It was a celebratory night for the Franklin Square Civic Association, as new and returning members took their oaths of service in front of family, friends and community members.
The association held its swearing-in ceremony on Jan. 25 at Polk Street School, where members reflected on the successes of the past year and teased their plans for 2023.
“I’m very proud to be part of this new board of wonderful dedicated volunteers who all keep pitching in to help,” said President Frank Culmone.
This year’s slate of officers includes Culmone, Vice President Phil Malloy, Corresponding Secretary Phyllis-Ann O’Connell, Recording Secretary MaryAnne Grey and Treasurer Katherine Tarascio.
Jonathan Israel, Glenn Jersey III, Adrienne McKenna, Roseann Randazzo, Maryann Scatamacchia and Kristen Spielberg were sworn in as executive directors. Spielberg is the newest member of the board, filling the position formerly occupied by Frank Miale.
The association noted that it now comprises 129 paid members. “It’s a great organization,” Spielberg said, “and I’m excited to just keep making Franklin Square a great place to be.”
Culmone spoke about the success of the Winter Festival at Rath Park Gazebo, held on Dec. 3. This was the first time the civic association was able to bring back the event in two years, and dozens showed up to celebrate the holidays. The Franklin Square Historical Society brought back its 35-year-old tree-lighting tradition as well.
The executive directors and officers are already looking to the future with their events for this year. Looking ahead, the 2023 Winter Festival is set for Dec. 2, and a committee is meeting at the historical society on Feb. 7, at 7:30 p.m., to discuss ideas.
The organization’s Hometown Heroes and Honored Heroes banner program is right around the corner as well. Officers said they are going to open applications for the program soon.
Since the organization was formed in 2016, it has launched numerous projects to beautify the community and recognize the contributions of community members, the Hometown Heroes Banner Program being one of them. It showcases photos of members of the military as well as first responders who are current or former residents.
The civic association also gives residents a chance to acknowledge a serviceman or servicewoman who is not from the neighborhood. The banners are displayed at Rath Park and VFW Post 2718, and include the person’s name, branch of service and era in which they served.
Other ongoing projects and events include collecting book donations for the Little Library, set up at Garden City South Park on Nassau Boulevard, addressing damaged roads in the community that are in need of repairs, putting up spring and summer decorations and more.
“We have accomplished a lot, and continue to work toward living up to our motto: Franklin Square is a great place to live; together we can make it even better,” Culmone said.
The next general meeting is scheduled for March 22, at 7 p.m., at the Franklin Square Public Library.