Community event for Variety Boys and Girls Club

Community members of all ages made their way to Astoria Park on Sunday, September 19 to be part of the 2010 Honorable Gloria D’Amico Fun Run/Walk.

The annual Salah M. Hassanein Variety Boys and Girls Club of Queens event is named in honor of Queens County Clerk Gloria D’Amico, a resident of Astoria who is a member of the organization’s board.

“The namesake is very worthy,” said Assemblymember Michael Gianaris. “Gloria D’Amico’s been a tremendous influence on this community. There’s no better day and no better person to honor.”

Several races were held throughout the day. Adults participated in a 3k and senior power walk. For the children participants, there was a 50-yard dash, half-mile race, and mile race.

Trophies were handed out to the winners and runners-up. The day also included activities for the children, tug-of-war that pitted adults against the children, and a pie-eating contest.

“This is a community affair,” D’Amico said, noting that the event was free to all participants. “We wanted to bring to the community what the Variety Boys and Girls Club does for the community. They do a fantastic job.”

The organization, which is based in Long Island City, works with children ages 6 to 17, including through an after school program and daycare. Its president, Sue Robotti said that it has a caring, dedicating staff.

“The Boys and Girls Club is all about mentoring and interacting with small children so that they have positive role models,” Robotti, said.

Along with letting people know more about the club’s work, the event also provided a message of fitness to the community.

“This neighborhood is very much like a family,” Gianaris said. “We care about each other, we look out for each other and it’s good to promote activities that will contribute to the general well being.”

During the trophy presentations, D’Amico thanked the members of the community for attending the event. She was also recognized further for her contributions to Astoria.

“It’s just a great, great day and you couldn’t find a better person in the entire universe than Gloria D’Amico,” said former Council Speaker Peter Vallone, Sr. “She does so much for so many people.”

For more information on the Salah M. Hassanein Variety Boys and Girls Club of Queens, visit www.vbgcq.org or call 718-728-0946.