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Neighbor to Neighbor: Rosedale civic leaders honored with candles

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Boy Scouts from Troop 556, St. Pius Roman...

By Barbara Morris

The huge meeting hall of Troop Memorial Presbyterian Church was overflowing in spite of the weather on Tuesday, Jan. 30, as the Installation of officers of the Rosedale Civic Association was about to begin.

Boy Scouts from Troop 556, St. Pius Roman Catholic Church, stood poised, awaiting the signal for them to begin the ceremony by presenting the colors. After that had been accomplished, the assemblage joined together in the Pledge of Allegiance and singing the Star Spangled Banner.

The Rev. Aubrey N. Bougher of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Christ, and chaplain of the Rosedale Civic Association, presented a moving invocation.

Vice Chairman Paul Mader stepped up to the podium. Candlelight stirs the flame of emotions and it did so as Paul lit a candle symbolizing the presidency of the Rosedale Civic Association, from which other candles, representing each board member, would be lit.

As each elected officer lit a candle, Paul's big, steady voice announced the duties of that office, after which the board member stood aside, gradually forming the unified group that had agreed to serve us as ably as they had the previous year.

Assistant Chief Thomas Lawless of Patrol Borough Queens South Command graciously accepted the invitation to administer the oath of office. Unfortunately, Chairman James English was absent due to the death of his mother-in-law, Emilia Tropiano, who passed away after a painful illness.

Other Board Members stood, with raised right hands, acknowledging service: Paul Mader, Vice Chairman and Financial Secretary; Frederick J. Kress, President; Keith Auerbach, First Vice President; Hopeton Thomas, Second Vice President; Irnel Stephen, Treasurer; Loretta Panebianco Secretary; Kathleen Richards, Corresponding Secretary; Arthur Panebianco, Sergeant at Arms; and Rev. Aubrey M. Bougher, Chaplain.

President Kress chose this year not to review past accomplishments, but to envision an even larger, more active Rosedale Civic Association in the future. Although a great deal of important things have been accomplished, there are many fast-moving events presenting themselves before us that will impact greatly on the communities comprising southeast Queens, and on each of us as individuals. President Kress himself directs the efforts for the growing Cornucopia Society projects: the food pantry located at 138-10 Brookville Blvd., Rosedale; maintenance of Veterans’ and Vietnam squares; the Welcome to Rosedale and Cornucopia Society Highway Beautification Projects, all on Sunrise Highway Twin Ponds Clean Up; Maintenance of Laurelton Park on Brookville Blvd., in Rosedale; clean-up project in Brookville Park; working with special needs youngsters; and the collection and distribution of used clothing, used eyeglasses, and aluminum pull tabs from soda cans, all recycled for worthy causes. He, along with others, is also active in issues such as airport-related problems, including trying to control the impulse some have to add additional, and/or larger aircraft to JFK Airport, which would, of course, increase air and noise pollution and raise the odds of some catastrophic event.

The recent proposal to build an air cargo facility has also caused the expenditure of much effort and dollars. Unfortunately, the fact that it was not presented to us in a timely enough manner, left the association at a great disadvantage. We plan to make every effort, not only to maintain, but also to improve communication and working relationships with all those who have been helpful to us in the past, especially including our Community Board, the Fire, Parks, Police, Sanitation departments, postal authorities, legislators and government executives. We not only want to grow larger, according to Fred Kress, we want to grow smarter and, yes, have more influence.

Those who attended the event that night, having paid their $7 family dues, have already found out that the Board is not only generous, but talented. Each board member provided part of the delicious dinner that was served following the swearing-in ceremony, with the exception of the chicken, which was generously donated by Panzarella’s KFC, and the orange drink which was, also generously donated by McDonald’s.

Still to come, (almost monthly), is a newsletter prepared by Paul Mader, full of news, views and upcoming events. Interested? The address is P.O. Box 220116 Rosedale, N.Y. 11422.

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