I read with a chuckle the complaint from the perennial candidate, who is a perennial loser, about a party for a competent winner. Bob Friedrich complains that an invitation to a birthday celebration for state Sen. Tony Avella (D-Bayside) was disguised as a fund-raiser (“E-mail disguised as birthday celebration,” Oct. 20-26).

Tell us, Mr. Friedrich, in all the campaigns you ran, did you raise funds? Of course you did, and you wanted your supporters to help you so that you could try to win. That, of course, did not happen. I would believe that you used many different methods to accomplish your goal.

Avella will be running for office again next year and, hopefully, once again will prevail. In order to do this, he must raise funds, and what better way but to combine it with a special occasion?

Like most people, I do not attend a birthday party without a gift for the celebrant. I will inquire as to what the honoree would most appreciate so I can make my gift meaningful. In the case of this party, contributions to Avella’s campaign were the most appreciated gift. Therefore, the gift amount was established in tiers and well-wishers could contribute based on their means and desires.

Surely over the years you have asked a birthday celebrant what they would like to receive as a gift. If you have not, perhaps you should start now so that honorees receive something thoughtful and meaningful on their special day.

By the way, in the last few months, I have attended birthday celebrations for three other elected or hope-to-be-elected officials and my gift was always a contribution to their campaign in the amount recommended or more. I add this so that readers do not think Avella is alone in this type of fund-raising. It is quite typical.

This was an invitation which could be accepted or declined as you wished, not a mandatory appearance for which a fee was charged. You said you would like to attend a celebration for Avella if there was no charge. I would doubt that if true friends of Avella held a celebration for him that you would be on the list based on the diatribe in your letter.

By the way, are you planning to run for office once again and was your letter the start of your campaign?

Dianne Stromfeld

North Shore Towers

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