East Rockaway recognizes storm responders, workers, helpers

Village hosts special awards ceremony


The Village of East Rockaway held a special ceremony on Jan. 14 to present awards to those individuals, departments, politicians, businesses and spiritual leaders for the part they playing before, during and after Hurricane Sandy.

The Board presented Chief Reicherter and Chief Henshaw of the East Rockaway Fire Department a citation for the members of the volunteer fire department in recognition for their hard work and dedication in answering so many fire calls and rescues throughout the course of the storm.

Deputy Inspector Diane LauKaitis accepted her award on behalf of her Auxiliary Police Unit 111, who “worked tirelessly throughout the storm and afterward to help residents.”

The Board also presented a citation to the Superintendent of DPW, Kevin Conklin and his department for a superb job of garbage collection, tree removals and bulk and demolition collection. The Board also recognized the staff at Village Hall for their efforts during and after the storm (both of these departments and village employees were pictured in last week’s Herald).

Other recipients included Nassau County Legislator Howard Kopel. During the storm, Mayor Francis T. Lenahan said, Nassau County officials visited East Rockaway and Bay Park and have been helping to mitigate the problems caused by the Bay Park Sewage Treatment Plant. Supervisor Kate Murray and Councilman Anthony Santino were awarde for being “instrumental in the clean up for the aftermath of Sandy in the village and Bay Park.”

Rockville Centre Mayor Francis Murray and Superintendent Harry Weed of Rockville Centre were recognized for their help in securing fuel and equipment during the storm. Lenahan mentioned that, although they were not able to attend, the Village of Lynbrook was also instrumental in helping its neighbor, East Rockaway.

After the storm, the religious community stepped up to help residents of the Village and Bay Park by setting up relief centers for victims, offering food, water, clothing and supplies for free. Pastor Mark Lukens of Bethany Congregational Church and Father Charles Romano of Saint Raymond’s Church, along with the Church of the Nazarene and the Hewlett-East Rockaway Jewish Centre were thanked for their efforts.

The Board also recognized many of the local businesses that helped during and after Sandy, including Mike Rice from CVS Pharmacy, who donated important health items for victims of the storm.

Also recognized were Leon Williams and the members of the 5 Star Gymnastics, Mario Zaino and the staff at Villa Maria and Mark Williams and the staff at Pathmark of East Rockaway.

Elizabeth Daitz, the Herald’s Person of the Year for 2012, was recognized for her “enormous help” in the day to day operation of the Relief Center at Main Street Firehouse and later at Bethany Church.