Richie Surozenski has been selected by the Shelter Island Lions Club as its 2019 Citizen of the Year.
“He’s a man that gives of himself,” said Dr. Frank Adipietro, chairman of the Lions Club’s selection committee. Dr. Adipietro added that Mr. Surozenski is a “an extremely modest, humble man.”
A long-time fire commissioner, Mr. Surozenski joined the Fire Department in 1965. He came up through the ranks and twice served as chief of the department. He was also selected twice as Firefighter of the Year.
He has given a lot of volunteer time to maintaining Taylor’s Island, and for 25 years he maintained the tradition of placing a fully decorated Christmas tree in the middle of Chase Creek. This year, he joined Bill Cummings, who owns the House on Chase Creek, to train him to continue the tradition.
For 40 years, Mr. Surozenski served as highway superintendent for the Village of Dering Harbor, retiring from that post last fall.
Dr. Adipietro said when he and other committee members met with Mr. Surozenski Thursday night to tell him of his selection as Citizen of the Year, the modest Mr. Surozenski insisted they must have a more deserving candidate.
Mr. Surozenski will be honored at a Lions Club dinner scheduled at the Pridwin on May 23.
A full profile of Mr. Surozenski will appear in the Reporter at a later date.