By Dee Richard
It’s hard to believe this is week No. 6 of the “Dishing with Dee” column — I guess it’s true that time really does fly when you’re having fun, and it is a lot of fun doing this column.
The New York Press Association’s spring convention at Saratoga Springs was fabulous and, as usual, the TimesLedger’s winning team walked off with tons of awards, 34 to be exact, including nine first-place awards. The seminars were both pertinent and informative, the networking opportunities were full of fun and camaraderie and the award ceremonies were awesome.
Thank you, TimesLedger, for including me as part of your team. In newsrooms, casual is the dress mode of the day — it was refreshing seeing everyone all dressed up and in a party mood.
Queens may be one of the outer city boroughs, but it has been getting inner city attention lately. Wonder why? Crown Prince Gifford Miller graced us with his presence no less than three times last Thursday, April 10, starting at 8:15 a.m. with a protest against Gov. George Pataki’s cuts to education in front of PS 18 in Bellerose.
Next was a stop at the Benjamin Rosenthal Senior Citizen Center in Flushing to address seniors’ concerns about how the budget crisis will impact them. Topping off the evening at 9 p.m. at Terrace on the Park was the 50th anniversary dinner dance of the Federation of New York Housing Cooperatives and Condominiums.
“What’s it All About, Giffie?” Are long-term visions of sugarplum fairies dancing in your head? Queens is a very strong voting bloc and a good place for a politically astute and ambitious young man to make inroads. Hmmmm!
An update on Florence Fisher’s fund-raiser at Angelo’s on April 14: Her campaign consultant, Lois Marbach, was on hand with the candidate’s bio, which she thoughtfully gave me. Florence, it appears, has been active in the Queens League of United Tenants, a volunteer organization that advises rent-stabilized and rent-controlled tenants about their rights.
She also is actively involved in other such organizations and is a member of Community Board 8. If elected to the City Council representing District 24, Florence feels she could do a lot more. Almost 100 people attended the fund-raiser.
The Little Neck Douglaston Memorial Day Parade Committee had yellow lapel ribbons made up that were given out to remind you to support our troops. They also want to remind you to save the date May 18, which is when they have their luncheon at the Kings Point Merchant Marine Academy.
The Samaritan Foundation held its annual Spring Benefits Award Dinner at the New York Hilton. Al Roker Jr., NBC weatherman and host of NBC’s “Today Show,” was master of ceremonies. The honorees were Vàza Rivers, Sher Sparano, Francine Furtado and Anthony Watson. It was a who’s who in Queens, with three first ladies present. New York state’s former first lady Matilda Cuomo, former Queens first lady Claire Shulman and present Queens first lady Helen Marshall.
And the list would not be complete without including Samaritan’s first lady, Charlotte Jefferson. The busiest place to be was in the silent auction room, where they had lots of great stuff to bid on. Estelle Cooper had her eye on a Coach bag — I wonder if her bid was the winning one?
The usual faithful were wandering around with checkbook or credit card in hand, doing their best to keep up the economy. Some of the big spenders were Georgiana Reese, Harriet Novet, Greg Murphy and his wife, Hank and Trish Auffarth, Linda DeSabato, Eileen Auld, Mr. and Mrs. Morris Lee, Terrie Tompson, Judge Patricia Satterfield and her husband, as well as JFK’s Alfred Graser and LaGuardia’s Warren Kroeppel, to name a few. According to Samaritan President Richard Pruss, it was a most successful event.
In the midst of all this gear shifting between photos and columns, somehow I overlooked mentioning good friend Sen. Malcolm Smith’s third anniversary of his “Election to the Senate” party at Antun’s on March 28. Sorry, Malcolm, maybe I had a senior moment, forgive me and I owe you one.
If you care to share, call me at 718-767-6484 or fax me at 718-746-0066. Let me know about upcoming events so we can cover them for you.
Till next week,