There is nothing that matters more to Peter Feehan than his community.
And to show appreciation for him, Feehan has been named as this year’s grand marshal for the St. Patrick’s Parade of Patchogue.
Feehan, 52, moved to Patchogue 22 years ago with his wife, Johneen, to raise their growing family. They built a house and had three boys, James, Sean and Michael.
And his community spirit is something he attributes to his own father, back in Floral Park, Queens, where he grew up.
“We lived in a very social household,” said Feehan. “My father was a member of the Republican Club, helped with the scouts and belonged to the Floral Park Lions Club. Based upon my upbringing, I believed in community and volunteerism.”
Over the years Feehan has contributed a lot of his time and effort to activities including the Patchogue Lions Club, the local Cub Scouts organization and the Patchogue Youth Athletic League. But Feehan said he wouldn’t have been able to have done it all without the help of his wife.
“She is truly the person behind me,” said Feehan. “Without her I would never have been half of the successful person that I am.”
But that is just the type of person Feehan is. Never one to take credit, or ask thanks, he is always onto the next thing, offering help before it is even asked for, according to friends.
“Peter has been flying under the radar of appreciation,” said Tom Keegan, who has come to know Feehan through the Lions Club.
Keegan said it’s impossible to nail him down sometimes. He planned to surprise Feehan at the annual Lions Club Christmas Party with the news he would be the grand marshal of the St. Patrick’s parade, but when he arrived, Feehan was no where to be found.
“They ran out of pizza pie, and before anyone could say stop, Peter was out the door to get it,” said Keegan. “But it’s just typical of what he does here, and in the community.”
Christopher Bergman, a friend of Feehan’s for the past 15 years, said he is well deserving of the honor because of his great work ethic and his contributions to the Patchogue area.
“There is not a civic organization that Peter wouldn’t join,” said Bergman. “Whatever club or organization needs help, he’ll be there. He’s just a born organizer.”
The St. Patrick’s Parade of Patchogue will take place Sunday and kicks off with the annual “May the Road Rise to Meet Ye” four-mile race at 1:50 p.m.
Although Feehan spends a lot of his time helping others, he was still in shock that there were people who wanted to recognize him for his work.
“It was like, you gotta be kidding me? I was completely taken aback,” said Feehan. “I know almost all of the past grand marshals and I couldn’t consider myself in their league at all.”