Councilwoman Selvena Brooks-Powers recently held her inaugural Council District 31 Family Reunion at Brookville Park in Springfield Gardens, featuring family-friendly events and activities, music, as well as food and refreshments.
Council District 31 includes the neighborhoods of Arverne, Brookville, Edgemere, Laurelton, Springfield Gardens, Rosedale and Far Rockaway.
According to Brooks-Powers, the event signals the reemergence of a district severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This is the first summer New Yorkers have truly been able to be outside since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, which hit our district first and hard,” Brooks-Powers said. “The Family Reunion was an opportunity to bring our community together and reignite the passion we share for a safe and vibrant district. We are already looking forward to next year’s reunion.”
Home to the Laurelton Farmers Market and a community known as a food desert, Brooks-Powers teamed up with CHAE Corporation to provide free meals. Refreshments were provided by JetBlue and the YMCA.
According to Icema Gibbs, vice president of corporate social responsibility and diversity, equity and inclusion, of JetBlue, the company has a long tradition of engaging with the communities they serve, “inspiring crew members and customers to help create a kinder world that provides hope and opportunity for everyone.”
“From the beginning, good has been synonymous with our purpose and mission to inspire humanity. Giving back is in our DNA, and we couldn’t be more proud to support the Council District 31 Family Reunion event this year,” Gibbs said.
Dianna Rose of Chae Corporation said that supporting local small businesses within Brooks-Powers’ district is of “utmost importance to her, and organizing local food vendors through the Sovereign Markets” for the Inaugural District 31 Family Reunion was truly their pleasure.
City agencies — such as the Department of Sanitation, Test + Trace Corps, the NYPD, and the Department of Parks and Recreation — provided information and resources to families. Organizations like AARP, CCA Metro, American Red Cross, Queens Public Library, and CMS responders like Rock Safe Streets, 100 Suits for 100 Men, Life Camp and King of Kings Foundation among others, provided critical tools and information for southeast Queens residents.
Elected officials who co-sponsored the event included City Council Speaker Adrienne Adams, Congressman Gregory Meeks, Queens Borough President Donovan Richards, state Senators James Sanders Jr. and Leroy Comrie, Assemblyman Khaleel Anderson and Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz.
The lawmakers thanked Brooks-Powers for leading the event and bringing everyone together for a fun-filled day.
“It was a great day to be reunited with the community and my colleagues in government to enjoy the beautiful weather and each other’s company following the pandemic,” Sanders said.
Anderson commended Brooks-Powers for “having the vision to unite residents for fun, food, festivities and family resources.”
For Comrie, the Council District 31 Family Reunion presented him with the chance to reunite with friends and neighbors, reconnect with community organizations, and refresh the civic links their neighborhood depends on.
“I was also happy to make new friends and welcome them into the southeast Queens family. Thanks to Majority Whip Brooks-Powers, her team, and all the partners who made the event such a success,” Comrie said.