By Tammy Scileppi
The Hunters Point area of Long Island City has been transformed and revitalized over the years, thanks to third-generation resident Terri Adams, a dedicated volunteer who has been working tirelessly for community betterment.
“Though born in Astoria, I’ve lived all my life in the Vernon Boulevard house my grandfather bought in 1920, which is also where I raised my son,” said Adams, who retired in the 1980s from the US Navy, where she was an operations supervisor. Because of her desire to give back and make a difference, she then joined the Hunters Point Community Development Corp. as a volunteer, and later served as its executive director and president.
HPCDC worked with elected officials, Community Board 2 and Queens West to bring waterfront development to Hunters Point. In the mid-1990s, HPCDC also worked closely with the Queens Economic Development Corp.
“With four other groups, we became the Main Street Alliance,” Adams explained, recalling that they held a Sales Day with 72 vendors on Vernon Boulevard in 1994.
Under her leadership, HPCDC initiated an Easter Parade on Vernon Boulevard, and an egg hunt and Easter Bonnet contest in John Andrews Playground. Halloween and Stop the Violence events were also held there.
Never one to let grass grow under her feet, Adams also started the annual Hunters Point Community Unity event in 1995. In recent years, “Team Adams” has worked with the 108th Precinct to combine Community Unity with National Night Out Against Crime.
And when she was not busy fighting crime, Adams organized the first Hunters Point Farmers Market in her spare time as well as the first Hunters Point Eco-Friendly Flea Market on 48th Avenue in 2005.
As a result of her ongoing efforts and initiative, nine years ago HPCDC started sponsoring Holiday Lights on Vernon Boulevard through contributions from local merchants and former Queens Borough President Helen Marshall. And the annual Breakfast with Santa for Children at the Riverview Restaurant has put smiles on many kids’ faces at Christmastime.
Adams, who graduated from the Citizens Police Academy in 2009, served as president of St. Mary’s Seniors until St. Mary’s Senior Center in Long Island City closed after 37 years. However, she still works with community seniors and is keeping the group together.
Her hobbies include dancing, collecting Egyptian art and finding antiques.
At a young 73, Adams remains an active member of her thriving community as well as a Community Board 2 member.
“Hunters Point was always a community of good, honest, hardworking people. Serving as a volunteer was a labor of love and continues to this day,” she said proudly.