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PEOPLE MAKING A BUZZ 12-30

HOLIDAY EVENTS

The Love Tree project – conceived by artist Lin Shih Pao – stands 28 feet tall and was made using over 10,000 recycled water bottles, 10,000 LED lights and a wire armature. The Flushing community took an active role in the tree’s creation by bringing recycled empty water bottles to Flushing Mall and Queens Crossing for collection. The tree was lit by members of the Flushing Chinese Business Association, Councilmember Peter Koo, State Senator Toby Ann Stavisky, Linda Sun (spokesperson for Assemblymember Grace Meng), Crossing Art Gallery Director Katherine Lee and Lin Shih Pao in Queens Crossing Plaza. It will remain lit throughout the holiday season.

The Clinton Democratic Club held their Holiday Party at the law firm of Vallone & Vallone, located at 25-59 Francis Lewis Boulevard, on Friday, December 17. In attendance were the now famous Clinton Club Singers performing Christmas classics for the members and Club President Paul Vallone as well as State Senator-Elect Tony Avella, State Committee member Joseph Dorsa, City Councilmember Peter F. Vallone Jr. and former Speaker of the City Council Peter F. Vallone. Over 100 toys were collected and presented to FreeMAT, a local organization through New York Hospital of Queens that collects toys for families of veterans overseas from the local area. The Clinton Democratic Club will hold its next meeting of the New Year on Wednesday, January 19, with City Comptroller John Liu as their featured speaker.

Councilmember Peter Vallone Jr., State Senator-Elect Tony Avella, president Paul Vallone, State Committee member John Dorsa, vice chair of CB 7 Chuck Apelian, and Clinton Club Singers.

More than 600 boys and girls, ages five to nine from all five boroughs, gathered at the Police Athletic Leagues (PAL) Annual Holiday Party at PAL’s Harlem Center, Manhattan Avenue and 119th Street, on December 11. Young people from PAL’S Edward Byrne Center in South Jamaica, P.S. 214 in Flushing, PAL’s Rockaway Beacon and Redfern Cornerstone in Arverne-Far Rockaway enjoyed a festive holiday party filled with arts and crafts, giant board games, face painting, carnival booths, inflatable rides, goody bags, holiday treats and a visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus.

Cheerleaders from PAL’s Edward Byrne Center pose for photos with The Radio City Rockettes at the Police Athletic League’s Annual Holiday Party.

In the spirit of the season, Councilmember Peter F. Vallone Jr. joined Bishop Mitchell Taylor and the East River Development Alliance for a toy giveaway and holiday party at Astoria Houses.

ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENTS

The listed local students have been recognized by their colleges or universities for the following achievements:

GRADUATIONS

Excelsior College

Galit Davidov of Flushing earned a B.S.

Orit Davidov of Flushing earned a B.S.

BEST AND BRIGHTEST

SUNY College

at Oneonta

Jennifer Sanders of Saint Albans is among the 45 students being honored by SUNY Oneonta as the college’s "Best and Brightest" for the fall 2010 semester.

CHARITY DONATIONS

Delta Air Lines recently presented a $110,000 check to the Steven and Alexandra Cohen Children’s Medical Center (CCMC) of New York – proceeds from its First Golf Classic, held last fall at Muttontown Country Club. Delta Air Lines also treated CCMC patients and their families to "Holiday in the Hangar" at John F. Kennedy International Airport. The company escorted kids and their parents from the hospital to the airport, where families boarded a jet to taxi to a festively decorated hangar. Elves welcomed everyone to the party, which featured a New York Rangers skating rink and New York Knicks basketball court donated by the Madison Square Garden, cheerleaders, face painting and a buffet dinner. Capping off the evening was an appearance by Santa Claus, who rode a special Delta train into the hangar to distribute gifts galore to the children.

Delta Air Lines team members participating in the check presentation were, from left, first row: Stacey Milonas of Glen Head, Jeanne Kemperle of Oyster Bay Cove, John Barile of Oceanside; Michele Nocella of West Islip, Mike Medeiros, vice president of Delta Airlines-JFK, Stephanie Baker of West Islip, and Waseem Mian of Valley Stream. From left in the second row are: Kevin McGeachy, CCMC deputy executive director; Arthur Klein, MD, CCMC executive director; Kevin Dwyer, senior vice president of the North Shore-LIJ Health System Foundation; and Phil Grieci, Delta Airlines-JFK, of Massapequa.

Employees of the New York State Funeral Directors Association (NYSFDA) voluntarily chose to participate in many worthy causes throughout 2010. These include holding a charity garage sale to support the American Cancer Society’s cancer education and outreach initiatives in the Capital Region; donating more than 125 pounds of non-perishable food items to the Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York; and collecting toys for a local Rotary Club’s Holiday Toy Auction for needy children.

APPOINTMENTS

An esteemed professor of law, respected scholar and advocate for Catholic and Jesuit education will be the next Jesuit to lead The University of Scranton. The Reverend Kevin P. Quinn, S.J., J.D., Ph.D., executive director of the Ignatian Center for Jesuit Education and a professor of law at Santa Clara University, Santa Clara, CA, has been named the 25th president of The University of Scranton. Father Quinn will assume his duties as president on July 1. He will succeed the Reverend Scott R. Pilarz, S.J., who announced in August that he would leave Scranton to begin service as president of Marquette University in the summer of 2011.

HONORS & AWARDS

Allstate Insurance Company has recognized Allstate exclusive agency owner Peter Urquhart for high standards in customer satisfaction, customer retention and profitable business growth, earning him an invitation to attend Allstate’s President’s Conference 2010. Urquhart’s agency, located at 265-20 Hillside Avenue in Floral Park, is now one of the top Allstate agencies in the nation in auto, property, commercial, power sports insurance and financial services sales.

Peter Urquhart

ANNIVERSARIES

To celebrate their 20th anniversary of trading on NASDAQ, Veronica Tsang, senior vice president of Eastern Regions of Cathay Bank, a subsidiary of Cathay General Bancorp (CATY) rang the opening bell at the NASDAQ Market site in Times Square on December 14. Twenty years ago, Cathay General Bancorp was the first bank holding company founded by Chinese-Americans to be publicly listed on NASDAQ. She was joined by Councilmember Peter Koo and representatives from the Flushing branch of Cathay Bank.

Photo courtesy of Cathay Bank

Jimmy Van Bramer joined middle school students from Robert F. Wagner Secondary School for Arts and Technology in Long Island City to honor them for being the 2010 MOUSE Squad of the year. Founded in 1997, MOUSE is an innovative youth development organization that prepares students to provide technical support in their schools, helping them to develop essential 21st century skills and empowering them to become the leaders of tomorrow.

Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer honors middle school students from Robert F. Wagner Secondary School for Arts and Technology for being the 2010 MOUSE Squad of the year.

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