You Decide: Person Who Mattered in 2011

All this week, New Hyde Park Patch asks its readers to decide the most important stories of 2011. Take our easy poll to help name the winners.

New Hyde Park is filled with special people who , people who make an on a regular, , basis. There are , , , ,  and more.

We have compiled a list of over the year with the help of your nominations.

Help decide the most important New Hyde Park person this year. Take our simple poll attached at the bottom.

MAX DEVANE: Devane was seriously injured on Feb. 4 while helping to put out a fire in a basement on  in New Hyde Park. He required and rehabilitation to recover from his injuries and was forced to withdraw from his college classes and missed an entire semester of school due to his hospitalization and ongoing recovery. A for Devane and the block of the firehouse was closed off and people enjoyed food, drink and raffles to help one of their volunteer firefighters.

THOMAS REGAN: Regan, a in January at Saint Francis Hospital after being injured in the line of duty. Regan attended to a carbon monoxide incident on Jan. 26. While he was dealing with that, he lost his footing and fell in some ice and snow where he sustained critical injuries to his neck. Family, friends and fellow firefighters attended at in February. Regan was .

HOWARD PAVANE: Pavane has been a volunteer at the Make-A-Wish Foundation since 2005 and has helped in the office, helped with special events and is also a . At age 49, Pavane became disabled due to Post-Polio Syndrome, an unexpected result from having polio as a child. Pavane called his decision to volunteer at MAW a “clear choice.”

S. MARY JANE COLEMAN: Sister Coleman has worked in the Parish since 1992 as the Director of Religious Education. Coleman is also the director of the CCD (Confraternity of Christian Doctrine) program. AnneMarie Cusumano, who nominated her said, “I have heard many wonderful things about her. I am sure she would make an interesting person to feature who knows the community very well.”

TOM PELLEGRINO: is president of the and was who said, “Tom was instrumental behind the scenes, in seeing that many children had the chance to play ball after the Elmont Little League disbanded. He spearheaded an effort to donate used equipment to less fortunate areas and has helped to develop a comprehensive safety imitative where children are being encouraged to wear heart guards and face protectors.” In addition, the “humble” Pellegrino helped to equip almost every NHPLL field with AED portable defibrillators.

CIARA MCCULLAGH: Not only was McCullagh an on the , but she also received the Firemen's Association of the State of New York Gerard J. Buckenmeyer/FASNY Ten out of the 130 applicants were chosen — McCullagh being one of them because of her membership at Students Putting an End to Cancer and volunteer work at Ronald McDonald House.  McCullagh now attends John Hopkins University.

DONALD BARBIERI: Barbieri has been on the for the past decade. He is currently working on the project to improve the streets of Jericho Turnpike, and despite being a man with a disability that confines him to a wheelchair; he doesn’t quit.

DR. RALPH FERRIE: Ferrie of the School District in July after  retired. Ferrie has 11 years of experience as a superintendent, more than 34 years of experience in the public education arena and has worked hard to maintain the quality of programs in the Sewanhaka School District while also remaining under the .

DAN AND JOE JUSTICE: The twin basketball seniors (who have since graduated and moved on to Nassau Community College) were a force on the court at Both were as, “Joe is the more serious one who he enjoys finding ways to make [people] smile and that Dan is the more happy-go-lucky Justice.” The twins began playing basketball in fourth grade and helped the to many . The boys said, “It’s harder to stop us when we’re playing together.”

Joann Donahue December 31, 2011 at 12:29 PM
Hmmm after reading about the canidates I don't get why some were choosen what does playing basketball have to do with anything ?
Pam Robinson (Editor) December 31, 2011 at 02:49 PM
Hi, Joann, thanks for asking. We selected this group based on people's responses to our requests for nominations. There may well be others who could be included on this list but these are the names we received. Other suggestions are still welcome.


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