Westchester County Honorees
John Caralyus was born in the Bronx in 1935, served in the army during the Korean War, and worked for the NY Telephone Company. He is married to Dorothy and has a son, Christopher.
John signed up for the North Salem Volunteer Ambulance Corp on the first day he moved to Westchester County in 1971; served as President and is still active today. He's been a member of the Knights of Columbus since 1951. Since 1989 he has been active volunteering and on the Board of the Westchester Exceptional Children's School. He's volunteered in many non-profit and civic organizations and is active in local politics and raised money to eradicate children's cancer. He volunteers for the "Puppies Behind Bars Program" where prison inmates raise service dogs for wounded war veterans and as explosive detection canines for law enforcement. He was named Lions Man of the Year in 1995 and was awarded the "Elbert Caldwell Purdy Award" for his continuous community service in Purdy, in the Township of North Salem. He is also a member of the North Salem Improvement Society.
He has been volunteering in Westchester for 42 years.
According to John, his rewards from volunteering are the good feeling that one gets from helping others and knowing that he made a difference in the lives of many in the community.
Reverend Jeannette Phillips is the founding mother of the Peekskill Health Center in 1975, and is an ordained Deacon and Elder of the AME Zion Church. She is married to Howard and has five children.
Rev. Phillips has been a pioneer in securing access to health care and affordable housing for the disenfranchised residents of Peekskill. She was the Peekskill HealthCare Center's first Board Chair in 1975, which is now called Hudson River HealthCare. She is currently its Executive Vice President. Through her outreach and ministry, she works with youth and families dealing with HIV/AIDS. Through the local Community Action group, she works with seniors to ensure they have food and housing. She serves on the Peekskill Chamber of Commerce board, advocates for food pantries, and helps at at local fundraising and educational events such as the Juneteenth celebration, and is a member of the Preservation Society. She contributes her time and skills to the Westchester District Harriet Tubman Historical Society, the Peekskill Agencies Together, the Peekskill Area Pastors Association, and the Peekskill Business Improvement District.
She has served her community for more than 38 years.
When she began volunteering, it was her sincere desire to help fill the many needs of families and her community.
Her greatest joy from volunteering is seeing change take place when people work together.