Written by Kristin Cacchioli, Hicksville@AntonNews.com Thursday, 30 May 2013 00:00
Since the early 1800s, Hicksville has been a place of culture, family and dreams. Residents have taken pride in their hometown and the beautification of Hicksville is at the forefront of everyone’s minds—especially resident and art visionary Debra Ann Kasimakis. Kasimakis is the artist behind a new Hicksville Memorial Fountain that will stand in Kennedy Memorial Park, in place of the first fountain, which has been demolished after weather and time took its toll on the structure.
The Kiwanis Foundation of Hicksville, in cooperation with the Hicksville Chamber of Commerce, built the original fountain, dedicated in 1979, and in July of last year, the two groups announced the construction of a new fountain in the same location, on Broadway and Jerusalem Avenue.
Kasimakis has displayed her artwork all around the Town of Oyster Bay, so she is used to being in the public eye and working with the community. Kasimakis admitted she was both humbled and honored when the opportunity to work on this project arose. “When I heard they needed my help,” she began, “I was more than willing to step up to the plate.”
Kasimakis offered a design and luckily, the Kiwanis Foundation loved it and brought her on board the project. “It’s community-geared and inclusive,” the artist said. “It’s a nuclear family with pets and it has the Town of Oyster Bay symbolic seagull.”
Kasimakis, in cooperation with the Kiwanis Foundation, is spearheading the fundraising initiatives and they had their first fundraiser on May 18 at Kennedy Memorial Park. “It was right at the heels of Hicksville Pride Day, so we took advantage of the fact that the town would be crawling with people. Many people and businesses were unaware of this project, so we thought we’d make a little bit of noise and have a little bit of fun in an effort to inform people what we are all about,” explained Kasimakis.
Hicksville residents can see donation containers popping up all around town and Kasimakis hopes that with the proper funding and sponsors, the project can be completed by next summer. “This project is important to Hicksville because we have such a long history,” explained Kasimakis. “The community spends a lot of time in that park so the fountain should be part of the community; all residents should take pride living here.”
The local, passionate artist, who joked that she was creating art while still in the womb, grabs inspiration from every moment of life and does not let anything prevent her imagination from reaching its fullest potential. By using all mediums and diving into communication with anyone, Kasimakis has been able to bring her vision of the Hicksville Memorial Fountain to life and hopes that everyone comes to recognize it as a central part of the town.
“My hope, my wish, my dream and my future goal is to make Nassau County a destination, not only for Long Island, but for the world,” she shared. “I would love to bring a cultural center to Nassau and this is a goal I will work on every day.”
Every little bit helps. Donations in the form of checks can be made payable to the Kiwanis Foundation, PO Box 772, Hicksville, NY. Donations are also accepted by the Hicksville Chamber of Commerce, 10 West Marie Street in Hicksville.
To view more of Kasimakis artwork, visit her website: www.debboydoll.com or www.facebook.com/petscapes.