Boro groups act to save parade

Veterans ride in a vehicle in the Whitestone Memorial Parade last year with Comptroller John Liu (c.). Photo by Christina Santucci
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The veterans organizations that fund the annual Whitestone Memorial Day Parade have fallen on hard times, but community organizations are doing their part to make sure a staple of the neighborhood lives on.

“It’s basically saying, ‘Let’s not let the tradition die,’” said Michael Seeley, financial officer for the American Legion Post No. 131 in Whitestone. “And the local organizations are stepping up.”

The Dwarf Giraffe Athletic League, which runs sports leagues for youngsters in the area, will be hosting a dinner-dance Saturday night to benefit the parade. All the proceeds will go toward covering the costs of the parade, which typically run in the $15,000 range.

There will be a buffet, an open bar and disc jockey, according to Jay Vigorito, president of the league.

“I heard that they were struggling for funds for the parade,” he said. “If we can give them a shot in the arm, we’ll do it.”

Vigorito, who was born in Whitestone and grew up watching the parade, said he already has about 100 people confirmed to come to the dinner, which is slightly shy of his goal of 150.

But he said he will have food for just more than 100 just in case.

When the dinner-dance comes to an end, he hopes to be able to give the Whitestone Veterans Memorial Association, the consortium that runs the parade, about $3,000.

The association is made up of the Whitestone branches of the American Legion, the Jewish War Veterans and the Veterans of Foreign Wars. Each year they come together and split the cost of the parade.

But with membership and money drying up, financing the parade is becoming no easy task, according to Seeley.

In November, the Greater Whitestone Taxpayers Civic Association cut the association a check for $4,000 to help with parade costs.

And now Dwarf Giraffe has stepped up to the plate, along with the Welcome to Whitestone Residential and Commercial Civic Association.

“Last year I heard the parade wasn’t doing so well as far as funding, so I wanted to figure out a way to raise some funds through the civic,” said Devon O’Connor, president and founder of Welcome to Whitestone.

He started the website, in hopes that it will bring awareness to the veterans organizati­ons’ needs.

Along with helping to advertise the dinner-dance, O’Connor is also trying to drum up awareness by asking anyone with pictures of parades in the past to submit them online.

And the fund-raising will not stop with the last song Saturday: Dwarf Giraffe is also planning to host another event Feb. 26.

The league already offers Zumba classes, which is a pseudo dance and aerobic workout, but in February it hopes to raise money with Zumbathon, a marathon sweat session that will cost entrants $20. The last Zumbathon the league held to benefit breast cancer raked in $12,000.

Saturday’s dinner-dance will be held at the Dwarf Giraffe gym, at 149-50 15th Road in Whitestone, from 7:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. Tickets are $50 per person.

Reach reporter Joe Anuta by e-mail at or by phone at 718-260-4566.

Posted 1:35 am, January 26, 2012
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Reader feedback

Alfredo c says:
Way to go D&G , you guys did a great thing for great people. Thank you for helping to keep the parade going.
Feb. 1, 2012, 8:23 pm
Darris says:
Oh stop it
Feb. 5, 2012, 12:45 pm
Carmine from Whitestone says:
Darris, YOU STOP IT! Just leave Alfredo alone, he is the only one that cares for the veterans, you people take all the credit. Maybe just say Thank you.
Feb. 5, 2012, 9:27 pm
Angelo says:
Carmine?, Please explain with facts this time.
Feb. 6, 2012, 10:09 am
Carmine says:
Ange?, why dont you explain the facts this time? If you are going to make a comment about someone you should be able to give specifics no?
Feb. 6, 2012, 8:33 pm
Carmine says:
All Al said was Thank you to DG and you attack him, Why?
Feb. 6, 2012, 8:35 pm
Jamal from Whitestone says:
Liam, Ernest, Laura, Peter, Jimmy
Feb. 6, 2012, 10:30 pm
Jay from Whitestone says:
I read Angelo wanting to know why your ripping into Darris. She just said, oh stop it, that may have been a shy thanks... and you are way to into this Alfredo dude and your doing all the negative crap man.
Feb. 6, 2012, 10:56 pm
LeAnn says:
Hey People, check this out. Anytime a story that has the Greater Whitestone Taxpayers Civic Association or the Welcome to Whitestone Residential and Commercial Civic Association in it Carmine from Malba Gardens starts with everything negative. Google it, really no joke.
Feb. 7, 2012, 5:23 pm
Alfredo C for real says:
Just a reminder as to what I really did say and still think to this day.


Alfredo C for real from Malba Gardens says:
The above comment was not from Alfredo Centola of the Malba Gardens. Someone is attempting to cause a rift, so be it.

Devon is doing a good job and deserves kudos.

We all need to work together instead of trying to divide the community. I welcome an open discussion and we can agree to disagree but at the end of the day it is OUR community.

The 18 acre former brownfield on 6th avenue is up for sale with approved plans for 52 new homes. More development in our community needs to happen with consideration for the community already here. What are your thoughts? Has traffic been considered? The possible strain of existing infrastucture? More developement and no High school with existing schools already overcrowded? Is the existing parkspace enough to accomodate the new residents?

We need to have our voices heard before we become another severly overcrowded neighborhood.
Report abuseDec. 9, 2011, 4:19 pm
Feb. 7, 2012, 6:51 pm
Alfredo C for real says:
Greater Whitestone is a phenomenal organization.

Carmine, let it rest. No point in getting into a continuous argument.

Lets open the dialogue and stop with the BS and lies. Ive used different variations of my name over a dozen times already in order to differentiate me from others attempting to cause a rift within our community.

I sign my name and no one elses to everything I write. Cindy, Ange, and anyone else, sorry if this dissapoints you. If you really want what is best for our community lets try to work in a positive light.

Alfredo C for real of Malba Gardens Civic
Feb. 7, 2012, 6:55 pm
Carmine says:
Thanks for throwing me under the bus. What do you mean "let it rest"? I have been in your corner from the beginning and now you publicly state that I get involved with contentious arguments? Contentious maybe, but always on your behalf and with your blessing. I'm probably the only one who has shared your vision. You always sign your name? Maybe you believe that. Obviously, he was right afterall!
Feb. 7, 2012, 9:15 pm
Alfredo Cfor real says:
That's not what I meant and I apologize if you took it that way. I was figuring we all just avoid the stress is all. I respect and appreciate all your support believe me, and I thank you for it. However, these people are never satisfied and it pains me to see the way they respond to you. Believe me I appreciate you and your support and will be with you no matter what.

Not contentious my friend, continuous.

Feb. 7, 2012, 10:07 pm
LeAnn says:
Three Cheers for Carmine, just keep your passion positive and do something good for you. It's okay, all these civic guys are a-holes.
Feb. 7, 2012, 10:50 pm
Angelo says:
Looks like a little rift within your community, Alfredo
Feb. 8, 2012, 9:05 am
Carmine says:
Hey Ange, make it light and sweet.
Feb. 8, 2012, 10:21 am
Ange says:
Hey Carmine, is Al still your BFF?
Feb. 8, 2012, 4:13 pm
Emilio says:
Would you stop it
Feb. 8, 2012, 5:14 pm
Cynthia says:
Yet another impostor in the midst.
Feb. 8, 2012, 7:16 pm
Cindy from Whitestone says:
Once again, the above story was not about Alfredo's Malba Gardens but unfortunately he injects his own agenda by multi-character seizing of every blog format available were Whitestone, Queens is the subject. Truly, very sad.
Feb. 9, 2012, 1:24 pm
Cindy from Whitestone says:
Once again, the above story was not about Alfredo's Malba Gardens but unfortunately he injects his own agenda by multi-character seizing of every blog format available were Whitestone, Queens is the subject. Truly, very sad.
Feb. 9, 2012, 1:24 pm
Cynthia from Brooklyn says:
How so?

Here is the first post.

Alfredo c says:
Way to go D&G , you guys did a great thing for great people. Thank you for helping to keep the parade going.
Report abuseFeb. 1, 8:23 pm

From there it deteriorated with comments by YOUR friends such as "Ange, Jay, Jamal, and LeAnn. Where did Carmine ever state he was from the Malba Gardens Group?

You keep commenting on multi character seizing yet the same could be said about you Cindy. Al has clearly stated how he feels about the other civics and their leaders on record, as documented by his cut and paste of an earlier post he posted as well as his declaration of the Whitestone Taxpayers. My question to you is. What is your real agenda here?
Feb. 9, 2012, 4:22 pm
Whitestone says:

Alfredo, Come on give it a break! We ALL know it's you!!
Feb. 10, 2012, 2:33 pm
In the know from District 19 says:
Again " My question to you Cindy is. What is your real agenda here?"

You seem to be apt at steering the focus away from who the real troublemakers are. You make accusations with no proof and quite frankly border on libel. As a Democratic consultant you should know better. I can not understand what your real motive is here. You have never met Al yet you chose to attack him. I have been following these posts and everytime Al or anyone who you think might be affiliated with him or his group, YOU attack. You then repeat your ridiculous "multi character" comment. There is something seriously fishy going on with you and your agenda will come out soon enough. It cant be because Al is a registered Republican , nor can it be that he is a threat to your Democratic clients as he has clearly stated in the past he has no desire to run. Are your clients worried that they plan on not doing the right thing if they get elected and thus have hired you and your team to try and discredit this man?

Again I ask, what is your true agenda here?

Signed : Not Alfredo C (FOR REAL)
Feb. 10, 2012, 3:59 pm
Also knows says:
Good call in the know

She is up to something and it is fishy for sure.

Keep plugging .
Feb. 10, 2012, 4:55 pm
Whitestone says:
Alfredo, Come on give it a break! We ALL know it's you!!
Feb. 10, 2012, 5:59 pm
In the know from District 19 says:
Cindy come on get a new song already
Feb. 10, 2012, 6:01 pm
Joe from Whitestone says:
You can't be "In The Know" if you think Cindy is a political operative. You are way off the mark on this one.
And you have been following the posts and just happen to know that Al is a registered Republican?
Those "In the Know", know who Cindy is and there is no agenda. She definitely knows what is going on.
Feb. 10, 2012, 6:17 pm
In the know says:
Public information , ones party registration is easily accessible information

Besides I'm in the know so I know :)~

Joe, I find it intersting that you would say " Democratic operative" I think I said Democratic consultant

Either way read the posts and then tell me who started the negativity
Feb. 10, 2012, 6:40 pm
Angelo says:
Hey, I read the post,the negativity always comes from Carmine, and he was your BFF.
Feb. 11, 2012, 9:14 am
Carmine says:
Double Expresso with one sugar please
Feb. 11, 2012, 11:18 am
Whitestone says:
Oh Alfredo, Come on give it a break! We ALL know it's you!!
Feb. 11, 2012, 12:40 pm
In the know says:
Cindy come on get a new song already
Feb. 11, 2012, 1:33 pm
Michael DeSario from Floral Park says:
Just wanted to throw my 2-cents in as a former Whitestone resident. I was a member of the taxpayers association many years ago and it was a great organization up until recent years. I did a bit of google-ing and there seems to be countless articles about the new Whitestone civic and its website but very few articles about the Malba group (is Malba Garden's in Malba?) This is for Devon - don't let anyone put you down. I did the research and found that you have done amazing things for the neighborhood, what has this guy done? Continue on your path and you'll be fine! It's easy to sit on a computer and complain all day but to be out there doing what you are doing is incredible!

Mike DeSario
Feb. 12, 2012, 10:06 am
Cynthia says:

I am sure you read these comments and see who has been complaining. Who is this guy you are referring to?

At no point did anyone knock Devon.
Feb. 12, 2012, 11 am
Cindy from Whitestone says:
THE REAL Alfredo C. If you can, please explain what you mean when you stated, "we all need to work together instead of trying to divide the community" How is a story about neighborhood civic groups working to save a parade, with the exception of yours I might add, dividing a community? The readers clearly find the negativity coming from the people that seemingly represent you and your organization.

I'm also puzzled by the fact that you have admitted using different variations of your own name, one may conclude the next step may be using a different name or even claiming to be an entire district. However, my own conclusions are based on facts with proof, if necessary. Please remember, I am "in the know" as well.

You have chosen a debate on this forum and have directed the public to this page, so if you, not someone speaking for you, can please explain to the readers, void of a condescending tone, less the accusations of attacking you, who in your view is attempting to cause a rift within this community? Thank you!
Feb. 12, 2012, 12:55 pm
Carmine says:
Hey Al looks like someone read your Facebook post.
Feb. 12, 2012, 1:47 pm
Carmine says:
Also, did you read the previous article here about the parade? How exactly did the other groups, other than DG help with the parade? I know GWTCA gave a nice amount of money, what about the other group you speak of? How did they help? What did they donate?

Al answer this woman.

How did Al choose to debate you in this forum again?
Feb. 12, 2012, 1:53 pm
Carmine says:
Are YOU "in the know"?
Feb. 12, 2012, 1:53 pm
Steve says:
new established creditability less then zero, you called that one cindy. send me the links, thanks.
Feb. 12, 2012, 4:01 pm

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