Three members of the Copiague Chamber of Commerce who died of COVID-19 were honored Saturday during a dedication ceremony at Gateway Park in Copiague.
"They dedicated themselves for us here," Babylon Town Supervisor Rich Schaffer said in front of a crowd of dozens. "We didn’t want to miss the opportunity to be able to pay special recognition" to them.
The three men, who died during the height of the pandemic in April and May, were remembered by family and friends as engaged citizens who dedicated their time to improving the community.
Salvatore "Sal" Puglia, 77, helped launch the farmers market in Babylon 10 years ago and also was involved in the Lindenhurst and Amityville farmers markets.
Tony LaSala, 86, was remembered for his generosity — someone who "would give you his shirt off his back," recalled friend Michael Oakley.
Christopher Madden, 49, vice president of the Copiague Board of Education, was described by those around him as someone who volunteered his time to dedicate to the community.
Three crape myrtle trees, which were donated by the town, were planted and plaques honoring the men were installed Thursday, according to Sharon Fattoruso, a former president of the chamber.
As of Saturday, more than 2,000 Suffolk County residents have died of the virus.