Written by Ronald Scaglia, Rscaglia@antonnews.com Thursday, 11 April 2013 00:00
It was an event that Peter Schmitt would have loved. This past Saturday, Girl Scout troops from the area dedicated a tree in his memory at Brady Park, in the shadow of the Massapequa Preserve. The event was so appropriate because Schmitt was a tremendous supporter of the Girl Scouts, and also loved both Brady Park and the Massapequa Preserve and fought to keep both places beautiful and enjoyable for area residents.
“Peter Schmitt was a friend to Scouts over the years, so we decided that planting this tree would be a perfect way to preserve his presence with us,” said Debbie Meehan, chairperson of adult volunteers for the Girls Scouts.
Peter Schmitt served at the Nassau Legislator form the 12th District, which covers Massapequa and Massapequa Park, from its inception in 1996 until his sudden and untimely death last year. His widow, Lois, attended the ceremony, as did his daughter, Samantha, his son-in-law James and his baby grandson Logan.
Peter was a dear friend and it’s very fitting that this tree is placed right here in Brady Park,” said Massapequa Park Mayor James Altadonna. “He was very instrumental in the landscape of Massapequa Park. Through his efforts, Massapequa Park has thrived. Lois, thank you for all the years of letting us have him.”
Town of Oyster Bay Supervisor John Venditto also spoke kind words about his former colleague in government. Venditto recalled the Peter Schmitt who was known for being outspoken, but also the tender man who was devoted to his family.
“Peter Schmitt meant what he said and said what he meant,” said Venditto. “When he believed in a cause he was about as tough a cookie as you would find, but he melted whenever he talked about that beautiful grandchild. Peter was all of the good things that our wonderful community is all about.”
Girl Scouts presented the American Flag, read poems, and spoke about Schmitt’s lasting legacy to their organization and the area. Girl Scout Krista Tardo displayed a Gold Star project that she created about Schmitt’s work and Bristal Troop 400, the first senior citizen Girl Scout Troop also attended the ceremony.
Schmitt’s successor, Legislator Michael Venditto spoke about him. The legislator called Schmitt “a great ally” of the community and said that he is still in Massapequa “in spirit.” Venditto also praised the Girl Scouts for organizing the event.
Girl Scouts make our community better one Girl Scout at a time,” said Venditto.