Assemblyman Dave McDonough held his fourth annual Women of Distinction ceremony at the Merrick Public Library last month East Meadowite Anne Barracca was recognized for her volunteerism. Barracca was one of eight women honored last month.
Barracca, the mother of 21-year-old Anthony and 16-year-old Robert, wanted to become more involved in her children’s lives, so she joined Parkway PTA and became actively involved in 2001. Her knack and love for numbers, she said, landed her a position as treasurer and, later, president. And as her kids changed schools, so did she. Barracca was also treasurer and president at Woodland PTA.
“I wanted to be involved to see what’s going on,” she said. She wanted to give back to her kids.
While Barracca is a former treasurer of the PTA Council, these days, she stays involved as treasurer of the East Meadow High School parent-teacher-student association, where Andrew is a student.
“Anne is a wonderful, dedicated, generous person who volunteers her time and energy for all the children of East Meadow,” said Cathy Morales, EMHS PTSA co-president. “The EMHS PTSA is very proud of all her accomplishment throughout her PTSA career.”
While Barracca has taken part in countless fundraisers and events in the schools, her most memorable volunteer experience, she said, came before she was very active.
Days after Sept. 11, 2001, Barracca said, “I was sitting at home feeling helpless, when I thought, what is the school doing?” to help the rescue teams stationed at ground zero. Barracca called the Parkway and Woodland PTAs and learned that they needed a leader for the project. So she got to work and helped students collect shirts, socks and snacks.
After learning from her neighbor, a New York City police officer, that water was a needed commodity, Barracca worked with the Woodland PTA and asked students to bring one bottle each to an upcoming school dance. Many students, she said, showed up with cases that filled her neighbor’s garage before they could be transported to the city. It was this project that prompted her to become even more active, Barracca said.
“She’s always volunteering and always helping out with anything that’s going on in the school and in the community,” said Sandy Lehman, EMHS PTSA co-president. “We’re very proud and honored to have her on the PTSA.”
In addition to volunteering at the schools, Barracca was treasurer of Cub Scout Pack 157; is an active member of Theta Phi Alpha, the sorority she joined as a student at St. John’s University; sings in church choirs; and previously led Kids and Us, a mother’s group at St. Raphael’s Church.
“I love numbers and I love singing [and] I’m fortunate enough to donate my time,” said Barracca, adding that she felt honored and humbled to be named a Woman of Distinction.
“Over the years, I have met countless women who work tirelessly to make a difference in our community, yet all too often their exceptional acts go unnoticed,” McDonough said in a statement. “That’s why I host a Women of Distinction event to honor local women who go above and beyond to make our communities better places to live, work and raise a family.”