MINEOLA, NEW YORK, September 13, 2019 – On September 13, local leaders, elected officials, advocates, peers, and past and present FCA staff came together for FCA’s 135th Anniversary Celebration Event at the Mineola Athletic Association Baseball fields at 130 Willis Avenue inIMG_3839.JPG Mineola, NY.

The location of this event was chosen because of a very special connection to the organization’s roots. The Mineola Athletic Association Baseball fields now stand on the grounds of which FCA’s Children’s Home was once located. This land was given to the Village of Mineola in 1950 under the circumstance that “…the premises shall only be used for the establishment of a children’s park, playground, recreational center, and places for housing of children’s organizations such as Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Police Boys Clubs and similar uses and that this covenant shall run with the land.”

Dr. Jeffrey Reynolds, President/CEO, FCA, opened the event with remarks about the history and roots of the organization.  Dr. Reynolds noted:

“One hundred and thirty five years ago, those in this organization made a promise to the Long Island community.  The promise was very simple. We’re going to take care of people that need help. We’re going to make sure that Long Island as a whole is as strong and as healthy as it can be. We know that when our community is strong, that everybody does better.  We’ve kept that promise 135 years later.”

The event also featured the unveiling of FCA’s Safe & Warm Quilt Initiative, Long Island’s largest quilt, which is made up of countless squares customized and decorated by everyone from the Nassau County Girl Scouts to Governor Cuomo. 

i-Q7G5NW7-X3.jpgThe Mineola Fire Department made the event even more special by bringing over their vintage fire truck to keep on display throughout the morning. FCA’s Nursery Co-Op children could not have been more amazed by the impressive, shiny red fire truck that they were able to climb on and pretend for a moment that they were part of the fire department crew. This was truly an added memento and reminder of the history of Mineola that tied in nicely to the theme of the anniversary event.

The event was sponsored by Lessing’s Hospitality who recreated and served various recipes from The Children’s Home Cookbook from the 1800’s including crullers, corn muffins and cinnamon raisin tea biscuits. Executive Chef William Muzio grew up in Mineola and expressed how he loved being back home and in the area to celebrate this great milestone with FCA.i-fvWT65S-X3.jpg

Also present from Lessing’s was Michael Lessing, President and CEO, Steve Kirschbaum, Area General Manager, Jen Cantin, Director of Marketing, and several other of their team members.

Event speakers included Drew Crowley, FCA Board Chair, Dr. Richard Dina, Former FCA President/CEO, Michael Lessing, Lessing’s Hospitality President CEO, Pat Ryder, Nassau County Police Commissioner, Jack Schnirman, Nassau County Comptroller, and Scott Strauss, Mayor of Mineola.

Mayor Strauss expressed his gratitude for the work that FCA has done and continues to do, and summed up the event by saying, “On behalf of the Village of Mineola, thank you for the land on which we are standing and for all the work that your entire team has done since the late 1800’s.”

To view drone footage of the event, please click here.

Photo credit: Ralph DePas Photography
Drone footage supplied by Lessing's Hospitality.