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Neighbor to Neighbor: Rosedale ceremony is a glowing success

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Passing the torch to start the Olympic Games has had a long history. Passing the "candlelight torch" may not be as old a tradition, but it is just as solemn and impressive, carried out during installation ceremonies for the officers of the Rosedale Civic Association.

On Jan., 25, in spite of heavy snow and ice, Throop Memorial Presbyterian Church was the site of the very well-attended installation of board members and celebration dinner that followed. Such dedication by so many was certainly a pleasant surprise, as was the superb quality and volume of food prepared and served by some of the ladies in the organization, who also play other major roles in the civic association's many successful activities.

The evening did not, of course, start with the dinner. It was begun, appropriately, by Chairman Paul Mader, who in a clear, strong voice, introduced each prospective board member and his or her part in the ceremony and organization.

Each person lit an appropriate candle, until all the candle flames glowed together, signifying the united spirit of betterment for their community. Assistant Chief Joseph Fox, commanding officer of NYPD's Patrol Borough Queens South Command, conducted the swearing-in ceremony very ably, in place of state Assemblywoman Juanita Watkins, who had been scheduled to do that, but was unable to attend due to the weather and an ongoing serious problem with her leg.

Those given the honor and responsibility to serve are as follows: president: Frederick Kress, who is also president of the Cornucopia Society): first vice president: Keith Auerbach, (who also coordinates the Rosedale Civilian Patrol): second vice president: Hopeton (Tony) Thomas, (who recently started his block's association): recording secretary: Loretta Panebianco: treasurer: Irnel Stephens: financial secretary: Paul Mader, (who also writes the R.C.A. Monthly Newsletter; corresponding secretary: Kathleen Richards: sergeant at arms: Arthur Panebianco and chaplain: Rev. Aubrey Hougher, (also Pastor of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Christ and an outstanding chronicler of the formation of our calendar and its months names - about which we enjoyed reading in his church's booklet, The Messenger, February 2000!

Former PresidentJim English will now become the new chairman, replacing Paul Mader, now 2nd Vice Chairman and completing the officials, George Wien, 3rd vice chairman, (for whom the Annual George Wien Scholarship was named). This scholarship provides $200 bonds in each of the graduating classes in all five grade schools in Rosedale.

Other activities with young people included, on Feb. 28, 1999, participation by then President James English and Eagle Scout Vice President Kress, in the Scouts Luncheon and Court and Honor Award Ceremony, at the end of which R.C.A. presented to each Scout an up-to-date Boy Scout Handbook, donated by the civic. St. Pius X Boy Scout Troop 556 Color Guard again this year presented and retired the colors, for the Installation ceremony of R.C.A. officers.

R.C.A. was responsible for helping the Rosedale Jets football teams and cheer leader groups get equipment; they sponsored a Rosedale Little League team; worked with the Rosedale Soccer Club; and with the help of a grant from the Hudson River Foundation, upgraded the R.C.A. Air Quality Measurement Device now on loan to, installed at, and used by 40 Earth Science students to measure particulate matter, with the major goal to facilitate a pilot study for the Secondary School Air Monitoring and Assessment Program. Pollution and noise abatement relative to airplane traffic has continued to be addressed through Sane Aviation for Everyone on whose board Jim English has served for some time.

Jim is also past president of Rosedale Chapter of the AARP #1949, a member of the Eastern Queens Alliance, an organization of civic presidents who form the Board of South East Queens Community Partnership and participate on the board of the Greater Jamaica Community Council, both of which focus on administration of a grant to provide anti-drug, anti-alcohol and anti-tobacco programs for at-risk youth.

This civic association, with an active civilian patrol and cooperative efforts with Peter O'Reilly of O'Reilly's Funeral Home, (who donated 10,000 anti-noise fliers), and the NYPD (Assistant Chief Joseph Fox, Deputy Inspector William Morris, Capt. Radtke, Lt. Campanella, Sgt. Micozzi and the officers assigned to the Noise Complaint Unit), brought the intolerable and sometimes dangerous loud party situation under control for the 105's superb efforts in September. R.C.A. presented the precinct with a plaque in appreciation of "Their Outstanding Cooperative Efforts."

In like manner, at the installation ceremony, Deputy Inspector William Morris, commanding officer of the 105th Precinct, awarded R.C.A a beautiful plaque for pointing out the seriousness of the situation, and helping to solve it.

There is a saying, "Cooperation is the keynote to success!"

It is indeed!

Updated 10:26 am, October 12, 2011
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