Written by Dave Gil de Rubio Friday, 30 November 2012 00:00
It takes a village to raise a child is a much-used trope/African proverb that was recycled as part of the title of a 1996 Hillary Rodham-Clinton-penned book. In the case of recent Hometown Hero recipient Diana Biehayn, her selfless participation in the local Girl Scouts troop and countless other organizations have very much made her a New Hyde Park community stalwart. But for all the accolades she gets for her mostly unsung efforts, the Queens native is shyly modest about it all.
“[Public service] just evolved from when my daughter was in Girl Scouts and I moved along with her,” Biehayn explained with a smile. “I went to Queens College as an adult and my major was sociology, so it just seems to be my calling. I never used it professionally, but I used it in my everyday life.”
Since moving to the village in 1968, the former Woodside resident not only raised a daughter and son, but donated time to a myriad of local institutions ranging from the local chapters of AARP and FISH (Friends In Service to Humanity) to the Lions Club and Meals on Wheels.
It’s exactly this combination of selflessness and humility that led to Town of North Hempstead Town Clerk Leslie Gross making this beaming grandmother her latest Hometown Hero.
“It’s amazing and I know that phrase that says if you need to get something done, give it to a busy person. And you’re very humble and I think most of the people that I choose as honorees are this way. You haven’t done these things I’m sure just so that there might be a plaque to hang on the wall,” Gross explained before bestowing the award in her office. “The people that are the busiest really get so much done. And I know you don’t think about it—you [get involved] because you love doing it. That’s a true hometown hero.”
It’s a sentiment daughter Loretta proudly agrees with and is quick to point out that it all starts with Biehayn’s immediate family.
“She makes every single home volleyball game at New Hyde Park Memorial High School whether I go or not. She makes it to the football games,” Loretta explained. “Whatever my girls were involved with, both my mom and dad come down, but my dad is passed. But my mom keeps marching and doing. She gives food to neighbors that are sick and she’s just always trying to help.”
Bob Simon, another New Hyde Park resident heavily involved with local organizations and has been volunteering alongside Biehayn for a number of years, can attest to his friend’s dedication.
“It’s hard to keep up with her. Every time I opened up the paper, I saw her picture, always doing something,” Simon said before adding. “Diana is a pillar of the New Hyde Park community.”
For the immediate future, aside from being her grandchildren’s biggest cheerleader, Diana Biehayn doesn’t see herself slowing up anytime soon.
“The [folks I help] are very nice and interesting people. People that have lived a lot longer than me, which is really long,” she said with a laugh “But as long as I can, I will keep going.”
Last Updated (Monday, 29 November 1999 19:00) Saturday, 08 March 2014 00:00
It’s a family affair for the Winters of Port Washington when they make pilgrimages to Bobb Howard’s General Store in New Hyde Park. “There’s something in that store for everyone,” says Tracy Winters, who has been a customer of this retro candy and toy store for eight years. Tracy goes for the Astro Pops, husband Michael gets Marshmallow Twists and Tracy’s mother, Phyllis Heller of Bellmore, can’t resist the Goldenberg Peanut Chews. Jake, Tracy’s older son, isn’t a candy lover so he gravitates to the old-time toys and nostalgia posters.
Jamie Waller of Queens says it made him feel like a kid again when he saw the wall of candy with treats from the 1990s and 1950s sitting next to each other. “Anything you can possibly want is there,” he says. For Jamie, a big treat is Circus Peanuts, peanut-shaped marshmallows. “My dad used to love them when he was a kid,” he says.
Last Updated (Monday, 29 November 1999 19:00) Friday, 07 March 2014 00:00
One fortunate New Hyde Park resident was rescued from the freezing cold on Tuesday, Feb. 25 thanks to Dr. Julia Harmon, DVM, of the New Hyde Park Animal Hospital. That night, at approximately 8 p.m., Harmon was going to her car after work when she saw Spike, a wandering bulldog near Brooklyn Avenue, one block from the vet’s office on Jericho Turnpike.
Harmon immediately brought Spike, who was not wearing a collar and did not have a microchip implanted for identification, back to the vet’s office. The temperature outside was already at 31 degrees, but felt like 20 degrees with the windchill. Luckily Spike was
brought in from the cold early; temperatures dropped down to 25 degrees that night.
Thursday, 06 March 2014 00:00
New Hyde Park Michael Castelli recently participated in the 32nd Black Belt Graduation at Charles Water Karate & Fitness, located at 122 Hillside Ave. in Williston Park. He graduated to first-degree black belt.
“Our studio teaches students how to defend themselves responsibly while instilling self-confidence, self-discipline and respect for others,” says Grandmaster Charles Water, owner and director of the school.
Students tested in October, successfully passed their exam recently and received their black belt certificates. “Who says that the youth of America are not committed? A healthy life style at the karate studio, mentally and physically is alive, well and working,” said Water.
Thursday, 06 March 2014 00:00
After missing the playoffs two straight years, the Sewanhaka Indians Boys lacrosse team will face tougher odds if it hopes to advance to postseason play in 2014.
The Indians, who start their season March 24 at Oyster Bay, will be playing out of Section 8, Nassau Conference II (Class B) this year; a bump up from their usual spot in Nassau Conference III (Class C). Typically, the schools are divided by enrollment.
“There are no gimmies in this league,” said nine-year coach Peter Burgess. “We were the last team to make this league in terms of population. They kind of drew the line below us. So we’re the smallest school in the league.”
Burgess said another obstacle for the Indians will be facing teams that they have no experience playing before.