Lisa Karrer and Deborah Porretto, two residents of Huntington Station that have generously volunteered and given back to the community, have been selected by Suffolk County Legislator Tom Donnelly (D-Huntington Station) as the District 17 Women of Distinction for 2021. Legislator Donnelly had the opportunity to honor Ms. Karrer and Ms. Porretto by presenting each of them with a special Proclamation at their home.
Ms. Karrer and Ms. Porretto are both co-founders of Brett’s Bicycle Recycle, Inc. (BBR), the all-volunteer nonprofit that recycled and refurbished bicycles, tricycles, skateboards and scooters for people in need at no charge. They founded BBR after the tragic loss of Lisa’s brother, Deborah’s brother-in-law, Brett Rainey in a motorcycle accident. Their mission was to give back to the community that rallied around them and to honor Brett’s memory.
As BBR winds down this year, Ms. Karrer and Ms. Porretto have much to be proud of as they have repaired, recycled and delivered more than 500 bicycles to those in need. BBR also conducted bicycle safety events, gave bicycle maintenance workshops, provided guidance on proper helmet fitting and worked with local first responders to teach hands-only CPR training.
The Suffolk County Woman of Distinction Recognition Program was established in 2002 to give each County Legislator the opportunity to honor constituents who reside in his or her legislative district and have demonstrated leadership, involvement and commitment to community. In conjunction with Women’s History Month, Ms. Karrer, Ms. Porretto and the names of the other legislative district honorees were read into the record and broadcast via Zoom at the March 16 Legislature General Meeting.
“Ms. Karrer and Ms. Porretto turned tragedy into action and demonstrated a spirited commitment to ensuring those in our community most in need are given one of the greatest and simplest pleasures, a bicycle,” said Legislator Donnelly. “It is a privilege to honor them as my Women of Distinction for 2021. On behalf of the entire community, I thank them for all that they have done.”