Westbury residents and businessowners were among those recognized during the Town of North Hempstead’s recent Black History Month celebrations at the “Yes We Can” Community Center in Westbury.
Themed “Black Excellence,” the event celebrated African-American entrepreneurs, with members of the town board choosing residents from their district to honor. Town Clerk Wayne Wink’s honoree was Betty Hardy, who has owned and operated Betty Hardy’s Daycare in Westbury for more than 50 years. Receiver of Taxes Charles Berman’s pick was Bernard Hardy, a former NYPD detective who now owns Interstate Security & Investigations Inc., a private security and investigation firm located on Post Avenue in Westbury.
Also receiving honors was Westbury’s Dr. Leon Mullen, a cardiologist with a practice in East Meadow, who was chosen for the recognition by Councilwoman Viviana Russell.
Supervisor Judi Bosworth’s honoree was Leonard “Sparrow” Llewellyn, who has owned Ernie’s Barbershop on Prospect Avenue in New Cassel since 1999.
“The countless young men that patronize his business, however, know he’s much more than that,” read the event’s program. “Sparrow is more of a surrogate father and mentor to his clientele—those who visit him enjoy sharing their personal testimonies of how his encouragement, financial support and wise advice have inspired them to pursue college, trade schools, and/or professional careers.”
The Feb. 8 event included refreshments from LL Dent, music and performances by Nori Rane, the “Yes We Can Community Band,” LND Dance Company, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, SUNY Old Westbury’s Step Tunes and children from the “Yes We Can” Community Center.
The Town of North Hempstead also partnered with Bethpage FCU and the National Coalition of 100 Black Women Inc., Long Island Chapter to provide five scholarships to Hofstra University’s Entrepreneurial Assistance Program.
“Black History Month is a wonderful opportunity for all of us to learn about and celebrate accomplishments of the culture,” said Bosworth. “This year’s theme of Black Excellence allows us to highlight and honor the influential entrepreneurs and business people in our community and recognize them for the major contributions they have made to our community and town.”
Among the other town honorees were Rev. Monte Malik Chandler, Timothy Thurmond, Adrienne Vaultz, Kenneth Gray and Lynette Batts.
“This annual celebration of Black history is even more important this year as we reflect on Black Excellence and pay homage to Black Wall Street. Success and Black Excellence is an existing state of affairs yet often overlooked,” said Russell. “This year’s honorees are true examples of Black Excellence and their incredible contributions to our community make them very deserving honorees. Their success is our success.”