On November 6, 7 and 8, Stories of Service and the City University of New York (CUNY) presented TRIBUTE TO SERVICE, a special three-night film festival in honor of Veterans Day, featuring short videos about local veterans, produced by NYC college and high school students.
Each evening was hosted in partnership with a different CUNY campus (Hunter, City Tech and Kingsborough) providing an opportunity for our student producers and veterans to share their work with three different audiences.
For the first time, a number of our student producers were themselves veterans, adding an additional layer of intergenerational interaction to the project.
On the CUNY side, TRIBUTE TO SERVICE was made possible by the leadership of Wilfred Cotto, with the support of Sonja Gomez, Dr. Chris Rosa, Dean Carl Kirschner, Dean Robert Ptachik and Vice Chancellor Garrie Moore.
We look forward to continuing and expanding this partnership as we build toward SERVICE & SACRIFICE - our next series of events which will take place in NYC in May, as part of our countdown to Memorial Day!
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Hunter College High School / Hunter College
Tuesday, November 6
Up at Hunter College, recognition should go to Crystal Schachter, who jumped on board – even to the extent of sharing billing (and venue space) with her colleagues over at the highschool. Thanks also to Roger Sherwood and Jody Polevoy for their assistance and support. On the production end, great job by students Catalina Monroy and especially Mariette Kalinowski for their work in pulling together the veterans’ stories. Over at Hunter College High School, thank you to Lisa Siegmann for coordinating on site, and to James for helping facilitate the initial meeting and for working with fellow students Yaffa and Ryan from the AV squad on the night of the screening.
City Tech (New York City College of Technology)
Wednesday, November 7
The City Tech effort was initiated by Paul Schwartz who brought unwavering support, enthusiasm and passion (as well as his Brooklyn Tabernacle Chorus to sing at the screening). A.J. Luna led by example on production and promotion and his teammates Portia Donaldson, Omari Rose, and Josh Tsihlis showed what the City Tech Veterans club is all about with their own hard work and commitment. Additional thanks to Tomas Ramos and Chuck Eberle for their assistance, as well as the City Tech AV support team.
Kingsborough Community College / Leon M. Goldstein H.S. for the Sciences
Thursday, November 8
Out at the campus by the sea, Danielle Carriero and Cathy Granton were the glue that held it all together, and made sure we crossed the finish line in style. Dr. Estelle Miller brought us in and made sure we had access to the resourceswe needed, supported by Joan Oliveri in her office. Paul Winnick and his facilities team provided us with a fantastic venue for the evening, and Dean Reza Fahari graciously welcomed the audience on behalf of the College. Maria Canales and Victor Milian are among those who are ready to jump in and join us on the next round.
Over at the Leon M. Goldstein High School Toni Zaharakos went above and beyond the call of duty in too many ways to mention. Her students, Zach V. and Alex M. provided valuable production assistance, and Principal Joe Zaza lent his support to the cause.
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Special thanks and recognition to our Stories of Service NYC/Digital Clubhouse youth producers, especially Lisa, Pi and Michael. Also, Kim Gilmore from the History Channel was there for anything and everything that we needed, along with Libby O’Connelland Lissette Fong-Belliard. As always, thank you to the Rudin Family and John Gilbert for their constant, quiet support of our work.
Finally, thanks to the veterans for sharing their stories – Lou Bromberg, Abe Ginsburg and Bert Sikowitz out of Kingsborough and Jaime Concepcion, Abner Greenberg, Harvey Meltzer, Stan Scottland and David Slater who worked with our City Tech/Hunter team. Deep gratitude goes to our WWII vet recruiter and official candy supplier Joseph “Peppi”DiGeronimo, and to Sharon Morrison at the VA for trusting us with “her guys”.
Check back soon for more information on our plans for May!