Dishing with Dee: Party at the Bayside Historical Society pays tribute to Padavan

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The holiday party season has begun with a vengeance. If this pace keeps up, I’m going to have to find a way to clone myself if I’m half serious about attempting to cover them all. Here are some of the ones I did get to.

Tuesday was the Alive in Hope Foundation Bishop’s Christmas Luncheon at Russo’s on the Bay in Howard Beach. The Christmas luncheon was benefiting the Bishop’s Scholarship Fund. Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio and Chef Michael Lomonaco were the honorary luncheon chairmen. Mary Ann Mattone and Susan Rohan were the luncheon co-chairwomen. This year’s honorees were Kevin and Mary Beth Kearney and Joseph and Joan Farrell.

The emcee was Maurice Du Bois, co-Anchor of “CBS 2 News This Morning.” The invocation was by Monsignor Jamie J. Gigontiello. The opening remarks were by executive chef/partner Lomonaco of “Porter House New York.” The closing remarks were made by DiMarzio.

There must have been at least 500-plus guests at the luncheon. The Alive in Hope Foundation was established in 1998, thanks to the generosity of the people of Brooklyn and Queens. Aside from education, some of the foundation’s missions provide for the long-term needs of parishes, schools and health and social services. It was a great luncheon.

Wednesday was the 109th Precinct Community Council’s holiday party at a fairly new restaurant, The Magna, on Farrington Street in Flushing. Chrissy Voskerichian and Vanna Partridge are to be congratulated on a job well done. Tony Pecora, the owner of the restaurant, was gracious and accommodating. His food was excellent. The place was packed.

On Thursday night, U.S. Rep. Gary Ackerman held his annual holiday party. As usual, it was at the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point. That, too, is a great place to have a party. The buffet they always provide is sumptuous. A lot of our familiar Queens faces were there. To name just a few: Michael Schenkler, Gail and Michael Nussbaum, Gene Kelty, Marilyn Bitterman, Debbie Markell state Assemblywomen Nettie Mayersohn and Ann-Margaret Carrozza — the list goes on.

After we left Ackerman’s party, we drove over to the Jefferson Democratic Club holiday party at the Clearview Golf Course Clubhouse, which is also a great place to have a party. Some of the guests there were Ed Braunstein, Tony Avella, Carol and Larry Gresser, Elio Forcina, the Bechtolds and the Wednesday night regulars from Il Bacco, Geraldine Spinella, Ralph and Barbara Barba and Carolyn and Bernie Karoff.

Friday and Saturday were personal friends’ parties. One was in Westport, Conn., the other in Huntington, L.I. — fun parties with folks you don’t get to see as often as you’d like.

On Sunday, the Bayside Historical Society had its annual holiday party. It has one of the most beautifully decorated as well as one of the tallest indoor Christmas trees. That party was well-attended. It was a buffet with music and dancing and a minimum amount of speeches — the best kind of a party. It included a musical tribute to state Sen. Frank Padavan by Alexandria Dunne. She sang her words to Frank to the tune of “Unforgetta­ble.”

Alexandria will perform the same rendition at the Salute to Senator Frank Padavan Gala on Dec. 29 at Leonard’s of Great Neck from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. I have received many calls for the party details. Tickets are $65 each. Checks are to be made out to “D. Richard for 12-29-10 Celebration” and should be mailed to P.O. Box 604004, Bayside, NY 11360-4004. If you need additional information, the contact number is 917-744-0800.

At this time of the year, it would nice if you could drop off Toys for Tots, non-perishable food items as well as warm coats, jackets and blankets, as there are many charitable organizations that are in need of all of the above. I believe they can be dropped off at any Police or Fire Department location or you can contact 311 for other local institutions in need.

Giving a service person a nice card or letter would go a long way to let them know you appreciate their sacrifice. Be sure to check on your elderly neighbors to see if they might need a helping hand with their holiday preparations.

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

Don’t forget to check out the Focus on Queens page.

Till next week, Dee.

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