The Town of Huntington is changing its name at the request of a 7-year-old girl.
For one day, on Halloween, Huntington will add an “a” to become the town of Hauntington.
The tale of the change began when Angelica Dee Cunningham, a second-grader at Huntington's Washington Primary School, was in the car with her parents, Deirdre and Tom, and suddenly said, “They should name the town Hauntington for Halloween.” She thought of it, she said, because she has a Monster High doll whose name is Ari Hauntington.
“My husband and I were like, ‘That’s so clever,’ ” Deirdre said. “Her dad said, ‘You should write to the town.’ ”
Deirdre, who is an elementary-school art teacher in Queens, said teachers are always encouraging children to write to public officials, so she and Tom helped Angelica pen her handwritten plea, which she mailed to Town Supervisor Chad Lupinacci. "One of the best things about Huntington is the way we celebrate Halloween. I love getting dressed up, going into town and tricker treating with my friends," Angelica wrote. "I think this October, Huntington should officially be called 'Hauntington.' This would be fun to say, for me, my friends and all the citizens of Huntington." She signed it, "Sincerely, Angelica."
“I didn’t think anything was going to happen,” Angelica said. “I just thought they would write back to me.”
But on Tuesday night at the town board meeting, the board approved the change, 5-0. “We do celebrate Halloween in the Town of Huntington. There’s a Halloween parade in Huntington village,” Lupinacci said. “I’m sure in the future we’ll brand it more, use Hauntington in promotional literature and such into future years.”
While Angelica wasn’t at the town board meeting, Lupinacci said he plans to meet her at her school on Tuesday. And, Angelica and her parents watched the video footage of the town board meeting posted online. “I saw that people said, ‘Whoever wants to see Huntington called Hauntington say, “Aye." ' They all said ‘Aye,’ ” Angelica said. “I was smiling.”
It’s no small task to get politicians to agree unanimously on anything these days, but Angelica did it. “I think it’s very important because you had someone who is young who is interested in writing their elected officials,” Lupinacci said. Besides, he added, “No one wants to break a student’s heart.”