Recognizing March as Women’s History Month, every Suffolk County Legislator selects a "Woman of Distinction" who resides in his/her respective Legislative District to be honored as such. This year, among each district, Centereach resident Ann Pellegrino has been selected and recognized by Suffolk County Legislator Tom Muratore and the entire Legislature as the Woman of Distinction in Suffolk County. A celebration scheduled to recognize Mrs. Pellegrino on March 17, 2020 was postponed due to the Coronavirus outbreak.
Mrs. Pellegrino currently runs Bethel Hobbs Community Farm, volunteering countless hours working the land and recruiting helpers to grow fresh produce. The crops provide over 30,000 lbs. of organically grown vegetables that are distributed to local food pantries and soup kitchens. Ann had also worked tirelessly to get funding and organize a crew to build a wheelchair accessible garden at the farm. The inspiration came from tragedy when, in 2011 her son Christopher was in a terrible car accident and became paralyzed from the neck down.
Mrs. Pellegrino has endured many obstacles in life, including financial struggles, health challenges for herself and her children, and even suffered the tragic passing of her son Chris in 2018. Instead of focusing on loss, she chose to celebrate life by getting involved with Live on New York, an organization where Chris’s organs were donated. Ann also does public speaking on the importance of organ donation and never giving up when faced with hard times. Today, Hobbs Farm supplies countless people with fresh produce; residents with restrictive disabilities have a space to garden and grow; and three men live on because of the gift Ann and her son made through organ donation.
Even now, in response to the Coronavirus pandemic, the farm remains active to serve the needs of the community. The workers comply with all distancing guidelines, and wear protective gear in order to plant and harvest much needed crops. Ann is considering the feasibility of creating a drive-through food pantry at the farm for those in need, and is offering free home delivery to those who join the CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) membership. For more details, visit https://hobbsfarm.info/ .
“Ann is someone who keeps giving to her community, despite all the challenges she has endured,” stated Legislator Muratore. “My office has partnered with her and the entire crew at Hobbs Farm for the annual Run the Farm race, Fall Festivals and Easter Egg Hunts, to name a few. She has demonstrated an ability to not only thrive in the face of adversity and tragedy, but to be a help and blessing to many others. The postponement of her celebration due to the Covid-19 pandemic in no negates the honor she so richly deserves. It is with much gratitude I thank Ann Pellegrino, not only as the Woman of Distinction honoree for the Fourth Legislative District, but the entire County of Suffolk.”
Photos- (1) Ann Pellegrino, Suffolk County’s Woman of Distinction for 2020.
(2)Suffolk County Legislator Tom Muratore (center) with Ann Pellegrino (second from left) at the Hobbs Farm Fall Festival.