Goshen, N.Y. – Orange County Executive Steven M. Neuhaus has named Bill and Mary Murphy as January’s Citizens of the Month Award recipients.
The couple were recognized for their support of Habitat for Humanity of Greater Newburgh over the past two-plus decades.
“Bill and Mary care deeply about Habitat Newburgh and helping their neighbors in the community,” Neuhaus said. “They have served as wonderful ambassadors for Habitat Newburgh. Their hard work, kindness and generosity are appreciated by many. Bill and Mary prefer to work behind the scenes and do not seek attention, but I’m proud to recognize them.”
Habitat Newburgh, a non-profit housing organization, is dedicated to eliminating substandard housing through constructing, rehabilitating, and preserving homes, advocating for fair and just housing policies and by providing training and access to resources to help families improve their shelter conditions. Bill Murphy helped start Habitat in Newburgh in 1999 with two other volunteers, David Wager and Al Favata.
Some of the first conversations about the endeavor were held at the Murphy’s kitchen table. Habitat Newburgh quickly became one of 1,400 affiliates of Habitat International and dedicated its first home in August of 2000. Since then, Habitat Newburgh has built more than 100 homes in Newburgh, restoring many abandoned and blighted historic buildings.
Bill Murphy, a retired contractor, is past president of the New York State Association General Contractors of New York and past president and board member emeritus of Habitat Newburgh. He is also a former trustee of Mount Saint Mary College, past president and 20-year member of the board of McQuade Children’s Services, and past chairman and member of the Town of Newburgh Ethics Board since its formation in 1989.
Mary, a Newburgh native, serves on Habitat committees as well as building on site. She volunteered for 15 years with Hospice of Orange and Sullivan, is a past board member of Occupations (now Access), and served on the boards of CP (now Inspire) and Planned Parenthood.
The couple has been married 54 years and have two children, Kara in Crofton, M.D. and Sean in Chapel Hill, N.C. as well as six grandchildren.
“We wanted to see Newburgh take a turn for the better and we love the mission of helping people,” Bill Murphy said. “We are proud that Habitat Newburgh has helped change the lives of many families for the better. Our volunteers are very committed and we are proud of their tireless work. We will keep doing this for as long as we can and we are honored to be recognized by County Executive Neuhaus.”
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.