Calling the completion of the Malone-Mulhall Recreation Center at Camp ANCHOR, “A dream come true for children with special needs,” Hempstead Town Supervisor Kate Murray cut the ceremonial ribbon on the township’s “new home” on Saturday, May 17, for its heralded program that serves children who are physically and mentally challenged.
The bittersweet ceremony paid tribute to three “ANCHOR Angels” — Jamie L. Malone, Paige K. Malone and Michael P. Mulhall — for whom the facility is named. The three young counselors died in a tragic car accident on July 15, 2010 while traveling to work at the camp.
“Thanks to the parents of the campers whose mission it was to build this building — you are the heart and soul of this project,” said Michael Mulhall’s sister, Justine. “Thanks to Kate Murray and the Town of Hempstead, it was your courage and determination to see this through to completion.”
Murray was joined by her colleagues on the Town Board, including Senior Councilman Anthony Santino, Councilwomen Angie Cullin and Dorothy Goosby, Councilmen Gary Hudes, James Darcy and Ed Ambrosino, Receiver of Taxes Don Clavin and Town Clerk Nasrin Ahmad. In addition, the families of the counselors for whom the recreation center was named were in attendance, as was a priest from Our Lady of Victory Roman Catholic Church in Floral Park, the church that the young counselors attended. Finally, over 500 ANCHOR participants, family members, supporters and friends turned out for the grand opening.
“I am proud that Hempstead Town has built a permanent home for the 1,600 young people with special needs who are served by ANCHOR,” said Murray. “And, it is fitting that this new home bears the names of ‘three angels’ who inspired ANCHOR participants and town officials alike.”
The $6 million recreation center spans more than 16,000 square feet, and features a wave-curved roof and porthole windows, which reflect the seaside ambiance of the shorefront setting of the building. The blue and white color scheme also invokes a nautical theme in tribute to the ANCHOR Program’s trademark nautical anchor.