Street renaming in honor of
East Patchogue, NY - 08/17/2019
|Mission applies to the following Region(s):||Region 8, Region 9|
|About the Mission:|| Most of us will never forget where we were on 9/11. On the tragic day of 9/11/01, Mark “Ski” Gajewski was one of the first people to assess the situation and offer himself to any relief efforts that he could. He did not arrive at the scene dressed as a police officer or a firefighter but instead, as a humble blue-collar worker.
He was a former Marine who never forgot his allegiance to our country and felt it was his duty to assist his fellow Americans. Not only did he take time off from his job with Operational Engineers Local 30, but he spent almost 3 months away from those he loved most, his family. When hurricane Katrina struck, he went down to New Orleans to help deal with the aftermath. Once again, he stocked his truck to full capacity and was off for one month away from his family but helping others. As a family member said about Mark, “It’s your calling to be an angel and helper to those who are in need of your help”. He would drop everything to help where and who he could.
Ski put the needs of his country ahead of everything at that time, spending three full months at Ground Zero without coming home. He was on site until the last day of clean-up for a total of 2,900 hours. Ski experienced things that even his military training could not have prepared him for. For ten years, the World Trade Center Monitoring Program took care of all medical needs, but his eligibility for coverage ended when he was diagnosed with a rare form of Lung Cancer, affecting a very small number of people. He passed away from 9/11 related cancer on December 17, 2011.
In his Honor his children formed a non-profit organization called Ski Open Heart on June 25 ,2012. This Foundation concentrates on providing our neighbors, friends, family and fellow Americans who lost their lives or continue to suffer the consequences of September 11, 2001 with the resources necessary such as food, clothing and/or financial assistance. The Foundation also continues the benevolent work of its inspiration, Mark W. Gajewski, by working with children charities, animals, and simply lending a helping hand wherever possible.
The community of East Patchogue will never forget this families sacrifice and as such will honor the memory of Ski by renaming the street he lived on. His wife Debbie, also a US Marine has no idea this is happening so if you are friends with the family please don't say anything, Hope to see you there.
|Primary Staging Date:||08/17/2019|
|Primary Staging Time:||10:30|
|AM or PM:||am|
|Lead Ride Captain:||John Fenech|
|Lead Ride Captain Phone #:||6317930096|
|Special Information:||Please bring your own 3x5 flags. KSU 10:30 We will then ride as a group to the street renaming location together. Be ready to roll out of the 7-11 parking lot at 10:30AM sharp|
|Is there a Second Stage to this Mission?||no|
|Submitted by:||John Fenech|