Orange County Executive Steven M. Neuhaus has named Tommy O’Toole as December’s Citizen of the Month Award recipient for his continued dedication to those less fortunate in the community.
A tradition of helping
O’Toole, President of the Orange County Tavern and Restaurant Association (OCTRA), helped organize a Thanksgiving food drive last month for families that could not afford to purchase a holiday meal. The OCTRA distributed approximately 120 turkeys and canned goods to families throughout Orange County.
“Tommy’s kind gesture is what the holiday season is all about and I know that it made him happy to help his neighbors in need at Thanksgiving,” Neuhaus said. “There are some residents in Orange County that unfortunately can’t provide a holiday dinner for their family. The OCTRA’s initiative once again helped these families enjoy a home-cooked Thanksgiving meal. I’m proud to recognize Tommy for his hard work and for giving back to the community in many ways.”
O’Toole and his wife, Christine, have also raised funds for Monroe Gives and the Garnet Health Medical Center pediatric unit, at their bar, O’Toole’s Pub in Monroe, and host a monthly happy hour to honor first responders. Tommy and Christine O’Toole also helped organize last December’s holiday meal delivery during which 14 families received much needed food for their holiday tables.
‘I had a great family who taught me ... to give back to the community’
Tommy O’Toole said he was inspired to help those less fortunate by his family while growing up. His grandfather, Edward Canlon, owned two restaurants in Staten Island, and his uncle, John O’Toole, founded O’Toole’s Harley-Davidson in Wurtsboro. Both men donated to churches and organizations such as Toys for Tots and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
“It’s humbling to be recognized by County Executive Neuhaus, but that’s not why we do it,” O’Toole said. “I had a great family who taught me from a young age to give back to the community. I feel obligated to carry that tradition forward and I’m proud of the work that the Orange County Tavern and Restaurant Association does giving back to the communities that help us stay in business. It’s the right thing to do.”
Tommy O’Toole, 38, is a graduate of the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy and served as a U.S. Navy Reservist from 2006-2014. He and his wife oversee day-to-day operations at O’Toole’s, which they describe as a “neighborhood” pub. The couple has two sons and live in Monroe.
Neuhaus introduced his Citizen of the Month Award, which acknowledges outstanding Orange County residents, in January of 2017. 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” at 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.