Dishing with Dee: Surprises abound at luncheon and rally

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The weather this week has been absolutely gorgeous and time speeds by so rapidly it makes you wonder where it goes.

Thursday was our usual killer day. It started off with the Queens Chamber of Commerce luncheon at Antun's in Queens Village. Both the food and service were Antun's's usual best efforts. Part of the program was the swearing in of the new officers by Queens District Attorney Richard Brown. Considering it was the middle of the day during the middle of the week, they had quite a nice turnout.

I sat at a table next to Bill Driscoll of the Parkside Group, a bright, entertaining gentleman. Granted that sounds outrageous a gentleman in the political world? and he is a lawyer, too, but he really is a nice guy and I would be happy to sit next to him anytime.

What did we talk about? Why, politics, of course. This year and next are years with end-to-end political conversations, as there are so many musical chairs going on.

Early Thursday evening, the Wood-Heights Democratic Club held its fifth annual dinner-dance at Bruno's on the Boulevard in Astoria. The event was originally scheduled for Dante's in Jackson Heights, but I am sure you recall last week when Dante's had a problem with gas leakage, so the party was moved to Bruno's.

Michael Den Dekker and Ellen Raffaele did an excellent job in spite of the last-minute switch in locations. It all worked out well and, according to the comments, everyone had a great time.

This year's honorees were Eric Gioia (D-Sunnyside), Maureen Allen, Michael McGuire and the Russo family of Dante Caterers.

The last part of Thursday evening we covered the 21st Annual Partners for Progress Gala at Terrace on the Park. Eduardo Marti, president of Queensborough Community College, and his staff are to be congratulated on the excellent job they did.

Their honorees this year were Elaine Tomassetti-Scotto, Larry Schulman, Iris Weinshall and Maureen White. This year's master of ceremonies and gala chair was Dominick Bruccoleri of Pappazio's Restaurant in Bayside.

Members of the Kupferberg family were in attendance. Harriet and Kenneth Kupferberg founded the Kupferberg Holocaust Resource Center and Museum in Queensborough, where it serves over 25,000 visitors annually. The family is are dedicated to maintaining the sacred promise of "Never again!"

Saturday night was quite a switch from the usual happenings in the area. The Bridge Runners Motorcycle Club held a breakout blitz at 8 p.m. at the Thistle & Shamrock Pub on 150th Street in Whitestone between 14th Avenue and the Cross Island Parkway service road. The purpose of the rally was to help support our troops, which they did by collecting cell phones for soldiers to help keep them talking to their families and loved ones. They also encouraged the general public to donate old, used or even broken cell phones.

I am sure it is still possible to donate your phones. The contact number is 718-746-9512 or you could probably still drop them off at the Thistle & Shamrock, 147-17 150th St. in Whitestone.

They had live music provided by Sea Monster. There must have been close to 250 Harley-Davidson bikes parked vertically on each side of the street for over a block. As far as we know, there were no reported incidents and they just seemed to be out to have a little fun and support a good cause.

We saw many different motorcycle clubs. From the Bridge Runners, we saw Sacred Steel, Trashed N.Y. and the Christian Motorcyclist Association, as well as a smattering of Hells Angels. Would you believe one of the Harley bikers from Whitestone made a point of seeking me out to inform me that he enjoys reading "Dishing with Dee" in the Whitestone Times every week? Go figure!

In any event, Whitestone will never be the same. I do not believe in its entire existence that Whitestone ever had that many bikers go through it. Some bikers get bad raps, but apparently this group had hearts of gold. Way to go, guys!

That's it for this week. I look forward to hearing from you with information on people, parties, politics or some plain, old-fashioned gossip. I also like receiving your voice mail at 718-767-6484, faxes at 718-746-0066 and e-mail at deerrichard@aol.com.

Till next week, Dee.

Updated 6:57 pm, October 10, 2011
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