By Nathan Duke
The congress, a boroughwide coalition of civic, condo, cooperative, tenant and other community organizations, also recognized the Sunnyside Gardens Preservation Alliance with an achievement award for preservation and gave the Queens Coalition for Parks and Green Spaces an environmental improvement award at the luncheon.But Walsh, a Bayside resident who founded the Queens Civic Congress in 1997, was the group's top honoree at the Sunday event at Antun's reception hall on Springfield Boulevard in Queens Village. Elected officials at the city, state and federal level turned out to praise Walsh.”Sean has given so much of his life to the borough and the city,” former Borough President Claire Shulman said. “He is an extraordinary person. He deserves all the praise we can give him.”Ron Kim, a spokesman for Gov. David Paterson, issued a proclamation honoring Walsh and a number of elected officials, including Borough President Helen Marshall and City Councilwoman Helen Sears (D-Jackson Heights), said the QCC founder had earned the respect of civic groups across the borough.Walsh, who received the Queens Civic Award for Outstanding Community Service at the luncheon, currently acts as the president emeritus to the congress.”People need to be inspired to come together on civics and community boards,” Walsh said. “I think we all owe a debt to the leaders who came before us.”The congress also honored the Sunnyside Gardens Preservation Alliance with the Queens Achievement Award for Preservation for its work to safeguard the national register historic district, while the Queens Coalition for Parks and Green Spaces, a group formed in 2001 to maintain as well as promote recreational activities in borough parks, was awarded the Queens Civic Environment Improvement Award.Reach reporter Nathan Duke by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 156.