Bayside-Whitestone Lions Club looking for new president

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This was a rather slow week, or at least for me it was. Last Thursday, the Queens Chamber of Commerce held a business card exchange mixer. Those events are always a fun way to network.

I had a chance to have a brief conversation with an interesting man by the name of Greg Sullivan, formerly the Bayside BID executive director.

At one point, I also sat next to Kathy Wenk, of the advertising department of TimesLedger. Although I have known Kathy for years, it was the first opportunity to do more than say, “Hi, how are your doing?” Kathy turned out to be interesting and I can see why she is a good saleswoman. She brought me up to date on many of our mutual friends and acquaintances. That is why I like networking: You never know who you will sit next to and how interesting they might turn out to be.

Later that same evening, it was off to the Bayside-Whitestone Lions Club meeting at Paul Vallone’s law office at Francis Lewis Boulevard. Paul is the current president of the Lions Club, but he is looking for someone to replace him as president.

While Paul has been doing an excellent job in that capacity, he said it will become a conflict of interest. Uh-oh! Guess that means Paul plans to run for political office.

According to the Lions Club credo and by-laws, the Lions declare they are not a political organization nor do they support any political organizations — far from it. We wait and see the results of this turn of events. Paul is one of the good guys and I wish him the best in whatever he chooses to do. Keep us informed, as we are interested in both you and your future career.

You know the expression “The best laid plans of mice and men so often go astray”? My plans for Saturday were to cover the Lunar New Year Parade in Flushing, which I have done for so many years. I left my house an hour and a half early, as the parade was due to kick off at 10 a.m. in front of the 109th Precinct on Union Street.

Allowing a half hour to get there, I thought an hour would be sufficient time to find a place to park and get set to cover the parade.

Wrong! Saturday is the busiest day of the week in downtown Flushing, as people from all over come to do their shopping and apparently take over all the available parking spaces. Add to this mix the throngs of participants and well-wishers viewing the parade and you have a parking problem.

My plan was good strategy in the past, but just didn’t cut it this year. As time passed, the police barricades had every street blocked off, eliminating any place to park near the parade route. The places you might find a spot if you were lucky were at one-hour meters on Northern Boulevard. There was no way you could run back and forth to mind the meter. The time required to do that would defeat the purpose of trying to cover the parade.

What a frustrating experience! My husband is still not speaking to me. Our game plan was for him to find a parking space and I would walk over to the nearest spot on the parade route. We eventually found a spot on Northern Boulevard by a meter. The woman parked in front of us said that even if my husband was in the car and I tried to feed the meter for extra time, it was illegal and they would ticket you anyway, as you were only allowed to park for the designated time on the street sign.

It was total chaos. Had I known how difficult it was going to be this year, I would have stayed at home. Well, if I decide to give it a try next year, I’ll have to make some sort of different arrangement in advance. Even though I don’t have any parade pictures for you, check out this issue’s photo page.

Oh, well — better luck next time. Now that I vented, my spleen and I have gotten all that aggravating, frustrating stuff off my chest, I feel much better although I don’t think my husband feels much better. In any event, I hope I didn’t bore you with my tirade. Here is to more interesting things to report on next week.

Sunday, of course, was Super Bowl Sunday. Super Bowl XLVI is history, with the New York Giants beating the New England Patriots. The welcoming parade and the mayor’s presenting the keys to the city to the team will become part of our cherished history.

I look forward to your voice mails at 718-767-6484, faxes at 718-746-0066 and e-mails at

Posted 1:09 am, February 9, 2012
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Reader feedback

Michael Serao from Bayside Queens says:
With all due respect, this headline is incorrect, Mr. Vallone never said he was seeking a new president, the Club Simply presented the slate for the upcoming elections and he announced who will be running, including the candidate for president, Donald Frain. He advised the club that if anyone was interested in running before the elections, to contact the board so we can add their name to the slate, as any organization does. In less than 1 year we have over 60 members and have participated in numerous charitable events to support our community including our upcoming scholarship awards and tree giveaway program.
Feb. 9, 2012, 3:53 pm
Donald Frain from Little Neck says:
Dear Mrs. Richards,

Generally I look forward to reading your articles but consider your February 9, 2012 Times Ledger article titled “Bayside-Whitestone Lions Club looking for new president” misrepresentative of the Club and its procedures.

Although a new club, the Bayside-Whitestone Lions Club (BWLC) is part of an international organization with a long history providing community services and support throughout the globe. Each member club is charged with identifying local community needs to support; but in accordance with guidelines established by the New York International Lions Club of New York and Bermuda. It is also important to note that each member of the club participants in these activities as evidence by the large turnout at the Club’s monthly meetings. During the past year the BWLC has honored policeman from the 109 and 111 Precincts, established a scholarship fund for high school seniors, food drives for needy individuals and supplies for senior citizens and upcoming tree giving event. The Club has just established a 501c charitable foundation that will significantly enhance its abilities to support the community.

Regarding the election process this is an annual requirement overseen by a Nominating Committee and Board of Directors of the Club. To imply this is somehow politically motivated is just wrong and misleading. The Nominating Committee considers members in good standing and will present a slate at a monthly meeting. One the slate is presented to the members, any member can nominate another member for consideration. The members then vote.

The Bayside Whitestone Lions Club is proud of what it has accomplished in a short period of time and is confident that its membership and community support will continue to grow.

I trust you will convey these facts to your readers.

Donald Frain
First Vice President
Bayside-Whitestone Lions Club
Feb. 9, 2012, 4:13 pm

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