Each year, St. Mary’s Episcopal Church in Carle Place looks for a citizen who has demonstrated an exemplary commitment to their community. For recognition, the person chosen is given a plaque to hang on a wall of their home. Another plaque with their name on it can be found on a wall at the church. This year’s Good Citizenship Award is being given to Donald G. Schaefer.
“You do what you always do, it’s not like you do anything to try to impress people, you do what’s good,” said Schaefer. “I think it’s quite an honor to get.”
A longtime resident of Carle Place, Schaefer has served St. Mary’s in many capacities over the years. He is the church’s senior warden and has been awarded the Bishop’s Cross for his many hours of service. This year, as a token of appreciation for Schaefer’s commitment and contributions to the students of the Paul D. Schreiber High School, a college scholarship has been established in his honor. The Educational Foundation will award a scholarship to a student who demonstrates a passion for technology and the values for which Schaefer stands. One of his major accomplishments was teaching their catechism to one of the largest classes in the history of St. Mary’s.
As senior warden, he was challenged to initiate a community outreach program that would be beneficial to the youth of the hamlet and its surrounding villages. Looking for something unique in a plethora of community activities, Schaefer was drawn to the urgent need for the injection of an energizing spirit that would enable the community’s youth to take full advantage of the digital age’s workplace opportunities.
As a recently retired technology education teacher of robotics and engineering he had the hands on experience so necessary to be an instructor of a STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) initiative program. His robotics team, the Carle Place Robo Frogs will be competing in the VEX Robotics Middle School World Championship event being held in Louisville, KY April 20-23.
This is the fifth year the award has been given. The first recipient was community leader, John Heslin who was followed by energetic volunteer Peggy Wilde, and American Legion Post commander Alfonso Piscatelli. Last year’s winner was Larry Zaino who is active in education and development.
Schaefer was honored for his contributions to the community at an award presentation on Sunday, March 13.