Port Washington celebrates 31 years of pride

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(From left): Ed Oldak, president of Fire Medics, Lesley Culp, Beverly Reese at the 31st annual Pride in Port parade. (Photo by John Nugent)

By John Nugent

Several thousand people lined Main Street in Port Washington on Saturday to watch the Pride in Port parade that kicked off a day of activities in celebration of community pride. 

Marching together, John Fiore, commander of Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1819, and Arthur George, commander of American Legion Post 509, led the flag bearers at the head of the parade.  

In addition to various community groups, the line of march featured participants from all the schools, cheerleaders, Scout troops, local police, fire and rescue personnel, and new inductees into the Schreiber High School Athletic Hall of Fame.  

Three members of Fire Medic Company No. 1, Lesley Culp, Beverly Reese and Carol  Swiacki, served as parade grand marshals.  The trio have all served as fire medic volunteers for 40 years.  

The company assists Fire Department personnel by providing emergency medical services on fire and rescue calls.  There were 3,800 fire calls in Port Washington last year, according to Ed Oldak, president of Fire Medic Company No. 1.  

“I’m overwhelmed,” said Reese when asked how she felt about being honored.

Culp added, “This is the greatest event. I’m happy to be part of it.”  

Firefighter Pete Prudenti, a 1978 graduate of Schreiber High School, drove the grand marshal car. Prudenti, a member of the Glen Cove Fire Department, was acclaimed at the parade reviewing stand for saving a woman’s life by donating a kidney at North Shore University Hospital earlier this year.  

Port Washington School Superintendent Michael Hynes enthusiastically cheered on the students and teachers as they passed by in the parade.  “This is a great event,” he said. “I am proud to be a part of this community.”  

The day continued with a senior citizen luncheon at Schreiber High followed by the homecoming football game.  Unfortunately for Port fans, the home team fell to top-ranked Freeport by a score of 47-12.  

The day’s activities concluded with a dinner dance at the Polish American Hall.  

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