The Kiwanis Club of East Meadow named Brian O’Flaherty as its 2013 Kiwanian of the Year on Sept. 24 during its annual Recognition Night dinner at Borrelli’s Italian restaurant. The award is distributed each year to the member who best exhibits the club’s mission of community dedication and volunteerism.
Each year, it is the choice of the club president to determine who receives the prestigious award. “Brian is the epitome of the word ‘volunteer,’” said immediate past president Debbie Kirsh, who just completed her one-year term last month. “He gives all of his time to help the community, and he supports all of our Kiwanis objectives, which is serving the children of the world.”
O’Flaherty, 50, a 1981 graduate of East Meadow High School, is also a member of the Chamber of Commerce, and has been a Trustee on the East Meadow School District’s Board of Education for 11 years, serving as president for three years.
It was on the school board where he first met Kirsh, who was also a trustee from 2004 to 2007. In the past year, she said, O’Flaherty attended every Kiwanis function, volunteered at each event, and donated to every fundraiser. “When I announced Kiwanian of the Year that night … no one was surprised,” Kirsh said.
One of five siblings, O’Flaherty graduated from Hofstra University with a degree in accounting, and now works in Manhattan as a vice president for Jones Lang LaSalle. Even with his busy work schedule, he still finds the time to volunteer in his local community. And in 2011, he was honored as the East Meadow Herald’s Person of the Year.
This year, O’Flaherty served as secretary for the Kiwanis Club. And when the club’s treasurer was unable to fulfill his duties, O’Flaherty took up that role, too. “He did it the entire year without complaining,” said Jim Smith, the newly appointed Kiwanis president. “He did it efficiently, he had everything that everybody needed.”
While O’Flaherty is normally known as someone who keeps a low profile, Smith also lauded his quiet sense of humor. “He’s a funny guy quietly,” he said. “He says things softly that I pick up on, and I just crack up.”