Members of We Love Whitestone, a local civic organization, last week unveiled the refurbished “Welcome to Whitestone” sign at the intersection of Francis Lewis Boulevard and Locke Avenue.
The sign came down during a storm in 2016 and was taken to be repaired, but never reappeared and civic association members began to inquire as to what happened to it.
We Love Whitestone member Joey Angenbroich eventually located the sign, had it delivered to his house, and with the help of his brother, Steve Wilson of Wilson Woods, began to repair it.
However, because the sign was made of composite materials, it had to be specially painted. Another civic member, Joseph Farrugio, took the sign to a company in Brooklyn, who did the work for approximately $300.
“We put out a call for donations on our Facebook page, and within 20 minutes we had enough money to cover the cost of the sign and then some,” said We Love Whitestone president Al Centola.
The sign looks identical to the one that was taken down during the storm.
“If we had gone for a different sign, the city would have required that we get new approval from the Department of Transportation,” explained association vice president George Mirtsopoulos.
At last week's unveiling, Centola shared a quote from Walt Whitman, who lived in Whitestone for a brief time teaching English.
“Whitman once said, 'I have reason to bless the breeze that wafted me to Whitestone,'” he said. “This is a quote many if not all residents feel and express on a daily basis.”