Willowtown resident Brad Smith has been chosen a finalist in the community development category of the “Brooklyn Do-Gooders” campaign, sponsored by the Brooklyn Community Foundation. Smith is recognized for his work as a Big Apple Greeter, in which he gives tourists free guided tours of Brooklyn neighborhoods. As the BCF website notes:
Each week Brad accompanies 1-6 visitors on informal walks through one or more neighborhoods, sharing his knowledge of Brooklyn’s history, architecture, and culture, as well as recommending his favorite shops and restaurants. A personal recommendation from a native New Yorker, who knows and loves his city, holds a special place of value. Brad also volunteers three days a week in the Greeter office, matching the right visitors with the right Greeters, ensuring a successful visit. The time Brad spends with visitors leaves a lasting impression of Brooklyn and the energy and diversity of its neighborhoods, which each visitor carries forever and communicates to others.
Your correspondent, during his morning walks across the Brooklyn Bridge, often encounters Brad showing a group of tourists the sights as they make their way from Manhattan to Brooklyn.
Another finalist, in the education and youth development category, is David Goldsmith. Now a Bed-Stuy resident, Goldsmith, who owns an auto repair business in DUMBO, is recognized for his work as former PS 8 PTA president in helping to turn a failing school into a successful one. His daughter is now in middle school, and he is also credited with working to improve middle school choice for Brooklyn residents.