Dishing with Dee: Show support by participating in upcoming Relay For Life

By Dee Richard

I guess this is the lull before the storm. Things were rather quiet this week, at least in my world.

On Wednesday evening, the American Cancer Society held a kick-off fund-raiser party at Monahan & Fitzgerald in Bayside in the upstairs party room.

The ACS was making the preliminary preparations for its seventh-annual Relay For Life, to be held June 4-5 in honor and memory of those whose lives have been lost to cancer.

Relay For Life recruits individual teams of eight to 15 people who take turns walking or running around a track all night long. A festive atmosphere prevails as team members camp out on the surrounding grounds for the duration of the event, during which time they can have fun and enjoy music, food and entertainment while developing camaraderie with fellow participants. Funds are raised through team commitment and each individual on the team is responsible for raising $100 in donations, which they collect from family, friends or business organizations.

The registration is 3 p.m. June 4 on the Fort Totten Parade Grounds in Bayside. Registration is also accompanied by an opening ceremony.

At 5 p.m. they all have a survivor’s lap, where cancer survivors are invited to take a victory lap while being cheered on by fellow participants. Survivors do not have to pay the $10 registration fee and should call Taliah at 718-261-1092, Ext. 5511 if you wish to sign up.

At 10 p.m., they have a candlelight ceremony called a “luminaria.” The way it works is that candles are placed in white bags filled with sand and placed around the track. They can be purchased in honor of those who have survived the battle with cancer as well as those who are still fighting the disease or in memory of those who have unfortunately lost their lives to the disease. The candles are kept burning all night to signify the importance of finding a cure.

If cancer has not affected you or someone in your family, how about considering joining a Relay For Life team either as a volunteer or team captain? You can also select a co-captain to help you. Though this event is for a somber cause, it is also a fun night and you have the satisfaction of knowing you and your friends are doing their part for a good cause. Think about it. You can get additional information from Taliah. By the way: When was the last time you camped out all night with your friends?

The second event was on Thursday evening and this was a re-election fund-raiser for City Councilman Peter Koo at Queens Crossing in Flushing. There must have been at least 400 to 450 people there. The event was in the Mulan Restaurant and the food there is super. I especially love their shrimp and lobster dishes.

There were so many important people there it is hard to know where or how to list them. Ed Cox, the Republican state chairman, was present as well as state Sens. Marty Golden and Toby Stavisky and state Assemblywoman Grace Meng. Koo and fellow Councilmen Eric Ulrich and Dan Halloran were also present.

There were groups in attendance representing both local Republican and Democratic political clubs, like Marilyn Bitterman and Gene Kelty from Community Board 7 and Chuck Wade from the Orth House. Joanne Ariola was also present with an interesting group from the Flushing Hospital, and representatives of the new group interested in developing the RKO Keith’s Theatre as well as people with an interest in the Willets Point project.

An intriguing combination I photographed in the same photo, would you believe, were John Messer and Isaac Sasson accompanied by Michael Niebauer? Could history be repeating itself? Are John and Isaac both considering a run against Toby again? If they are, then one of them must drop out. If they divide the vote, as they did last time, neither one of them can win and it becomes Toby’s race.

That’s it for this week.

I look forward to hearing from you with information on people, parties and politics or gossip. I like receiving your voice mails at 718-767-6484, faxes at 718-746-0066 and e-mails at [email protected].

Don’t forget to check out the Focus on Queens page.

Till next week, Dee.