Dishing with Dee: Jefferson Dem Club hands out awards at 101st dinner

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The Jefferson Democratic Club held its 101st annual dinner at the Douglaston Manor last Thursday night.

There were many in attendance to help celebrate the lovely cocktail party and dinner. The evening’s master of ceremonies was Carol Gresser, Democratic district leader of the 26th state Assembly District. Mimi Burnham was the 2011 dinner chairwoman. Kudos to both ladies, Jefferson Democratic Club President David Fisher, Gresser’s co-leader Michael Sais and all the other hardworking volunteers who produced a wonderful evening for all to enjoy.

They had five honorees. The evening’s first honoree was Assemblywoman Grace Meng of the 22nd District. Grace is the youngest Asian American ever to be elected to the state Legislature and currently is the only Asian American serving in the entire Legislature. Grace has been a dedicated public interest attorney as well as a grassroots political activist. She is a rising star.

The second honoree was Dominick Bruccoleri, the owner of Papazzio Restaurant on Bell Boulevard in Bayside. Dominick is the vice president of the Bayside Business Association, on the board of directors for the Bayside Business Improvement District, on the fund board of Queensborough Community College and a director of the New York Law Enforcement Foundation and served on Community Board 11 from 2001-06. As you can see, Dominick believes in giving back to his community.

The third honoree was Arthur Cheliotes, who is and has been the president of Local 1180 since 1979, which means he was elected as president 11 times. Local 1180 represents the Communication Workers of America AFL/CIO. Arthur has been a respected voice and a vocal advocate for worker education, pay equity and the enforcement of civil service law. Needless to say, Arthur’s Local 1180 thinks he is doing a great job.

Last but not least were the fourth honorees, Nell and Jim Wrynn Sr., who migrated here from Ireland in 1957 for a better life. When they arrived, Jim worked as a bartender before opening up his own bar and restaurant on Third Ave in New York City, which he had for many years. He also owned Wrynn’s Coliseum near Columbus Circle.

Jim and Nell had six children: five boys and one girl. They for years carried petitions, attended meetings, voted at county committee meetings and supported luncheons, cocktail parties, dinners and countless fund-raisers on behalf of the Democratic Party. Their kind of loyalty and dedication is what every organization needs as its backbone and lifeblood.

The Jefferson Democratic Club’s treasurer, Eugene McSweeney, was also singled out for an award for all his years of hard work and dedication.

The keynote speaker of the evening was City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, whom I’m sure you all realize would like to be the next mayor. Another guest speaker was city Comptroller John Liu, who also has his eye on the prize and would like to be elected the next mayor. It looks like 2012 has all the earmarks of being an interesting election year.

Ann-Margaret Carrozza was there at the cocktail party. She looks great. She is a beautiful woman who never seems to get a day older. Tell us, Ann, what is your secret? Whatever it is, it works.

My complements to the Minute Man Press on Francis Lewis Boulevard in Auburndale, as it produced the Jefferson Club’s dinner-dance journal, and what an impressive journal it was. The front cover had a great portrait of Jefferson superimposed on the American flag in color. I am sure many people will treasure it as a souvenir. I have no idea what it cost, but whatever it cost is seems well worth it.

I am looking forward to next year’s dinner-dance. Don’t forget to invite me.

That’s it for this week.

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

Updated 10:28 am, October 20, 2011
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