A pillar of the community, lifelong and fierce advocate for residents and an icon. Those are just some of the accolades heaped upon Dolores Thompson at a ceremony last week to unveil the street sign that now bears her name in Huntington Station.
The intersection of East Second Street and New York Avenue is now known as Dolores "Dee" Thompson Way. The intersection is where the Huntington Station Enrichment Center is located, which Thompson founded in the early 1990s. It serves as a community facility for residents providing training in computer skills, entrepreneurship, English as a second language, job placement, and youth and senior services.
Thompson, 92, of Dix Hills, said she was still pleased and overwhelmed a day after the ceremony. She was thankful for all the elected officials, residents and volunteers who helped and worked with her to achieve the honor.
"I could not have received this unless I had people to work with me to make sure that things happened," she said. "Yes, I have the mouth and the push, but the whole thing is reaching out to people who help you do what needs to be done."
Thompson’s service began with the Silhouettes, a social organization that opened up activities to youths in the area by connecting them with local schools. Her list of accomplishments also includes being a member of the development program Leadership Huntington’s Presidents Council, a corporate trustee of the Huntington Hospital Board of Directors, former president of the Huntington Chapter of the NAACP, and a 75-year member of Bethel AME Church in Huntington. She also is the mother of former Huntington Town Board member Tracey Edwards.
Thompson also led the effort to get a second location of the Huntington Library in Huntington Station in the early 1990s, which she said is one of her proudest achievements.
Huntington Town Board member Gene Cook, who sponsored the resolution for the renaming, said he was surprised it had not been done before, lauding Thompson as a deserving resident worthy of a street renaming that was not done posthumously.
"I had heard the reasoning that people had to be dead before they’re honored and that makes no sense," Cook said. "Why shouldn’t they enjoy the acknowledgment of the community that loves them, and I got it done."