A memorial bench and plaque will be dedicated to the memory of Keri Stromski at Iron Pier Beach in Northville, the Riverhead Town Board announced at Thursday’s work session.
New playground equipment will also be brought in this summer for an upgrade to what will be renamed as “Keri Lynn Stromski Memorial Playground.” A dedication will be planned once the bench and playground equipment are set.
Ms. Stromski, a longtime kindergarten teacher in the Riverhead School District, died in April. She was 48.
“Keri was someone that truly loved our town and loved our school district,” said Councilwoman Catherine Kent, a former teacher who once worked with Ms. Stromski. “She was certainly a real cheerleader for Riverhead.”
Councilman Ken Rothwell said they’re trying to finalize the type of bench that will be placed at the beach and want to make sure it can withstand the seawater and salty air from Long Island Sound.
Mr. Rothwell said positioning the bench on the south side of the park would allow someone look through the swing set and down toward the water.
“I think that will be a beautiful tribute,” he said.
Ms. Kent said it’s fitting to create a memorial at a playground since Ms. Stromski loved working with children. And she said Iron Pier Beach was “very important to her,” having lived nearby.
“She was a very active person so I thought it would be a great idea to have something that was an active space, especially for children,” Ms. Kent said. “I know that Keri would really like that.”
She said she’s working with Ray Coyne, the recreation department superintendent, on the new playground equipment.
Supervisor Yvette Aguiar said Ms. Stromski’s’ passing left a “huge void in so many lives across our entire community.”
Riverhead Town unveiled new playground at the beach nearly 10 years ago after residents had complained about the conditions. The prior playground had been deemed unsafe and was removed in 2010.
Several other efforts have been underway in Ms. Stromski’s memory, including at last week’s Riverhead girls lacrosse game, where in a pregame ceremony the North Fork Breast Health Coalition announced that it has renamed its newly created Stage IV Metastatic Breast Cancer Research and Support Fund in Ms. Stromski’s name.
Students at St. David’s School in Riverhead have also been raising money through a lemonade stand to create a garden in memory of Ms. Stromski.