Pat Matthews is a daughter of a military family and the wife of an officer. She has lived in the picturesque hamlet of Shirley, New York for over 30 years.
Settling in Shirley to raise her family, Ms. Matthews immediately began to work to better serve her children’s underfunded school. Upon discovering that the children were in need of team uniforms, she energized the community to establish a booster club. Today, the club provides numerous scholarships for underprivileged athletes.
In addition to the booster club, Ms. Matthews traveled to Albany to lobby on behalf of the school district to gain support for education. She knocked on doors in her community and met with elected officials and civic leaders to facilitate her mission.
Ms. Matthews is the Chairwoman of the Beautification Committee, a position she has held for over 20 years. Through self-taught granting writing, she was able to write and receive funding to purchase bronze statues for the hamlet. In addition, the Beautification Committee received $80,000 in state, county and town grants, part of which helped to purchase the statues. After 10 years of accumulating funding, interest and support, the bronze statues became a reality.
In keeping with the character of the community, the Committee chose mainly statues of children playing and learning. There is also a statue of an elderly couple sitting on a bench in front of the Senior Nutrition Center. In addition, a statue of William Floyd, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, stands proudly near William Floyd Parkway.
Ms. Matthews’s dedication to the betterment and beautification of her community is widely recognized by her neighbors and family and has greatly improved the quality of life in Shirley. Pat Matthews was selected as a 2018 Woman of Distinction by Senator Thomas D. Croci.