Bayside, NY – The desire to preserve the memory of his friend Yvonne Bonomo brought John Bohan to St. Mary’s Healthcare System for Children in 2003, but it was the children on the toddler’s unit that made him stay. Recognized for his dedication to the children of St. Mary’s since that time, Mr. Bohan was honored by the Health and Business Alliance and TIMESLedger Newspapers with a Community Impact Award on Friday, October 20, 2006.
“After a while you develop a friendship with these kids and you miss them when you are not there,” Mr. Bohan explained upon accepting his award. “What the kids give me back in return makes me better in my life and in my wealth. They make me feel like I have the world on my side.”
Mr. Bohan has volunteered his time at the hospital three times a week since that initial visit in 2003. He has started an interactive story time with the toddlers and brings groups of children to Mass every Sunday in St. Mary’s chapel, which he claims “has become [his] parish.” In addition, he raises more than $10,000 annually to support St. Mary’s programs and services.
“Without individuals such as John we would not be able to accomplish the work we do. The community and St. Mary’s are truly blessed by the work he does,” said Eileen Chisari, Vice President for Inpatient Programs.
In addition to Mr. Bohan, the Community Impact Awards honored Claire Shulman, a committed St. Mary’s Board Member and former borough president of Queens. Other honorees included Dr. Jeffrey Borenstein, Susan Brustman, Daniel Dromm, Saywalah Kesselly, Frederick J. Kress, Jose Morales and Susan Wu Rathbone.