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Friday, August 29, 2014
McAvoy earns accolade for dusting off W.H. past
Emily Webb
Courtesy West Hempstead Historical Society
Chris McAvoy hosted one of several presentations at the West Hempstead Public Library last March, entitled “Helen Duryea Remembers…” alongside Historical Society President John Shaud (far right).

This year, the West Hempstead Community Support Association recognized three local high school students for their outstanding scholarship and active involvement in the community by presenting them with a Community Service Award. Seniors Steven Trezza, Devin Rockensies and Christopher McAvoy were selected to receive this honor – which offered a $500 cash prize to each of the recipients – as a result of their pursuits in mounting commendable service projects.

As one of these three honorees, McAvoy became eligible for this prestigious award in his tireless endeavor to preserve West Hempstead’s history for the last three years. With the help of West Hempstead Historical Society President John Shaud and Town of Hempstead Historian Thomas Saltzman, McAvoy administered various public events at the West Hempstead Public Library – which featured multimedia presentations entitled “West Hempstead Then and Now” and “Helen Duryea Remembers…”, complete with archived maps and photos – informing residents about the rich timeline buried below their feet.

“I noticed how neighboring towns seemed more sophisticated in preserving their histories and I wanted to improve the status of our own historical society,” said McAvoy, who will be attending Fordham University in the fall to major in engineering and physics.

Aside from preserving countless artifacts and photos from West Hempstead’s past with poster board displays and PowerPoint presentations, McAvoy has also striven to tap into digital media sources on film and on the web so that he may effectively broadcast this venture to the public. Boosting the online presence of his efforts with the West Hempstead Historical Society, McAvoy launched a Facebook page for the organization and worked with a local blogger to promote its mission in the blogosphere. In addition, McAvoy recently produced a short film that chronicles the centennial of Chestnut Street School and is currently seeking to develop a film about Lakeview Public Library.

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