be the Hospitality Liaison, sending cards to our Associate Moms, acknowledging life events (birthdays, illness etc). We thank her and find it fitting to name her Distinguished Associate for the program year 2019-2020.
In her role as Program Director, Kathryn has embraced our chapter’s mission to provide educational and social programming that enhances the lives of our children, helping to develop them into leaders that are committed to service. From encouraging even our youngest ones to speak publicly to supporting the community service activities of our teens, Kathryn’s leadership in that role was phenomenal; garnering our chapter’s 2015-2016 Program Book a score of Superior. Her “Southern hospitality” charm could be unmistakably felt throughout our chapter-wide activities.
As Vice President and Membership Chair, Kathryn has demonstrated her commitment to keeping chapter morale high through ensuring that mothers have an opportunity to bond and develop feelings of togetherness. We are all mothers, all with the same desire for safety and success of our children; through the various bonding activities that Kathryn has spearheaded, we have been able to share those desires with each other, feeling comforted and supported by our fellow Jack and Jill moms.
Let’s reflect together on the special ways that VP Kathryn goes beyond the call of duty to support our chapter. Fresh flowers and surprise gifts at monthly meetings, special presentations, thoughtful notes or cards, beautifully decorated events that make us feel special, menu planning that is considerate of the needs of our moms, and always greeting any one of our children with a warm smile and encouraging word. We thank you.
VP Kathryn has been a member in the chapter for over 5 years, has held positions of Program Director and Fundraising Committee Co-Chair. She was instrumental in the planning of our chapter’s highly successful Chic White & Candlelight Fundraiser and has set the bar for what Suffolk County can achieve when we have a committed and enthusiastic mother body. With gratitude and pleasure, I nominate Kathryn Simmons for the 2016-2017 Suffolk County Chapter Distinguished Mother Award.
Mel is a superb treasurer and most importantly an awesome and loving mother.
Khadijah Starling – 2015
Carmelia Taylor – 2014
Sharon Hinkson – 2013
Dawn Lott – 2012
Juanita McKinney – 2011
Mireille Lubin – 2010
Linda Maxwell Evans – 2009
Sherri Coverdale – 2008
Bobbi Murray – 2007
Lisa Evans-Chapman – 2006
Tory Hare – 2005
Deborah Kimborough Lowe – 2004
Sharon Hinkson – 2003
Belinda Marquis – 2002