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Larry Kushnick

In Sympathy: Huntington Township Chamber of Commerce Chairman

It is with great sadness that we share the passing of Huntington Township Chamber of Commerce Chairman Lawrence (“Larry”) Kushnick. Larry was an inspiring businessman and a significant leader in Huntington. His dedication and commitment to our community are immeasurable and his efforts in supporting our local township has made a significant impact in all of Huntington’s hamlets. His vision and groundbreaking contributions locally helped position our Chamber as a strong community voice and advocate for local business.

In addition to serving as Huntington Chamber Chairman, Larry Kushnick was the Founder of Kushnick Pallaci PLLC, a leading New York law firm with offices in Melville, NY which is dedicated to the practice of construction, commercial and real estate litigation and arbitration. A winner of numerous business awards, Larry had also shared his legal and business expertise by supporting several community not-for-profit organizations. He also served on several boards including Splashes of Hope and Leadership Huntington. For approximately 10 years, Larry was the Festival Chairman for one of the most anticipated festivals in the tri-state area, the Long Island Fall Festival. Larry was also the coordinator for the Huntington Station Awareness Day Parade and recently started the Multicultural committee for the Huntington Chamber.

We extend our sympathy and condolences to his family, colleagues and friends during this difficult time.

Larry Kushnick, you will always be honored and cherished in our hearts. We will miss you, our dear friend.

Larry Kushnick - In Memory of Our Dear Friend

Were it not for Larry Kushnick….

As I looked around a large funeral hall, mourner-filled far beyond capacity on a recent June day, I couldn’t help but wonder about the incredible impact Larry Kushnick must have had on the lives and hearts of those present. Beneath the palpable sadness and shock on so many of the hundreds of faces was a story, a personal story of how a man – one who has left us at 51 years young – inspired them, lifted their aspirations, made them laugh at life and themselves, and set a glorious standard for community involvement and generosity. And interwoven into each of those stories, the common thread of Larry Kushnick bound with positive, community-impacting change.

It was back in 1997 when Larry – a young, but already well-connected-in-town attorney, serving with me on the Huntington Historical Society board uttered the words he invariably repeated to many, “let’s get together for coffee”. And it was at Munday’s, the famous Huntington eatery-cum-breakfast meeting joint, that Larry charmingly persuaded me to sign on to a terrific young program he was currently involved in – Leadership Huntington. And it was only a few months after that, when Larry, inspired by my desire to form an entity in town devoted to the pursuit of a new, community-based land use planning model (“Smart Growth” and Traditional Neighborhood Development) enthusiastically agreed to help move the initiative forward. So along with Larry, historian Robert Hughes and architect Alex Latham, Vision Huntington – which later became Vision Long Island — and the Smart Growth movement on Long Island was born.

Through Larry’s circle of connections with the Town of Huntington and his unbridled energy, with support from a growing network of other Leadership Huntington graduates, the organization grew, the Smart Growth Advisory Committee was formed in Town Hall, the seminal Smart Growth Speaker Series took place, and the rest is history. And all the while Larry was there to do the grunt work – discuss strategy any hour of the day or night, roll up his sleeves at 8AM on a Sunday with marker in hand helping lay out alternative plans for a development, hand out surveys on a street corner – always with a smile, always willing to help with the next step, always exhorting us on as we came upon obstacle after obstacle, always working behind the scenes to smooth the way for the organization.

Larry helped plant and nurture the Smart Growth seed, and it is safe to say, were it not for Larry Kushnick, Vision Long Island would not have come into existence, and the Smart Growth movement likely never introduced. Long Island would be at a different place in its land use development and perhaps looking at a very different future.

As I looked around at the many sad faces in the hall, I could see so many stories like mine. So many organization and community efforts, like ours, lifted up and cheered on by Larry Kushnick to better bring their goodness and hope, in turn, to the community. So many people inspired by his energy and joy of life to seek out the very best in themselves, the willingness to give to benefit others, to make the community a better place.

With the passing of Larry Kushnick, we have truly lost a dear friend. But the indelible lessons, indeed gifts, Larry has left us with us – that almost anything is doable, pursue but temper your passions, do everything with a smile, handle adversity with grace… and a joke – remain alive for us to immortalize. Perhaps his most important gift, however, is this: do what you can to help others and doing so brings the greatest joy and fulfillment. This gift I truly cherish, and it is this gift that perhaps best allows Larry to live on in all of us as we strive to make our communities, our towns, our Island, a better place.

Ron Stein

President and Co-founder
Vision Long Island
June 2013

Mourning a Loss, Remembering Happier Times

The untimely death of Splashes of Hope Advisory Board member Larry Kushnik has shocked and saddened all of us. Larry, a close friend of Splashes President Brian Yudewitz, was a true ambassador for our organization. He attracted new members and supporters while generously donating time and funding to our charity. His devotion to community service-also evidenced in his Huntington Town Chamber of Commerce membership-inspired many people to give back to their neighborhoods and towns.
Larry’s energy, enthusiasm, and sense of humor always contributed to the fun at our Splashes events, especially the bay cruise! Part of his legacy was helping to create a colorful, happy environment for children suffering from illness or injury.
Larry was a devoted father to his son, Jordan. We want Jordan to know that the Splashes Castle is always open to him. We will miss Larry very much, and we offer our sincere condolences to his loved ones.

Following Larrys Lead

This week Huntington lost a devoted son, 51 year old Lawrence (Larry) Kushnick.
Larry’s untimely death was a horribly bitter pill to swallow. After learning the sad news I pondered the idea of our Town and a life without Larry in it, and simply could not process or accept it. How could Larry be gone? Among many things, he was a powerful life force, an intellect, a successful lawyer and businessman, a traveling sideshow comedy act, and, a generous spirit who endlessly and joyfully gave, expecting nothing in return. And he did it all with such ease, like it was nothing. And just like that, Larry was gone.
Life could not have sent us a more powerful or cruel reminder of its fragility.
Larry had a superb sense of humor and loved to make people laugh, which may have been one of his most endearing qualities. I first met Larry nearly twenty years ago while working on a campaign to help preserve Huntington’s OHEKA Castle. Larry loved Huntington, his hometown, and made it his business to advocate for the best of anything our Town had to offer. So, it was no surprise that Larry appeared on the scene to do his part to save a priceless architectural and historic Long Island Gold Coast mansion.
It was in the trenches of the OHEKA campaign that I first got to know and appreciate Larry. So many years later, and with a heavy heart over his life cut short, I manage a half smile remembering Larry dressed as a rather homely bride at a 1996 OHEKA Halloween party, complete with intentionally misapplied red lipstick for a creepy Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? effect. I believe that Larry would be pleased and proud to know that I, and probably a great many, still recall his grand, but clumsy, entrance into the Castle as Bridezilla all those years ago.
In more recent years, I had the pleasure of working alongside Larry in his leadership role at the Huntington Township Chamber of Commerce, attending many meetings with him and other business leaders to discuss important economic development issues and initiatives. A scant two weeks ago, Larry invited me to his May 21st breakfast inauguration as Huntington Township Chamber of Commerce Chairman. During his very inspiring Powerpoint presentation and installation, Larry repeatedly referred to the event as his “inauguration/bar mitzvah,” generating much laughter in the room. He was having a great time and we were all so very much looking forward to working with Larry to fulfill the many new goals and visions he outlined that morning in his inaugural address.
The days, weeks and months ahead will be difficult and painful as the Huntington Chamber and our Town work to regroup from this monumental loss. And, Huntington will surely never know another son quite like Larry Kushnick.
As we support each other in this time of sadness and loss, let us take some measure of solace in the knowledge that Larry was allowed to stay on with us just long enough to scratch out a roadmap offering clear directions of where he was looking to take us as Chairman of the Huntington Chamber. I know, if we only follow Larry’s lead, and go on to achieve the many goals and visions to which he aspired, we will honor his memory in the very best way possible. And, Huntington will be better for it.
We must now muster our energy and resolve to move forward to the many tasks ahead to complete this precious and unfinished life’s work. And in doing so, we must remember to find the joy and laughter along the way. Larry would want it no other way.

We Mourn the Passing of Lawrence A. Kushnick: A Tribute by James V. Kelly

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.