Community Service

December, 2013

Queens Village

O Magazine gives posh treatment to three deserving boro women

A trio of Queens women were given the star treatment by Oprah Winfrey’s magazine in recognition of the good works they do in their communities. Comments (1)

Poggiali to retire from 111th as community affairs officer

The 111th Precinct Community Council met in a packed conference room Tuesday night as community members and police honored Officer Gary Poggiali for his 10 years of service as the precinct’s community affairs officer. Comment
Far Rockaway

Far Rock residents given special meal

Organizations from all over Queens joined together to give Far Rockaway a Thanksgiving dinner for the second year in a row last Thursday. Comment
Long Island City

Some 319,000 residents of Queens battle hunger

More than 319,000 people in Queens live in households without enough food, although the borough trails the Bronx, which leads New York City in what a family advocacy agency calls “food insecurity.” Comments (2)

St. Albans resident gives back during Thanksgiving

Adrienne Hayes did her best to make sure no one in Jamaica went hungry this Thanksgiving. Comments (1)
New Voices

South Asian charities help out Caribbean for the holidays

After several successful months of gathering books, toys and clothing from the community, local charity West Indians Serving Humanity gathered and shipped 13 cargo barrels with donated items for the needy in Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago Nov. 7. Comment

November, 2013

South Jamaica

Sean Bell Center closed

On the seventh anniversary of Sean Bell’s death at the hands of the NYPD, the community center that bears his name is shuttered, unable to raise the financial support needed to keep its youth programs afloat. Comments (1)

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Turkeys given out in Flushing

Flushing community leaders joined with staff from City Councilman Peter Koo’s (D-Flushing) office Tuesday morning to show off a haul of more than 350 turkeys slated to be given out for Thanksgiving dinners. Comment

Afrikan Poetry Theatre to serve Thanksgiving dinner to less fortunate

The Afrikan Poetry Theatre will be celebrating Thanksgiving by giving back to the people of its community. Comment

Woodside Filipinos raise thousands in typhoon aid

Woodside’s Bayanihan Filipino Community Center continues to be at the heart of the neighborhood Typhoon Haiyan relief efforts. Comment

Woodside resident to receive parks honor for his activism

A Woodside man will be honored by the Partnership for Parks for starting a group made up of volunteers who clean neighborhood greenspaces and streets, remove graffiti and plant trees. Comments (2)
Belle Harbor

Veterans fix Sandy homes

About two dozen former military men and women chose to celebrate Veterans’s Day by repairing Hurricane Sandy-ravaged homes in Belle Harbor over the weekend. Comment
New Voices

Flushing needs better business growth, transit options

As one of the more vulnerable links in the business community, immigrant businesses struggled during the Great Recession. Though buoyed by growing immigrant communities, many found themselves in direct competition with chain stores and large retailers that have flourished in the past few years, some anchored by large-scale real estate development. Comments (1)

October, 2013

Breezy Point

Celebrating the Queens Heroes of Sandy

Ordinary people demonstrate time and again the extraordinary strength and power of unity when calamity strikes. Comment
Rockaway Beach

YANA center of Rockaway moves from Sandy relief

In the days immediately following Hurricane Sandy, the YANA Community Center was transformed into a major relief hub for storm victims in the Rockaways. With the support of members of the Occupy Sandy movement, the facility became a place for the surrounding community to find hot meals, medical care and other aid. Comment
Far Rockaway

Rockaway youth group to plant Sandy garden

Work is never done for the Rockaway Youth Task Force, which plans to mark the approaching one-year anniversary of Hurricane Sandy by breaking ground on a community garden and holding a day of service. Comment
Queens Village

Jimmy Carter lends a hand with Habitat in Qns Village

Taking a break from a hard day of work, Dawnette Dixon smiled when asked what she and former President Jimmy Carter talked about as they spruced up her soon-to-be home in Queens Village. Comment

Laurelton welcomes Doe Fund to Merrick

There does not appear to be any hard feelings between George McDonald and City Councilman Donovan Richards (D-Laurelton). Comments (3)

Corner in Maspeth renamed for bar owner George Gibbons

The corner of 60th Drive and Mt. Olivet Crescent in Maspeth was renamed Saturday for George Gibbons Jr., the popular bar owner of Gibbons’ Home. Gibbons was killed in a wrong way hit-and-run crash on the Long Island Expressway service road in 2011. His family and City Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley, who introduced the legislation to rename the street in the Council, unveiled the sign before a commemorative version was presented to relatives. Comment

September, 2013

St. Albans

Street in St. Albans co-named for NYPD’s Arthur Hill

Arthur Hill left his mark through his service in the New York Police Department, with his work at the Guy R. Brewer Democratic Club in southeast Queens and on his family, loved ones said, and now a corner in St. Albans bears his name. Comment
Middle Village

Drive helps Mid Vil fire victims

Community United Methodist Church hosted a fund-raiser Sunday for several families whose homes were damaged by a fire that tore through Middle Village last week. About 200 firefighters were dispatched to the five-alarm fire that started at 78-15 68th Ave. Comment

CB 11’s Seinfeld injured

Community Board 11 District Manager Susan Seinfeld is expected to miss a few weeks of meetings after falling and breaking both her arms. Comments (2)

Sunnyside corner named for victim of Sandy Hook

The older brother of 6-year-old Benjamin Wheeler, who was killed in the Sandy Hook school shooting, helped honor Benjamin’s memory during a ceremony in Sunnyside Saturday. Comment

Donate blood, save three lives

For the past three years, I have had the privilege of organizing blood drives for City Council District 19, covering northeast Queens from College Point to Little Neck. Comment
South Jamaica

Community day honors legacy of late Sean Bell

Sean Bell’s fiancee pointed to the need in southeast Queens for community events and programs during an event to remember Bell over the weekend. Comment

August, 2013

Jackson Heights

Jackson Hts. street renamed for activist

A former community board manager and local activist was honored this weekend when a Jackson Heights street was co-named for her. Comment

City co-names Astoria street for first female county clerk

There was no shortage of friends and relatives anxious to share their stories of the late Gloria D’Amico as they gathered on Shore Boulevard in Astoria to co-name a street in her memory. Comment

Group wants to give Flushing LIRR station a fresh coat

A Flushing community group is seeking to revitalize the Long Island Rail Road station in the heart of downtown with a community-funded project to paint a mural. Comments (2)
South Jamaica

Wills gets two guns off streets of SE Qns.

As a southeast Queens community still reeling from a senseless murder earlier this summer prepared to rally against crime, two more handguns were taken off the streets. Comments (11)

Dragon Boat Festival: Non-profits, sponsors provide souvenirs, free information to attendants

The Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival in Queens draws hundreds and thousands of people to Flushing Meadows Corona Park for the championship dragon boat racing, the opening parade and the variety of unexpected free attractions. Comment
Jackson Heights

Boro lawmakers rename streets for gay activists

Western Queens leaders honored two late gay rights activists over the weekend with streets renamed in their honor. Comment
South Ozone Park

Scrap dealers saluted for finding lost cash

One Queens woman would have lost her life savings if it were not for the good will of two strangers. Comment

July, 2013

Bay Terrace

Bay Terrace teen tackles eating disorders with teddy bears

For Bay Terrace’s 17-year-old Nicole Javorsky, comfort comes in the form of tiny, handmade teddy bears. Comment

Man helps Jamaica suit up for new jobs

Some people need a suit to wear to a job interview, while others need a job to interview for. Kevin Livingston has both ends covered. Comment

Hailing her Service

State Sen. Tony Avella recently presented Bowne Park Civic Association President Wanda Beck-Antosh with the New York state Senate Women of Distinction Award. Antosh is also active in the 109th Precinct Community Council, Community Board 7, the Whitestone Republican Club, the North End Republican Club, the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 487 Auxiliary, the Broadway Flushing Homeowners Association, St. Mel’s Parish Council and the Flushing Hospital Advisory Board and has volunteered at the St. Albans Community Living Center for veterans for more than 15 years.Photo by Caroll Alvarado Comment

Whitestone grapples with graffiti vandals

It took years for Devon O’Connor to install the large green “Welcome to Whitestone” sign where the Cross Island Parkway meets Francis Lewis Boulevard, and it also took him hours to wipe away the fresh graffiti scrawled across it earlier this week. Comments (9)

Eagle scout leads Udalls cleanup

Little Neck resident Kevin Shea, 16, organized a cleanup of Udalls Cove in Douglaston last month. Shea, a member of Boy Scout Troop 10, put the event together as part of his Eagle Project to become an Eagle Scout. Comment

June, 2013


Clinton’s group praises Council for city Jobs to Build On project

Scores of elected officials, along with labor, African-American, Latino and Asian leaders congregated at City Hall last week to express appreciation and praise for the Bill Clinton Global Initiative. Comment

Models to help Haiti recovery

The runway won’t end at the fashion show for these models. Comment
South Jamaica

Mourners march for D’aja, 14

They marched mostly in silence Saturday, stopping only once along the way to pray on Sutphin Boulevard and 116th Road where D’aja Robinson grew up, before reaching the intersection where the 14-year-old was shot and killed last month. Comments (4)

Activists raise voices vs guns

A powerful soprano voice belted out a song lamenting loss as community members gathered in Jamaica Monday to take a stand against violence. Comments (1)
South Jamaica

Kedrick Morrow dinner honors fathers and sons

The bond between fathers and their sons will be the theme for this Sunday’s benefit dinner to honor the memory of Kedrick Ali Morrow, Jr., the Elmont teen who was killed following a dispute at a Springfield Gardens party in 2010. Comment
The Civic Scene

Autism group holds first meeting in Cunningham Park

Victoria Valdes and her fiance Aaron Eason were devastated, confused and frustrated when they discovered four years ago that their 2-year-old son, Joseph Valdes, had autism. Out of a desire to do something, they created a foundation called I Am Not My Autism. Look carefully at the name and understand what they are saying. Comment

Kaitlyn Grogan walk still lives on in Bayside

Bayside father Terrence Grogan still holds back tears when he tells the story of his 18-year-old daughter Katy, who was killed crossing a busy Florida highway in 2008 during a soccer tournament. Comment

May, 2013


Whitestone remembers Christos ‘Angel Boy’ Voulkoudis

Nearly one year after his death, a tight-knit Queens community came together in Whitestone Sunday to raise money in honor of Christos “Angel Boy” Voulkoudis to help build a memorial rock garden and gazebo at his former pre-school. Comments (5)
Far Rockaway

Rockaway teens play dress up in prom gown giveaway

Angela Hines believes all young women should feel like a princess on prom night and she is doing her part to make that come true. Comment

Boro mechanic to be honored at Go Red for Women

The American Heart Association will host its sixth annual Queens Go Red for Women Dinner as part of its campaign to wipe out heart disease and stroke, the No. 1 killer of women. Comment

Scout leads Udalls cleanup

Little Neck resident David Guapisaca led friends and fellow scouts in a cleanup project at Virginia Point, the northern end of Udalls Cove. Guapisaca is a member of Boy Scout Troop 10 based in Great Neck and completed the project in hopes of earning his Eagle Scout rank. Comment

Lauding the Lensman

Nat Valentine, a freelance photographer for TimesLedger Newspapers, holds his Making a Difference Award from Cultural Collaborative, City Council citation and Congressional Achievement Award after he was honored for his work as a community archivist during the Special Achievement Awards at the Harvest Room of Jamaica Market May 1. The event was organized by Cultural Collaborative, which holds the annual Jamaica JAMs festival. Comment
Howard Beach

City mourns Joel Miele after decades of work

Joel Miele, a Howard Beach resident who served Queens and the city at large in a wide-reaching array of positions, died Tuesday. He was 79. Comment

April, 2013

Jackson Heights

Flushing Meadows race to help Boston victims

A Queens runner who completed the Boston Marathon decided to host a 5k race in Flushing Meadows Corona Park to raise money for families affected by the terrorist attacks last week. Comment

Scholarship embodies spirit of late Bayside 6-year-old

In the years since her 6-year-old daughter’s untimely death, Bayside mother Effie Nicolopoulos said she found solace in keeping the memory alive by giving back to the community. Comment

Halloran blood drive is still on

I am the blood drive chairman for the 19th City Council District, in the district office of Councilman Dan Halloran (R-Whitestone). We are hosting a blood drive Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. in front of Key Food in the Whitestone Shopping Center, at 153-17 Cross Island Pkwy. Comments (1)
Douglas Manor

Center for Women luncheon to celebrate borough’s best

The borough’s own Center for the Women of New York announced its slate of honorees for this year’s annual luncheon April 27 at Douglaston Manor. Comment
Cambria Heights

Street Sweepers in SE Queens

Volunteers from the Kiwanis Club of Cambria Heights and the Cambria Heights Civic Association joined with other community groups for a cleanup in Cambria Heights sponsored by Councilman Leroy Comrie. Comment
Far Rockaway

Rockaways still in need of food aid after storm

Weeks after Hurricane Sandy ravaged the Rockaways and other areas of Queens, it was common to see long lines of people waiting for emergency food: sandwiches, soup, snacks and ready-to-eat meals. For some this was their main or only source of food, with refrigerators without power and grocery stores or bodegas still too damaged to open. Comment

Jamaica uses Open Space to silence violence

Open Space is a management style that eschews a rigid agenda in favor of group organizing that has been used by large corporations and independent computer coders, and last week a Jamaica nonprofit put it to use to address violence in the community. Comment

March, 2013


St. John’s law student fund-raises for a cure

Megan Quail is no stranger to fund-raising for the fight against cancer. Comment
St. Albans

Heroines given honors at community event in St. Albans

In celebration of Women’s History Month, City Councilman Leroy Comrie (D-St. Albans) honored more than a dozen women for their community contributions at the Robert Ross Johnson Family Life Center in St. Albans Saturday. Comment

Phoenix parties help Sandy victims rise back to normalcy

A new wave of support for Superstorm Sandy victims has risen out of Bayside, where one woman hopes to inspire others to shower those less fortunate with help. Comment
Fresh Meadows

St. John’s students go to lengths to benefit cancer research

Cara Weidinger, 18, stood in a crowd gathering in a St. John’s University break room, smiling nervously. She saw a friend and lit up as the two embraced. Comment

Queens officials mourn death of Tom Manton’s wife Diane

Diane Manton, wife of the late congressman and Queens Democratic Party Chairman Thomas Manton, died Monday, U.S. Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-Jackson Heights) said in a statement. She was in her 80s. Comments (1)
Broad Channel

Hurricane Heros: Volunteer firefighters honored for work during Sandy

Five volunteer fire departments in southern Queens were honored for their heroic work during and after Hurricane Sandy prior to a meeting of the City Council last week. Each department was awarded a City Council proclamation by Speaker Christine Quinn and Councilman Eric Ulrich. The five departments that were honored were from West Hamilton Beach, Broad Channel, Roxbury, Point Breeze and Rockaway Point. Comment

Ben Fried’s legacy reflected on Bell

When asked how they would remember the late Ben Fried, several of Bayside’s loudest and most influential voices used some hefty words: legendary, iconic, outspoken, curmudgeon. Comment

Sunnyside raises funds for Newtown victim kin

While the Wheelers, a former Sunnyside family whose 6-year-old son Benjamin was killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre, were not able to attend a fund-raiser for them in the neighborhood where they once lived, hundreds showed up Saturday to donate and have fun. Comment

February, 2013


Bayside gets lesson on rights

The local chapter of one educational youth nonprofit said it has taken its message to Bayside with hopes of improving the borough’s mediocre human rights record, based on the grading of the Queens City Council delegation. Comment

Koo pledges to make Flushing streets safer

City Councilman Peter Koo (D-Flushing) is launching a new public service campaign with media organizations and the 109th Precinct to encourage residents to help make the streets of Flushing safer and cleaner. Comments (1)
Queens Village FOCUS ON QUEENS

United Negro College Fund honors volunteers during MLK breakfast

The Greater New York Inter-Alumni Council of the United Negro College Fund recently held its Martin Luther King Jr. Awards Breakfast at Antun’s in Queens Village. Sylvester Wise served as the event’s featured speaker. Comment

Mom proposes Bayside street for 9/11 victim

After more than 11 years, a Bayside mother has not given up in her fight to secure her son’s place in history after he gave his life to help others Sept. 11, 2001. Comment

Whitestone Knights of Columbus raise funds for needy

Charitable works are a constant in Whitestone. The local Knights of Columbus, the Monsignor Francis J. Dillon Council No. 5872, is constantly at work trying to help and assist those in need by sacrificing their own time to raise funds. Comment
St. Albans

Celebrities team up to end SE Qns violence with meditation, yoga

Don’t be surprised if you see southeast Queens activist Erica Ford rubbing shoulders with celebrity guru Deepak Chopra and pop-star Cheryl “Salt” James in the next viral YouTube video. Comment
Rockaway Beach

Red Cross releases storm progress report amid criticism

The American Red Cross, which has come under fire from residents and Queens politicians for what they say was a slow and inadequate response to Hurricane Sandy, issued a progress report Tuesday that detailed its activities in the three months after the storm. Comment

Activist Helen Dunn dies at 88 years old

A civic leader from Flushing’s past died earlier this month and the community continues to fight for many of her ideals. Comment
Forest Hills

QJCC hopes for new Citymeals help

As the Queens Jewish Community Council struggles to fund its weekend meal program for seniors without Citymeals-on-wheels, the food program said its contract was only for a year and to serve ambulatory seniors. Comment

January, 2013


First responders deserve gratitude

One thing we as New Yorkers should be proud of is the way our first responders respond to accidents and other dangerous situations that put people in harm’s way. Comment
Rego Park

Rego Park woman faces challenges right out of college

The search for post-college employment can be a daunting task as many students spend years toiling in unrelated fields before landing career-oriented work in their chosen field of study. Comment
Springfield Gardens

Dinner honors gun victims

Parents from southeast Queens and beyond who lost their children to gun violence joined together at Occasions Banquet and Catering Hall in Springfield Gardens Sunday for the fourth annual Forgiveness Dinner. Comment
South Jamaica

Activists honor MLK with Peace Week events

With Gov. Andrew Cuomo setting the stage for passage of the nation’s toughest gun laws in Albany, southeast Queens activists Monday announced the program for an annual peace event, which has taken an alternative approach to ending violence long before the Sandy Hook massacre trained the nation’s attention on the subject. Comment
Far Rockaway

Twin Tower firm doles out dollars to help storm victims

One company’s devastating loss of life in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks inspired an annual charitable effort benefiting those in need around the world, and now that effort will help victims of Superstorm Sandy. Comments (1)

Comrie honors southeast Queens community members

Councilman Leroy Comrie held an event at Thomasina’s in St. Albans to honor members of the community who dedicate their time to helping the community. Comment
Middle Village

Middle Village’s beloved Carl Berner dies at 110

An original member of the Juniper Park Civic Association and one of the oldest men in the city died this week at the impressive age of 110. Comment
Belle Harbor

Belle Harbor’s PS 114 surprised

As one of the first city schools affected by Hurricane Sandy to reopen after the storm, PS 114 in Belle Harbor was quick to assess the damage. Comments (1)
The Civic Scene

Boro salons cater to disabled youth during holiday season

For the 29th year Larry Mattola, owner of LP & Co. Hair Design, has opened his shop on a Sunday prior to the holiday season to provide beauty treatments to the developmentally disabled children in the community. Comment
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