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Boys & Girls Club Names Local Firefighter ‘Man of the Year’

Photo: QueensPost

Dec. 20, 2012 By Bill Parry

The Sunnyside/Woodside Boys & Girls Club stopped its Wednesday night basketball game at PS199 to name Firefighter Brian McGowan the ‘Man of the Year.’

McGowan, a Sunnyside resident, was honored for his heroics in saving three little girls from a burning apartment building in the Bronx last May. McGowan, a big/tall man, crawled through smoke and fire, and then shepherded the young children out from their bedroom.

Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer also presented McGowan with a proclamation from the City Council.  “It’s really important for our kids to know that real heroes exist and they come from the same neighborhood they do,” he said.

McGowan, who acted modestly, wouldn’t speak about himself or go into detail about his heroics.

He appreciated the award and then discussed the positive work of the Boys & Girls Club. “Programs like these can keep kids on the straight and narrow. We need more of these kinds of programs and get more kids participating.”

McGowan was accompanied by his wife, Kristen, and their one year old son, Jack. The couple, who have deep roots in the neighborhood, met while they attended Queen of Angels catholic school when they were youngsters.

Meanwhile, Kristen took a moment from chasing little Jack around the gymnasium to say, “I’m very proud of him and I know it means a lot to him, even if he doesn’t show it.”

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Mary M.

Great cause! Brian is truly a hero. Great job to the boys and girls club too. They’re doing amazing things in the community. Wow.


He seems to be a true hero. Bravo. And he rescued them so they can witness the Apocalypse. You wouldn’t want a kid to miss that!


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