Written by Christopher Gavin Friday, 27 June 2014 00:00
Residents and village officials recently gathered to kick off another summer at the John S. DaVanzo Community Pool, as well as for the unveiling of a new mural finished last month by Mineola High School students.
Mineola Mayor Scott Strauss started the ceremony by calling for a moment of silence for DaVanzo, nicknamed “Mr. Mineola,” who passed away in March at the age of 92.
“This is his pool,” Strauss said, later noting he thought it was the only time DaVanzo was not present on the first day. “His daughters are here to celebrate the opening day with us. You can’t say enough about John, nobody can say enough about him, and the things that [he did] and what he’s meant to the community.”
Besides the traditional first plunge into the main pool by two young swimmers, another first this year was the addition of a Disney mural on the wall nearest the kiddie pool section. The painting, which took a total of 35.5 hours to finish, was a part of a high school senior project by Jaclyn Miller, Geralyn Santos and Desiree Mohammadi.
Paul Pereira, deputy mayor and Mineola High School senior project teacher, said the village had asked for the artwork and Miller, Santos and Mohammadi took him up on the offer earlier this year. Its completion satisfies the creative option of the assignment.
“I think what’s great about senior project is that it gives kids the opportunity to explore things they are truly interested in,” Pereira said, “whether it be as a future career or simply as a hobby or pastime, and although Geralyn, Desiree and Jackie are not going into art per se in their future, they’re all very talented. They wanted to use that talent and at the same time give back to the community.”
Miller, who said all three students are members of the National Art Honor Society, echoed a similar sentiment.
“I think that was something we definitely wanted to do for a senior project,” Miller said. “We didn’t want to do the usual bake sale. We wanted to leave a mark on, you know, the community we went to school [in] for all our lives, so it feels good.”