Known for his humble service to the community and as the 2019 grand marshal of the Center Moriches St. Patrick’s Day parade, Arthur Gerhauser returns as the new Moriches Chamber president.
He previously served as president for six terms from 2003-2008 and has recently taken over for Julie Pratt.
Pratt recently retired as branch manager of the East Moriches Dime Bank. She remains with the chamber as past president, but has left the area.
“We do many events for a relatively small chamber. I intend to maintain those events, improve on them, and look at adding ways to improve business for our members and the downtown business community,” he said of his new position. “A strong business community employs local residents, makes available goods and services, and entertainment to our residents in close proximity to their homes. The business community also supports our schools through the taxes they pay while not sending students to the school. I will work toward strengthening the local business community by improving the many events we currently sponsor. I will look to add events that support business and provide leisure activities to our residents.”
Those events include: St. Patrick’s Day parade; St. Patrick’s party to honor the grand marshal; American flags on Main Street; Spring Street Fair; scholarship awards at East Moriches and Center Moriches high schools, Clayton Huey Elementary School and Our Lady Queen of the Apostles; summer concerts and movie nights; the Fall Festival; March of the Goblins; Veterans Day parade; tree lighting; holiday lighting; and Winter Wonderland.
“I definitely intend to grow the Veterans [Day] parade; it is right and proper to honor our veterans,” he said of one of his goals as president. “The parade thanks them for their service and is a feel-good event for participants and spectators.”
Gerhauser also participates with the chamber’s sister organization The Downtown Beautification Organization of Center Moriches, a 501(c)4 the chamber formed about 15 years ago.
In the early ‘80s, the Gerhausers became involved with the Boy Scouts of America. In addition to organizing camping trips and fundraising dinners, he also served as a member of the Boy Scout Camp’s Construction Committee. He is one of the original organizers of the St. Patrick’s Day parade and has served as the chairperson of the parade committee since 2007.
He has also served as Boy Scout Troop 414 recording secretary and vice president of the Moriches Bay Civic Association. Gerhauser is known for coordinating the summer concert series at the elementary school. During his time in the community, he has also served as a member of the Facilities Advisory Committee for the Center Moriches School District since the committee was formed in 1989, and has served as the committee’s chair or co-chair for most of that time.
Also, have you noticed the flags and lights on the light poles in Center Moriches?
Yes. Gerhauser does that, too.
“Our communities are made up of hardworking people with old-time core values; they teach their children the importance of education, to treat other people with consideration and respect, and the importance of family,” he said of the residents. “They maintain their homes and help one another. I do my best to make life in our communities a little bit better because I know as nice as our communities are, they can be even better, and that we deserve better.”
He married his first wife, Janet, in 1974, and soon moved to Center Moriches. Together they have four grown children. In 2013, he married Janice Papa. Gerhauser has been a contractor for the last 22 years, then a building inspector holding the position of chief building inspector in the Town of Brookhaven for 14 years. After retiring at the end of 2019, he formed Build All Construction Services, though he is currently filling in as acting chief building inspector for the Town of Southampton.
“Artie has been a lifesaver to us,” Miriam Gillies, board of directors, said. “He signed up again, and we are really appreciative; he is a dedicated, caring person.”
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