Elected officials, residents and the family of Fred Mazzarello helped rename a neighborhood street Saturday after a man who was known as “the mayor of College Point.”
With the pull of a string, Mazzarello’s widow, Helen Mazzarello, unveiled the sign marking the corner of 14th Road and College Point Boulevard as “Fred J. Mazzarello Way.”
Mazzarello, who died two years ago at age 84, was the founder of the College Point Board of Trade – an organization comprised of neighborhood businesses – and owned a bowling alley in the community.
“He was a very active person. He helped many people in this town get jobs,” Helen Mazzarello said. “He gave everything over himself. It’s a great loss for the community.”
City Councilman Tony Avella (D−Bayside), the event’s master of ceremonies, called Mazzarello someone “who gave almost his entire life to the character and preservation of this community.”
“You can’t estimate how many projects he worked on in this neighborhood,” the councilman said.
State Sen. Frank Padavan (R−Bellerose) recalled how then−mayoral candidate Michael Bloomberg participated in College Point’s Memorial Day parade in 2001 and introduced the future mayor to Mazzarello.
“I told [Bloomberg] if you want to be mayor, you have to meet the mayor of College Point,” Padavan said.
“If you had to have a friend who would be with you through thick and thin ... it was Fred,” he said. “Fred is College Point, was College Point. He gave everything he had — virtually his entire life. He personified everything that was good about our community, our city and our country.”
State Assemblywoman Nettie Mayersohn (D−Flushing) said she remembered how Mazzarello supported her in her first run for elected office.
“I loved him,” she said. “He was really responsible for my being in the Assembly. He was such a special person. This community was his whole life. We all miss him so much.”
Mazzarello’s youngest daughter, Rita, said her father “was a man that lived with no regrets.”
She said the honor was a way for the community to learn about her father.
“It’s not about Fred Mazzarello Way,” she said. “It’s about looking at a sign. It’s a symbol of service.”
Reach reporter Howard Koplowitz by e−mail at hkoplowitz
©2008 Community News Group
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