Meet the FIAWS team!

JOHN McCOLLUM, PRESIDENT: John is a longtime member of the Ocean Beach Fire Department and retired from Civil Service with Town of Islip Office of Senior Services . For over 35 years he has been the face of animal care on Fire Island. The vision of him tirelessly riding his bicycle rain or shine around town to make sure neighborhood cats and creatures are fed is the stuff of Fire Island legend. Digging out snowbound shelter areas, trap & neuter operations, and home fostering are other parts of the equation he is regularly involved in. He is the heart of Fire Island Animal Welfare Society, and the only animal care organization he is affiliated with.

ILENE BARKIN PATRICK, VICE PRESIDENT: Self-made business woman and entrepreneur, as well as proud grandmother – Ilene Patrick is both a benefactor and voice of practicality and common sense for Fire Island Animal Welfare Society. While maintaining a regular presence on Fire Island, she also operates a health club and with her husband Robert maintains an operating farm in upstate New York. Her well-rounded knowledge of finance, management, as well as keen insights to human nature itself bring stability to the organization. 

MARY ELLEN DAHILL KELLY, SECRETARY: Year-round resident of Fire Island for over 15 years, Mary Ellen is a successful business woman in her own right. With her tireless energy and superior skills in event planning, Mary Ellen is the primary force that spearheads Fire Island Animal Welfare Society's fundraising drives, while her serious and analytical way helps maintain ongoing operations. With several of her own pets being adopted from the Fire Island cat colony, this is a cause she takes to heart.

SHOSHANNA McCOLLUM, TREASURER: As wife of John McCollum, Shoshanna has helped care for the numerous cats and animals John has brought through the household, be their stay a long or short one. In partnership with FIAWS Secretary Mary Ellen Kelly, she manages and is custodian of clerical matters of operation. With her experience in writing and publishing, including her present position as Editor of Fire Island News, she also oversees media communications for Fire Island Animal Welfare Society. 

FRANK X. FISCHER JR., BOARD MEMBER: Native son of Fire Island, Frank is a former Chief of the Ocean Beach Fire Department, and served our country with the U.S. Marines. Frank regularly assists John McCollum with feeding, trap, & neuter operations. He has also adopted several special needs cats from the feral colony that are living well under his personal care.


© 2016-20 Fire Island Animal Welfare Society

Logo © 2017 by Lauren Stevens

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