There are a few components that make up a great community: location, amenities, a strong business base. But what really sets a community apart are its residents, the invested members who have poured themselves into making their hometown a better place.
Those are the residents the John S. DaVanzao Wall of Honor Award seeks to recognize. Now in its third year, the award honors members of the community who have dedicated themselves to making the village a better place to live.
Nominations are now open for the award, which is a joint venture between the Chamber of Commerce and Village of Mineola. Each year, the Chamber president and mayor put together a five-person committee, with two members from the Chamber board, two from the village board and one community leader, to decide who will be bestowed the honor. This year’s committee consists of Steve Ford, Bill Green, Paul Pereira, George Durham and Jack Martins.
“We look for long time residents who have deserving character and have given back to the village,” said Durham. “Whether it be through a charitable organization or coaching to running MAA or one of the many other organizations in the village. The three previous award winners had amazing resumes as to what they had done for Mineola. I look forward to reading the resumes this year.”
This year’s award recipient will join good company: last year’s honoree was former Mineola mayor Ed Smith and in its inaugural year, it went to Mineola American and Chamber of Commerce founder Lou Sanders. Award recipients receive a plaque that go on the Wall of Honor, which will sit in Village Hall once the lobby is renovated in the near future.
The award’s namesake, John S. DaVanzo was a lifelong Mineola resident affectionally nicknamed “Mr. Mineola,” for his dedication to the community. A Mineola High School graduate and D-Day survivor, DaVanzo was involved in almost every facet of village life, including the fire department, library board and village board, in addition to serving as a deputy mayor, Town of North Hempstead councilman and town clerk. Mr. Mineola left a high standard, and now, the village and Chamber are looking for someone who has demonstrated a similar life of service to Mineola and its residents.
Residents are invited to nominate people (both Mineola and non-Mineola residents, alive or deceased) they feel have made a significant impact in the village. Nomination forms can be found on the Chamber of Commerce website (www.mineolachamber.com) and Facebook page. The deadline for applications is May 8.