Our 34th annual dinner dance
by Maria Thomson
Jun 12, 2013 | 1522 views | 0 0 comments | 43 43 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The weather on Friday evening, the night of our Happiness Is Spring dance, we had torrential rain. It was not spring-like at all at our 34th Anniversary Dinner Dance.

But in our beautiful banquet room it was lively with the guests that came early to the party in the new luxuriously renovated Woodhaven Manor, where the owners and our hosts for the evening Mandeed Singh and Sangha (Sandy) Patel could not have been more welcoming.

As at all of our events, the atmosphere was warm. All of our honorees and guests were greeted by me and my hardworking staff members at the door, including office manager Maureen Bermingham (2009 honoree) and secretary Lisa, who under the direction of our GWDC board and our president Stephen Esposito worked on this successful event.

Then they entered the beautiful and newly decorated Pink Room of Woodhaven Manor. Many pictures were taken of our honorees, their families and guests. The elaborately decorated beautiful room was filled with patriotic colors of red, white and blue, with our American eagle flag in the background with a touch of white and red pastels with lovely floral pieces on each table.

These, along with our American flags at every table, set the tone for the evening. The Social Event of the Year was very much enjoyed by those in attendance. Unfortunately the weather and flooding conditions on the road and at their homes kept many away. Even one of our honorees, Dr. Paul D. Fish, could not attend due to the bad weather conditions.

As at all of our GWDC dinner dances, we begin the evening's program by inviting veterans in attendance to lead in the reciting of the Pledge of Allegiance. This year we had two veterans, our Honoree Stephen Esposito and Ira Cohen. We thanked them for their service.

Our honorees for 2013 were our “Woman of the Year 2013” Melva Miller, director of Economic Development for Queens Borough President Helen Marshall. Miller is a consummate professional. She has been so supportive of our Greater Woodhaven Development Corporation and our Woodhaven Business Improvement District’s stores and businesses and given us good advice and counsel. We were so very honored, for Miller was accompanied by her lovely mother.

Our “Man of the Year 2013” was Stephen Esposito, president of the Greater Woodhaven Development Corporation. Esposito was raised in Woodhaven where his family still resides. He has been devoted in service to Woodhaven, giving many hours of his time, effort and guidance to his staff and our organization.

Our Greater Woodhaven Development Corporation “Business Owner of the Year 2013” was John Pate,l owner of the Haven Card Shop. Patel has been on our Woodhaven’s Jamaica Avenue for over 25 years. This store is a real family store, with his wife Gina and immediate family extending pleasant service to all that shop in his beautiful store. Our Greater Woodhaven Development Corporation “Business of the Year 2013” was Woodhaven’s Scaturro’s Food Market. All of our residents consider Scaturro’s our own. Scaturro’s has been a mainstay on our Jamaica Avenue, being one of the oldest stores in Woodhaven. This family-owned business and their employees (remember George?) have assisted our old, young, longtime and new residents with attentive courtesy through the years.

Representing Scaturro’s Food Market was owner Charles Scaturro. He spoke of the store celebrating 50 years in Woodhaven this July. Also, that “George” was the manager when the store opened and is now 91 years old, and wanted to attend this evening but was not up to it.

We in attendance that are long time Woodhavenites were really so touched by Mr. Scaturro’s acceptance speech, it brought back many good memories of shopping over all these years.

Our “Special Recognition Award 2013” went to Dr. Paul D. Fish, veterinarian and owner of the Animal Clinic of Woodhaven. Dr. Fish came to Woodhaven over 25 years ago, making a substantial investment in a large property in Woodhaven. The clinic became an anchor to the area of our avenue and still remains one today.

Since Woodhaven loves their pets, a veterinarian was a welcome addition to our community. Dr. Fish has been very benevolent, treating rescue animals and strays from Woodhaven streets.

Our 2013 honorees, because of their ambition and hard work, epitomize American success stories right here in our little Woodhaven. It was a shame that Dr. Fish, his wife Sherry, and family could not attend because of the flood conditions. I know that he would have accepted our GWDC plaque and proclamations from our elected officials with great pride.

As to elected officials, State Senator Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr. attended and spent the whole evening with us. Also dropping by to wish our GWDC congratulations was Comptroller John Liu. We appreciated them being with us and all of our guests.

In spite of the weather, it was truly a wonderful evening of good food, good music and good company in a beautiful banquet hall. The honorees were praised and exuberant in their acceptance speeches.

On Tuesday, the Landmarks Preservations Commission considered and our Forest Park Carousel, the “Jewel of Forest Park,” for landmarking. A decision will be made on Tuesday, June 25. Hopefully it will be in our favor.

Remember that June 14 is Flag Day. Fly our American flag every day above all others and wear your flag lapel pins, for every day is Flag Day. May God bless America.

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