Montauk's only dentist, Dr. Dan Vasti, has dedicated his life to his community, and the community thanked him with the Man of the Year award at the on Friday night.
The honor is given out every year, recognizing a person in Montauk who has selflessly shown leadership and dedication to the community. Laraine Creegan, the chamber director, said that people just being who they are, as leaders and good people in the community holds a lot of weight in their decision making process. "We try to look at the unsung heroes of our town," she said. The gala was held at .
Vasti, 63, grew up in the Bronx, but spent summers in Montauk with his family, which owned . When he finished college, he settled in Montauk where he's been ever since. Vasti had a very simple reason for making a home in Montauk years ago: the people. "Men and women in this community just work hard every day, and really look out for each other," he said.
Creegan said that it's Vasti who looks out for the community. "He would never say no to anyone that has an emergency."
He and his wife, Barbara, raised sons Danny and Michael in Montauk, and now enjoy spending time with their granddaughter, Olivia.
He's been a member of the local Lion's Club since 1975, the Montauk Youth Association, in which he was president of from 1980-2000, and was a long-time member of the Montauk Rugby Football Club.
Vasti said he was surprised and honored by the recognition, and can't believe how many people are taking note of his accomplishments.
John Keeshan of , a member of the chamber of commerce, is thrilled that Vasti was recognized this year. He summed up quickly why he though Vasti was the right choice for the award: "Dan Vasti is plain and simply a good man."
"Dan has always been a part of the fabric of this community," he said. Keeshan recalls the entire Vasti family as "a very supportive and giving family."