BY LYNN EDMONDS
With the temperature hovering around 24 degrees, a dedicated group showed up outside Pomonok Houses to volunteer in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on Monday to clean up the campus by removing leaves and debris.
The event was hosted by Councilman Rory Lancman (D-Hillcrest), Assemblyman Michael Simanowitz (D-Kew Gardens Hills) and state Sen. Toby Stavisky (D-Flushing), in coordination with President of the Pomonok Residents Association Monica Corbett. The brave volunteers included Officer McLeod from PSA9 and two committed individuals from Queens College, Sharice Richards and Darren Fignole.
Richards, who will graduate in May with a Master’s degree in Childhood Education, said “her whole life just went on a different trajectory” after she spent last Martin Luther King Day in Atlanta learning about the leader through a program CUNY offers, “In the Footsteps of Dr. King.”
“I know the importance of today, being out here,” Richards said. “It’s a small price to pay, compared to all he did. He paid the ultimate sacrifice, so to sacrifice two hours in the cold, you know.”
With the volunteers huddled close for warmth, the politicians spoke briefly about their reason for doing community service on the holiday that honors Dr. King.
It “is an embodiment of Dr. King’s message and spirit, and in that way we both remember him but also continue to fill his legacy,” Lancman said.
“I can’t think of a better way to honor his memory than to help other people,” Stavisky said.
“I want to commend Monica [Corbett] and the Queens College students, Pomonok Residents Association for really demonstrating in the best possible way what Dr. King’s legacy meant for our community here in Queens,” Simanowitz said.
In turn, Corbett thanked all those who came out for helping to make the housing development more beautiful.
The volunteers then got to work shoveling fallen leaves into garbage bags.
Reach Lynn Edmonds at (718) 357-7400 x127, firstname.lastname@example.org or @Ellinoamerikana