By Mark Hallum
The Little Neck-Douglaston Memorial Day Parade organizers have announced the honorees for the big event coming up May 29. Among them will be civic leaders and elected officials who have served their community with distinction.
The parade, which has run continuously for 90 years and is the largest in the country, will kick off at around 2 p.m. in recognition of the entry of United States into the World War I, while also celebrating the 70th anniversary of the U.S. Air Force. The celebrations will wrap up with a performance by the USAF Blue Aces rock band in the Divine Wisdom Academy schoolyard in Douglaston.
Retiring Community Board 11 District Manager Susan Seinfeld will be named Woman of the Year for her service from establishing organizations within her neighborhood to her work as director of constituent services for former Councilman Sheldon Leffler (D-Hollis) and his successor, now Assemblyman David Weprin (D-Fresh Meadows). Seinfeld has been deeply involved in PTA organizations in her area.
State Assemblyman Edward Braunstein (D-Bayside), born and raised in the district he represents in Albany, will be awarded Man of the Year. Braunstein passed legislation which has had a direct effect on the lives of his constituents, such as a bill which put a limit on the increase of market values for co-ops, provide tax and rent relief to seniors, as well as a law that makes a tax credit available for small businesses that hire senior citizens.
John Ottulich will be honored with the Community Service Award for his service through organizations such as the Bayside Historical Society, Queens Museum, Douglaston Civic Association and Douglaston Club. The self-described “Queens kid” has worked in the scaffolding business for 35 years, but acquired a sense of community activism while studying at Queens College.
Kathryn Cross will serve as an Honorary Grand Marshal for her status as a Navy Gold Star Mother. Her son, Tyler Connely, was killed while serving in the Navy. Raised on Air Force bases across the globe, Cross has been involved with many veterans organizations, including the Department of Veteran Affairs Voluntary Services.
Terrance Holliday, who served as the commissioner of the Mayor’s Office of Veterans’ Affairs under the Bloomberg administration and the de Blasio administration until 2014, will serve as grand marshal. A retired colonel in the U.S. Air Force, Holliday worked in public affairs and received distinctions such as Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Air Force Commendation Medal and the Global War on Terrorism Medal among others.
Brigadier General Edward W. Thomas, Jr. will serve as honorary grand marshal, while Jack Stollakm, Bernard Rader, Jeannette Rosen and Joe Reveman will be parade marshals.
Opening and closing ceremonies will take place in the Divine Wisdom St. Anastasia schoolyard in Douglaston.
Reach reporter Mark Hallum by e-mail at mhall