1 2 3 4

Two charged in connection with stabbing of pizzeria owners

Queens pizzeria owner Charlie Suljovic, and his son, are being praised for their efforts to help thwart the attack of a 61-year-old woman outside their Elmhurst business last March.

Having overheard calls for help, the two storeowners rushed to assist the victim who was being mugged. In the struggle, both men were stabbed multiple times for trying to assist the woman in distress.

Now, nearly two months since the incident occured, two men have been indicted on charges of attempted murder in connection with the attack.

Supreme Gooding, 18, and Robert Whack, 30, were arraigned on Monday, June 13, by Queens Supreme Court Justice David Kirschner. If convicted, both men could face up to 25 years in prison.

The 17-count indictement made by the Office of Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz included charges of assault, robbery, criminal possession of a weapon, grand larceny, and criminal possession of stolen property.

One of the defendants, Whack, also faces an additional charge of criminal possession of a controlled substance, as police allegedly recovered 39 glassine envelopes of heroin from his jacket pocket.

The first of the two incidents occurred at about 5:35 p.m. on Wednesday, March 16, when, according to the charges, a 75-year-old woman was entering her apartment building on 64th Street and felt her cane and purse being snatched away from her. Video surveillance observed the defendants allegedly running down the block in possession of the stolen purse.

Another incident took place on Saturday, March 26, at approximately 8:45 p.m., when one of the suspects grabbed the purse of a 61-year-old woman, who was walking on Baxter Avenue and Judge Street.

According to Katz, the 68-year-old pizzeria owner, Suljovic, and his 38-year-old son, Louie, overheard calls for help from bystanders and ran to assist the victim. Suljovic and his son were both stabbed in the struggle.

Suljovic sustained nine stab wounds to the chest and back, while suffering from a collapsed lung. His son also sustained a collapsed lung and a stab wound to his back, according to the charges. The 61-year-old victim also sustained a single stab wound to the back.

Police apprehended the suspects a short distance from away from the scene, not long after they had fled. Katz added that investigators allegedly recovered a knife from the jacket pocket of Whack, which also appeared to have blood on it.

“As alleged, the defendants targeted two women to steal their handbags and stabbed two Good Samaritans who selflessly intervened during one of the incidents,” Katz said. “Thankfully, no lives were lost, but we will not allow senseless violence to become the norm in our communities. Both defendants now face serious charges for their alleged actions.”

The father and son who selflessly rushed in to help an innocent victim in distress, outside of their restaurant at 8134 Baxter Avenue, were presented with a Congressional Proclamation from U.S. Rep. Grace Meng in April for their bravery.

McClancy honors Brother Robert Connolly

Known by many as the cornerstone of Msgr. McClancy Memorial High School, Brother Robert Connolly was honored by the school’s community with the 2022 Lifetime Achievement Award.

Family, friends, students, alumni, faculty, and sponsors gathered at Russo’s On The Bay in Howard Beach to celebrate the 18th Annual President’s Dinner and 50th anniversary reunion for the classes of ‘70, ‘71, and ‘72.

With support from The Cor Jesu Foundation, Msgr. McClancy held the event to raise funds for its Endowment Fund, which goes toward financial aid and capital improvements to the school.

In addition to the Lifetime Achievement Award, ‘79 alumnus Michael DenDekker and ‘71 alumnus John Savin were presented with the 2022 Cor Jesu Awards.

Michael DenDekker and president Nicholas Melito.

After graduating from McClancy, DenDekker went on to work for the Department of Sanitation, responded to the World Trade Center on 9/11, and was elected to the NYS Assembly in 2008, representing the 34th District.

DenDekker is recognized for his contributions to McClancy, including bringing funding to the school, and getting the brand new sidewalks around it installed.

Savin has lived everywhere from Georgia to LA, and has a career focused on the music and audio/video industries.

He is also known for his immense support for McClancy, being he is the self-designated scribe for the class of ‘71, and is involved with the Alumni Development Committee and Annual Appeal Committee.

“I really have to thank McClancy so much because of the education I got, and the things that were instilled in me,” DenDekker said. “I got to learn about responsibility and what it means to be productive, loyal, and honest.”

“I don’t think there’s another school so richly blessed as McClancy,” Savin said. “We are all proud to be Crusaders.”

Brother Robert Connolly and president Nicholas Melito.

McClancy’s president Nicholas Melito presented the Lifetime Achievement Award to Brother Robert Connolly, noting that no speech could ever fully cover the way the school community feels toward him.

Connolly began teaching in 1953 and was later assigned to McClancy in 1962.

He served as a teacher, confraternity moderator, and athletic director in his early years there, and eventually became assistant principal, and then principal.

He was also appointed as the schools’ first president in 1997.

A video was put together in his honor by faculty, alumni, and friends of the school, sharing his contributions both big and small.

George Medlin, chairman of their board of directors and class of ‘70 alumnus, said that he originally did not get accepted to McClancy.

His brother’s prison sentence was a challenging time for the family, and as a result, his father arranged for a meeting with Connolly — who ultimately let him attend McClancy.

“Many times during my career, I’ve reflected back on the success that I’ve had and how I can attribute all of that to the one act of kindness from

Brother Robert,” Medlin said. “It meant so much to me.”

The entire room stood and clapped as Connolly accepted his award, and gave a lengthy, sentimental speech.

“We want to make sure that when a student leaves McClancy, they walk out of there confident, that they’ve made the right decisions, and know the way to make more right decisions,” Connolly said.

“So I coined the phrase ‘The school that makes a difference,’ and I’m happy to say that it still is. That’s why all of you are here tonight.”

Sunnyside Community Services wins national caregiving award

A senior center in Sunnyside received national recognition for the quality of care they provide to clients.

Sunnyside Community Services, an organization dedicated to providing support to caregivers of those who have Alzheimer’s or other dementias, was awarded a $20,000 grant through the Innovations in Alzheimer’s Caregiving Award.

The award is presented by The Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Foundation, Bader Philanthropies, Inc. and Family Caregiver Alliance, and is presented to three outstanding programs in the country.

SCS and their Care NYC program was recognized for its multicultural approach and services, and is the only New York City-based winner.

“We are thrilled to be recognized for our accomplishments, in particular, providing support to the Latino caregiver community,” Shyvonne Noboa, division director for senior services, said.

“Our Latino caregivers are exacerbated in terms of their needs, including social support, basic healthcare and mental health needs,” she continued. “What we do is empower with education and provide that emotional support and in-home care, and it’s wonderful to be recognized for the area of expertise that we’ve been able to craft. We’ve been providing services to family caregivers in western Queens and all of Queens for over 10 years.”

Care NYC offers services to caregivers and their loved ones which include education and caregiver skills workshops, peer support groups and long term care planning.

Edward Rosado, a caregiver support specialist at SCS, said that he enjoys being able to provide necessary services to the Latino community by making resources accessible to them and engaging with them in their native language.

“When we speak in their native tongue, we develop that trust in the beginning, which can lead to them asking for other services they normally wouldn’t know how to ask for,” Rosado said.“From that moment on, we try to provide a care plan that would implement services for them to help navigate dementia.”

He added that “caring for someone that you love that suffers from this devastating disease is not an easy thing, and so we provide the services to keep them intact.”
Anna Romero, a resident of Brownsville, cares for her 71-year-old husband whose cognitive function is declining.

She has participated in SCS’ programs for seven years, and described the organization’s assistance as “instrumental” during her husband’s journey with dementia.

“Their expertise and support system is incredible, because there’s so much knowledge and experience with the roundtable talks and the sense of community they provide,” Romero said.

“It helps me remember that I’m not going through this alone. SCS’ care is more individualized, more heartfelt than other places I’ve dealt with,” she continued. “We developed several relationships through the support group that have continued, and it’s very helpful to just be able to talk to someone who’s going through the same thing as you.”

In 2021 alone, the SCS staff provided over 2,000 caregivers with support services, and performed over 3,000 check-in calls.

The awarded funds will be used to further support and expand upon the organization’s programming.

“A lot of the time, the funding that this program gets is really tight and restricted to particular areas,” Noboa said. “This grant gives the program and the team an opportunity to get really creative, to develop and strengthen their professional skills to create opportunities for caregivers and the team in a way that we couldn’t before.”

Rosado said that the most rewarding part of his job is hearing the feedback from clients and knowing how much the work he does makes a positive difference in someone’s life.

“We’re in this work to help people. We’re not looking to pat ourselves on the back or put ourselves on a pedestal,” he said. “These clients, these caregivers are so appreciative that somebody knows that they’re alive, or that they need assistance. So what I get is not in the pocket, I get it in the heart when I hear ‘Thank you, you saved my life. God bless you.’ During this part of history, I can actually say I’m part of an organization that helped mankind out… How many people get to say that?”

Fill the Form for Events, Advertisement or Business Listing