Lake Ronkonkoma mural defaced by graffiti

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LAKE RONKONKOMA -

Vandals placed graffiti last week on a mural that the Lake Ronkonkoma Improvement Group had unveiled over the summer as the culmination of a cleanup project around the lake.

Members of the group planned to restore the mural Wednesday, but bitter cold temperatures almost delayed the project. 

"We were hoping that if we used street artists...that they would respect what we have done," said Evelyn Volgraff. "Unfortunately, this person has no respect for anybody."

She said she believes the graffiti was painted on Monday or Tuesday night.

Wednesday, an army of volunteers braved the cold to cover up the defaced areas.

A group of volunteers painted the historical rendition mural at the site of the Metzner Estate, which once had a series of gazebos and a bathhouses.

They spent two years cleaning up the lake, removing truckloads of debris and bringing in local artists and volunteers to paint murals on its retaining walls. 

The goal of those murals was to discourage other graffiti.

"The more people that come together to make it beautiful, the harder it will be for them to take it away from us," said Kathy Meyers, a member of the improvement group. "Because we have worked too hard."

And Legislator Tom Cilmi had harsh words for the vandals.

"If you are looking for a place to do graffiti, it's not at Lake Ronkonkoma," he said. "Your vandalism will be cleaned up within hours, and no one is going to see it."

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