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Astoria Civic turns 75

The venerable Astoria Civic Association held its 75th anniversary dinner dance recently at Ricardo’s-by-the-Bridge, bringing new vitality to their leadership and a smile to the faces of all who attended.
The ceremonies were masterfully supervised by Peter Vallone, Sr. who, despite being the elder statesman of city government, is a mere youngster when it comes to the group.
Chartered in 1933 by a group of concerned Astoria residents, the civic was for many years headed by one of the organizers, Executive Chairman Judge Charles J. Vallone - the father of the current patriarch of the Vallone family.
With the judge’s passing in 1967, the group established a scholarship in his name. Over the years, they have elected scholarship winners to their board of directors, thus keeping a steady stream of “young blood” and fresh ideas.
This year was no exception. Two winners of a Judge Charles J. Vallone Scholarship joined the board as new directors: Elizabeth Crum (1998) and Angela Meloni (2007). They took the oath of office, administered by State Senator George Onorato, who also presented several Senate proclamations to honorees.
Crum earned a round of applause earlier when it was announced that she had recently earned her doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology.
The officers of the civic were next, sworn in by Councilmember Peter Vallone Jr. Showing himself no less entertaining than his father, the younger Vallone drew a big laugh when he stumbled over the name of the group’s Treasurer - Paul Vallone.
Oaths and honors were also bestowed on the civic’s new president, Patricia Babor and departing president, Eartha Washington.
A special award was presented to restaurateurs and philanthropists, Dimitrios (Jimmy) and Georgia Kaloidis, for their innumerable good works on both sides of the Atlantic.
Congressmember Carolyn Maloney presented a congressional recognition to the work begun by Judge Vallone and continued by the succeeding generations in Astoria. This offered the public a rare chance to applaud Perry Vallone, the rare family member who has not sought public service, and lives in Pennsylvania.
Despite all the obligatory salutations and brief congratulatory remarks by State Assemblymember Michael Gianaris and Congressmember Anthony Weiner, the crowd was soon happily involved in the dining and dancing portion of the dinner dance.
Here again, the senior Vallone took a back seat to none as he swirled his lovely wife Tina about the floor. Even the younger Vallones, Paul and Anna Marie, obviously no strangers to the dance floor themselves, seemed impressed.

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