Larry Elovich, former longtime president of the Long Beach Chamber of Commerce, loved the section of New York Avenue that now bears his name.

Close to the beach and the city's iconic boardwalk, it's where he met his future wife, Helen. It's also where the couple once shared an apartment and raised a daughter.

Public officials gathered Saturday to celebrate the memory of one of Long Beach's biggest boosters by renaming part of the street "Larry Elovich Way."

Elovich, a former city Democratic leader, died of kidney cancer last September at age 77.

To honor him, a diverse group of politicians came to Long Beach, including Republicans, former Sen. Alfonse D'Amato and Rep. Peter King, and state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli and Nassau District Attorney Kathleen Rice, both Democrats.

Larry Elovich, president of the Long Beach Chamber of Commerce for nearly three decades and former city Democratic leader, who had a knack for bringing together both political parties, died Sept. 21, 2012, of kidney cancer at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in Manhattan. He was 77. Newsday's obituary for Larry Elovich
Photo Credit: Handout

"Larry was a great friend for many years, and we miss him every day," said Long Beach City Judge Roy Tepper.

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Superstorm Sandy ravaged Elovich's beloved city, causing a knee-high flood that filled streets and homes with water, sand and debris.

But many residents and merchants have rebuilt, and the first section of the boardwalk recently reopened to big crowds.

"My father would have been very proud of how the community came together to help each other," said Lisa Elovich, of Saratoga Springs. "Long Beach is really making a comeback."

Another community event was held Saturday at the boardwalk: the inaugural Larry Elovich 5K Fun Run/Walk.

Proceeds will support scholarships for college-bound Long Beach students who exhibit integrity, a sense of community, and academic and athletic skills.

"Someone who emulates my dad," Elovich said.

The event raised about $10,000 for the first scholarship, which will be presented at Long Beach High School in May, she said.

Jake Schlessinger, a recent Syosset High School graduate, won the race with a time of 19 minutes, 35 seconds.

Some wondered if that was a coincidence or a sign from above. Larry Elovich was born in 1935.