Dishing with Dee: Flushing Rotary celebrates 50th anniversary

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Where do we begin? There is such a logjam of information piling up, how does one condense it and still do it justice? If you save it too long, it becomes stale, and if you only report on the big, the smaller groups are left out. It’s not very fair to them since a lot of them do a good job and are a great resource for their respective communities. But here goes, we will try our very best.

If coverage of your event is the essence of brevity, forgive us. In a Queens photo page there are five events listed, none of which were covered in the June 26 Dishing with Dee Column. As of Thursday, I had already covered and photographed 12 additional events. This, added to the other events, makes a total of 17 events on which I had to report, and there were more lined up for Friday, Saturday and Sunday. But I guess it’s better than staring at a blank page and having nothing to put on it.

The Flushing Rotary held its 50th anniversary dinner-dance at Terrace on the Park. On the same evening, the Northeast Queens branch of the NAACP held its 60th Anniversary Freedom Fund dinner at the Sheraton LaGuardia East in Flushing. Both were held on Friday, June 20.

On Wednesday, June 18, Councilman Jim Gennaro held a fund-raiser at the Hillcrest Jewish Center. His keynote speaker was former New York City Mayor Edward Koch. Ed looked fabulous.

On Thursday, June 19, the Saul Weprin Democratic Club held an election of officers and its last meeting until the fall. New York City Comptroller William Thompson swore in the newly elected officers.

Earlier during the same evening the Queens Museum of Art held its annual Benefit Reception and Concert for its Salvador Dali “Dreams of Venus” exhibit, a great party! There were two faces from the past, former Queens Tribune Editor Jeremy Olshan and his mom. She has or had some sort of relationship with the museum. Time has been very kind to her. She looks like a contemporary of Jeremy’s, rather than his mom.

Although short and sweet, this now catches us up with last week’s events. So off we go to this week’s galas.

On Monday, June 23, at 4:30 p.m. U.S. Rep. Gary Ackerman was supposed to have a photo op with 10 of his appointees to the various military academies at the Queensborough College Student Union building. His representatives said, “he was called to Washington for an important vote.” The young people were understandably terribly disappointed. A photo with an office representative was not quite the same as having your photo taken shaking hands with your congressman.

Two hours later, at 6:30 p.m., I attended a fund-raiser for U.S. Rep. Joseph Crowley at Caffe on the Green. I guess that vote wasn’t as important to him or at least he felt he had to honor his guests by being there in person. The fund-raiser was held on the lovely patio. He lucked out, as it was the first pleasant evening of the summer so far. Joe drew a large, impressive crowd, including David Patterson, John Deane, Councilman John Liu, state Assemblyman Ivan Lafayette, state Sen. John Sabini, Yvonne Redick, Marge Markey, state Assemblyman Brian McLaughlin, John Park, Marie Konecko, Rudy Greco, Al Sirowitz and Jose Rivera — a who’s who in the Democratic Party from western Queens.

On Tuesday morning, June 24, the children of PS 193 in Whitestone had a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the unveiling of their wonderful wall mural. The project was accomplished with the help of the City Arts Program, the children and the school principal, Joyce Bush. Also present were Councilman Tony Avella, Gene McSweeny (representing state Assemblywoman Ann-Margaret Carrozza), state Sen. Frank Padavan and Tsipi Ben-Him, executive director of City Arts. There also were lots of teachers, parents and guests.

If you are over that way be sure to stop and admire the children’s art project. It’s on 11th Avenue and 153rd Street in Whitestone.

On Wednesday, June 25, the New York Fire Department held its promotion ceremonies at St. Francis Prep in Bayside. We were invited to attend by Fire Capt. Gene Kelty, who was promoted to the rank of battalion chief. That’s the same Gene Kelty who is the chair of Community Board 7.

For the first time in its 138-year history, the Fire Department promoted a woman to the rank of battalion chief. She is 41-year-old Rochelle (Rocky) Jones, a 21-year veteran of the department. Fire Commissioner Nicholas Scoppetta presented the promotions.

On Tuesday, June 24, Uma Sengupta held a fund-raiser for Jim Gennaro at the World’s Fair Marina Restaurant. It was also the birthday of a friend of Uma’s, so it was a doubleheader celebration complete with the usual birthday cake, candles and the singing of “Happy Birthday” with gusto, a very nice evening.

This seems to be all the room we have this week, so we will have to let the rest go till next week, including the Cross Island YMCA, the 107th Community Council dinner, the Press Club Awards Dinner and several Charter Revision meetings, etc.

If you care to share, call me at 718-767-6484 or fax me at 718-746-0066.

Till next week,


Posted 7:16 pm, October 10, 2011
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