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Ridge Community council luncheon

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Chatting over the finger food and lingering over a leisurely multi-course meal, the luminaries of Bay Ridge gathered, as they do every year, to toast each other and celebrate one of the neighborhood’s most unique organizations during a luncheon at the Bay Ridge Manor. Indeed, many of the neighborhood’s movers and shakers could be found, last Saturday, at the Bay Ridge Community Council’s presidents luncheon, which was held at the Bay Ridge Manor, 476 76th Street. BRCC, founded in 1952, is an umbrella organization with 107 member organizations, who have banded together to work to enhance the quality of life in Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights and Fort Hamilton. Borough President Marty Markowitz was at the luncheon. So was State Senator Marty Golden. So were City Councilmember Vincent Gentile, and three of the community’s Assemblymembers: Veteran politico Peter Abbate and two freshman representatives, Alec Brook Krasny and Janele Hyer Spencer. Also at the event were Brooklyn District Attorney Charles “Joe” Hynes, Conservative Party honchos Mike Long, Jerry Kassar and Fran Vella-Marrone, and Democratic District Leader Ralph Perfetto, as well as numerous representatives of city agencies, local hospitals and area civic organizations, whose long history of volunteerism was the focus of the day. Not surprisingly, Markowitz showed up with a proclamation declaring January 27th to be, “Bay Ridge Community Council annual luncheon celebration day in Brooklyn, U.S.A. Congratulating the organization’s members, he said, “All the great things happening in Bay Ridge and Dyker Heights and indeed Brooklyn…are happening due to you.” BRCC, noted Golden, “Continues to do an outstanding job. It continues to make Bay Ridge the best community in the greatest city in the world, and you are the reason for it.” Gentile, a former president of BRCC, concurred. Noting that he was attending his “23rd president’s luncheon,” he told the crowd, “I know for certain that one of the things I will always remember are gatherings like this. “It is the one time in the year when we pause together to say thank you to all the organizations that make up the Bay Ridge Community Council, thank you for all the work you do to make this a great community,” Gentile went on. “Good schools, a safe neighborhood, clean streets, we all want that. Then you, as the Bay Ridge Community Council, go the extra step.” The organization’s members clearly know the secret. “There’s strength in numbers,” noted Gloria Melnick, BRCC’s executive secretary and MC for the afternoon. “That’s why everybody bands together to help solve community issues. This afternoon is to say thank you to all of the organizations.” Barbara Vellucci, BRCC’s president, agreed. “Today, we honor the people who help to make the community as strong as it is yesterday, today and tomorrow,” she told the crowd. “Service to others in numerous capacities for no monetary profit is the reason which calls us here today together. It is up to you as community leaders to foster life, learning and growth.”

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