Now one year later he has accepted, and even though he is excited for the venture he says he has very big shoes to fill.
But Wendell is meeting the challenge head on. He already plans to transform the society’s monthly meetings and to contribute to the society in many ways.
“There are so many things I want to do,” he said. “I want to get some grant money to print out coloring books for kids on local history. I want them to get involved in some contests. There are just so many things.”
Wendell is no stranger to Woodhaven. He was born and raised in the neighborhood, went to school there and his wife is also from Woodhaven. He is also the president of the active civic group the Woodhaven Residents Block Association (WRBA), and runs an informative blog about the neighborhood called Project Woodhaven.
When he was elected president of the WRBA, he was already used to getting involved with the community. He admits that for a while, he was like many others – just leaving for work and going back home, not really paying attention to his area.
But a few years ago, when he started to notice all of the graffiti around Woodhaven, Wendell started to take an interest in improving the area, and now that interest has grown into a passion.
Pushing Woodhaven even more into the spotlight to show that it is one of the dynamic neighborhoods of Queens, Wendell’s plans for the historical society involve getting children involved and promoting his hometown more through the Internet, as well as word of mouth.
He has already added one board member to the society and he also plans to include tours of the neighborhood and alternate the monthly meetings between day and night.
“Overall, we’re going to be doing some interesting stuff,” he said.
The first meeting of 2012 will be held on Wednesday, January 25, at 1 p.m. at Emmanuel United Church of Christ, located at 91st Avenue and Woodhaven Boulevard.