2006-11-17 / Community

Civic Organizations To Honor Rockaway Residents

A group of civic associations and community members next month will honor four "home grown heroes" who "have done great things to make [Rockaway] a better place for everyone, according to the Neponsit Property Owners' Associaton.

The Belle Harbor Property Owners Association and the Neponsit Property Owners Association will join with the Rockaway Park community to honor Peninsula Hospital Center CEO Robert V. Levine, Graybeards member Flip Mullen, Scholars Academy Principal Brian O'Connell and Community Board 14 District Manager Jonathan Gaska at a cocktail party at the Beach Club on Sunday, December 10, from 7 to 10 p.m.

Robert V. Levine became President and Chief Executive Officer of Peninsula Hospital Center a decade ago and has provided the dedication and leadership needed to improve and expand the Hospital so that it now provides the highest quality health care in Rockaway. His mother, Anne, still lives in Neponsit and remains active as Co-President of the PHC Auxiliary.

Flip Mullen, from Belle Harbor, has been very active in the Graybeards Organization and in recent years has been a driving force behind the Wounded Warriors Project, which brought 31 wounded members of the Armed Forces and their families to Rockaway for a weekend of fun and special activities. He has also helped make a special sports program possible in Rockaway. Mullen has kept very busy helping others since he retired from the New York Fire Department.

Brian O'Connell, a lifelong Rockaway Park resident, is the Principal of the new Scholars Academy, which he helped establish in order to bring the best possible educational opportunities to Rockaway. Located in the former MS 180 building, the school provides the type of environment that encourages students to excel, and gives them the opportunity to take a wide range of subjects.

Jonathan Gaska, while not a native of Rockaway, has demonstrated his love for the whole community and will be honored for his unwavering work as District Manager of Community Board 14. He has provided the needed leadership to insure that Rockaway is moving in the right direction.

Anyone who wishes to attend the awards presentation and cocktail party can contact Maureen Meier at (718) 318-4665 or Linda Benigno at (718) 474-3369.

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