By Dee Richard
This was another busy week. We had two back-to-back five-star events. On Jan. 23 the Flushing Chinese Business Association had its 22nd annual dinner-dance at Terrace on the Park. The featured guest speaker was junior U.S. Sen. Hillary Clinton. The FCBA took over the entire ballroom floor, and the two smaller rooms in the front of the building were used for the cocktail party.
The two large ballrooms in the rear of the building were opened up to make one huge room that was the location for the programs, entertainment and a dinner. This event gets bigger and better every year. Fred Fu is the FCBA president and he is doing a great job judging by the attendance at Friday’s function.
Just a few of the guests other than Hillary were U.S. Rep. Joe Crowley, New York City Comptroller Bill Thompson, Queens Borough President Helen Marshall, state Sens. Toby Stavisky and Frank Padavan, state Assemblyman Barry Grodenchik, City Councilman John Liu and Taiwan Ambassador Andrew Hsia along with Michael Lee from the Flushing Mall and other downtown Flushing projects.
We had a chance to meet Laureen Vivian, who was in a photo-op with Jimmy Kaloidis and Hillary. Jimmy is the owner of Terrace on the Park and Laureen is the official architect for Terrace. She is the young woman responsible for all the wonderful and innovative new decorative improvements you see each time you attend another event at Terrace. I must say they are turning an ordinary catering hall into a most impressive facility.
After the speeches, proclamations and entertainment during dinner they had dancing for the guests. And I must say Ellen Young of Liu’s office does a mean tango. In fact, we should nominate her for the Tango Queen of Queens. Marshall was wearing a rather stunning red cocktail suit complete with a beaded red satin blouse. Red, aside from being considered a good-luck color by the Chinese, is also a very flattering color for Helen. She should wear it more often.
One of the entertainers was Dr. J.D. Zhang of San Francisco who amazed everyone when he performed his act, which consisted of his face changing colors every time he flicked his fan.
The other biggie was on Jan. 27. It was the borough president’s State of the Borough address that was held in the Colden Center in Queens College. Aside from appraising everyone of the borough’s progress in all aspects pertaining to Queens, she also presented lifetime achievement awards to two deserving senior citizens.
One of these awards went to 94-year-old Frank Principe, the unofficial mayor of Maspeth. The other award went to Illinois Jacquet, a famous jazz musician from St. Albans who played with the most famous jazz legends of his time, and he is still playing his jazz saxophone today. Some of the greats he played with were Lionel Hampton, Cab Calloway and Count Basie.
The Songs of Love Organization founded by John Beizer serenaded 5-year-old David Sookhoo, who has leukemia. David is a charming young man who has much to offer as a role model to all other people, not just children with health problems. Good luck, David, hope you get well soon and thank you, John, for your Songs of Love, the medicine of music.
Two big thank yous are in order. One to Dolly DeThomas for the beautiful basket of flowers. The floral arrangement was created by Diva Florist of Albertson. The owner of the shop is Debbie Markell’s husband. He is not just a florist, he is an artist. If you have a need for flowers do not hesitate to call him.
The other thank you goes to former Borough President Claire Shulman for a lovely crystal paperweight from San Francisco. They were both lovely gifts which were greatly appreciated. Both ladies said they sent them in appreciation for all I do to put Queens on the map. Again, I thank you, ladies, and I’m touched by your thoughtfulness. But in reality I am only doing my job, as I see it.
Some of the other events this week were on Jan. 25. The JFK Democratic Club held its annual breakfast and swearing in of officers. New York City Comptroller Bill Thompson was a guest speaker and also did the honors of swearing in the officers.
New York City Councilman David Weprin gave a proclamation to 110-year-old Maud Scott, a resident of the Hollis Park Manor Nursing Home. Maud was born in 1894 in Brooklyn to African-American and Shinnecock Indian parents. Maud said she used to smoke, drink socially and never really watched her diet, so I guess it must be in her genes. She said both her parents lived to be 91.
Community Board 11 had its holiday party at Bourbon Street in Bayside. It was a very nice party. I sat next to Frank Skala and he did not have a single complaint about anything or anyone. Way to go, Frank, you’re starting the New Year off right.
That’s all the room we have for this week. My voice mail is 718-767-6484, my fax is 718-746-0066 and my e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org. Looking forward to hearing from you whichever way you choose.
Till next week,