Councilwoman Judy Waldman was honored at the June 19th City Council meeting with the 2013 John F. Cosgrove “Founders” Award for her continued dedication to the community. The award, which was presented to her by various elected officials from the municipal and state level, is given to individuals who make a significant impact on Miami-Dade County communities, just as John F. Cosgrove did during his lifetime.
“We are presenting Councilwoman Waldman with the 2013 John F. Cosgrove “Founders” Award for her outstanding involvement in her community, as well as for her unending dedication in making a difference in the lives of others,” said Mr. Robert Levy, who is a member of the committee for the John F. Cosgrove “Founders” Award.
John F. Cosgrove was a former Representative and Mayor of Cutler Bay as well as the founder of Miami-Dade County Days in Tallahassee, an annual event that celebrates Miami-Dade County’s diverse cultural community and its needs. Mr. Cosgrove passed away in 2006, so in 2007 the award was begun in his memory as a way to recognize individuals who have had a grand impact on the Miami-Dade County community – similar to Mr. Cosgrove himself.
“I am deeply touched by this recognition. It was my great honor to have known John Cosgrove. Not only did we serve as colleagues, but he was also my friend, and my inspiration,” said Councilwoman Waldman upon receiving the award. “He saw something in me and encouraged me to dedicate my life to public service. I can only hope to continue to follow in his footsteps in the endeavor of helping others and I know that he continues to be an inspiration to all of us.”
Councilwoman Waldman thanked Florida State Senator Dwight Bullard and Florida State Representative Kionne McGhee, who attended the special presentation of the Cosgrove Award. Also present were Congressman Joe Garcia’s Aide Kevin Chambliss, Senator Gwen Margolis’s Representative Jean Carlo Canabal, Representative Holly Raschein’s Aide Erin Muir and Florida City Commissioner Sharon Butler. Councilwoman Waldman also thanked Dianne Raulson and Robert Levy, coordinators for Miami-Dade County Days in Tallahassee, and Cutler Bay Mayor Edward MacDougall, from John Cosgrove’s hometown.
“I know this award is not given lightly,” said Cutler Bay Mayor MacDougall during the recognition ceremony. “On behalf of the Town of Cutler Bay, I am very appreciative of your years of dedication and service and for keeping John’s memory alive. Congratulations Councilwoman Waldman.”
City of Homestead Councilwoman Judy Waldman, who has been a member of the Homestead City Council since November of 2001, has made various contributions to her community. Among her contributions is the creation and adoption of the first Parks Master’s Plan in the City of Homestead, which included improvements to all of the community parks. Councilwoman Waldman also envisioned and brought forward the development of the Biscayne-Everglades Greenway, a multipurpose park and trail system that connects Biscayne National Park to Everglades National Park.
Councilwoman Waldman is also a champion of raising awareness and an avid fundraiser for breast cancer prevention, detection, and treatment. She has participated in countless events to raise funds for the Susan G. Komen Foundation as well as the American Cancer Society since 1986, and has served as chair and lead organizer of the Homestead Relay for Life for over ten years. She and her husband, Dr. Mervin Waldman, founded the Little Angels Foundation in 1999, a non-profit organization that supports children with developmental, learning, and emotional problems. She has also been an avid supporter and led the effort to raise funds for Start Off Smart, (SOS). SOS has been in operation for 21 years and serves victims of violence such as child abuse, domestic violence, human trafficking and elderly abuse.
She is a charter member of the Homestead Hospital Pineapple Gala Committee, which helps raise funds for the pediatric ward. She has also conducted various relief drives, most recently one to help the victims of Hurricane Sandy. Councilwoman Waldman is not only dedicated to help her community but to acknowledge those who serve as well. She founded the Kindness Awards during Hurricane Andrew’s 10th Anniversary as a way to recognize individuals who perform acts of kindness in times of need. She was chosen for this award not only for her outstanding involvement in South Florida, but also for continuing the tradition of Mr. Cosgrove and his work for the community.