In a ceremony to cap Women’s History Month, two members of the East Meadow community were recognized by the Town of Hempstead for their dedication and achievements.
East Meadow residents Robin Fitzpatrick and Christine Mooney received the 2019 Pathfinder Award at the Merrick Golf Clubhouse on March 26. Town Supervisor Laura Gillen recognized Fitzpatrick for her volunteer work, and Mooney for her work in community affairs.
A life-saving program
Fitzpatrick has been an active member of the East Meadow Parent Teacher Association Council for the past 12 years, starting when her children were students at Barnum Woods Elementary School. She was its vice president from 2013 to 2016 and is now in her second year as president.
She is also a volunteer emergency medical technician with the East Meadow Fire Department, and has used both roles to bring to the district a program that is equipping the community with the training to treat life-threatening wounds.
Launched by the federal Department of Homeland Security in October 2015, the “Stop the Bleed” program was a response to the 2012 mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newton, Conn., that left 26 people dead — many of whom died of blood loss, according to reports.
This is the first year that Nassau County schools are implementing the program, said Allison Anderson, a nurse at South Nassau Communities Hospital in Oceanside. Thanks to Fitzpatrick, East Meadow is one of the few schools that has taught it to all staff and expanded it to students.
Town Councilman Dennis Dunne Sr. attended several of the programs that Fitzpatrick has hosted in the community and, as her town representative, nominated her for the award. After the event, she posted on her Facebook page photos of her and her colleagues and close friends who came with her to show support, including fellow EMT Ross Schiller and his wife, Melody; East Meadow Superintendent Kenneth Card; and Frank Camarano, a past president of the Chamber of Commerce.
“I’m able to accomplish things with the help, support and love of those people who, day in and day out, work tirelessly alongside me for our entire community,” Fitzpatrick said.
Honored three times
The Pathfinder Award is one of three honors Mooney has received in the past year. She was also presented with the Chamber of Commerce’s Marvin Bernstein Humanitarian Award in January, and received State Assemblyman John Mikulin’s Women of Distinction Award last August.
Mooney is in her third year as the chamber’s vice president, and helps coordinate many of its events, including programs that encourage the community to shop locally.
She grew up in Elmont before moving to East Meadow 31 years ago, after she and her husband, Tom, were married. Two years later, she began teaching at the now-closed Alphabetland Day School in Merrick.
She went on to teach and direct education at United Methodist Church in East Meadow, where she became involved in a number of philanthropic causes and championed fundraisers that she still runs today. They include the Souper Bowl of Caring and Sock It to Me, in which she collects canned goods and new socks for the Mary Brennan Interfaith Nutrition Network to give to local families in need.
Mooney has long been devoted to helping children, she said, and in 2012 she opened Tender Tales Nursery School, at what was then Temple Emanu-El in East Meadow. When the congregation merged with Temple B’nai Torah in Wantagh last June, her school moved with it.
During the holidays, Mooney collects new stuffed animals that she gives to children at Nassau University Medical Center in East Meadow. And each February, which the American Heart Association dubs American Heart Month, she crochets hats for newborns for the program Little Hats, Big Hearts in coordination with the organization.