“The LaGuardia Kiwanis club sponsored the East Elmhurst group and brought them into the Kiwanis International family,” explained Queens West Kiwanis Advisory Committee member Verdia Noel of the center’s origins. “The focus is for the seniors to volunteer and provide youth services to Queens. They mentor and work with other seniors in different organizations in the community.”
Larinda Hooks, director of both the East Elmhurst/LeFrak Kiwanis chapter and the Elmcor Senior Center, which is located on Astoria Boulevard, said that while the fish fry was in part a celebration of one year of successful community service, the money raised at the event would help brighten up the summer of two local children by sending them to summer camp.
“We’re raising funds because we want to send two kids, kids who can’t afford it, to Camp Kiwanis this year,” said Hooks.
Hooks explained that while the senior center is geared at providing a space and services to seniors, the main focus of the members is to use their space and services to help local children.
“Most seniors here are retired school teachers or administrators, and they always like to do things for children,” she said. “Everything we do is geared around helping children because that’s where the members’ passion is. The senior center itself helps the seniors so they can give back.”
Among those to stop in to enjoy the fish fry prepared expertly by Marie O’Quinn, Francis Perkins and Barbara Clark, were Hot 97 radio host Doctor Bob Lee and Assemblyman Jeffrion Aubry.
“Elmcore is my second home, because I worked here and I grew up here many years ago, so I’ve always had an attachment and any time they have something going on around here I do what I can to stop in,” Aubry said after demolishing his porgy sandwich. “They provide services to this neighborhood that are extremely vital.”