By William Lewis
The Queens Village Republican Club had one of its most successful fund-raising events March 22 when more than 250 guests attended the annual Lincoln Dinner, which this year marked the group’s 140th anniversary.
The program consisted of awards and presentations. The master of ceremonies was talk show host Steve Malzberg. The keynote speaker was William Kristol, who in addition to being editor of The Weekly Standard, is a commentator on regular television political programs.
One award that received a lot of interest was the New York City’s Finest Award to Police Officers Kenneth Healy, Joseph Meeker, Peter Rivera and Taylor Kraft. These officers fought off an attack by a terrorist assailant in 2014.
Congressman Chris Gibson, a Republican from Kinderhook, N.Y., received the Rabbi Morton Pomerantz Veteran of the Year Award. Gibson, a retired Army colonel after serving 24 years in the military was in combat, most notably in Iraq. He received numerous commendations for his service. including four Bronze Stars and the Purple Heart.
Gibson is looked upon as a rising star in New York politics. He may be running for the U.S. Senate or the governorship during the next three years.
The Harvey Moder Achievement Award was presented to Katherine James, who served 13 years as deputy chief clerk on the Queens Board of Elections.
An address was also given by District Attorney Dan Donovan of Richmond County who is running in a special election for U.S. Congress.
The Queens Village Club has nine club officers and a 15-member board of directors. The president of the club, Philip Orenstein, and the chairman of the board of directors, James Trent, are to be commended as well as are all the club members who served on the dinner committee.
Fund-raising is an important part of political success. However, potential candidates, to have a chance for election, need a good campaign organization to circulate designating petitions, actively bring the candidate’s message on the issues to the voters through mailings, e-mails, personal visits, telephone calls and general campaigning.
This is especially true of the Queens Republican Party, which has at present only one elected official in office, that being City Councilman Eric Ulrich of Ozone Park who was first elected in 2009. He also spoke to the assembled gathering during the dinner program.
The Queens Village Republican Club had a significant number of ads in its dinner journal. Among the donors to the function was John Catsimatides, who has a Sunday morning radio program from 8:30 to 10:00 on 970 on the AM dial.
The new Republican County Chairman, Bob Turner, who served in Congress, intends to rebuild the county organization so that the county will again become competitive in the fall elections.
We will see how it works out, but the Queens Republicans have gotten off to a good start with the Queens Village Lincoln Day Dinner.