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Little Neck-Doug parade honors borough’s best

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Capt. Donald Ferguson, director of external affairs at the United States Merchant Marine Academy, is the grand marshal of the parade that will take over Northern Boulevard between Jayson Street and Alameda Avenue on Memorial Day. "It's such an honor," said Reese, a Flushing resident and native of Whitestone. "It's overwhelming to say the least."Reese's many years of community service have distinguished her as an extremely involved, civic-minded resident who has experience in many different fields in the borough. She sits on the boards of such cultural institutions as the Voelker-Orth Museum, the Queens Theatre in the Park, the Flushing Council on Culture and the Arts, where she was vice president from 1998-1999, and the Oratorio Society.The St. John's University alum is also heavily involved with education and childhood development in the borough, serving on the boards of Queensborough Community College, Holy Cross High School, the School for Language and Communication Development, and the Queens Child Guidance Center, and is affiliated with the Long Island City YMCA.Topping it all off, Reese, a community relations consultant for New York Community Bank, also serves on the boards of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and the New York Families for Autistic Children, and is involved with the American Cancer Society. She is a member of the Queens Chamber of Commerce, the Queens Historical Society, and the Queens Botanical Garden, and works with the Samaritan Foundation Inc. as well as the Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival held yearly in Flushing Meadows-Corona park.Reese has been recognized with a passel of awards, including the Flushing Council on the Arts' 1998 Woman of the Year award, the American Cancer Society's 1999 Outstanding Achievement in Fundraising, and the 2004 Lifetime Achievement Award from the Community Advocacy Center.Like Reese, Bendell is involved with a diverse array of community groups.The board chairman and chief executive officer of Major Automotive Companies, based in Long Island City, Bendell oversees 14 new car dealerships and related franchises in an empire that bring in more than $300 million in sales annually. But he still finds time to serve as the director of the Queens Chamber of Commerce, the Long Island City Business Development Corporation as well as the Long Island City Lions Club. He is the chairman of Unisphere, Inc., the non-profit foundation for Flushing Meadows-Corona Park. The Queens College graduate is a board member for the Long Island City YMCA where he helped fund-raise for a $5.5 million new facility serving 20,000 kids, a member of the Queens District Attorney's Business Advisory Council, a trustee of the New York Hospital Medical Center of Queens, a board member of the Mayor's Fund to Advance NYC as well as many leadership roles within the automotive sales industry. Bendell's community service has been recognized with awards like Queens Businessman of the Year, the Ellis Island Medal of Honor, and the Paul Harris Fellow Award from the Queens Rotary Club.Busy as he is, Bendell did not return calls for comment.Reach reporter Sophia Chang by e-mail at news@timesledger.com, or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 146.

Posted 7:06 pm, October 10, 2011
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