Warrensburg Supervisor Kevin Geraghty was chosen as 'Citizen of the Year' this week by the Warrensburg Chamber of Commerce — not for his long-standing public service, but for his four decades of charitable and volunteer service.
Town supervisor Kevin Geraghty has been named Citizen of the Year by the Warrensburg Chamber of Commerce — but it’s not due to his accomplishments leading municipal government in one role or another since 1980.
Chamber officials said April 8 that Geraghty was accorded the honor because of his many years as a decision-maker in the Warrensburg Volunteer Fire Co. which conducts many charitable activities — as well as Geraghty’s dedication to scorekeeping at local and regional basketball games for about 40 years.
Geraghty's award will be presented at a Chamber banquet set for Thursday May 23 at Lizzie Keays Restaurant on River St. in Warrensburg.
Fire Co. contributes to community
Through recent decades, the Warrensburg Volunteer Fire Co. has provided vital funding for the Warrensburg High School Band and other local school groups, sponsored local sports teams, and bankrolled various community groups’ projects as well as underwriting work on Richards Library.
The fire company also holds various cherished community events, including the community Thanksgiving dinner and the annual Smoke Eaters’ Jamboree, the premier annual carnival in northern Warren County.
Geraghty joined fire company in August 1970 when he was 21 years old, the minimum age at that time.
He was first named president in 1980, and he’s been serving in that post ever since, except for a two-year hiatus in the mid-1980s. He’s also served as secretary-treasurer of the Warrensburg Fire District since 1973.
“Fire service is a passion of mine,” Geraghty said.
Geraghty started off his volunteer work with the Jamboree in 1970 cooking french fries in a food booth, but within several years moved into organizational roles.
The weekend-long carnival event is the primary fundraiser for the fire company’s various substantial charitable efforts.
“It’s the one organization that I’ve really latched onto,” he said this week, deferring credit to others in the fire company who have also been involved in charity outreach. Geraghty noted that in running the Jamboree, he learned the ropes from Cal Engle, Dick Griffin, Buck Stone, George Sprague Jr. and Jim Monroe.
Another popular community event, albeit newer, is the Warrensburg Community Thanksgiving Dinner, held at the town firehouse. The event, held primarily for area seniors, has grown remarkably over its seven-year history.
The fire company has also held holiday-related events which have captured the imagination of the public — and Geraghty has been a long-time supporter and organizer of them. The Warrensburg Halloween parade and visits to the local firehouse by Santa both have been beloved traditions in town since the early 1980s.
Geraghty’s other service
Another community-service role for Geraghty has been his nine years on the Board of Directors of Hudson Headwaters Health Network, during a formative era in the organization, which has now grown into 15 health centers serving the Adirondack region.
Geraghty’s been Warrensburg Town Supervisor since January 2007, after serving as a town council member from 1980 to 1994. He became the Warren County Budget officer in 2007, and served in that role until Jan. 1 of this year, when he was named Chairman of the county Board of Supervisors. Geraghty has been credited, as county Budget Officer, for his role in slashing county expenses and downsizing government during difficult economic times.
Geraghty worked for 32 years at the International Paper mill in Corinth for 32 years, working his way up to the post of production, scheduling and distribution manager.
Besides his volunteer community work, the Chamber selected Geraghty for his 44 years of basketball scorekeeping — nearly this full time-span for Warrensburg High School basketball games, and for nearly 25 years for the annual Section II basketball tournament, as well as scorekeeping for the New York State high school basketball championship playoffs since 1998.
Geraghty said this week he started out in high school in the mid-1960s as a basketball team manager, enjoying the game strategy and record-keeping immensely.
“Every year, win or lose, I’m there,” he saidwith a grin. Geraghty added that one of the highlights of his volunteer scoring career was his work at the Hometown Classic game between BYU and Vermont, featuring now-NBA star Jimmer Fredette.
Geraghty said he’s enjoyed nearly every minute of his extensive community service — as he deferred credit to others.
“I’m pleased that people recognize what I and many others have accomplished for the town through the years,” he said. “But I don’t think I should be the only one in the limelight — I’ve worked with a great bunch of people through the years — many others that have made it all happen,” he said. “And when you work with good people, you enjoy what you’re doing.”
Warrensburg Chamber president Lynn Smith said Geraghty deserved the honor.
“Kevin’s dedication to community service over four decades has been extensive and exemplary,” she said.