Queens Center for Progress honors local residents
by Andrew Pavia
Jul 02, 2013 | 2874 views | 0 0 comments | 114 114 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The Queens Center for Progress (QCP), an organization that uses programs to help individuals with developmental disabilities become independent, held their annual gala on Tuesday, June 25 at the Terrace on the Park, located at 52-11 111th St. in Flushing.

Currently the group uses state-of-the-art technology to help teach and improve the lives of the disabled, like harnessing devices to help children who can’t walk, and touch-sensitive tools for individuals who have difficulties speaking.

“You really all do God’s work,” Assemblyman David Weprin said of the QCP. “It’s great to see so many friends here.”

Following his testimony of the organization, Weprin announced the honorees at this year’s event and presented them with proclamations from the Assembly.

Anthony J. Franco, chief financial officer at United Plan and Production Works Local 175, was presented the 2013 Distinguished Honoree award.

“If anybody has a hard day during their work week, go stop by the Queens Center Progress and see what these people do,” Franco said. He added that if more people dedicated their time to helping others as much as this organization does, “The world would be a better place.”

Gerald J. Caliendo, principal of Gerald J. Caliendo Architecture P.C., was also among the honorees, receiving the honor of 2013 Distinguished Architect of the Year.

When accepting his award, Caliendo thanked the QCP board, but especially thanked his wife Barbara.

“This year is about kids, special kids,” Caliendo said. “Many things in life we choose to ignore.” However, Caliendo told the attendees of the gala that ignoring the issues related to developmental disabilities was impossible for his family.

He has an 18-year-old son named Justin who was faced with developmental problems when he was just 3 years old, to which Calinedo said the QCP was there for his son and family along the way.

“QCP was important to me, even before Barbara and I had Justin,” he said.

Along with the other honorees, Anthony M. Ballato, president to KNS Building Restoration, Inc., was named 2013 Business Man of the Year.
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