FPCS President Steve Corbett Named to Volunteer Hall of Fame

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Formal Induction Ceremony to Be Held on Feb. 7 at the Carlyle on the Green in Farmingdale

Steve Corbett of Floral Park recently received some surprising and well-deserved good news from Diana O’Neill, executive director of the Long Island Volunteer Center. “On behalf of the steering committee and the independent panel of judges,” Executive Director O’Neill said, “it is my distinct honor to announce” that the Floral Park Conservation Society’s President Steve Corbett “will be inducted into the 2009 Long Island Volunteer Hall of Fame for the category of Environment.” The formal induction ceremony and reception will on Sunday, Feb. 7 from 11 to 3 p.m. at the Carlyle on the Green, Bethpage State Park in Farmingdale, Long Island.

“The Long Island Volunteer Hall of Fame celebrates the humanitarian spirit and creates lasting tribute to vision, heart, and determination it takes to address community needs and undertake noble causes,” Executive O’Neill noted.” Since tone is set at the top, founders of Long Island nonprofit organizations will again be inducted, “ Ms. O’Neill added, “the roots established under your exemplary leadership at the FPCS created an organization that has made a profound impact on the Long Island Community.” Executive Director O’Neill called the Floral Park Conservation Society a “well deserved and wonderful nomination” that was unanimously approved by the blue ribbon selection panel.

Steve Corbett, along with all the dedicated volunteers of the Floral Park Conservation Society, have been developing Centennial Gardens and Bird Sanctuary into one of the community’s most enjoyed public spaces. From its initial acquisition while Steve Corbett was mayor of Floral Park to its now widely praised status as the lasting legacy from Floral Park’s centennial celebrations last year, Centennial Gardens has become the source of community pride and enjoyment for community members of all ages. Just within this past year, for example, the Floral Park Conservation Society has added several new and impressive features, including the recently completed 2,400 feet long brick pathway which now surrounds the entire 13 acre passive use park from Carnation and Raff Avenues to Floral Parkway.

The nomination of Steve Corbett was submitted on behalf of the Floral Park Conservation Society by its pro bono counsel, Dennis McEnery, who informed the selection committee that the efforts led by Steve Corbett have provided the entire community with a place to come and enjoy in an area which used to be a neighborhood eyesore. Through the efforts of Steve Corbett and the support of the community, the Village of Floral Park was able to negotiate a 60 year lease with Nassau County, the owner of the site formerly known as Water Recharge Basin #120, which had fallen into serious disrepair and was overgrown with weeds and literally tons of refuse when it was acquired by the Village of Floral Park in the late 1990’s.

The Long Island Volunteer Hall of Fame has been in existence since 2001, and it now has a permanent presence at Bethpage State Park where New Yorkers can get a chance to truly appreciate the work of these unsung heroes. Since 2001, almost 100 inductees have been inducted as hall of famers since its inception. In addition, the Long Island Volunteer Center has its own website – www.livolunteerhalloffame.org which includes a list of past inductees, judges, program sponsors and organizers, along with the hall of fame’s history and future. The Long Island Volunteer Center has also collaborated with Bethpage State Park to create a home for great humanitarians, by installing benches with inscribed plaques at the Carlyle on the Green clubhouse grounds of the Blue, Green and Yellow golf course tees of Bethpage Park.

An inductee is selected out of 12 different categories of volunteer activity including cultural arts, environment, philanthropy, homelessness, hunger and several other worthwhile endeavors. Some of last year’s inductees included FPCS members Ann and Phil Gribbins in the hunger category for their creation of the Giving Garden at Centennial Gardens as well as the FPCS’s close friend and neighbor Robert Alvey of the Garden City Bird Sanctuary for the Environment category. Other past hall of fame honorees include Marty Lyons, the former football player for philanthropy through his namesake foundation and Harry Chapin, the much remembered singer, honored through the Harry Chapin Food Bank.

The formal hall of fame induction ceremony will be hosted by radio and television weather personality David Weiss and will have a color guard, invocation and brief remarks by the inductees and the event organizers. Immediately following the induction ceremony, friends and family can celebrate at a luncheon buffet reception with entertainment ending by 3:00, which is plenty of time for football fans to root for their teams in the Super bowl game that evening. Those wishing to join the family and friends of Steve Corbett at his Hall of Fame induction ceremony on Super Bowl Sunday morning, can do so by sending $55 for each ticket payable to the Long Island Volunteer Center to Ms. Laura Bissett-Carr, program and adult development associate, Girl Scouts of Nassau County, 110 Ring Road West, Garden City, NY 11530-3296, 741-2550, ext. 233, or contact her at bissettl@gsnc.org as soon as possible. Any questions please contact Diana O’Neill, executive director of the Long Island Volunteer Center at 564-5482 or FPCS President Steve Corbett at 352-5383. Anyone who would like to send congratulations or help with Centennial Gardens can let Steve Corbett know by emailing scorb31442@aol.com.

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