We Mourn the Passing of Lawrence A. Kushnick: A Tribute by James V. Kelly
We were deeply saddened to learn of the sudden passing of our dear friend, supporter, President's Council Member and Graduate of the Leadership Class of 1997, Lawrence "Larry" Kushnick of Kushnick Pallaci PLLC; beloved Chairman of the Huntington Township Chamber of Commerce. We offer our deepest sympathies and condolences to his family. We are grateful to Jim Kelly of JVKellyGroup for sharing this thoughtful tribute:
"Today was to be a day of fun and laughter. It was the Huntington Township Chamber of Commerce (HTCC) Annual Golf Outing. Our Chairman and my dear friend, Larry Kushnick would preside over the festivities, no doubt making the event more fun that is already was and making his willing audience laugh and feel good about our community. Larry had 3 foursomes in the outing and even his dad was competing on one of the teams. But our laughter would turn to sadness when we learned at the awards dinner that Larry, at age 51, passed away earlier in the day.
Larry was more than just a friend; he was leader and truly a steward of our community. When I took over as Chairman of the HTCC, Larry was one of the critical players in helping to save the Chamber from destruction. He gave constantly of his time and expertise. He took over the running of the Long Island Fall Festival (LIFF) as the Chairman of that committee and every year turned out a better and better product. This year Larry negotiated Taylor Dane and Lisa Lisa to appear over that weekend. We were all excited, but none more than Larry who wanted this year's Festival to be one of the best ever produced. To this end, Larry gave more than just his intellectual firepower; he often put up much of his own money to support events in the community to make our town the best possible place it could be. He did it quietly and with little fanfare.
At about 9:30 yesterday morning the skies opened up in Huntington threatening the Golf Outing. By tee time (12:30), the rain had stopped and we were able to play. It is almost as if God took Larry from us and the heavens foreshadowed our tears and sadness. Then God decided to give his friends a chance to do something Larry loved and supported before we had to learn that our friend would not be joining us to emcee our awards ceremony (which he always did so well).
Over the next few days, many will remember that Larry Kushnick was a great man. I just wish I could have told him over a drink rather than over a prayer.
It was said by Nelson Henderson "The true meaning of life is to plant trees, under whose shade you do not expect to sit". Larry planted many trees for us, our children and their children. We all just never suspected that we would lose such a strong and vital man so soon.
We will all miss him dearly and will never forget his smile, his wit and his love. To all those who knew him - we were the lucky ones. To my friends who are just reading this and who did not know Larry - you missed one heck of a phenomenal person. To all, please say a prayer for his family and his friends. These will be difficult times ahead."
What Larry did with the Huntington Chamber was extraordinary. Beyond that, he brought a wealth of spirit and service to the wider community. Fond of quoting his mother who said, "You have to help people because you can," Larry was instrumental in founding the Huntington Station Enrichment Center, re-launching the Unity in the Community parade and festival, launching the Kids Kafe, an after school program for local youth, and providing pro bono legal services to the Huntington Historical Society. He was a founder of the Moonjumpers Charitable Foundation, and a staunch supporter of Huntington Station revitalization efforts. This is only a few of the organizations and individuals Larry provided deep support to, all in addition to his laudable professional life and commitment to his family. We are grateful for the time we had with him. He will be sorely missed.