CSI President Dr. Tomás D. Morales and his wife Evy were presented with The Les Trautmann Memorial Award for Outstanding Contributions to the People of Staten Island award at the annual Fall Dinner of Project Hospitality this week.

“Les Trautmann’s lifetime of civic leadership as the Editor of the Staten Island Advance is remembered each year at this dinner. He immersed himself fully in the life of our community and shaped the community-centered mission of the Staten Island Advance for years,” began community leader Norma D’Arrigo, the Dinner co-chair, during her introductory remarks. “Tonight we honor Dr. Tomás and Evy Morales, two Staten Islanders who have given of themselves fully to our community.”

Dr. Morales was recognized for his lifelong dedication to improving the access and quality to higher education and for his leadership position on local boards such as those of the Staten Island Foundation, SINY Inc., A Vision for Staten Island, and his ambassadorship with the Immigrant Entrepreneur Program of the Staten Island Economic Development Committee. He was recently appointed to the city-wide Panel for Education Policy by Mayor Michael Bloomberg. He serves on the boards of many national leadership institutions, and is the recipient of many national honors.

Evy Morales was recognized for more than 20 years of dedication as an educator and career counselor, assisting underprivileged and underrepresented high school students, as well as her work as a literacy volunteer in the public libraries, and volunteering with Habitat for Humanity and most recently with the CUNY Citizenship and Immigration Project. At Project Hospitality, the skills and compassion of Mrs. Morales touched the hearts and minds of clients in their Single Stop Help Center, helping them navigate the complex system of applying for benefits.

Also recognized at the Dinner were Richard and Lois Nicotra, who were awarded The Richard E. Diamond Award Memorial Award for Exemplary Commitment to People in Need; the Reverend Will Nichols and Janice Holleny, who received The Eleanor and Paul Proske Memorial Award for Distinguished Service to the Poor; and Dr. Lucy Cabrera, who was awarded the Distinguished Community Service Award.

In her closing remarks, Project Hospitality Executive Director The Reverend Terry Troia noted that Dr. Morales is the only college president to ever visit a soup kitchen, and that Mrs. Morales was the only spouse of a college president to ever volunteer translation services in support of Project Hospitality’s mission.

Project Hospitality is a community-based, not-for-profit agency established in 1982 as an interfaith volunteer emergency response to the needs of homeless and hungry persons in Staten Island. It provides comprehensive services for hungry and homeless and inadequately housed people, especially those who are living with multiple diagnoses such as HIV, substance use, and/or mental illness, and works with them to achieve their self-sufficiency — thereby enhancing the quality of life for our community.

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[L-R] CSI President Dr. Tomás D. Morales, Mrs. Evy Morales, and Fall Dinner co-chair Norma D'Arrigo