Photos by Dominick Totino
We Love Whitestone civic members unveil the sign on May 23.

Whitestone‘s most visible greeting is back in its rightful place.

On May 23, the We Love Whitestone Civic Association unveiled the newly refurbished and re-installed “Welcome to Whitestone” sign at Francis Lewis Boulevard and the Cross Island Parkway service road. The public greeting was damaged during Winter Storm Stella in March 2017 and missing in action since.

The sign was first installed in November 2011 by the Welcome to Whitestone Civic Association. During the winter storm in 2017, the sign was knocked over by the wind and suffered some dents after falling facedown into the snow and ice.

It took a village to see beloved greeting restored, according to We Love Whitestone civic president Alfredo Centola.

In the months following its fall, the sign was repaired by a civic member’s relative, a woodworker, and transported by another civic member to Brooklyn for repainting. It was then carted back to Whitestone.

Many civic members made donations to cover refurbishing expenses, Centola said. The group will use excess funds to cover beautifying the area immediately surrounding the sign.

“This is a great community we have here,” We Love Whitestone vice president George Mirtsopolous said at the unveiling ceremony. “Every time we do something, every time we need some help, everybody steps up.”

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