Neighbor to Neighbor: SE Queens leaders step aside for change of pace

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Traditionally March weather is said to be associated with lions and lambs. We have been told that if it comes in like a lion, it will go out like a lamb and vice versa. March 2003 has seen two well-known Rosedale community leaders, both “lions” of southeast Queens, step aside for somewhat of a change of pace.

Sheila Pecoraro’s long and devoted work regarding the Board of Education, Police Department and community safety has accomplished many positives and laid the groundwork for even more. She has held steady to her strong opinions and has not hesitated to speak out as she sees fit to address these issues.

On tough public issues, Pecoraro tries to hide her soft, “lamb” qualities, but they are certainly there with regard to children, the infirm, animals and others. She is a devoted wife and mother who, after living through many taxing family illnesses, has earned a sabbatical to enjoy laughter and love with her family.

Although the 105th Precinct Community Council will no longer have Pecoraro as its president, we wish all the best to her and the remaining members of that board.

The other “lion” is Paul Mader, a big man with big, ambitious plans for his church and his community family. Although he has stepped away, as required by term limits, from the six-year position of president of the congregation of The Evangelical Lutheran Church of Christ in Rosedale, he and his family are still very active in the parish. They also are active in the Rosedale Civic Association, as well as veteran, anti-crime and education groups.

Mader is a talented poet, writer and computer artist who can switch with alacrity from a tough community “lion” stance to that of a “lamb” -— sensitive and caring. We know he wishes his good friend Isabelle Coles-Dunbar great success in her new position as president of that congregation, as we do.

Mader, his wife, Dolores, and their friends are also basking in the pride they share in their daughter, Rebecca Mader, who recently won an award from the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States.

Like Coles-Dunbar, Rebecca Mader, otherwise known as “Becca,” is devoted to her church, is very active there and is always willing to cooperate in community activities of a positive nature. They are both “lambs,” letting the rest of us roar approval of the honors bestowed on them.

Becca, like a lot of other young people last year, took advantage of the opportunity to enter patriotic contests offered by the VFW. These contests, under the direction of Post 5298 Vice Cmdr. T.J. Tharpe for our Queens area, produced the largest number of winners.

These contests brought many young people and their families and friends together to show appreciation for our country and the advantages offered here, as well as for those who have served to protect our country and us. Becca won top honors for the Voice of Democracy 2002-2003 contest.

Winners of Youth Essay Patriot Pen contest were Krystal Holmes, Anthony Dedouses, Peter Fendt and Paul Pate, from Post 5298; Gabrielle Vessa, Anjali Vora and Katherine Byrns, from Post 1896; Evangelia Karanikas, Johanna Lovecchio and Jihii Jdly, from Post 2888; Michael Madden, Andrew Oppo and Kelvin Young, from Post 2343; Talicia Docherty, Kristin Sockett and James Anastasio, from Post 2781.

Queens County Council winners were: Krystal Holmes, first place, Post 5298; Michael Madden, second place, Post 2343; Talicia Docherty, third place, Post 2781; Evangelia Karanikas, fourth place, Post 2888; Gabrielle Vessa, fifth place, Post 1896; and Anjali Vora, honorable mention, Post 1896.

Congratulations to all these ambitious young people, to their families, to all who helped and inspired them, to Tharpe, the other veterans from Post 5298 and the wonderful Post 5298 Ladies Auxiliary who can always (like the story of the loaves and the fish) feed the multitude attending their ceremonies.

We urge young people and their families to contact VFW Post 5298, 143-17 Springfield Blvd. 11413, or call 718-525-7655 or 718-526-1000, Ext. 2309 and ask Tharpe about this year’s contests and other interesting activities, including a benefit luncheon for support of veterans.

The luncheon will be held May 4 from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. at John F. Prince Post 6478, 242-37 Braddock Ave., Bellerose 11426, cost $15. For ticket information, please call 718-528-9835.

Posted 7:02 pm, October 10, 2011
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