Kiwanis honors Brian O'Flaherty

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Smith also said that Kiwanian of the Year is typically not given to an executive board member. “But this is the one time that it was unanimous throughout the club,” he said. “Brian worked exceptionally hard doing two jobs.”

Salisbury resident Helen Meittines, who has attended Board of Education meetings for 30 years, met O’Flaherty when he was campaigning a run for board trustee. “I endorsed him,” she said. “And I never stopped endorsing him. He is the real deal.”

O’Flaherty said he was honored when he received the award. “It was a proud moment. We had a great year at East Meadow Kiwanis,” he said. “But it’s not just one person. You need everybody involved to get the stuff accomplished that we got done this year.”

When asked what motivates him to be so involved, O’Flaherty said it’s about giving back to the community he grew up in. But he added, it helps that all of the Kiwanis members enjoy spending time together. “The people that are involved in these groups are great people,” O’Flaherty said. “You wonder what your life would have been like if you never met these people.”

And if you ask anyone in the local community, they’ll tell you the same thing about him. “He’s our diamond in the rough,” Meittines said. “He will do anything for anybody. He’s got a heart of gold.”

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