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North Hempstead seeks ‘Hometown Heroes’

North Hempstead Town Clerk Leslie Gross is asking residents to nominate unsung heroes in their town.

It’s part of the town’s “Hometown Heroes” program. Gross said every two to three months she looks to give citations to “ordinary people who have done extraordinary things.” She said the program began in 2007 but the didn’t really take flight until last spring.

In May Gross met 8-year-old James Dalimonte at a community cleanup. While talking to his mother she found out that Dalimonte, whose ninth birthday was just around the corner, was asking friends and family to give him gift certificates to supermarkets and pet stores in lieu of presents. Dalimonte wanted to use them to buy food and supplies for the North Hempstead Animal Shelter and the North Shore Animal League.

Gross said Dalimonte inspired her to revitalize the program, and since then she has given citations to several North Hempstead residents.

“I knew I was on to something good, ” she said.

Among those who have been cited are an elderly woman from the Westbury Senior Center who regularly drives sick people to the doctor, and a recovering alcoholic who has worked to create three safe houses for recovering drug addicts.

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