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Hometown Heroes Are Hard To Find

New Hyde Park Fixture Diana Biehayn honored by Town of North Hempstead

It takes a village to raise a child is a much-used trope/African proverb that was recycled as part of the title of a 1996 Hillary Rodham-Clinton-penned book. In the case of recent Hometown Hero recipient Diana Biehayn, her selfless participation in the local Girl Scouts troop and countless other organizations have very much made her a New Hyde Park community stalwart. But for all the accolades she gets for her mostly unsung efforts, the Queens native is shyly modest about it all.

“[Public service] just evolved from when my daughter was in Girl Scouts and I moved along with her,” Biehayn explained with a smile. “I went to Queens College as an adult and my major was sociology, so it just seems to be my calling. I never used it professionally, but I used it in my everyday life.”

Since moving to the village in 1968, the former Woodside resident not only raised a daughter and son, but donated time to a myriad of local institutions ranging from the local chapters of AARP and FISH (Friends In Service to Humanity) to the Lions Club and Meals on Wheels.

It’s exactly this combination of selflessness and humility that led to Town of North Hempstead Town Clerk Leslie Gross making this beaming grandmother her latest Hometown Hero.

“It’s amazing and I know that phrase that says if you need to get something done, give it to a busy person. And you’re very humble and I think most of the people that I choose as honorees are this way. You haven’t done these things I’m sure just so that there might be a plaque to hang on the wall,” Gross explained before bestowing the award in her office. “The people that are the busiest really get so much done. And I know you don’t think about it—you [get involved] because you love doing it. That’s a true hometown hero.”

It’s a sentiment daughter Loretta proudly agrees with and is quick to point out that it all starts with Biehayn’s immediate family.

“She makes every single home volleyball game at New Hyde Park Memorial High School whether I go or not. She makes it to the football games,” Loretta explained. “Whatever my girls were involved with, both my mom and dad come down, but my dad is passed. But my mom keeps marching and doing. She gives food to neighbors that are sick and she’s just always trying to help.”

Bob Simon, another New Hyde Park resident heavily involved with local organizations and has been volunteering alongside Biehayn for a number of years, can attest to his friend’s dedication.

“It’s hard to keep up with her. Every time I opened up the paper, I saw her picture, always doing something,” Simon said before adding. “Diana is a pillar of the New Hyde Park community.”

For the immediate future, aside from being her grandchildren’s biggest cheerleader, Diana Biehayn doesn’t see herself slowing up anytime soon.

“The [folks I help] are very nice and interesting people. People that have lived a lot longer than me, which is really long,” she said with a laugh “But as long as I can, I will keep going.”

News

The Village of New Hyde Park adopted its 2014-15 operating budget Tuesday, April 14. The new budget totals $6 million. Last year’s budget topped off at $5.8 million. 

 

The adopted budget holds a final tax levy of $4.135 million, a 1.65 percent increase from last year. It’s estimated that residents will need to pay an additional $18 per year in village taxes.

The Village of New Hyde Park held off on its decision regarding the possible reopening of the Angry Gnome Pub. New Hyde Park resident John Murnane is looking to reestablish the bar and its two upstairs apartments at 1217 Jericho Tpke.

 

The pub was devastated because of Hurricane Sandy two years ago. According to village officials, tenants were using “alternative means of heat and air conditioning” which caused a fire in October 2012 after the storm, resulting in two deaths.

 

“It’s a neighborhood bar,” said Murnane. “It’s been a fixture in New Hyde Park for a long time.”


Sports

Sewanhaka High School’s girls lacrosse coach Erica Brennan knows something good is going to happen when attacker Skylar Shimansky is sprinting down the field. 

 

“When she’s on the move, shooting, 90 percent of the time, it’s going in,” Brennan said. 

 

The goals have been going in for Shimansky on a consistent basis so far this season. She leads the Indians with eight goals and has scored in each of the team’s first six games.

For Ariana Bruschi, winning the school award in the national Wendy’s High School Heisman competition is about hard work. The New Hyde Park Memorial High School senior is a standout Gladiators field hockey, lacrosse player and an avid volunteer.

 

“It really helped me and showed how hard work paid off,” she said. “I thank all my coaches and my guidance counselor Mary Beth Healy. They really helped me.”

 

The Wendy’s competition measured three parts: academics, athletics and leadership. These categories were strengths for Bruschi.


Calendar

Budget Vote - April 24

Herricks Host Calhoun - April 24

Senior Lunch - April 27


Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
Written by Mike Barry, MFBarry@optonline.net

Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com