Spinella changes jobs at Bayside Historical

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After six years at the helm of the Bayside Historical Society, Geraldine Spinella has stepped down as president and moved into the role of executive director.

The move comes at a time when nonprofit groups like the historical society are being starved of state funding and community contributions as a result of the World Trade Center tragedy.

Spinella said the change in her title is simply a better reflection of the work she actually does at the historical society, and that she took the executive director’s position because the group has had difficulty finding a person to fill the role.

That problem has arisen, Spinella said, because few people want to take the relatively-low paying executive director’s job, which includes a salary of $25 an hour at only a few hours a week.

Being president “takes a lot of time and effort,” Spinella said. “I’ll still be doing the same thing I was doing before, except now maybe we can find a president who can work with me. This gives another person the opportunity to become active.”

Spinella spoke a week after the successful Take Back Our City fund-raiser she helped organize at Caffe on the Green for World Trade Center relief efforts.

More than a dozen northeast Queens community groups participated in the event, which included donations from entertainers to Joe Franco, proprietor of Caffe on the Green, who contributed space for the fund-raiser as well as food. Firefighters, police officers and rescue workers were treated as honored guests during the affair, Spinella said.

“We raised just about $10,000 and the checks are still coming in,” Spinella said of the event which drew almost 200 people. “It was a really good night.”

The Bayside Historical Society is headquartered at the Officer’s Club at Fort Totten in Bayside. For more information about the group or its events call the historical society at 352-1548.

Reach reporter Kathianne Boniello by e-mail at or call 229-0300, Ext. 146.

Posted 7:28 pm, October 10, 2011
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