Philanthropist of the Year, King of Queens Joe Pistilli, CEO of First Central Savings Bank, and his team with Miss El Correo and Queens Courier.

Vasilis Zikopoulos snapped his fingers to the Greek music as he strutted slowly and surely on the red carpet to cheers from the audience of almost 500 people to claim his place in history as a King of Queens.

What a night it was!

Schneps Communications was honoring men who had achieved great success in their profession, and we were celebrating them at our annual event at the stunning, newly renovated Terrace on the Park. Spectacular views surrounded us as the sun set and the sparkling lights from the buildings around the park emerged in the night.

For decades, we have been recognizing men’s achievements and I saw so many happy people.

It was so much fun to have Emmy Amornaran, Miss El Correo and Queens Courier, strut, dance and walk the men down the red carpet to receive their “Vicki.”

I loved the family enthusiasm and watching the “paparazzi” storm the honorees to take picture after picture and videos of the moment. We had our own photographer, but the enthusiasm of the amateur photographers was not to be stymied.

It was time finally to acknowledge Joe Pistilli as Philanthropist of the Year. He has generously and consistently helped many Queens-based organizations. The group SHAREing and CAREing, which has helped people with breast cancer, would not exist if not for Mr. Pistilli’s support. As CEO of First Central Savings Bank and Pistilli Real Estate, he had earned his title “Philanthropist of the Year.”

In addition, it was a treat to honor Queens College President Felix Rodriguez, who was named Educator of the Year as he celebrated the 80th anniversary of the college and the school’s enormous impact on the region.

It was also a night to recognize the multi-generational Halvatzis family behind Amorelli Real Estate and Halvatzis Realty. The matriarch Anita joined her son and grandchildren as they took their place on the red carpet. It was the first award in that category.

We also honored the new owners of VIVO!, the revived old Cafe on the Green in Bayside, Gieto and Paul Nicaj. To celebrate their new ownership of the Mediterranean Grill and Catering facility, they are offering a free bottle of wine during October with $100 purchase every day but Friday, Saturday and holidays until  November 5. It’s a great way to experience the reinvented historic location, once the home of Rudolph Valentino and Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia. The owners are there to make sure your dining experience is superb.

I look forward to our next Kings of Kings event, coming up Nov. 9 at the Grand Prospect Hall in Brooklyn.

Stay tuned!

Matilda Cuomo Shines

Honoree Matilda Cuomo seen here with Msgr. Jamie Gigantiello, Governor Andrew Cuomo and Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio.

Honoree Matilda Cuomo seen here with Msgr. Jamie Gigantiello, Governor Andrew Cuomo and Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio.

With Greg Kelly leading the event as MC, I saw Mrs. Cuomo with great joy in her voice and a twinkle in her eye as she acknowledged how busy her son the governor is and how delighted she was to have him present her with honors at the Futures in Education Annual Scholarship Fund Dinner on Oct. 11,2017.

She, along with co-honorees Howard Fensterman and Carlo A. Scissura, were feted by the oversold crowd at the Marriott Marquis.

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