NRCCS Celebrates Community Champions

Members of the New Rochelle Council of Community Services Board with this year’s Community Champions: (L to R) NRCCS President Karenann Carty and Secretary Eddie Castro; honorees Angela Belsole, Barbara Davis and Minister Mark McLean; NRCCS Vice President Denise Link and Treasurer Millicent Lee.

120 people attended the New Rochelle Council of Community Services (NRCCS)  annual Awards Breakfast on Friday, April 21st at the Davenport Mansion. Against the backdrop of the sparkling Long Island Sound the Breakfast honored “Community Champions”Angela Belsole, Barbara Davis, and Minister Mark McLean. In addition the NRCCS awarded a $1,000 scholarship to Luis Ayala, a junior at New Rochelle High School.


NRCCS President Karenann Carty called the Awards Breakfast “wonderful from start to finish. The spirit in the room and words of inspiration from Mayor Bramson, our honorees, and the scholarship recipients reflected the very best of our beautiful city.” 


The event kicked off with performances from musicians associated with Songcatchers, the group Angela Belsole served as both a Board member and interim Director. Angela shared that she was introduced to the organization through her son, Christopher, who was on hand to applaud her tireless efforts.


Barbara Davis, New Rochelle’s City Historian, spoke about falling in love with the Queen City and making it her home; she admitted that although she is currently Co-Director of the Westchester County Historical Society “everybody knows I have a favorite child.”


Michael Fosina introduced Minister Mark McLean, noting that the two have been friends since childhood and played football together, first on the same Pop Warner team and later on opposing teams for the Albert Leonard and Isaac E. Young Middle Schools. McLean dedicated his award to the memory of his sister, “a special needs person who was special,” and asked everyone to make the effort to reach out to those in the special needs community.


Since the Awards Breakfast was not held in person during the pandemic, the audience heard from last year’s scholarship recipient as well as this year’s winner.


Scholarship Committee chair Stephanie Tomei noted that the NRCCS Scholarship was designed to assist students in furthering their education, either through college, technical school or vocational training: This year’s recipient, Mr. Ayala, says he will use the funds to become a certified electrician and pursue an apprenticeship in his chosen field. “College isn’t for everyone,” said Tomei, “so we were delighted to be able to celebrate someone who is following a different path.”


The New Rochelle Council of Community Services (NRCCS) is a non-profit organization whose mission is to bring together community leaders to assess and meet the vital needs of the community by identifying and working towards solutions through mobilization, advocacy, and networking. NRCCS is the umbrella organization for the health and human service agencies, religious institutions and educational facilities of the City of New Rochelle. The Council’s Board of Directors consists of representatives of many of these agencies as well as local residents. The NRCCS welcomes new community resources and seeks to build collaborations to strengthen our community and serve its ever-changing needs.