The Newburgh City Council chambers echoed with applause as Richard Fracasse walked up to the front of the room to receive his award honoring his activism before Monday’s City Council meeting.
The award was presented by Councilwoman Hillary Rayford. “The city recognizes Mr. Richard Fracasse, who has demonstrated actions to enhance the quality of life for families living with disabilities,” said Rayford. “We award you in your dedication to servicing the residents of the City of Newburgh with compassion, dignity and respect.”
The room echoed with cheers, whistles, and applause as Rayford handed Fracasse his plaque. Beaming from ear to ear, Fracasse stood in front of the audience holding his plaque.
“As you know I love all of you guys,” said Fracasse. “Hillary is one of the people who has been instrumental in trying to increase our tax rateable situation here, and we appreciate that. Anyways, this is very nice of her.”
Fracasse is a native of Newburgh. He has both invested in the economic revitalization and the general well-being of the community. He is not only a businessman but also an activist.
It is common to see Fracasse speaking out in support of his fellow community members at City Council meetings. As the owner and operator of United Air Conditioning for the past 22 years, Fracassse has contributed heavily to the economy of the city. Fracasse also has purchased and restored buildings like 47 Grand Street.
Fracasse is also a board member of the Motorcyclepedia Museum, and co-chair of the Newburgh Illuminated Festival. On the side, Fracasse is renowned bass player and founder of the Funk Junkies.
“Perhaps most notable are the actions that can’t be put into writing- we all know and love Rich for his generosity of spirit,” said Chloe Schuyler, Fracasse’s girlfriend, in a statement on Monday.
This past summer Fracasse and his United Air Conditioning team helped a family that was in desperate need. According to Schuyler, the family had a young boy, and were unable to shower or wash his clothing. As a result, Fracasse and his team fixed their plumbing at no cost; ensuring their safety and stability.
“Whether helping the less fortunate, offering an inspiring word to someone down on their luck, or just buying a stranger lunch,” said Schuyler. “Rich gives from his heart and expects nothing in return but unifying our community.”
At the end of the presentation, Fracasse invited the room to his New Year’s Eve party. “We’ll be here to share our friendships and our compassion for each other,” said Fracasse. He finished by emphasizing that regardless of your financial situation, you are welcome at his party.
Note: In a previous edition, tax raidable was written instead of rateable.