A chance conversation leads to a good deed
by Maria Thomson
May 01, 2014 | 411 views | 0 0 comments | 1 1 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Susan Suarez hard at work volunteering in the WORKS Little League office.
Susan Suarez hard at work volunteering in the WORKS Little League office.
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Owner Kim Castelli and Mike McKenna at KMC Orthopedic and Comfort Foot Wear.
Owner Kim Castelli and Mike McKenna at KMC Orthopedic and Comfort Foot Wear.
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Our Woodhaven Business Improvement District is still anxiously awaiting the determination of asbestos in the collapsed building at 78-19 Jamaica Avenue on our WBID.

If asbestos is found, this will delay the demolition of this building. Hopefully, asbestos is not found and the buildings department can proceed. In this way, more than a year after, they will fulfill our mantra of “tear it down.”

It was so great to have our WORKS Little League Parade back on our Jamaica Avenue. As far back as I can remember, they marched proudly along Jamaica Avenue to kick off their baseball season. I also remember Woodhaven’s Hero, firefighter James (Jimmy) Young, who we so sadly lost to a Manhattan fire, would write articles in our own Leader/Observer about the Little League and their games.

Since the WORKS Little League headquarters is located next to our GWDC/WBID office, my staff and I have come to know through the many years all of their wonderful coaches, assistant coaches and game schedulers. They are so very dedicated to these young future Joe DiMaggio’s, or should I say Derek Jeter’s.

In the course of conversation with one of these dedicated volunteers, Susan Suarez, I found out that she worked for the Salvation Army with families. This field I thought was so fitting, for her personality is one of understanding and caring.

After speaking to Susan, I thought of a statement that was made to me by Mike McKenna at the newly opened KMC Pedorthics at 86-20 Jamaica Avenue when I visited there for special shoes. We were talking when he stated he had 600 shoes he needed to reduce from his shoe inventory.

I asked Susan if the Salvation Army could use 600 shoes. So, I put them together so that Mike McKenna and Kim Castelli, the owner of KMC, contributed these shoes to Susan’s facility, making 600 family members very happy. This just illustrates the good in our residents and storeowners. I will make you aware of more good acts in the future.

Our beautiful Forest Park Carousel, "The Jewel of Forest Park," which is newly landmarked (after 30 years of the GWDC's advocacy), is now open on weekends from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. through June. Thereafter, it will be open daily. 

The Greater Woodhaven Development Corporation still has low-interest home improvement loans available at 2.5 and 5 percent interest. Call our office at (718) 805-0202 for more information.

Recently it was Holocaust Remembrance Day. Years ago I attended a Holocaust Remembrance Day Observance, listening as survivors spoke of their sad horrible experiences. These survivors are now all elderly, have families and live happily here in America. We can not forget.

Now drumroll and trumpets: the honorees for the Greater Woodhaven Development Corporation June 6th "Spring is Here" Dinner Dance are Woman of the Year 2014 Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez; Man of the Year 2014 WBID President Mathew Xenakis; Award of Distinction 2014 Deputy Inspector Henry Saunter of the 102nd Precinct; Honorary Woodhavenite Award 2014 to George Smith; and Awards of Appreciation 2014 to State Senator Joseph Addabbo and Assemblyman Michael Miller.

The Greater Woodhaven Development Corporation will also be celebrating our 35th Anniversary at our Dinner Dance 2014, which will be held at 7:30 p.m. at the new Woodhaven Manor, located at 96-01 Jamaica Avenue. There will be a deluxe, all-evening buffet and libations, as well as a DJ spinning doo-wop and modern music.

Tickets are priced at $65 for this fundraiser. So mark your calendars for the social event of the year and plan to attend.

May God bless our leaders, may God bless our armed forces, may God bless our disabled veterans and may God bless our America.
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