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Honoring Long Beach lifeguards past and present

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On a bright Sunday morning this past Labor Day Weekend, the Long Beach Lifeguards Alumni Association gathered at the Patrol Headquarters on National Boulevard beach to honor local lifeguards and hand out scholarships.

Deacon Tom Evrard of Our Lady of Peace Parish in Lynbrook kicked off the ceremony with a prayer. 

During the ceremony, Councilman Mike DeLury honored his late brother and former Long Beach Lifeguard, Richard “Disco” DeLury, by raffling off a rescue board in his name. 

DeLury said his brother, who was trained by longtime lifeguard Tom Daly, worked at National Boulevard for three years and then was a part of the West Crew. He described his brother as one of the “tannest” lifeguards and joked that people may know him as “one of the former proprietors of Shines,” a well-known bar in the West End.

Former lifeguard Stephen Marro also described Richard, who died at the age of 64, as fun-loving and easy-going. Marro said that Richard gave him the “greatest summer a rookie lifeguard could ever have.” 

Former chief lifeguard Pat Gallagher announced that the winner of the board was none other than Richard’s own brother -- Mike. However, Delury donated it back and the new winner was Candy Holland, daughter of Paul Holland from Pearl Restaurant in Island Park. 

Shortly after, Stella Ambroise, Michael Kortoz and Gregory Sofield were announced as the recipients of $500 scholarships. Gallagher said the organization has given out more than $10,000 in scholarship in past years. 

Lifeguards James Canner and Ethan Edward were presented with certificates for their service for more than 10 years of service. EMT Karen Bandel and Andrew Dellamorte were also honored for 20 and 30 years of service, respectively. 

City Council President John Bendo and City Manager Donna Gayden were also among the attendees.

Lifelong Long Beach Resident Harvey Weisenberg capped off the ceremony with a speech and said that lifeguarding in Long Beach is an experience that many others don’t get to enjoy. 

“The reality is that the friendships that you have are going to be there forever,” Weisenberg said. “Just take a minute to really understand and appreciate that God is good. We have each other and we have friendship.