Robin Bolling and Jo Marino are the latest area residents to be named to the Town of North Hempstead’s Annual May W. Newburger Women’s Roll of Honor. Now in its 25th year, the Roll of Honor recognizes women who have made a contribution to their community or have accomplished a significant achievement through public or private efforts.
“The North Hempstead community has so many outstanding women who are an inspiration to all,” said Supervisor Judi Bosworth. “We are fortunate to be inducting these accomplished individuals to this year’s Women’s Roll of Honor.”
Bolling, Marino and other women from the Town of North Hempstead will be recognized at this year’s breakfast, which will take place Wednesday, March 28, from 8 to 10 a.m. at the Clubhouse at Harbor Links in Port Washington. North Hempstead resident Shirley Romaine will continue the tradition of reciting an inspirational message at the breakfast. The event is free of charge and seating will be available on a first come first serve basis.
During her senior year at Westbury High School, Robin Bolling was nominated “Class Contributor.” It was a title created just for her, because of her commitment to her class, school and community.
More than 30 years later, that commitment has not wavered. Bolling, a current board of education trustee and first vice president of the Westbury/New Cassel NAACP, has been a force in the community.
The lifelong resident of the Westbury/New Cassel area credits her parents for teaching her to give back to those in the neighborhood, whether it was by reading to students, serving on five out of the six schools’ PTA executive boards, helping as a Girl Scout leader, or serving as president of the Westbury PTA council. In 2009, she created the “Get Out The Vote Parade,” to encourage area residents to vote in school elections. She’s also served as mistress of ceremonies twice for the annual National Night Out Against Crime event.
Bolling noted that it felt especially good to be named to the Women’s Honor Roll alongside women she looks up to, such as Marjorie Simon, Dr. Irene Betty Hylton, Carol Gardiner, Mildred Little, Jackie Caines and Elaine Lovell.
“It feels good to be appreciated and recognized by my community,” said Bolling. “To be placed on the Women’s Honor Roll alongside these women is definitely an honor and I am humble and grateful.”
She has served on the board of education since 2014 and said she has been motivated to give back to her community because she wants others to have the same experience she had.
“If not me, who? Who would step up and speak for the voiceless? Growing up here and having a great childhood makes me want others to have similar feelings,” said Bolling. “I love my community—the good, the bad, the indifferent—this is my home and if in any small way I can make it better, I’m all in, sign me up.”
Jo Marino is a familiar face around Westbury, having lived in the community for 30 years and a committed member in some of its most active organizations.
“I was surprised and felt very honored,” said Marino upon learning she had received the town award. “After I read the nomination letter, I was like, ‘is that me you’re talking about?’”
Marino has been an active member of the Westbury Senior Center since joining in 1994. She has held every position on the membership executive committee, including president, vice president and recording secretary, and currently holds the position of treasurer, where she reviews members’ financial transactions at board and general membership meetings. In addition to playing a major role in helping to plan fundraising events and activities, she’s also involved in numerous committees at the center, including Gift Shop and Circulation, the latter of which assembles the Center’s monthly newsletter.
Marino was nominated for the honor by Maureen Droge, executive director of the Westbury Senior Center.
“It has been my experience that she has always loved to volunteer and help people…She never says ‘no’ and is always willing to lend a hand,” said Droge in her nomination letter. “Jo has a big heart and was born to volunteer. Her volunteerism has clearly made a difference to many, many individuals and continues to have a very positive influence on the community of the Town of North Hempstead.”
Marino is also involved with numerous other community organizations. She’s an active member of the Westbury Historical Society and a lifetime member of AHRC, also acting as a Eucharistic minister and alter server at St. Brigid’s Church.
Her work in the community has been noticed before—in 2006 she received a Woman of Distinction award from Assemblyman Rob Walker’s office, and in 2015 she was awarded the Diocesan Service Award for Consolation Ministry for her years of service at St. Brigid’s.
“I don’t like talking about what I do,” said Marino when asked about her community service. “I just do it because I want to.”