DEPUTY MAYOR THERESA E. GAFFNEY

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Write to Theresa at: 376 Atlantic Avenue, PO Box 189, East Rockaway, NY 11518 Leave a message for Theresa at: 516-887-6300 Email Theresa at: tgaffney@villageofeastrockaway.org

Career woman, working mother, community activist, 9/11 survivor – these are just a few of the words that only begin to sum up the life and remarkable achievements of Theresa Gaffney. However, as anyone who takes the time to get to know this extraordinary “thirty-something” young woman will tell you, despite all she’s accomplished so far, the best is clearly yet to come.

Born in Marine Park, Brooklyn, Theresa, the youngest of three children, attended both public and parochial schools.  Upon graduation she found her way to Wall Street and took a position as a broker’s assistant for Euro Brokers, a national-international interdealer of money markets, derivatives and securities.

Her quick rise up the corporate ladder took a sudden, unexpected and harrowing turn when United Airlines Flight 175 hit the south tower of the World Trade Center at 9:03 AM on Tuesday, September 11, 2001 devastating the Euro Brokers offices, including Theresa’s which was located on the tower’s 84th floor.  Fate? Karma? A guardian angel?  After the north tower had been hit a half hour earlier, something told Theresa and her girlfriend Debbie, a fellow Euro Broker employee, that despite public address commands that south tower employees should return to their desks, evacuating the as yet undamaged south tower and getting far away from the World Trade Center would be the best course of action.  Walking down one of the stairwells, Theresa had reached the 44th floor when the south tower was hit.  Pausing only briefly to ponder the horror unfolding above, Theresa and her companions continued their walk down the stairs to safety.  By the time she reached the South Street Seaport it was clear to Theresa that her life, as well as the life of our Nation, would never be the same.  However, just as a new Freedom Tower would one day rise up at Ground Zero, nothing would keep Theresa down.  The next morning she reported for work at Euro Brokers’ temporary headquarters in uptown Manhattan.  But having been an eyewitness to one of the most horrible days in history, and having lost so many friends and co-workers to this senseless act of terrorism, the course of Theresa’s life changed.

Adjusting to normal life in the aftermath of the 9/11 tragedy, Theresa met her best friend, and now husband, John.  They moved to the beautiful Village of East Rockaway, started a family (daughter Courtney, sons John and Patrick), and Theresa committed herself to a life of community service.

As former president of the East Rockaway Village Foundation, Theresa points with pride to the steel girders she helped procure from the rubble of the World Trade Center that now sit majestically in the village’s Memorial Park and serve as the centerpiece of East Rockaway’s tribute to the victims of the September 11th attacks.

Theresa is also actively involved in the Ladies Auxiliary of American Legion Post 958.  She takes special pride in her efforts on behalf of our community’s veterans and dedicates her work on behalf of Post 958 to her brother, Robert, who is proudly serving his country as a Navy Seal.

In 2011, Theresa was appointed to the East Rockaway Library Board by Mayor Fran Lenahan and the board of trustees and was subsequently elected board president by her fellow library board trustees.   In that role, she worked tirelessly in support of the administration’s efforts to provide residents with the best possible services at the lowest possible cost.  Theresa is also a member of the Kiwanis Club.

Theresa was elected a village trustee in the March 2013 village election.