Village And Chamber Members Unveil John DaVanzo Wall Of Honor
By unveiling the John S. DaVanzo Wall of Honor at Village Hall, village officials, members of the Mineola Chamber of Commerce and residents came together recently to honor and remember past and present residents who had a major impact on the village.
“[The wall] is the brain child of our past president Tony Lubrano,” said Mineola Chamber of Commerce president Joel Harris. “At the evening, all I did was introduce myself and turn the evening over to Tony. Tony doesn’t even live in Mineola—he obviously owns a business in Mineola, but he loves Mineola enough to want to do something like this and I think that speaks volumes about him.”
A permanent fixture at the newly renovated Village Hall, the placement of the wall is significant since it is the exact spot where DaVanzo, who was also known as Mr. Mineola, used to sit and greet people who came into the building.
According to Harris, every year the chamber of commerce puts out nomination forms around the month of April asking people to nominate others who might be the perfect fit for the wall.
“We have a committee made up of village board members and chamber members who then make the selection,” explained Harris. “Every April we make them available on the chamber website for people to download and fill out.”
Mayor Scott Strauss said the hardest part of the committee is picking just one recipient each year.
“Having a place such as the John S. Davanzo Wall of Honor to honor some of our residents who have gone above and beyond is important, not for the recipients as they do the things they do because they love stepping up and helping out their community, but for our future generations to see,” said Strauss. “As time goes on, most will forget the incredible contributions some have made throughout our history. Although there are many people who have dedicated their life and have spent their time giving back to the community, this honor goes to the best of the best of them.”
This year’s inductee is Stanley Krause who now joins 2015 inductee Lou Sanders, 2016 inductee Edward Smith and 2017 inductee Louis Santosus. Each inductee has their own dedicated plaque that is placed around DaVanzo’s, which is prominently displayed.
Besides being a D-Day survivor, DaVanzo joined the Mineola Volunteer Fire Department in 1947 and served as captain of Engine Co. 1 from 1953-55. He also served as village trustee from 1955-65 and from 2005-07, was deputy mayor from 1955-60, Town of North Hempstead Councilman from 1965-74 and town clerk from 1974-91.
DaVanzo was instrumental in opening the Mineola Pool in 1961, which was named after him in 2007, served on the library board for 17 years, served as co-chair for both Mineola’s 75th Jubilee and centennial celebrations and volunteered for many organizations.
As a resident for more than 60 years, Sanders, along with his wife Grace, founded the Mineola American and was one of the founders of the Mineola Chamber of Commerce serving as president for five terms.
As a mentor to many, Smith was mayor for 10 years and trustee for 12. He also served as president of the Mineola Chamber of Commerce and the Mineola Lions Club, which bears his name.
Santosus has served the Mineola Fire Department for more than 50 years as chief and warden. He was also village trustee, deputy mayor, president of the Mineola Booster Club and was a co-founder of the Mineola Junior Fire Department.
Krause lived and worked in Mineola for 94 years. His plumbing and heating supply business employed 100 people from 1940-68. Krause also spent seven years as trustee and 11 consecutive terms as mayor—constructing 15 parking fields, the village’s pool, apartment buildings, the village’s library, a center for the elderly, sidewalks and drainage systems, which benefit the village to this day.