GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- At a recent Greenburgh town board meeting, State Sen. Andrea Stewart-Cousins recognized Jenna Fanelli with a senate proclamation for her heroic efforts when she attempted to save a missing autistic boy who went into a river last summer.
Stewart-Cousins also recognized Wednesday, Dec. 10 as "Jenna Fanelli Day"
Fanelli was in Yonkers at a riverfront park when she learned a 6-year-old autistic boy had gone into the river. Another man, Scoop Coleman, of Yonkers, had jumped in after the child and so did Fanelli. Fanelli was able to bring the child back to shore safely. Unfortunately, Coleman did not survive.
"You never know how or when the skills you have will be called into action," said Stewart-Cousins, the Democratic conference leader. "Jenna is an accomplished swimmer and lifeguard and did not hesitate to answer the call when she was needed. Her heroism should be recognized, for she saved a young boy's life."
The evening came as a complete surprise to Fanelli who is an administrative assistant to the ANDRUS Senior Campus Director, who was only guided by her mother’s morning mandate to “dress up.”
Following the outpouring by legislators on the town, city, county, state and federal levels, young fans from Pocantico Hills School District (in which are Fanelli's childhood alma maters), ANDRUS, friends and family, Fanelli shared a few words.
“I’m overwhelmed by all of this attention and am so grateful that people on the town, city, county, state and federal levels, as well as my family and ANDRUS, have taken the time to be here supporting me tonight," said Fanelli. “That day was so bittersweet. The fact that Scoop (the other rescuer) did not survive and that I was so close to him in the river haunts me, but I know that without his action and sacrifice, we may not have been able to save the little boy. Despite how traumatic it has been – even still -- if I had it all to do again, I still would not hesitate to plunge in.”
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