Centennial Gardens to Honor Camp Anchor Program Leaders in Floral Park


As part of the annual national “Make a Difference Day” on Saturday, Oct. 23, which celebrates and recognizes volunteers throughout the nation, the entire community is invited to participate at Centennial Gardens and Bird Sanctuary in Floral Park in honor of the local Camp Anchor Program leaders, who died in a tragic car accident on their way to work this past summer. The activities beginning at 10 a.m. will include the renovation and renewal of Centennial Garden’s formal entrance and surrounding gardens bordered by Floral Parkway and Raff Avenue. The ceremony and dedication will take place near the sign and flagpoles on the corner of Floral Parkway and Raff Avenue.  The rain date is Sunday, Oct. 24.

“Make a Difference Day” appropriately focuses on all those who have made a difference in the community. The three Camp Anchor counselors from Floral Park, Michael Mulhall, 22, Paige Malone, 19, and her sister, Jamie Malone, 22, were driving south on the Meadowbrook Parkway when the fatal accident took place on their way to work at the Town of Hempstead’s Camp Anchor, a camp for disabled children, in Lido Beach.  Fortunately, two other counselors survived the accident.

Hempstead Town Supervisor Kate Murray will be joining with Floral Park Mayor Kevin Greene to welcome the many volunteers from Camp Anchor who are expected to participate in honor of their fallen colleagues and friends. The Floral Park Conservation Society urges as many residents as possible to attend this event in order to demonstrate the community support in memory of the counselors and to show support for their families and friends. Light refreshments will be available followed by guided tours of the gardens.

Floral Park’s Centennial Gardens has come to symbolize the continuing cooperative effort of government and public to transform the formerly neglected drainage basin into a beautiful passive nature park. All those who have donated their time and resources to make Centennial Gardens such a success are invited to Make A Difference and Donor Appreciation Day Saturday, Oct. 23. This is one of the most important events to acknowledge the volunteer and donor efforts for the FPCS and the community’s continued generous support is greatly appreciated.

Centennial Gardens, bordered by Floral Parkway and Raff and Carnation avenues, was formerly known as Nassau County Storm Basin #120.  The ongoing grassroots efforts have been developing a passive recreation site for all residents to enjoy. The 13-acre area, enclosed by a black estate fence, has garden spots with architectural embellishments, a variety of tree species and nature trails.

Over the past few years, great progress has made Centennial Gardens and Bird Sanctuary a reality. Recent volunteer efforts of community members, for example, have included the construction of the new stage and brick walkway, which were completed in the last year enhancing the passive use park. The society’s regularly scheduled planting and garden work takes place on Saturday mornings between 8:30 a.m. and noon, weather permitting. If you can contribute or have any questions, please contact the Conservation Society’s president Steve Corbett at 516-352-5383.

Millions of Americans across the country are expected to spend Saturday, Oct. 23 — the 20th Make A Difference Day — doing volunteer projects to improve their communities and help neighbors in need. The day is the largest community service effort in the nation, rallying corporations, government leaders, charitable organizations and everyday Americans into action. On the last Make A Difference Day, a record three million volunteers participated and an estimated 28 million people in need benefited.

To recognize outstanding volunteer accomplishments, 10 awards of $10,000 have been annually donated in honor of actor/philanthropist Paul Newman, whose charitable legacy lives on through similar Make A Difference Day awards being presented in April 2011. For more information about Make A Difference Day, call the Make A Difference Day Hot Line at 1-800-416-3824.

More information about the event at Centennial Gardens is available at www.fpgardens.org as well as other local project plans at www.makeadifference day.com.


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