*Press Release: Orange County Government
County Executive Neuhaus presents Middletown’s John Eagan with June’s Citizen of the Month Award
“Mr. Volunteer” has a combined 60 years of service with the Minisink Valley Kiwanis Club and Middletown Elks Lodge
Orange County Executive Steven M. Neuhaus has recognized Middletown’s John Eagan as the Citizen of the Month Award winner for the month of June.
Eagan, a lifelong Orange County resident, has been active in the Minisink Valley Kiwanis Club for 25 years and the Middletown Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks Lodge #1097 for 35 years. The 72-year-old Middletown resident has also been a member of the Johnson Fire Department for 51 years.
To many in the community, Eagan is simply known affectionately as the “Chicken Man” or “Mr. Volunteer.” He organizes and cooks at several chicken barbecues for the Minisink Valley Kiwanis Club each year and volunteers for many other community organizations looking for a seasoned grill man.
“John is a kind man who is full of life and energy,” Neuhaus said. “He cares deeply about the community and takes pride in serving his fellow residents. John’s selflessness and dedication has touched the lives of hundreds of people in Orange County. We are all appreciative of his hard work and service. It is inspirational and I’m pleased to recognize him.”
At any given Minisink Valley Kiwanis Club barbecue, Eagan can cook as many as 1,200 half-chickens with the help of volunteers. He cooks for organizations such as Minisink Little League and the Slate Hill Fire Department and organizes the Minisink Valley Kiwanis Club’s Pancake Day each January, which raises approximately $20,000 for scholarships for Minisink Valley High seniors.
In addition, Eagan, runs two annual pancake breakfasts at the Middletown Elks Lodge, which raises more than $15,000 annually for the Orange County Cerebral Palsy Association. Eagan, a Type 2 Diabetic, is known as a jack-of-all-trades at the Middletown Elks Lodge, often spending 10 hours a day there. He mows the lawn, plows the snow and keeps the kitchen spotless. After this winter’s superstorm, Eagan shoveled 24 inches of snow off the Lodge’s roof by himself.
“I do all of this because I love it,” Eagan said. “I love it. This is how I was brought up. I was always taught to work hard and to never stop. I still feel great and I love seeing County Executive Neuhaus and all the other guests at the pancake breakfasts. I thank him for acknowledging not only me, but the Minisink Valley Kiwanis Club and Middletown Elks, who deserve the recognition.”
Eagan was born in Slate Hill and worked on his family’s dairy farm. His family moved to Huguenot when he was a child and he graduated from Port Jervis High School in 1965. Eagan worked for Orange County’s Department of Public Works for 37 years, retiring in 2002.
Neuhaus introduced his Citizen of the Month Award, which acknowledges outstanding Orange County residents, in January. To nominate someone for the Citizen of the Month Award, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or mail a letter to “Citizen of the Month” 255-275 Main Street Goshen, N.Y. 10924. Be sure to include the nominee’s name, hometown, a list of their accomplishments, why you are nominating them and any other pertinent information. Nominees must be from Orange County.
For more information, contact Justin Rodriguez, Assistant to the County Executive for Communications and Media Relations at 845.291.3255 or email@example.com.