Orange County Executive Steven M. Neuhaus has named Patrick Colman as May’s Citizen of the Month.
Colman, 86, a Warwick resident, was recognized for his volunteerism in Orange County for more than four decades.
Humility, passion, faith
“Patrick is a dedicated volunteer in our community and I’m proud to recognize him for all of his hard work and efforts,” Neuhaus said. “He goes above and beyond to help others and is passionate in his support of local initiatives. Patrick has a wonderful personality and guided by his faith, has overcome adversity to perform this work with great humility and compassion.”
Colman, who is disabled, has volunteered with the Knights of Columbus in Warwick for more than 40 years, assisting with events such as holiday dinners, picnics, and the K of C’s fish fry.
He previously volunteered in the same day surgery unit at St. Anthony Community Hospital in Warwick for nearly 30 years. Colman served as a liaison to patients arriving and departing the hospital, serving them refreshments, bringing them communion and assisting the staff with a variety of tasks and errands.
Colman stopped volunteering at St. Anthony during the COVID-19 pandemic but said he might want to return to the hospital.
A native of Dublin, Ireland, Colman has also been a member of the Ancient Hibernians of Warwick and was the Grand Marshall of the 1995 Mid-Hudson St. Patrick’s Day parade.
A shot to the elbow
Colman said he was inspired to help others when he was seriously injured after being shot in Newark, N.J., in June 1979. On that fateful evening, Colman put the kettle on the stove for his tea, before leaving his home to walk his dog. Colman said a man approached him from behind and put a .38 Special to his head.
Colman swung around to go for the gun and was shot in the elbow. The injury required 10 surgeries and he is now outfitted with a prosthetic.
Colman and his wife, Anita, have been married for 58 years. They have two children, Peter, 56, and Eileen, 52
‘I still and always will love America’
“I didn’t let the incident change my perspective on life. I still and always will love America and I love Warwick,” Colman said. “I enjoy putting a smile on people’s face and if I can help you, I feel good. It makes me feel like a million dollars and I thank God when I can do something for someone else.”
Neuhaus introduced his Citizen of the Month Award, which acknowledges outstanding Orange County residents, in January 2017.
To nominate someone for the award, email firstname.lastname@example.org or mail a letter to “Citizen of the Month” at 255-275 Main Street Goshen, NY 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.