On Sunday, March 5, 2006, the Parkhurst area and the Elmont community suffered a tremendous loss. While he was able, Richard Mastrocola actively participated in the civic life of the community. He followed a motto “next to family, there is nothing more important than neighbor.”
Richard served on the Parkhurst Civic Association Board and used his legal skills to the advantage of the group. He guided updating of the Constitution and Bylaws. He is credited with inclusion of Peter Street in the Parkhurst Civic Association boundaries in 1996.
Richard was deeply involved in all facets of the Association’s life. He particularly enjoyed helping to plan Block Parties and was a regular financial booster. He was adept at securing speakers for meetings and in 1997 was nominated for the American Legion Community Service Award. He spearheaded posting of “Welcome To Parkhurst “signs.
Richard served many years as a Parkhurst Civic Association delegate to the Community Coalition Council (CCC). This involved him in the Topless Bar case, the Malibu Planet (Image One) code enforcement case and the Elmont Road Drainage Ditch case among others. He was instrumental in improving recognition of the Elmont community with Welcome signs at Meacham Avenue and Hempstead Turnpike and on Dutch Broadway at 237th and 238th Streets. He served as President of the CCC for a time and pioneered a single Candidates Night to include all of the Civic Associations.
Richard played a leading part in community-wide groups. He was facilitator for People For The Preservation Of The Alva T. Stanforth School. He was a member of the Elmont Road Creek Committee. He was also on the Elmont Community Day and the Elmont Community Week Committees.
Richard cared deeply and was passionate in what he believed in. He found happiness in community life. He believed in diversity and representative government. He urged Aubrey Phillips (School Board) and Cheryl Lee (Library Board) to run for elective office, the first members of the Parkhurst Civic Association to do so and win.
Richard ended his motto with these words: “Get to know your neighbors and your neighborhood. Join the Civic Association and get involved.” The Elmont community is ever thankful that Richard Mastrocola walked this way.