Written by John J. Watras Thursday, 27 June 2013 00:00
I am pleased to announce that at a recent board of trustees meeting, I appointed Suzanne Alvey as the historian for the Village of Garden City. Suzie has been involved with the village as a member of the Civic Beautification Committee since 2009 and was the original driving force behind the establishment of the Garden City Bird Sanctuary. She is a professional artist and also volunteers with the Nassau County Art League, Garden City Community Church and Garden City Historical Society. Suzie was also named a Woman of Distinction by the New York State Assembly in 2009. We are very fortunate to have Suzie serve as our village historian.
On behalf of the village board of trustees and the residents of Garden City, I extend congratulations to H. Arthur Anderson who received the Mineola-Garden City Rotary Community Service Award. For those of you who do not know, this award was established in 1991 to honor Maurice Kirby, who served as a village trustee, was active as a volunteer in various community organizations and served as an active Rotarian since 1980.
Arthur is a life-long resident of Garden City and has served the Kiwanis Club of Garden City as past president and continues to be active in the club today, promoting the idea that both Kiwanis and Rotary should support each other’s activities and efforts toward their various service projects. He is also past president of the Garden City Republican Club and continues to be active in that club as well and has served St. Joseph’s Church in many capacities, including running the Annual St. Joseph’s Blood Drive.
Arthur is also a civic member of the Garden City Chamber of Commerce and has served as an active member of its Pineapple Ball Committee for years. He has also coordinated with the Kiwanis Key Club of Adelphi University to secure volunteers to assist the chamber with both its fall street fair and Easter Vintage Car parade. He has always been known to step up as needs arise within the many organizations and activities in which he is involved.
Last Friday I had the pleasure of attending a court of honor to recognize Eagle Scout recipients, Ryan V. Ilardi, Jack P. McKay and James Walter Morrell. It was an honor to present proclamations on behalf of the Village of Garden City for Boy Scouts of America’s highest honor. I commend these young individuals for their achievements and the positive contributions that they have made to their communities.
Last Friday, I had the pleasure of attending the Fire Department Installation Dinner and I would like to extend, on behalf of the board of trustees, our congratulations and sincere gratitude to Chief William K. Castoro who was sworn in as chief of the Garden City Fire Department. He will be aided during the coming year by returning members as follows: First Assistant Joseph R. Nadolny, Second Assistant Chief Brian G. Gallo and Third Assistant Chief Thomas Strysko. In addition, we wish the newly-elected officers both Line and Corporate all the best in the year head. We thank them all for their continued involvement.
At this time of year with the school year coming to an end, please continue to keep in mind that some of our young people are now out of school and will be playing in their neighborhoods. Please pay particular attention when driving as a few preoccupied young people will inevitably dart out from in between parked cars or fail to look for oncoming traffic when crossing the street.
I would like to take the opportunity to acknowledge Tony Randi and Jack Biggane, two people who have dedicated much of their time in this year’s Jay Gallagher Memorial Tournament.
Tony Randi has been actively involved in many village activities and has founded the Jay Gallagher Memorial Lacrosse Tournament. In its 15th year, the event has grown from six teams to currently hosting 120 teams from the northeast with 5,000 players and parents attending annually. The growth of the Jay Gallagher Lacrosse Tournament created the Jay Gallagher Foundation. The foundation sponsors a two-day lacrosse tournament held every year on Father’s Day weekend at St. Paul’s Fields. The foundation memorializes Jay Gallagher, who graduated Garden City High School in 1970. Jay had an illustrious career as a player at Garden City, Cornell University and had coached at numerous universities. It was with great sadness when members of the lacrosse world learned of his death in 1992, at age 39, as the result of a melanoma. The foundation also memorializes Andrew Palmeri, Mollie Biggane, Ryan Kohart and Dave Leistman. Both Ryan and Dave were lost in the September 11, 2001 tragedy.
Jack Biggane has made it his mission to educate the public with regard to skin cancer. Jack’s daughter, Mollie, at age 20, died after noticing a tiny mole on the back of her leg that would bleed when she scratched it. Six months later, in spite of chemo and radiation, Mollie died from a melanoma, the most lethal form of skin cancer that is on the rise in this country, especially in young people. Devastated by her death, Jack made it his mission to educate the public to prevent this disease from claiming any more victims. Since the Mollie Biggane Melanoma Foundation was founded, more than 10 years ago, the message of skin cancer prevention has gone out to people not only nationally but internationally. When the foundation first began, the fund was originally set up for people to donate money for research. Soon it was realized that a great impact would be educating people at a young age. A DVD called, The Dark Side of the Sun was created and tells Mollie’s story and also contains a teaching lesson for health educators and nurses.
Thank you both again, for all that you do for the community with regard to this worthwhile cause.
Also at this time, I would like to also acknowledge Al Vanasco who has been president of the Garden City Athletic Association for 28 years and who began the Garden City Athletic Association Challenger Program 25 years ago. The Challenger Program is geared to providing athletic opportunities to children with mental and physical handicaps (ages 6-21) and this program not only includes lacrosse, but baseball, basketball and golf as well.
Last weekend, the Garden City Athletic Association Challenger Lacrosse Team took part in the Jay Gallagher Memorial Tournament. This team began three years ago when several kids with special needs wanted to play lacrosse and wanted to be part of a team. Al, without hesitating, said that he was happy to help and made these kids part of the Garden City sports family. He got them into the Jay Gallagher Memorial Tournament, because the kids felt that anyone can play lacrosse, but they felt as if they become a lacrosse player when they play in a “real” lacrosse tournament.
During July and August, the board of trustees will meet once a month. The dates are Thursday, July 18 and Thursday, August 22 at 8 p.m. These meetings are held in the boardroom at village hall. I encourage all residents to attend board of trustees meetings so as to be thoroughly informed of village issues from a first-hand perspective.