Community heroes honored at Phoenix Awards

By Julianne Peixoto

June 11, 2014 Updated Jun 11, 2014 at 11:17 PM EDT

Binghamton, NY (WBNG Binghamton) Three local heroes were honored by Citizen Action at the 29th annual Phoenix Awards Wednesday night.

The recipients for 2014 are Rev. Fred Brooks, Marie McKenna and Majeedah Razzaq.

"We find people in our community who go above and beyond the call of duty," said event chairwoman Jean Gregor. "I mean they do amazing, wonderful things, usually behind the scenes, and usually they’re people who aren’t normally recognized by other organizations."

All three award winners expressed the same emotions upon hearing the news of their recognition-- surprise, dignity and humility.

"When I was called a few months ago, I guess I thought it might be a mistake," said Brooks. "I really believe I may not deserve it."

"I’m so honored, but I think there’s other great people in this community that also deserve this," said McKenna.

"It's an honor to be amongst these people, it's a great honor," said Razzaq.

At the event, Gregor described the symbolic choice of the phoenix and how it pertains to the service work done by the award recipients.

"The whole idea of rising from the ashes, and I believe it’s also described as a paragon of virtue," said Gregor. "So it’s mostly a resurgence of energy, things may have gone badly and now all of a sudden they’re coming back to life again."

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