2001-08-04 / Columnists

Dorothy Dunne

It was most evident on this past Sunday that Breezy Point is a community that cares. Directly across from St. Thomas More Church, after the last morning mass, residents gathered at the Rockaway Point Volunteer Fire Department and Ambulance Corps for the dedication and blessing of the brand new 2001 Ford Mini Mod 4x4 Ambulance. Deputy Chief Arthur Lighthall, Tom Hennessy and Julie Ryan were honored for their many years of service and dedication. Chairman Vincent Heely received a plaque. Young Joe Murray, grandson of John Gavin, sang the National Anthem in one of the most beautiful renditions I have ever heard locally. Monsignor Connelly opened the meeting with a prayer and ended it with the blessing of the new ambulance. Chief of New York City Fire Department McCrakin read a letter from Mayor Giuliani that mentioned his gratitude for the participation, aid and assistance in New York City Fires outside the community. Senator Smith expressed his thanks for the volunteer service and offered a grant to the Department to help cover their expenses. "A truck is a truck. An ambulance is an ambulance, but what good are they if they don’t have the men to drive them and take upon their shoulders the dangerous work of saving others."

Councilman Anthony Weiner spoke out in their praise. Even Lew Simon gave accolades for work well done. It was a moving ceremony, especially when Kim, daughter of Arthur Lighthall, spoke on her Dad’s behalf. She told how, as a little girl, she hung around the firehouse with him and later became a part of the volunteers. She broke down many times relating moments of his dedication and how his and her work as firefighters bonded the two of them together. Tom Hennessy’s son Tom, jr., warmly opened his heart up about his Dad and his work at fires and on the ambulance. Julie Ryan’s daughter spoke lovingly of her Mom of 85 years, mother of nine children, who still found time to care for the lives of others. "I am still always ready to help in whatever capacity she can", she later said. How fortunate the community is to have such courageous people who not only give of their time but put their own lives on the line for the safety of others. It was truly a " Wet Down" ceremony. There was not a dry eye among the guests. We all left with a sense of pride for these special people who walk among us and who so deserved to be honored.

The Rockaway Point Volunteer Fire Department and Ambulance Corps have won the top awards in all of the city events year after year after year. They are the best and I, myself, can attest to that. Years ago when I fell 10½ feet onto a cement floor when I tumbled down a trapped door that was negligently left open at the Rockaway Point Yacht Club and found myself in agony with a broken shoulder, swollen knees and injured back that has had residual effects today, did I appreciate the exceptional work of the volunteer Rockaway Point Ambulance Corp. They were at my side in no time at all and administered immediate care to me. They were so professional and knew exactly the right thing to do to help me. I will never forget how efficient they were and I thank them all very much and wish God gives them a special blessing as I am sure He does.

You don’t have to be a Firefighter to be a giving and caring person. I have another personal experience I would like to share with you. It was only last week when I was struggling to erect a gazebo and realized I needed help. Whenever you enter the Supermarket in Rockaway Point the bulletin board is filled with names and notes from young people anxious to do odd jobs. That was my first thought when I called Donald Ritter, such a fine person, proprietor of the supermarket and of the newly opened first Surf Shop in Breezy that has an array of attractive and most affordable items. I thought he could glance at the board and give me a name. Instead, he did more than that; he extended himself to come to help me personally. During our efforts, three young surfers past by the house: Ryan O’Donall, Joe Esposito and Kevin Connolly. With their help it was all assembled in no time. Thank you, thank you, thank you, guys. You certainly are an example of very special young people in our community who will extend themselves to give a helping hand when needed. If ever there is anything I can do for you, please let me know.

I forgot to mention last week, Bobby Pintauro (on the Bay), celebrated a shared birthday on July 19th with Patty Crowley at a big party at his home. Patty is still esthetic over the beautiful flowers she received from daughter , Niclole and sisters. "Hon’s hubby, Bobby Crowley, gave her new Niki sneakers that she was yearning for.

Maryann, husband Brien and son, Sean Mackey just returned from a fabulous, fabulous trip to Las Vegas where they stayed at the Excalibur Hotel. They called to tell me about their wonderful week’s stay. They went to Hoover Dam, Lake Meese and marveled at the Venitian Hotel where they took a gondola ride and visited the new renovated Caesar’s Palace which was not quite the same as they remembered it when they were married. Glad you are back and happy you had such a good time.

Correction: Tom Coady is the proper way Kennedy’s lovable bartender spells his name. It was spelled incorrectly last week. My error and my apology.

Does a member of your family have MS (Multiple Sclerosis)? If not, you probably know someone who has it. It is a dread disease that affects the nervous system and leaves many patients completely disabled. The Manhattan Society is a volunteer group of more than 200 young professionals who raised over $550,000 in 2000. You could become a volunteer yourself, or you can attend one of their fundraising parties. The Ultimate Summertime Party was held aboard the Intrepid Sea Air Space Museum last week. It was sponsored by WKTU-FM, and Broadway Bill Lee hosted the festivities. Music, food, drink….what a way to do such good for those less fortunate.

There is an Inn at Irving Place that is just a charming place to stay when in New York. It only has twelve spacious rooms, all filed with antique furniture and reminds it one of a European Inn. You receive complimentary continental breakfast, tea is served each afternoon and dessert and coffee later in the evening. They have a great lounge downstairs, called Cibar. Here I am at the beautiful press welcoming party. Pictured with Michael Brunk, General Manager of Cibar and Gina Pepperdine, General Manager of the Inn.at Irving Place that is located in the Gramacy Park vicinity.


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