The Congers Civic Association will celebrate its 35th anniversary tonight (Thursday, June 8) with a birthday party at the hamlet’s Veterans Memorial Association building on Lake Road, adjacent to the firehouse. Open to the public free of charge, the meeting begins at 7:30 p.m.
President Gerry O’Rourke says the group started in the spring of 1982 and continues strong today with several hundred members, and quarterly meetings at the VMA that typically attract crowds of 30 or more.
In addition to a birthday cake, the group will reminisce over its past achievements and contemplate objectives for the future. As usual, a Clarkstown Police representative will present current criminal, traffic and other problems and respond to questions and complaints; and town officials may appear to expand on governmental, political and other civic matters.
The association began with a gala celebration of Congers’ 100th birthday (by founder Abraham B. Conger in 1882) and formulation of a mission statement pledging “To stimulate pride in our community, contribute to the improvement of the quality of life…through education and joint action, foster friendship, cooperation and mutual assistance among members of the community and to protect the character of the community with regard to land use development”
Spearheading the move to create the association were controversial projects that would have irreparably changed the face of Congers, including a proposed Reynolds aluminum plant on Route 303 and the draining of Congers Lake to create a religious housing community. Both projects were defeated but the association has kept a close eye on commercial development ever since, continuing to its’ current scrutiny of a smaller housing proposal on Lake Road, where a lumber yard now sits, and a commercial and residential proposal for a car repair shop at Hemenway Avenue and Route 303.
Today the Civic Association maintains the Congers Historical Museum on the second floor of the restored 1882 Congers railroad station, which is open free monthly, including Sundays June 25, July 23 and August 20, all from 1-4 p.m. It also conducts an annual community cleanup in conjunction with Keep Rockland Beautiful, monitors town and school board meetings as well as planning and zoning boards where they offer community input and report back to their membership, grant scholarships to outstanding local graduating seniors and keep residents informed of benefits from school and town programs.
Coming events currently being promoted include the fire department carnival June 22-25, opening of the Congers pool on June 24, fire department fireworks display June 25, concerts at the railroad station on July 11 and 25, at 7:30 p.m. and the Italian Festival on Sept. 24.