Legislator Steven J. Flotteron was honored to join Executive Director of the Long Island Council on Alcoholism & Drug Dependence Steve Chassman, along with Angel Mom Lori Carbonaro, Parent Advocate Claudia Friszell and Gabriel’s grandmother Paulette Phillippe at the opening of Gabriel’s Giving Tree Dedication of Recovery Park on the grounds of Scully Estate in Islip. They were joined by more than 50 family members who had lost a loved one from addiction.
Gabriel Phillippe was a kind and sensitive 16-year-old who was struggling with addiction and lost his battle on April 22, 2010, ironically the same day The Suffolk County Environmental Center, a public nature center located on the Scully Estate in Islip, took possession of the 70-acre facility through a long-term custodial agreement with the Suffolk County Department of Parks, Recreation and Conservation. The family took this as a sign that their memorial should be located here as a quiet meditation, reflection and remembrance for those lost to addiction and the families left behind. In addition to the meditation garden, five Pine Trees were planted and dedicated to a different aspect of how people battle the addiction crisis.
Gabriel’s Giving Tree was formed by these survivors and their mission is to provide financial and emotional support to families who have lost a loved one to addiction.