Peekskill Herald

Peekskill Herald

Peekskill Herald

City honors members of the black community

Six were feted for contributions
Honorees who were celebrated at the city’s Black History Month ceremony Monday gather in the rotunda of City Hall. (Photo by Calvin Lom)

Peekskill officials continued the tradition of honoring and celebrating the achievements of African Americans for the ways they’ve enriched lives and through whose efforts a brighter future is built.  During Monday’s Committee of the Whole meeting, six residents were honored at a reception celebrating Black History Month.

Celebrated were Lisa Alexander, Ted Bitter, Margie Daniels, LeRon Getter, Mack Godbee and Pete Peterson for their exemplary leadership and dedication to the community. Each was given a proclamation from the city of Peekskill.

City Council members with honorees. From left Pete Peterson, Councilman Rob Scott, Lisa Alexander, Mack Godbee, Dr. Margie Daniels, LeRon Getter, Councilman Brian Fassett, Mayor Vivian McKenzie, Deputy Mayor Pat Riley, Ted Bitter and Councilwoman Kathie Talbot.

Lisa Alexander holds a Masters Degree in Childhood Education from Iona College New Rochelle, New York and teaches elementary education in the Bronx, New York. She became a Certified Public Accountant in 1996.  She is an entrepreneur who owns and operates Lisa Alexander CPA here in Peekskill.  Her business is a NYS Certified Minority and Women Owned Business; and she is the Director of Surviving NICU Inc. This nonprofit organization which supports families of babies in the neonatal intensive care unit.

Rupert Bitter who is affectionately known as Ted, was born in Jamaica and raised in Brooklyn, New York.  He opened The Bean Runner in Peekskill in 2008.  The inspiration for The Bean Runner came from his mother.  It is a music venue, art gallery and kid friendly environment all in one.

Ted is a long-time resident of Peekskill and pillar of the community.  He enjoys sharing life with his longtime partner of over 30 years, Drew Claxton, who is a former Deputy Mayor of Peekskill.

The citation reads that in  2002, Ted served as the Assistant Coach of the Westchester Striders.  He became the head Coach of the track team in 2004 and proudly continues to serve in this role.  The club’s motto is “Running for Excellence”. He strives to instill confidence and belief in the young athletes using the 4Ds – Discipline, Dedication, Determination, and Desire to lead them to success.

Honoree Ted Bitter with members of the Young Striders.

Dr. Margie Daniels has worked for the Peekskill City School District for nearly 25 years and has served as a school counselor and assistant principal. She is currently the district’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion administrator.  As the Superintendent’s Youth Advisory Council leader, she collaborates with Peekskill Mayor Vivian McKenzie  and City Manager Matt Alexander and the Mayor’s Youth Council. She implements the My Brother’s Keeper program which serves young men of color.

Dr. Daniels has been instrumental in creating and executing new programs for the youth in the Peekskill City School District. Her positive influence, support and encouragement spans all grade levels, reads the citation presented to her.

She is an active member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. Gamma Xi Zeta Chapter where she is engaged in community service and education initiatives.

LaRon Getter holds a Masters Degree in Social Work from Hunter Silberman School of Social Work in New York City.  He is a New York State licensed Clinical Social Worker and is SIFI-Certified.

LaRon’s citation acknowledges his work  as the Program Manager of the RISE (Rehousing in Supportive Environments) Program at Caring for the Hungry and Homeless of Peekskill (CHHOP). This program works with collaborative partners to assist fleeing/homeless survivors of Domestic Violence and their families.

He also supervises Client Care Workers who provide direct care services to unhoused shelter clients.  LaRon is client-focused and works with all individuals in a thoughtful manner.

Mack Godbee was born and raised in Peekskill and has been a resident for 62 years.  He is viewed by many as a cornerstone of the community serving as a valued member of the Peekskill Volunteer Fire Department and the Office of Emergency Management. He has served selflessly as a part of the Peekskill Community Volunteer Ambulance Corps for almost 4 decades;

The citation reads that Mack has also been instrumental in uplifting the youth with his time and mentorship.  Mack embodies the values of equality, inclusivity and kindness.  He encourages and guides the youth to do the same.

Edward ‘Pete” Peterson had an outstanding career of service in the Peekskill City School District for more than 20 years, and most recently a disc jockey for social and athletic events.

Pete, a long-time resident of Peekskill and pillar of the community, is the proud husband of Audrey who he’s been married to for 36 years.

His citation notes how he’s dedicated countless hours of his time at basketball games, afterschool and community functions where he provided guidance and encouragement to help steer youth on the right track. He serves as a positive role model to many. He also encourages the youth to attend post-secondary education and assists them to secure scholarship to support their dreams.




About the Contributor
Regina Clarkin
Regina Clarkin, Editor and Publisher
When the Peekskill Herald weekly newspaper ceased publishing in August 2000 it was the first time in the history of the city that there wasn’t a local newspaper.  The award-winning weekly was often referred to as the ‘glue’ of the community. Founded on January 9, 1986 by Regina Clarkin, Kathy Daley and Rich Zahradnik with a $7,000 credit card line, the paper filled the void created when the daily Evening Star was sold to Gannett and moved out of town. Founding publisher Regina Clarkin continued to live in the Peekskill Cortlandt area and turned her attention to other life endeavors.  Through the ensuing 19 years, Clarkin was frequently stopped in town and asked when she would start up the Herald again. In January 2019, Clarkin decided it was less labor intensive to deliver a weekly blog than a print newspaper so she began posting one story a week about life in Peekskill. After a successful crowd funding campaign in 2020, the Herald was incorporated as a non-profit corporation in July of 2021. Peekskill Herald is a digital relative of the former print edition, featuring many of the favorite aspects of the beloved Peekskill Herald such as old pictures, personality profiles and well written stories about newsworthy events. Regina Clarkin is the editor and publisher of the site. Photo by Joe Squillante