Center dedicated to Lake Carmel man

(Original publication: Nov. 12, 2001)

KENT By all accounts, Stephen Driscoll worked tirelessly to ensure that his Lake Carmel neighborhood would have a community center where locals could meet and become friendlier.

Driscoll perished at the World Trade Center on Sept. 11 and never saw his beloved community center open to the public, but his neighbors did not forget the 38-year-old New York City police officer's commitment to community.

More than 150 people came to the former synagogue on Huguenot Road yesterday to remember the man and dedicate Stephen Driscoll Hall.

"He was instrumental in pursuing the property. He had great vision and tons of ideas about what could be done here," said David Radovich, who served with Driscoll on the community center board.

The 30-minute ceremony featured a brief talk by elected officials and police and firefighters organizations like New York Shields, a support group for the survivors of fallen law enforcement personnel. Driscoll's sister Gail Silke thanked the community, police and firefighters who have embraced the family since Sept. 11.

"Our new brothers are awesome," Silke said.

Driscoll's wife, Ann, did not address the audience, but she sat in the front row. Their son, Barry, stayed home with the flu.

The community center's board decided to name the center in Driscoll's honor after members got calls and comments from residents in the community suggesting the dedication.

"Remembering a volunteer like this is very important. This has brought the whole community together," said Kathy Doherty, chairman of the Lake Carmel Park District.

Driscoll was a New York City police officer who worked in the department's Emergency Services Unit 4, attached to the 50th Precinct in the Riverdale section of the Bronx. Driscoll, whose body was recovered Wednesday, was one of 23 police officers killed at or still missing from the Trade Center attacks.

Driscoll's younger sister, Michelle Tierney of Carmel, said her brother would have been pleased with the dedication.

"It was very important to him to get this going. He wanted to see this center continue and prosper," Tierney said.

Eight members from Driscoll's New York City squad attended the dedication. Police Officer Franco Berarducci said Driscoll often spoke about the community center.


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Wednesday, January 5, 2005