Dishing with Dee: Anchor-Astoria Lodge 729 hosts awards party

By Dee Richard

College Point activist Joan Vogt was the recipient of the DeWitt Clinton Award last week at the Anchor-Astoria Lodge 729. This award is the highest that can be given to a non-Mason by the Masonic brotherhood. It was given to her for her many years of selfless dedication to the community.

The scholarship award was given to Jessica Meyerson, and the Camp Turk Award was given to Lauren Mac Donald. Eighteen other awards were presented to children from PS 69 (first grade through sixth grade) for their essays on drug and alcohol abuse.

Following the presentation of the awards, the lodge membership presented checks to the Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, the Order of the Eastern Star, the College Point Volunteer Ambulance and the College Point Security Patrol. TimesLedger columnist Sabina Cardali’s husband, Rocco, accepted the check for the College Point Security Patrol.

To quote Dolores Hoffman, “Billy did it again.” She was referring to his very successful luncheon and networking event at the Sheraton LaGuardia East last week. Billy McDermott is the director of development for TSI, a Whitestone-based service for people with disabilities. Hoffman was alluding to his previous networking luncheon at the Diamond Club at Shea Stadium. Despite a horrific snowstorm, the place was sold out and everyone managed to get there and come back for more last Thursday.

Billy has instituted a very innovative program of bringing the business community together with the members of his facility to introduce the business community to the needs of his clients and to make them aware of how appreciated and important their help is. The innovative part of the business community is providing useful seminars and networking opportunities, as well as a delightful luncheon.

A moment of silence for former U.S. Sen. Patrick Moynihan, a brilliant man who will be sorely missed. It is hard to believe that a statesman, scholar, humanitarian, raconteur, and bon vivant were all embodied in one man. He excelled in all. Rest in peace, son of Erin, knowing you did your jobs and lived your life well. There will be a memorial service for Moynihan at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in May.

Next we come to the inauguration of Uma Sengupta, as co-district leader of the 25th Assembly District, Part B. Her co-leader is Rory Lancman. Installation just would not describe it. Uma is so proud, and rightfully so, not only being the first South Asian Indo American to hold an elective office in Queens, but she is also a female Indo American, which is a double honor.

Her ceremony and luncheon were held at the Grand Bay Marina, which is under new management. U.S. Rep. Gregory Meeks was the master of ceremonies, and among the impressive number of guests were U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer, U.S. Rep. Anthony Wiener, U.S. Rep. Gary Ackerman, New York City Council Speaker Gifford Miller and Queens Borough President Helen Marshall.

The keynote address was delivered by Assemblyman Brian McLaughlin. Other elected officials present were Councilwoman Melinda Katz, Assemblyman Mark Weprin, Councilman David Weprin and Councilman John Liu, plus more than 300 guests.

Not too shabby, my dear. Congratulations, Uma, I know you will do a great job.

The Queens Child Guidance Center held a gala dinner dance at Terrace on the Park to celebrate its 50th anniversary of service to the children of Queens. The honorees were Daniel Murphy and Joseph Mattone Jr. According to president Hank Auffarth, the center’s Golden Anniversary Dinner Dance was the biggest and best ever.

Spotted in the crowd were Estelle Cooper, Debbie Markell, Rosalie and Judge Joseph Golia, Holly Blank and Steven Blank, Georgiana and Chris Reese, Carol and Larry Gesser, Thomas Chen, Bill Martin, Mr. and Mrs. Greg Murphy, Maryanne and Joseph Mattone Sr. and family, as well as the Macari family and the Petraccas, along with too many others to mention.

It was their most successful event to date and they are looking forward to the next 50 years being equally successful.

Allan Jennings’ much touted fund-raiser at Terrace on the Park was a well-attended, fun party. Almost 200 guests participated. Councilman Tony Avella and his wife, Judy, stopped by.

Tony, you look smashing in a tux. His lawyer, Joe Kasper, was there, as was his chief of staff, Bill Strubs. Bill’s brother James was the videographer. Longtime friends Ethel Chen and Oliver Koppell dropped in. A diversified group of well-wishers included African Americans, Chinese, East Indians, Hispanics, Koreans and just plain old garden variety Americans.

About eight members of the Asian Press covered the event. Allan said he was very proud of the amount of computers he has secured for the children in his district, and he does not intend to stop until every child has one. Not a word was mentioned about his ads in the Asian press concerning his personal life.

Allan danced every dance — that young man seems to have swivel hips — and it seems as though he enjoyed his party more than anyone else. That’s it for now, and remember, if you have anything interesting to say or would care to share or have invitations to your events, call me at 728-761-6484 or fax me at 718-746-0066.

Till next week,


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