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Bayside community comes out to support Hilsdorf family

The best birthday party this season has to be, without a doubt, City Councilman Peter Vallone Jr.’s.

The birthday bash was held at the Central Lounge on Steinway Street in Astoria. I’ve never been to the Lounge before and it was just fabulous. If you’re ever in the area, be sure to check it out.

The party was a dual affair. The first part was celebrating Peter’s birthday. The second part was a jump−start to re−elect him. At one point, Peter had considered running for the borough president’s spot, but with the overturning of term limits, it wasn’t necessary to give up the position he has so adequately filled in his past two terms. Good luck to you, Peter, and happy birthday.

More then 450 people attended the party. It was like being in a can of sardines, that’s how tightly packed in the guests were.

Some of the well−wishers were Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown, Borough President Helen Marshall, state Assemblyman Michael Gianaris, Councilman Eric Gioia, the Vallone family, Archie Spigner, Martha Taylor, Dolly DeThomas — the list goes on and on.

Everyone considers the Vallone family a political dynasty, but were you aware of the fact they are an equally talented musical family? I, like the rest of you, was aware of the fact Peter Jr. sings and plays the guitar.

But I had no idea his brother, Paul, was a fantastic drummer. The biggest surprise was that mom Teena is an accomplished saxophone player. Bill Clinton, watch out, you have some serious competition. Peter’s two daughters also sang a few songs, which they did well. Afterward, their two younger cousins, Paul’s daughters, also did a few songs equally well. What a talented family. Peter Sr. said his only talent is that he can do the meanest Lindy in town. Way to go, Vallones!

Kudos to the Bayside community and its environs, as they came together Saturday at 8 p.m. in the Sacred Heart Church in Bayside. The reason for the turnout was to show support for longtime Bayside resident and former NYPD Queens North Task Force Police Officer Larry Hilsdorf.

Larry has had more than his share of personal health problems. In 1995, while working at the Queens North Task Force, he suffered his first heart attack. In 1996, he had his second heart attack and was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis. In 2003 he was diagnosed with lung cancer, followed in 2005 with cancer of the esophagus.

If that wasn’t enough, in 2008 colon cancer developed in his already frail body and in March 2009 they removed most of his colon. Is it over yet? Apparently not. Larry’s doctors are to perform more surgery, but as he has a stubborn infection that just won’t go away, they have had to delay the additional surgery.

Larry’s wife, Maureen, is a candidate for sainthood. She takes care of Larry, supervises the care and education of their six sons, looks after her 87−year−old father who lives with them, runs her home and works a part−time job to supplement Larry’s police pension.

I’m sorry to have missed the event, but as those of you who read this column know, I’m in the process of moving and somehow managed to pinch my sciatic nerve.

For any of you who have experienced the crippling pain, you can readily understand why I was unable to attend. The pain is excruciating and there is little you can do but let it run its course. My heartfelt thanks to both my husband, Jim Darmos, and his friend, Mitch Schwadronn, for covering the event for me.

They said there were between 550 and 700 people coming and going during the evening. Surprisingly, the only electeds present were state Sen. Frank Padavan and state Assemblywoman Ann Margaret Carrozza along with two candidates for Councilman Tony Avella’s seat: Dan Halloran and Jerry Iannece. Frank Skala, who also helped arrange the event, was upset at the no−shows, as he said he had personally invited them all.

That’s it for this week.

I look forward to hearing from you with information on people, parties and politics or gossip.

I like receiving your voice mails at 718−767−6484, faxes at 718−746−0066 and e−mails at

Till next week, Dee.

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