Community News

Fire dept, hardware store lend a hand to church


North Bellmore Fire Department officials and a local business owner came together to repair part of one of Bellmore’s churches.

Ann McPartlin, warden of the vestry at St. Mark the Evangelist Episcopal Church, said that when the church’s bell rang for the last time before Lent began in February, the rope attached to it broke. She explained that, with the help of several members of the North Bellmore community, the bell was repaired in time for Easter.

“It seemed like there was quite a bit of time before Easter to get it repaired, but somehow the rest of February and most of March disappeared and Holy Week was suddenly upon us,” she said.

Camille Gaynor, a St. Mark’s parishioner, reached out to her long-time neighbor Bob Podolski, a former chief of the North Bellmore Fire Department, on March 27 to see if the organization could help the church. McPartlin said this led to a “rapid chain of events” that ultimately led to the repairs.

North Bellmore Fire Department Chief Doug Sherwood approved the request and made Capt. George Serviss aware of it, McPartling explained. Podolski then suggested that Gaynor go to Weinman’s Hardware to get a new rope for the bell. The owners of the store, at 106 Bedford Ave., donated the rope to the local church.

Fire volunteers followed through on March 29, when they arrived at the church, at 1692 Bellmore Ave., to repair the bell. McPartlin noted that in spite of the fact that it was a windy and cold day, Serviss and Pat Ryan, a firefighter, went up to the tower and fixed the bell in time for it to ring on Easter.

“This is certainly a remarkable and wonderful example of our community generously working together,” she said. “The wardens, vestry, parishioners and Rev. John Jeffrey Purchal…would like to express our sincere thanks to the North Bellmore Fire Department –– especially Chief Doug Sherwood, Ex-Chief Podolski, Capt. Serviss, Ryan, Commissioner Nickie White and Stu Lotten –– and Weinman’s for their prompt response to our need to have our bell rope repaired.”