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Neighbor to Neighbor

Some things deserve to be repeated. With summer here, remember that is it against the law to buy, sell, store or use fireworks. They are dangerous and cause injuries and sometimes death. They can also lead to fines and jail time. Instead, make use of public fireworks displays.

Hot weather entices folks to have outdoor parties. Those can be great fun, and it is one thing when music is played for those present. When 311 gets complaints from people a block away that the music is rattling their windows, however, the NYPD is required to respond and take action. That might mean a warning, a fine or confiscation of loud speakers.

We would love everyone to have a safe and happy summer, so please resist pressing your luck doing something that might get you into trouble.

I would rather write about positive things, like local proms and graduations. Congratulations to those who finished one phase of their academic careers and are embarking on another. As I walked around Laurelton one afternoon, I was amazed to see some of the youngsters I have watched for years transformed before my eyes into sophisticated young men and women.

On June 8, I attended my first prom. It was a special prom prepared and presented by a special group of people. They were from the Queens High School of Teaching at 74-20 Commonwealth Blvd. in Bellerose. They were Parent Coordinator Ellen J. Turner; teacher Mrs. Fannacci; supervisor Mrs. Carrasco; Mrs. Pistone; and students Kelly Outler, Ashley Pottinger, Yosef Dastagirzada (a tremendous help in assembling this list), Sandy Selvakumer, Maria Augustine, Brittany Farmer, Nicole Tavarez (who received a Community Service Award from the North Bellerose Civic Association), Kerry Bunyan, Phil Panakal, John Buonavita, Shanade Bernard, Kevin McMurray, Patti O'Sullivan, Megan Byrnes and Louie Mastrangeio.

Years ago, these folks decided to give seniors a surprise treat: a prom with good food, music they could dance to and fun memories. What a thoughtful and appreciated idea. I found out about it since my work partner, Fred Kress, took me to a meeting of the North Bellerose civic, whose president, Bruno DeFranceschi, and his wife, Lucy, work with us on anti-graffiti and other projects. They told us and other friends — Angela and Mike Castellano, Margaret Fannelli and Dick Lopez — about this interesting event and suggested we meet them there. Fred also invited Agnes and Louis Kress, his grandparents.

Temperatures soared that day into the 90s. When we arrived, we were impressed by the flowers at the entrance, roadway safely braced as it was cut into the hill, artwork decorating the surrounding fence and building.

The guards at the door directed us to the prom room, decorated Hawaiian-style. A big aloha sign, balloons, beach balls and leis filled the beach, while sand, little shells and miniature beach sandal candles decorated the tables.

The disc jockeys were playing music that was not too loud near a table set up with platters of fruit, cheese, crackers, miniature slices of pizza and slices of meat. There was water, soda, coffee, tea and milk near the table that held two strawberry shortcakes and a luscious looking and tasting chocolate cake. The main course was hidden from view while we met some of our hosts, listened to the music or danced and mingled. We then indulged in the food, followed by more dancing. The food was welcomed: chicken, eggplant parmesan, rigatoni and crisp salad with dressing.

Each celebrant was given remembrances: a Hawaiian plate, a relish dish, salt-and-pepper shakers or a pineapple toothpick holder, all bedecked with ribbons or multi-colored tissue paper.

Some dancers or those talented in other ways were recognized in various ways, including voting for prom king and queen. It was an interesting and a fun afternoon enjoyed by about 100 young and elder folks, who got along with each other. We were invited back next year and hope to come back. We were sorry to hear that Ms. Turner will be moving on to a college teaching job, but wish her well and hope she may come next year.

Our thanks and success, and a happy summer to all.

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