By Dee Richard
As promised last week, here is an update on the parties we were able to attend.
According to the Little Neck-Douglaston Memorial Day Parade Committee co-chairman, Chet Szarejko of the dinner-dance committee, the dance at Terrace on the Park was a huge success with more than 350 people attending.
The honorees were Woman of the Year Deborah Markell Kleinert, Man of the Year and Assemblyman Brian McLaughlin, and the Community Service Business Award went to Bryce REA Associates, and John Farrell received the Douglas McKay Community Service Award. John’s sister came all the way from Albany to help celebrate his honor.
They sold a ton of raffle tickets at $100 each for the Plasma TV, but as of yet I have not found out who the lucky winner was. The music was provided by Uncle Walt and the Jewels.
The guest list included Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Diana Taylor, Sens. Frank Padavan and Serf Maltese and City Council Speaker Giff Miller.
Additional Council members were David Weprin, Helen Sears, John Liu, Melinda Katz, Assemblyman Mark Weprin, Borough President Helen Marshall, former Borough President Claire Shulman, as well as all the members of the parade committee and their families and friends. They all turned out for a fun time, which it certainly was.
Tom Manton’s Queens County Democratic Organization’s winter-spring cocktail party held earlier in the same evening at Antun’s in Queens Village was a stellar occasion, as usual.
Some familiar faces in that crowd were U.S. Reps. Gary Ackerman and Anthony Weiner, state Comptroller Alan Hevesi, Manhattan Borough President C. Virginia Fields, Marshall, state Sens. Malcolm Smith and Toby Stavisky, Assembly members Ivan Lafayette, Nettie Mayersohn, Barry Grodenchik, Barbara Clark and Council members Peter Vallone Jr., John Liu, Tony Avella and David Weprin. Queens District Attorney Richard Brown was surrounded by lots of judges and lawyers as well as the party faithful.
I had to leave the party early to go to Terrace on the Park to the Memorial Day dinner-dance. I am sure I missed a lot of the late arrivals. As hard as I try, I haven’t yet figured out how to be in two places at the same time.
The trouble with Thursday evening is that it is the night that everyone decides to have their parties. The reason they give is that all the politicians are either in Washington, D.C. or Albany from Monday through Wednesday night or early Thursday morning. There must be some sort of a solution rather than this Thursday bunch of bananas routine.
In fact, on the same Thursday evening at Russos on the Bay the New York Families for Autistic Children also had their event. The Terrace party ran rather long and by the time they had given out all the awards it was much too late to start out for Russos. I’m sorry I missed it, as they are a great group of people who do a lot of good for children with autism and their families.
Saturday night the Queens Lesbian and Gay Pride Committee held its 11th annual Queens winter pride dinner-dance at the Astoria World Manor.
The honorees were state Sen. Tom Duane and Mickey Helfand. Mickey has been the assistant director of SAGE Queens for five years. It is the only senior citizen center for gays and lesbians in Queens.
Some of their guests were New York City Comptroller Bill Thompson, U.S. Rep. Joe Crowley, Assemblymen Michael Gianaris and Jose Peralta, state Sens. John Sabini and Stavisky as well as Council members Helen Sears, Christine Quinn, Liu, Weprin, Hiram Monserrate and, of course, all the honorees and members, friends and family connected to the Lesbian and Gay Pride Committee.
Brendan Fay and Thomas Moulton were both there wearing their traditional kilts. Brendan and Tom were the first gay men from Queens who went to Canada last July to get married. Brendan is very busy preparing for his Queens St. Patrick’s Day parade, which will be held this weekend in Woodside.
Brendan is also writing a book about the life of his good friend the Rev. Mychal Judge. Mychal was an openly gay priest who is sorely missed by all of us and especially by the gay community, which had such a strong affection for him and for all the good work he did for them.
If anyone has any photos or other bits of information concerning Father Mychal, Brendan would like to hear from you he can be reached at 718-721-2780.
That same Saturday evening Assemblyman Bill Scarborough held a fund-raiser at the JFK Radisson. This was also a well-attended affair. Bill Tennyson’s wife, Katherine, died a while ago and they have set up the Katherine Tennyson Scholarship Fund in her honor.
Bill’s honorees were the Rev. Edward Davis, Antonio K’Tori, Bill Briggs, Moustafa el-Sheikh and Joyce Lawrence.
I ran into old friends Henry McCoy, Archie Spigner, Dora Young, Jean Phelps and Councilman Leroy Comrie. It was great seeing them all again. Adam Phillips was the comedian and the emcee.
The Americans of Italian Heritage had a fabulous luncheon at the Parkside Restaurant in Corona. They have a lovely private room upstairs. On one of the walls is a huge picture of classic Marilyn Monroe standing on a grate with the wind blowing up her white pleated dress. What a great photo. Even after all these years it hasn’t lost its cachet.
You may reach me via voice mail at 718-767-6484, fax at 718-746-0066 or e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Don’t forget to check out the photos on the “Focus on Queens” page.
Till next week,