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Rambling Rose Gala raises $150K for Queens Botanical Garden

Queens Botanical Garden raised over $150,000 during its second annual Rambling Rose Gala on Wednesday night. The outdoor event welcomed guests to bask in the beauty of nature by “rambling” through the various gardens. Attendees also indulged in food stations, took part in garden tours, and participated in a raffle drawing.

Rambling Rose Gala Honorees Andrea Woodner and Julia Felix (Photo by Oliver Lopez)

“The Garden is nourished by the support of the community and we are so grateful to everyone who contributed to this event,” Evie Hantzopoulos, QBG executive director, said. “The donations raised will ensure that the Queens Botanical Garden continues to provide beauty, healing, environmental programs, and culture to Queens and beyond.”

This year’s event honored Andrea Woodner and Julia Felix with the Rose Gala Award for their longstanding support of the Queens Botanical Garden and help to bring nature and arts to the community.

“We know that the Queens Botanical Garden is truly the people’s garden. It’s been reinterpreted and reinvented by generations of Flushing residents. And it prospers under the dedicated care of the remarkable Garden staff. And I can’t thank you enough for what you provide to this neighborhood, to this borough, and to this city,” Rose Gala honoree Andrea Woodner said. “There are really no words to adequately thank you for this honor…My congratulations to the Queens Botanical Garden. It is my best hope and best wishes for what I know will be a great and vibrant future.”

Also in attendance was QBG Board Chair Raymond D. Jasen, partner-in-charge of tax with KPMG’s New York Financial Services, New York City Councilwoman Sandra Ung, QBG Director of Development Olivia Cothren, GBG Gardener Colin Kirk, Assistant Gardener Jennifer Ko, with supporters and sponsors.

“Whenever I come [to the Garden], I get recharged. And I look at the people who work at the Garden—they are so dedicated,” Rose Gala Honoree Julia Felix said, expressing her gratitude for being honored alongside longtime employer and friend, Andrea Woodner.

QBG also thanked the following individuals, companies, and foundations for their generous support.

Yellow Rose

Saul & Gail Kupferberg, The Max and Selma Kupferberg Family Foundation, The Kupferberg Foundation, and Andrea Woodner

Red Rose

Con Edison, Metro Management Development, Inc., and New York Presbyterian-Queens

View of the Rambling Rose Gala at QBG (Photo by Eryn Hatzithomas)

Pink Rose

Cord Meyer Development, Dime Community Bank, Farrell Fritz Raymond Jasen, Main Street Radiology, Resorts World Casino NY, Robert & Rovena Schirling, Veronica Tsang, and WAC Lighting/Glow Culture Center/Glow Foundation

White Rose

Lee-Lee Chang, Flushing Bank, Alison Fung, Dr. Wensong Li, Jenny Zeng, and RKLA Studio Landscape Architecture

Coral Rose

Altourage, Bartlett Tree Experts, BKSK Architects, Evie Hantzopoulos, David Motamed, Rose and James Huang, Edward Ip, Eve Klein, the Rotary Club of Flushing, Susan Lacerte & Archie Hobson, and the Sino-American Friendship Association, Inc.

Rose Buds

ArborPro, Rodney Benson, Suzanne Brienza, Broadway Stages, Claire Bullard, Ming-der Chang, dStephanie Ehrlich/Van Cortlandt Park Alliance, EW Howell Construction Group, Howard B. Jacobson C.P.A., P.C., Pauline Huang, ICS Agency, CB7 Chairman Eugene Kelty, Mabel Law, Maspeth Federal Savings, Edie Meyer, Frank Mirovsky, PKF O’Connor Davies, Edward & Reva Potter, Terri Powell, Queens Botanical Garden Tai Chi Group, Queens College, Nancy Shannon, the Sheraton LaGuardia East Hotel, and Shopcore.

QCC Building Awards celebrates borough’s best

The Queens Chamber of Commerce hosted its 110th annual Building Awards and Gala at the TWA Hotel in JFK airport last week, recognizing various development projects throughout the borough for achievements in construction, restoration, interior design, and more.
“I have the best job in the world, it really is my calling,” said chamber president and CEO Thomas Grech. “As a membership organization, 2020 was a terrible year. However, it was our board and our members who stepped up during that difficult time.”
Grech thanked a number of elected officials who helped secure relief money at the federal, local, and city level.
“As we move through the pandemic, private public partnerships will continue to be extremely crucial,” Borough President Donovan Richards said. “There are those who said we should go back to normal after the pandemic, but we know normal was never good enough for Queens county.”
Both Grech and Richards acknowledged the federal infrastructure bill currently stalled in the Senate, expressing hope the bill will pass and fund construction and repair projects for the borough’s roads, trains, and airports.
Carlo Scissura, head of the New York Building Congress, offered the keynote address at this year’s gala. Although he is a native Brooklyn, Scissura discussed Queens’ history of dreaming big and encouraged the borough’s public and private leaders to continue that tradition.
“You have everything in Queens, and you have a future that I think the people in the city and the state need to learn from,” Scissura said. “When people say New York is the center of the world, it’s because of a borough like Queens.
“Think about the vision people have in Queens,” he continued. “One-hundred years ago, Jackson Heights was fields and now it’s home to amazing apartment complexes. We transformed a valley of ashes into a park that hosted two World’s Fairs. Just look at the building we are in right now. It was the pinnacle of the aviation age and made you feel like a king or queen. All of this was built right here in Queens.”
In addition to the keynote address, a number of guest speakers helped distribute awards to the night’s recipients, including Assemblywoman Stacy Pheffer Amato and representatives from Maspeth Federal Savings Bank, the gala’s platinum sponsor.
This year’s gala event sold beyond capacity, another sign of recovery as Queens continues to build and grow after the pandemic.
“It’s great to see everyone in person,” said Thomas Santucci, chair of the Chamber’s board. “Nothing beats an event like this.”

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