Dan Hust | Democrat
ALAN GERRY, LEFT, gives the William and Naomi Gorowitz Institute Service Award to Michael Osgood of the NYPD Hate Crime Task Force at Sunday’s ADL Dinner at Kutsher’s Resort Hotel.
Rhulen-Loughlin Tabbed for ADL Award
By Dan Hust
MONTICELLO September 11, 2007 “People really like Suzie.”
The thunderous applause from more than 300 people affirmed Mark Kutsher’s words inside his hotel Sunday evening.
“This is one of the largest turnouts we’ve had,” agreed Marvin Rappaport, emcee of the Anti-Defamation League’s (ADL’s) 2007 Tribute Dinner in Monticello.
That was due in great part to the presence of Suzanne Rhulen-Loughlin, the Rock Hill resident who has made building up a community her life’s mission.
It also had to do with the Kutsher family, which was lauded for 100 years in the hotel business.
But it also was a result of the other awardee of the evening Michael Osgood who brought nearly a dozen of his fellow NYPD officers with him to Sunday’s dinner.
The 23-year department veteran now a deputy inspector is the commanding officer of the city’s Hate Crime Task Force, having investigated more than 1,500 such crimes and creating programs to prevent hate crimes.
“Like the ADL, the New York City Police Department was in the fight against terrorism and extremism long before 9/11,” remarked Alan Gerry just prior to handing Osgood the William and Naomi Gorowitz Institute Service Award (named after Gerry’s parents).
“It is the men and women who have worked alongside me for the past five years who deserve the real credit,” said Osgood, pointing to the 10 officers who were sitting in the audience. “We deeply thank you for such a prestigious award.”
ADL National Director Abraham Foxman said it is the cooperation of law enforcement and government officials that moves ADL efforts forward around the world citing legislation 50 years ago that “broke the back” of the Ku Klux Klan by prohibiting members from wearing masks.
But now, thanks to the anonymity afforded by the Internet, hate groups are on the rise again, he said.
And they’re not afraid to broadcast their evil messages.
“Daniel Pearl… was slaughtered in front of a video camera because he was a Jew,” Foxman said of an event he never thought he’d witness.
“These are things which we thought belonged to history.”
That’s why he was grateful to highlight the actions of someone who has long cared for anyone and everyone around her, someone who exemplifies the highest ideals not just of the ADL but of humanity.
“Suzanne is a dynamic leader who energizes those around her,” Foxman remarked. “…We have always appreciated her abiding support of our work.”
But Rhulen-Loughlin’s Americanism Award stemmed from far more than ADL support.
“There’s nothing too much or too hard for her to do to rectify wrongs,” explained the award presenter and her aunt, Joan Farrow.
From community volunteerism to professional leadership in organizations as diverse as the Sullivan County Partnership for Economic Development, the Rhulen Rock Hill Run and Ramble, Nana’s House Childcare Center, Sullivan Renaissance, Frontier Insurance and her own strategic consulting firm, Firestorm Solutions, Rhulen-Loughlin has established a reputation for both savviness and caring.
“She does it out of selflessness and love,” said Farrow. “[She] is a dynamic force for good in the community… She exemplifies the true American spirit of hard work and charity.
“I call her Wonder Woman!”
Foxman and Farrow both noted that her incredible efforts were born out of a family known for always seeking to help those less fortunate.
Indeed, Rhulen-Loughlin’s father, Walter Rhulen; her uncle, Peter Rhulen; and her uncle and aunt, Jesse and Joan Farrow had already received the ADL’s Americanism Award.
Sunday, it was her turn.
“I’m beyond moved,” she told the smiling crowd.
Observing the young faces in the audience, she recalled accompanying her father to his award ceremony 18 years earlier.
“It was one of those events where your parents said you had to go,” she said.
But that was a turning point in her life where she realized the ADL sought to do what she yearned for as well: make the world a safer, kinder, better place.
Utilizing a childhood where she played and talked with kids of every color and creed, Rhulen-Loughlin became a tireless advocate for human rights and urged the crowd to do the same.
“How can we combat this momentum of hate? This is the work of the ADL and law enforcement,” she explained.
“The bottom line is, we can face discrimination,” she concluded, “and we must take care of each other.”