Randi Shubin Dresner remembers an assembly program at McVey Elementary School in 1968, when she was 8, that featured representatives from the March of Dimes, the organization dedicated to protecting the health of mothers and babies.
The March of Dimes officials told the students about an upcoming event, its first walk-a-thon on Long Island. They asked the kids if any of them wanted to serve as a school representative for the walk. “I had no idea what that meant — not a clue,” Shubin Dresner recalled. “But my hand went up. And what I always say is, my hand never went down.”
Shubin Dresner, 52, who still lives in East Meadow, has been the president and CEO of Island Harvest since 2001. Under her direction, the Mineola-based nonprofit has become the largest hunger relief organization on Long Island, having more than tripled its food donation intake, from 2.5 million pounds to 8 million pounds.
Just days after Hurricane Sandy struck Long Island, Shubin Dresner, along with Island Harvest staff and volunteers, aided first responders by delivering food to the Island’s hardest-hit areas. For her efforts to end hunger on Long Island, and her continued dedication to her community, Shubin Dresner is the Herald’s 2012 Person of the Year.
Her volunteerism began shortly after that assembly in 1968. As a Woodland Middle School student, she began her own unofficial March of Dimes chapter in her basement, corralling her friends and classmates to join in. “She was always a leader in the area,” said Lisa Shubin, Randi’s younger sister by one year. “I definitely looked up to her and tried to follow in her footsteps.”
Randi is one of Stanley and Rhoda Shubin’s four children. She has two older brothers, Hal and Philip. Randi herself has two children, Rebecca 21, and Stephen, 16.
After graduating from East Meadow High School, she became a full-time employee of the March of Dimes at age 17. She earned an associate’s degree at Nassau Community College, and also studied at SUNY Old Westbury, Empire State College and Adelphi.