Story by Jennifer O’Connor
Lewis Park on Main St. in Warwick was transformed on Sat., Aug. 24 to an elegantly decorated setting under a large lit tent for the Warwick Historical Society’s (WHS) “Party in the Park” fundraiser. In addition to raising funds for the Warwick Historical Society, the Warwick Fire Department (WFD) was acknowledged for 150 years of service to the community.
“It is a pleasure to welcome you to ‘Party in the Park’ as we celebrate ‘Engaging Our Communities,’ and recognize what ambition, determination and teamwork can accomplish,” said Warwick Historical Society Executive Director Nora Gurvich. “Tonight, we congratulate the ‘Party in the Park’ committee members for doing a wonderful job. We also congratulate the Warwick Fire Department (WFD) for their immeasurable contributions to the Town.”
In honor of the fire department a new holiday tree has been planted in Lewis Park. Each year the WFD decorates the tree with lights in front of the Historical Society’s Old School Baptist Meeting House.
“The spruce tree has grown too tall that it can’t be reached anymore,” said WHS President Mary Ann Knight. “In honor of this occasion we have a new 17-foot tree that will be lighted for the first time during the Holiday season this year by the Warwick Fire Department.”
To help acknowledge the WFD, Knight then welcomed local officials – Town Supervisor Michael Sweeton, Mayor Michael Newhard, Town Justice Peter Barlet, Town Councilman Floyd DeAngelo and his wife, Town Justice Nancy DeAngelo, and Orange County Legislator Paul Ruszkiewicz to gather for a plaque presented to WFD 2nd Asst. Chief Mike Contaxis and WFD President Melissa Stevens on behalf of the fire department.
Special guest NYS Senator Jen Metzger presented a proclamation from the New York State Senate to the fire department in honor of their service and dedication to the community. Metzger spoke to the attendees at the event saying the event’s theme of “Engaging Our Communities” is spot on for Warwick.
“Warwick is one of the most engaging communities in the region,” said Metzger, who then looked at Contaxis and Stevens and said, “The fire department is volunteerism at its best. You put yourselves in harms way to keep us safe and to protect the public, and we are incredibly grateful for that.”
The evening also featured dinner catered by Grappa Ristorante, wine from Peck’s Wine and Spirits, local cider from Pennings Cidery, craft beer from Glenmere Brewing Co., cocktails from the Warwick Valley Winery & Distillery, music by E’lissa Jones and her band, chance and silent auctions, and a live auction.
The proceeds from the event will help support the buildings and properties owned by the Warwick Historical Society. For more information about the Historical Society or to donate call 986-3236.