Victoria’s Secrets: ‘One Brooklyn’ gala and launch party capped a wondrous week

Colandrea New Corner family has been in business in Dyker Heights, Brooklyn for over 81 years and was honored by Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams at his "One Brooklyn" event.

It was the week ending in the day of atonement of my sins at the powerful Yom Kippur services and it was also a week during which I celebrated at the One Brooklyn gala in Brooklyn, and then on Thursday the celebration in Patchogue of our new Long Island Press Suffolk edition.

In addition, I was also privileged to spend time with an extraordinary woman who is saving from certain death the wild horses who roam our western states.

The brilliant, caring Borough President of Brooklyn Eric Adams brought tears to my eyes as he spoke before a few hundred people of his desperately poor upbringing, being one of six siblings with a loving single mom.

They were so poor he had to put cardboard in his shoes when the soles wore out. Food was so scarce that neighbors brought them food, sometimes half full cereal boxes or half a bag of flour, and slipped envelopes of dollars under his door to help.

He never forgot the acts of kindness. Now he’s in the position to help others in need and the 501c3 organization he created gives him funds to do it.

It was a joyous night of meeting new friends, too. I was so impressed with the pleas of Pastor Gil Monrose who has a congregation in Brooklyn and also works with the BP. He shared with me the desperate needs of the people in the Caribbean who were hit by two deadly hurricanes. The islands that depend mostly on tourism and agricultural products were decimated.

Rev. Gilbert Monrose
Rev. Gilbert Monrose

He organized a hurricane relief collection drive to bring to those in need basic items from mosquito spray to batteries to flashlights to personal hygiene products, and he has containers to bring the items to the Virgin Islands. They will be distributed through the Virgin Islands’ clergy who have taken on the mission to restore, rebound and rebuild the islands.

Another person saving lives is the stunning, elegant Manda Kalimian. She has devoted the last decade to saving wild horses whose grazing land is coveted by land grabbers. There is legislation being proposed before Congress to corral these wild horses and kill them to free up their grazing land for cattle herds and fracking and drilling.

Manda has begun a campaign to alert the public of the atrocity and has personally gone to our western states to “rewild ” (save the horses ) and find homes for them.

Last week, Congressmember Tom Suozzi held a press conference to raise the issue and offer his support to defeat the legislation.

Manda has created the Cana Foundation to raise awareness and funds to save the horses. To raise funds, she has created a for-profit business, “Naturally Considerate.” It was “inspired by the powerful relationship between Mother Earth and her inhabitants.” She explains that her products offer “old world medicinal practices with nature’s purest healing ingredients.”

Manda Kailmian at her horse "farm" with my granddaughter Addy.
Manda Kailmian at her horse “farm” with my granddaughter Addy.

Manda is reaching back to her heritage. Her mom was the first to bring all-natural organic cosmetics to the marketplace in the 1960s. Now, “Naturally Considerate” is striving to cultivate “an awareness of the here and now and our connection to earth and ourselves.”

“It’s rewilding the mind, body, heart and spirit.”

Fortunately for me, her stables are only minutes away from my home so on Sunday I brought my six-year-old granddaughter Addy to visit Manda and her horse farm. Addy fell in love!

More to come on the rewilding of horses and my body and mind!

Marion Russo from the Patchogue Village Mayor's Office at our Long Island Press launch party at the Patchogue Playhouse.
Marion Russo from the Patchogue Village Mayor’s Office at our Long Island Press launch party at the Patchogue Playhouse.