REI Team

Friends of Westchester County Parks Announces Honorees for Annual Best Friends Awards Reception

Written By: Talk of the Sound News

WHITE PLAINS, NY — Friends of Westchester County Parks announced the honorees for the annual Best Friends Awards Reception to be held on Wednesday, April 8 at the Glen Island Harbour Club in New Rochelle.  With the theme “Celebrate a Year of Growth with Friends,” this year’s honorees will include Westchester Medical Center, Business Council of Westchester’s Rising Stars Alumni, Robert DelTorto and REI. 

As the largest and most active organization advocating for the county park system, it is the mission of Friends of Westchester County Parks to encourage continued investment in Westchester County’s 18,000 acres of parks, trails and open spaces. Since its inception in 1977, Friends has held close to the notion that it is critical to provide ongoing support for maintenance, civic improvement and access to nature.

“We are excited to highlight these very special honorees during our annual Best Friends Awards Reception this year,” said Joanne Fernandez, Chairperson, Friends of Westchester County Parks. “The event also gives us the opportunity to celebrate all of the wonderful programs we have been able to fund in order to keep our 50 county parks growing and beautiful.”

 Honorees Include:

Westchester Medical Center, who will receive the “2015 Best Friend” award, will be recognized for their outstanding commitment to the Westchester County park system, in particular their generous support of the first-ever Westchester’s Winter Wonderland. 

This year’s “2015 Best Green Friend” Award will be presented to REI, which provides quality outdoor gear and clothing, for their growing partnership with Friends and the Department of Parks, Recreation, and Conservation, as well as their commitment to stewardship, fitness, outdoor recreation for people of all ages, and ongoing support of conservation efforts. 

Robert DelTorto will be honored as the “2015 Best Volunteer Friend” award recipient.  He will be recognized for his many years of service to Westchester County Parks, and his unwavering dedication to invasive vine cutting, which helps to free native trees and increase the health and sustainability of growth.

 The Business Council of Westchester’s Rising Stars Alumni, will receive the “2015 Best Business Friend” award for their relationship with Friends and encouragement of parks and open space as a key reason for businesses and professionals to reside in Westchester County. 

 “Our goal is to make sure that our parks, which are among one of our most valuable resources, have a continued presence in the lives of all Westchester residents,” said Joe Stout, Executive Director, Friends of Westchester Parks. “We want to recognize these honorees as exemplary members of our community. They are great examples of how important it is to support our county’s parks. It is the continued dedication and generosity of our partners and volunteers that helps us continue our efforts. Therefore, we ask residents to be a ‘friend’ and join us in our goal of providing quality parks and superior programs and services throughout Westchester.”

The event co-chairs are Friends of Westchester County Parks board members Linda Carrington of Hudson Valley Bank and Christopher L. Cawley of William Raveis Legends Realty.

The reception will begin at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, April 8 at Glen Island Harbour Club in New Rochelle. The ticket cost is $275 per person and sponsorship packages are available. For ticket or sponsorship information, call 914-231-4548 or email Please visit