The ceremony took place at O’Neill's Restaurant, where the club holds their weekly meetings. The dining room was packed with Kiwanis members, parents and the 12 graduating high school seniors who were given a scholarship award of $1,500.
“It feels good to see these kids getting these awards,” said Michael Falco, a 28-year veteran of the Kiwanis Club of Maspeth, lawyer by trade and former recipient of the scholarship. “Not only are they at the top of their classes, but they are clean-cut and respectable,”
Since 1954, the Kiwanis Club of Maspeth has given away over $500,000, and it all began when they purchased an old baseball field on the corner of 74th street and 57th Avenue in 1947. The club sold the piece of property two years later for $50,000, and put the money into an escrow account to begin using it for their giveaways. The account still exists today, and they build upon it through their annual fundraisers, flea markets in the neighborhood, and a yearly raffle.