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Dishing with Dee: Queens Theatre in Park celebrates 10th anniversary

The weeks are getting busier. Everyone is arranging their organizations’ last fling before the summer doldrums start. Although, this year we have already received invitations to events in July and August, which is rather unusual. Maybe they are the harbingers of a very busy summer, after all.

A note of condolence to Wanda Beck Antosh on the death of her husband, Joe. Both were community activists for many years. Wanda is still the president of the 109th Precinct Community Council and she and her Joe were active in the Bowne Park Civic Association as well as in the Northeast Queens Republican Club. Joe was also involved in many veterans’ associations. Joe had a good, long life, having reached the age of 91 when he died. Rest in peace, Joe. We will all miss you.

Congratulations to Charlene and Robert Stridiron on the birth of their first baby, Luke Earl. Robert is a local photographer and I’m sure you all have seen him around with his camera, snapping away at all the local gentry.

Former Queens Alternative publisher Joyce Shepard called me from Florida. She closed up her winter home and had her last checkup with her plastic surgeon. She will be back in Queens this week and promises us a peek at the super results. Joyce also said she has spoken to Peter Boudouvas on the phone and she likes what she hears. She said she plans to work with Peter and support him in his campaign for the 26th Assembly seat.

The Queens Theatre in the Park had its 10th anniversary gala Monday. It was a great professional performance, more like a New York City production than Queens. It was titled “Broadway Salutes Queens Theatre in the Park.” Kudos to good buddies Jeff Rosenstock, producing director; Sam Rossi, public relations director; and Willy Mosquera, the front house manager. Rose Ciampa deserves a round of applause for the great job she did herself as well as the one she did motivating the other members of the board of directors. The end result of her efforts was a tremendously successful evening. Everyone just loved the production.

The pre-performance cocktail party also seemed to be quite a success. We shared a table with Richy Murphy for a few minutes to have a quick bite to eat. During that time the Queens Parks commissioner informed us that his baby boy Ricky had his first haircut. That may not seem to be worth mentioning to you, but to a new devoted daddy, his baby’s first haircut is a milestone, so be impressed. If none of you has ever seen baby Ricky, he is an absolutely adorable, irresistible little boy.

At the same party we ran into the Callahans, father and son. They own the Plaza Business College in Jackson Heights. They were both chatting with Councilman Tony Avella and his political consultant Bill Driscoll. I told the Callahans I would be happy to take a photo of the group, providing Tony would smile, and smile he did! Tony, you look much handsomer with a smile on your face. Readers of this column, look for a photo of the new smiling Tony on the Focus on Queens page.

The rumor mill has it that City Councilman Hiram Monserrate is contemplating challenging U.S. Rep. Joe Crowley for his congressional seat. Crowley is the incumbent with quite a formidable war chest and would certainly have the endorsement and support of Queens County Democratic Organization Chairman Tom Manton as well as the Queens County Democratic machine. How does this shake out? Only time will tell. But if it materializes, it promises to be a most interesting race.

Dan Andrews, the press secretary for the Queens Borough president, has announced that Borough Hall has some new tenants — red-tailed hawks. But not to worry, they are great at keeping the rodent population in check. From what we understand, that population is quite a problem in the area. Welcome, red-tailed hawks, and keep up the good work.

Some of the other events we attended this week were the Queensborough Community College Fund. The Partners for Progress awards dinner at Terrace on the Park honorees were Stephen Mills, CEO of New York Hospital Medical Center of Queens; Michael Lee, CEO; Sunny Chiu, VP of the F & T International Group; Marco Martelli, president; Marco Martelli Associates and Paris Svoronos, the 2003 outstanding Community College Professor of the Year. As usual, Eduardo Marti, the president of the Queensborough Community College Fund, hosted a most successful event with quite an impressive turnout of who’s who in Queens. Congratulations, Marti, on another productive turnout for your college.

The Little Neck Douglaston Lions Club celebrated its 52 years of community service with a dinner dance at the New Hyde Park Inn. This year’s honorees were John Monahan, a local restaurant entrepreneur; and Rabbi Morton Pomerantz, chaplain of the Little Neck Douglaston Memorial Day Parade Committee. The third honoree was Maureen McKenna, a local community activist who has unselfishly devoted many years to the Little Neck Douglaston Community Ambulance Corps. Congratulations to all the honorees; it was a lovely evening.

The Kiwanis Club of LaGuardia Airport held its 31st annual dinner dance at the LaGuardia Marriott Hotel. They had one honoree this year — George Mikelsons, chairman and CEO, A.T.A. Airlines. That turned out to be quite a lovely black-tie affair. As usual Dolly DeThomas did her best to make it the success it was.

The Flushing Hospital Auxiliary held its Annual Tulip Luncheon and Fashion Show at the Reception House in Flushing. The ladies did themselves proud as they had another whole room just to display their numerous raffle prizes. Some of the prizes were fantastic. Congratulations, ladies, on a job well done.

The Northeast Queens Republican Club had two speakers at its last meeting — Zachary Moffatt of the Republican National Convention and Michael Allegretti of the NYC Host Committee. They are both looking for volunteers to help host the upcoming Republican Convention. Think about volunteering. It might be a lot of fun. More about the convention later.

This is it for this week, don’t forget to check the Focus on Queens page. We look forward to hearing from you and getting all the news about your upcoming events.

You may contact me by voice mail at 718-767-6484, fax at 718 746 0066 or e-mail at deerrichard@

Till next week, Dee

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