Dee Richard’s last column for TimesLedger Newspapers

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This week there were a number of interesting Queens events, as there usually are.

The first one was May 15. It was the fifth annual Queens Go Red for Women Dinner at Terrace on the Park. The organization is connected to and is a part of the American Heart Association, and its mantra is “Make it your mission to fight heart disease in women.”

Heart disease is still the No. 1 killer of women. It takes the life of one in three women each year, which translates into one woman dying per minute. It would like you to also make it your mission to stop this killer.

The Go Red event gets larger each year and, while the dinner supports a serious cause, it still manages to provide an enjoyable evening.

One of the highlights of the evening was the fund-raising auction. This year, it had 122 items up for auction. There was plenty of action on the auction items and the committee responsible for the goodie bags came up with some interesting things. It was refreshing to receive more than the usual ballpoint pen and plastic drink container.

During the cocktail party, red feather boas were being sold for $10 each — a clever cash impulse item. Even men were buying and wearing them, just to get into the spirit of things. I must confess I bought one myself. Helen Marshall bought and wore one all evening, but couldn’t convince her husband Don to wear one.

There were three honorees: Dr. Chong Park, chief of cardiology at New York Hospital Queens; Victoria Schneps-Unis, president and CEO of Schneps Communications; and Patricia Thompson, the public relations manager of Bombardier.

The dinner chairwoman was Dr. Diane Sixsmith, chairwoman of the department of emergency medicine at New York Hospital Queens. The keynote speaker was Debi Silber, the “Mojo Coach.” The emcee was Tracie Strahan, a reporter for WNBC-4 New York. A great group of Go Red supporters.

The second event was May 16, and it was the Northeast Queens Republican Club’s Candidates Night at the Clearview Golf Club.

One of the candidates was a rather interesting young man I had never met before. His name is Stephen Labate, and he is running against Steve Israel for the new 3rd Congressional District, part of which is now in Queens. The other candidates were George Maragos, who is running for U.S. Senate; Dan Halloran, who is running for the 6th Congressional District; and Joe Concannon, who is running for the 11th Senate seat. Another informative evening.

The third event was last Thursday and was the Bayside-Whitestone Lions Club Invitation Scholarship Dinner at Verdi’s Restaurant in Whitestone. It was its first annual scholarship dinner. It honored nine local high school seniors for their academic excellence and commitment to our community.

The scholarship recipients were Andrew Bodnar and Joanne Jeung of Bayside High School, Daniel Graham and Sarah Neville of St. Francis Preparatory School, Chloe Gordils and Jean Wong of Benjamin N. Cardozo HS, Patrick Lisante and Trevor Sesso of Holy Cross HS and Brent Owens of the World Journalism Preparatory School.

During the evening, there was a changing of the guard. Past President Paul Vallone was replaced by new President-elect Donald Frain.

The Lions is also an organization that devotes much of its time, talent and money to improving the lot of many deserving people who would not otherwise receive the necessary financial help.

Be sure and attend and support as many Memorial Day parades and events as you can, as they are important.

That’s it for this week.

This was the last column filed by Dee Richard before she died on May 22.

Updated 1:35 pm, May 24, 2012
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