PHOTOS: Middle Village’s Kiwanis Club celebrates new members, gives $3,500 in scholarships and donations

Angélica Acevedo/QNS

Middle Village’s Kiwanis Club gathered for an intimate yet lively dinner at Villa Erasmo restaurant on Dec. 12 to celebrate the installation of new members and officers, such as new President Peter Zacchea, Esq., and present donations and a scholarship for the community.

According to Al Gentile, who served as the president of the Kiwanis Club for eight years, club raised more than $7,000 at a recent fundraiser. In alignment with the Kiwanis Club’s mission of improving the lives of kids in their community, Gentile presented three donations that evening: $1,000 for St. Mary’s Hospital for Children, $1,000 for St. Jude Children’s Hospital and a $1,500 scholarship for 13-year-old Chiara Pullara.

Those in attendance gave Pullara, who attends P.S. 113, a standing ovation after Gentile revealed her impressive school resume, which includes a 99.4 percent grade point average, and her willingness to help and take charge during some of the Kiwanis Club’s fundraisers. Pullara, who hopes to attend Archbishop Molloy High School next fall, also dreams of becoming a pediatric surgeon, which Gentile believes makes her an exemplary community member.

With 17 Kiwanis Clubs throughout Queens, Zacchea believes Middle Village’s Kiwanis — which began in 2011 and is one of of the smallest, with 14 members — stands out for its ability to fundraise. “We flourished under Al’s leadership,” Zacchea said.

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