Oyster Bay Town Supervisor Joseph Saladino and Councilman Thomas Hand recently hosted a ceremonial street renaming dedication ceremony in honor of Shirlee Gerstein for her decades of remarkable community service. For 46 years, Shirlee served as the face of the Youth and Family Counseling Agency of Oyster Bay-East Norwich – a leading organization for mental health, substance abuse and a myriad of other social services. The Agency is located on the street ceremonially renamed in Shirlee’s memory.
Supervisor Saladino stated, “I’m very proud to dedicate this special street to posthumously honor Shirlee Gerstein. For many decades, Shirlee Gerstein coordinated all social needs programs for the Agency, including the food pantry, emergency clothing program, Thanksgiving food drive and the Holiday Sharing Program. Three generations of individuals, in-need of services, knew that Shirlee would always be the kind, caring voice on the telephone and had the skill, desire and the ability to assist them in any way she could. Shirlee was the first employee hired by Agency and after a remarkable and distinguished career retired four years ago at the age of 86.”
Beyond the remarkable things she did for those who frequented the Agency, Shirlee also served as mentor to three generations of social workers and taught her colleagues how to care for those around us with compassion and dignity. Shirlee passed away last year, just before her 90th birthday and is sorely missed by her family and the members of the local community she impacted. Today’s street sign unveiling is a fitting tribute to Shirlee recognizing her years of loving service and dedication to Oyster Bay.
Councilman Hand stated, “This ceremonial street sign is a gesture of love and respect for Shirlee, as well as her family, friends and the colleagues who had the privilege of working alongside her. This sign will remain as a permanent reminder of Shirlee’s natural tendency of putting the needs of others ahead of her own. Shirlee sign will remain as a permanent reminder of Shirlee’s natural tendency of putting the needs of others ahead of her own.”
For more information regarding the Youth and Family Counseling Agency of Oyster Bay-East Norwich, please call (516) 922-6867.