Victoria’s Secrets: Holiday celebrations and much more

Andrew Hoan and wife, Judge Bernard Graham and wife, Denise Arbesu and Assembly member Jo Anne Simon.

With snow still falling, I made my way to the Brooklyn Heights Casino, having received the annual invitation from Peter Meyer of TD Bank, who hosted us at the Yuletide Ball. It raises funds for the important work done by the preschool run by the Brooklyn Kindergarten Society.

The development director told us how meaningful each dollar is, giving preschool kiddies in disadvantaged neighborhoods a chance to grow and develop great school skills.

I was especially delighted to congratulate Yvonne Riley-Tepie who had just completed her Ph.D. the week before. She is my role model for my favorite song, “I am woman, I am strong, I am invincible,” sung by Helen Reddy.

That is Yvonne. She is a single mom who works full time in a leadership role at TD and completed her degree. She is also as kind and beautiful as she is smart! I feel honored to be her friend. She proves anything is possible if you are willing to work hard to achieve your dreams and yes, always be dreaming.

Shop locally for the holidays!

shop local

With the holiday in full swing, it’s the time families, friends and colleagues gather. And how lucky we were also to have a splendid, picture-perfect snowfall to bring in the season.

Gift-giving is on everyone’s mind and shopping locally will be what I’m doing and you should, too.

There is power in bringing your shopping to our robust, competitively priced, family-owned businesses. It’s the local business owners who support our community through their contributions to our churches, schools and civic and social groups. The people who belong to the Rotary Club, Lions, Kiwanis and Masons and more all give their time and dollars to support local causes, and many of them are in business in our backyard. They are the very fiber of our neighborhoods.and I believe there is a shop on every street where you can purchase all the items on your gift lists. Let’s support them as they do us.

So think about making your holiday purchases locally!

Happy Hanukkah!


Hanukkah celebrations began, too, and I was thrilled to join all my grandchildren to mark the holiday. My “balabusta” daughter, Samantha, who is the most accomplished and loving hostess, welcomed us all to her home, which allowed our kiddies to play with their newest gifts and each other. It doesn’t get better than that!

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