Middle Village civic group honors a local hero and retiring Education Council president

Photos by Anthony Giudice/QNS

A young man from Glendale who jumped onto the tracks to save a man from an oncoming L train and the president of the Community Education Council 24 (CEC 24) were both honored for their heroics and dedication to the community during Thursday’s Juniper Park Civic Association (JPCA) meeting.

During the meeting at Our Lady of Hope School in Middle Village, president Robert Holden brought up Glendale native, 29-year-old Jonathan Kulig who in April jumped on the tracks of the L train at Third Avenue in Manhattan when he saw a young man fall from the platform onto the tracks.

Kulig was on his way to his overnight shift with Con Edison when he saw the man tumble on the tracks. He immediately ran from the opposite platform, jumped on the tracks, and hoisted the man’s body back onto the platform minutes before an L train arrived into the station.

For his courageous act of bravery, Kulig was presented the 2017 Russo Hero Award by none other than the award’s namesake, NYPD Lieutenant John Russo, whose dedicated detective work helped crack the Karina Vetrano murder case earlier this year.

Kulig was very humble in receiving the award.

“Throughout all of this, everyone keeps throwing around the word ‘hero.’ As much as I appreciate it, to me, I don’t view myself as a hero,” Kulig said. “I did the right thing. There was somebody that needed help, I had the ability to help, and I helped. I don’t think that makes me a hero. It makes me what everybody else should be.”

JPCA president Robert Holden presenting CEC24 president Nick Comaianni with a community service award.
JPCA president Robert Holden presenting CEC24 president Nick Comaianni with a community service award.

Nick Comaianni, president of the CEC24 for 14 years, has officially retired from the volunteer position, and was presented with a Community Service Award for the work he has done for the area’s schools during his tenure.

Comaianni was instrumental in showing the city that District 24 was the most overcrowded school district in the entire city, and in getting Maspeth High School built and zoned for district students.

“Since then, in my 14 years as president of the Community Education Council School Board District 24, we’ve built approximately, I lost count, somewhere around 22 new schools and extensions, more in the history of all District 24,” Comaianni said. “And roughly, about 15,000 new seats.”

The JPCA also honored NY1 reporter Ruschell Boone and several officers from the 104th Precinct with community service awards for all that they have done for the communities.