Last Thursday John Farrell, Barbara Leonardi, Betty Carroll and I drove into Manhattan to deliver the checks to the Fisher House offices, which are located aboard the USS Intrepid.We were met by Chet Marcus, the public relations person for the 77th Regional Readiness Command at Fort Totten. Chet, who is an active supporter of the Fisher House programs, took us on a tour of the Intrepid Museum - a most worthwhile exhibit to visit.After our tour we delivered the checks to David Winters, the senior vice president, and Kristen Kelly, the vice president, of the Fisher Houses. Naturally, everyone posed for a few photos. I really didn't think that they had invited me along because they were enamoured of my baby blue eyes. They presented us with booklets about the Fisher Houses. We were impressed by how many of these agencies they have in the United States and around the world and by all the wonderful work they do for members of the armed forces and their families in their time of need.Tragically, Zachary and Elizabeth Fisher were killed in a plane crash on April 4, 2003. He was 52 and she was 41. Zachary was affectionately known as Tony Fisher. They left behind five children ranging in age from 3 to 15 years old, and their memorial service was held on the Intrepid. There were more than 2,500 mourners in attendance.Their philanthropies knew no bounds. They ranged from the Fisher Houses to a Fisher Center for Alzheimer's Disease Research Foundation. Through their charities, foundations and other philanthropic projects, Zachary and Elizabeth Fisher will carry on. They will indeed be missed.After that, we all drove back to Queens and had dinner at Il Bacco Restaurant on Northern Boulevard in Little Neck. If you have never been there, the food is great. Give it a try - you will like it. While there, we ran into Frank Macchio, who was having his Thursday-night-out dinner with the boys. He sent us all a drink on him. If we didn't get a chance to thank you that night, Frank, we do so now and the next time the drinks are on us.Friday morning there was a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the new Gertrude Ederly Terrace in Flushing Meadows Corona Park. Adrian Benepe, Richard Murphy and Estelle Cooper, who are with the Parks Department, were there, as were state Sens. Serf Maltese and Toby Stavisky, Assembly members Nettie Mayersohn and Barry Grodenchik, New York City Council members Helen Sears and Jim Genarro, as well as Karen Koslowitz, Gloria D'Amico, Bruce Bendell, Joe Franco and many others.Carol Conslato presented the Parks Department with a $10,000 check from Con Edison, which was greatly appreciated by all. When in the park, check out the new, gorgeous location on the lake. As an extra added attraction, the New York girls' rowers team paid a visit.Friday night we drove to Chinatown to attend a Chinese American Voters Association dinner at the 88 Palace Restaurant at 88 E. Broadway. Some of the people from Queens were Jean Ren, Meilin Tan, Peter Boudouvas and Janet Malone. It was great food and an interesting political evening with elected officials from all five boroughs. Included were James Ortenzio, chairman of the New York City Republican organization, and Sen. Martin Golden of Brooklyn.Saturday Roy and Barbara Tabita held their annual barbecue in their backyard in Little Neck. It had been scheduled for the week before but was canceled due to the rain. Because of that fact, it was not as well-attended as in other years. Roy and Barbara and their two pet dogs are great hosts and everyone had a pleasant, relaxing evening.Sunday and Monday were both days off and nothing was happening, at least that I knew of. Tuesday was National Night out Against Crime. We were able to get to three of our local precincts. They were they 109th, the 111th and the 107th. At the 109th we ran into City Councilman Tony Avella, Assemblyman Brian McLaughlin's staff and Gene McSweeney, who was representing Ann-Margaret Carrozza. Gene Kelty and Marilyn Bitterman of Community Board 7 were there, as were Wanda Beck Antosh of the 109th Community Council and Jerry Huang with Mai Ru of the Chinese American Voters Association.The next stop was the 111th, where aside from the precinct police brass we ran into state Sen. Frank Padavan, Boudouvas, Carrozza, Avella and City Councilman David Weprin. Sol Suskind and John Dorsa were also on hand to help with the festivities.The last stop at the 107th was the biggest and best of the ones we attended. Stavisky and Assembly members Mayersohn and Mark Weprin were there. The members of the 107th Precinct Community Council, the Boy Scouts, Cub Scouts, plus a live band for dancing under the stars all contributed to making the 107th's Night Out a super, enjoyable occasion. To top off the evening, they supplied everyone with free hotdogs, hamburgers and sodas. While I pride myself on being the equal opportunity photojournalist and columnist, I haven't written much about the Democratic Party for about the past three weeks. The Democrats were all getting ready to go to the Democratic National Convention in Boston, they were at the convention itself or they were packing up to come home. By next week we should have some Democratic doings to report to you. It should be back to business as usual.Correction: On last week's Focus on Queens page, the caption read, "The Democrats won the much-touted ballgame" when in actuality it was the Republicans. The other error was that Judge Peter O'Donoghue's best man was listed as his father instead of his brother, Joseph. Sorry about that, but it was not my fault; accidents happen.That's it for this week,Call me at 718-767-6484, fax me at 718-746-0066 or if you prefer, keep the e-mail coming to firstname.lastname@example.org.Till next week, Dee
©2004 Community News Group
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