CENTERPORT, New York, December 4
BY: Andrew Wroblewski
Over the last year, bad weather and an even worse driver have been detrimental to Centerport’s pair of “Welcome” signs. The signs – originally installed by the Centerport Civic Association and gracing the intersections of Washington Drive and East Main Street; and Little Neck Road and East Main Street – were replaced on Wednesday thanks to a generous donation.
The first sign was plagued by rough weather conditions that wore it down significantly. The second sign was the victim of a hit and run, Gloria Wertheimer, president of the civic association for 12 years, said.
“I was away and came back March 1; the first thing I did was come home from MacArthur [Airport] – when I turned the corner coming home I said, ‘The sign is gone!’” Wertheimer said. “Someone zoomed right through it, smashed it to smithereens and drove away.”
No police report was filed. The driver that struck the sign was never found and, until Wednesday, the plot of land where the sign once stood was vacant. With funds being sparse for the Centerport Civic Association right now, Wertheimer said, replacing the signs was not an option.
But that’s when Carl Horn stepped in. Horn, owner of Northport’s Eclipse Signs, took it upon himself to replace the signs – valued at $1,800 each – and enshrined them where the previous landmarks once stood.
“I’m a part of the community so I hate seeing it fall apart, and I just wanted to take care of it,” Horn said. “Gloria is a wonderful lady who takes care of the community so I just thought it was the right thing to do. Sometimes you just have to give back.”
Along with the signs, he said, Koran Landscape Services of Northport is donating its time by caring for the ground below the signs come springtime.
“The intention is that people see the beautification of the community,” Horn said. “[These are] going to be marks for Centerport. People have pride here and I wanted to show them that I care [too].”
An anonymous benefactor also came forth to help with the efforts, Wertheimer said. The Centerport resident wished to remain anonymous, but was thanked for their donation by both Wertheimer and Eclipse Signs.
Originally published: Long Islander News: The Long Islander
(Thursday, December 4, 2014; A6)