2004-08-20 / Columnists

Chamber Chat

By Joanie Omeste, Executive Director, Rockaway Chamber of Commerce


Joanie Omeste
Joanie Omeste A question I often get asked is “what is the function of the Rockaway Chamber of Commerce?”

So, I checked our By-Laws and was greeted on the first page by the line that the Chamber was formed to create…“a better understanding and appreciation of the importance of the busines sman and a concern for his problems.” At which point, I passed out.

Once I regained consciousness, I recalled that the Chamber was formed in 1925 and it was a different world back then. Then I noticed that the By-Laws had been reviewed, revised and amended in 1999. At which point I passed out, again. My point generally being, that an organization, although sticking to the spirit of its core mission needs to constantly update itself to meet the challenges of the times. Part of the stated mission of this Chamber is “to promote business and community growth and development by promoting economic programs designed to strengthen and expand the income potential of all business with the trade area.” That philosophy withstands time. The Chamber is here to help the businesses in the community that it serves. It’s the spirit in which the Chamber works and it is the reason businesses join and work together. So, soon we’ll have a slight change in our By-Laws. This will be done to keep the Chamber contemporary and focused, but also to keep me from passing out every few minutes.

This year, the New York Kite Festival at the Rockaways will be held on August 21st-22nd, from 10 a.m.- 4p.m. This festival is free to all and will feature high-flying fun for the entire family. Thrilling competitions, kite-flying exhibitions beautifully orchestrated to music, and kite-making classes for the kids at the Children’s Kite Camp will entertain the thousands of people expected to attend. Top sport kite fliers and guest kitemakers from the American Kitefliers Association will be flying kites of all types of imaginable shapes and sizes. Please join us for a fun-filled family weekend! We’d like to thank our generous sponsors, Arverne by the Sea, American Airlines, Councilman Joseph P. Addabbo, Gateway National Recreation Area, New York Commuity Bank, Newsday and The Port Authority of NY & NJ.

As you may already be aware, the Doe Fund has begun its street-cleaning program on Beach 116 Street and Rockaway Beach Boulevard. This program was championed and funded by Councilman Joe Addabbo. The Doe Fund distinguishes itself by its commitment to good work for over 20 years, and by the nature of its humanitarian service, helping formerly homless people get their lives back on track. You can see the difference already, the streets are looking cleaner, and an added benefit is that storeowners are taking even more pride by doing their part to keep their storefronts clean. The Chamber is proud to be supervising the day-to-day operations of the program.

Speaking of Councilman Addabbo….he’s one of the five honorees at the Chamber’s Dinner Dance on Wednesday, November 17.

Councilman Addabbo began serving in the City Council in January 2002, and during his tenure as Chair of the Parks and Recreation Committee he sought to protect and maintain parks and recreational areas throughout the City. He believes that parks are an integral part of our city and that is why he was the key sponsor of the Adopt-A-Park law. He was recently elected Chair of the Civil Service and Labor Committee and in addition serves on the Consumer Affairs, Contracts, Governmental Operations, State & Legislation, Transportation and Waterfronts Committees. What he’s most proud of….and you can tell this by the voluminous amount of photos he carries with him…..are his wife and new baby girl.

The Department of Small Business Services (SBS) and the New York City Commission on Women’s Issues is launching the “New York City Small Business Awards,” an awards program honoring the achievements of women in business in New York City. Businesses eligible to apply must have fewer than 100 employees, annual revenues under $2.5 million, be established a minimum of two years and based in New York City including the boroughs. Awards range from $2,000-$30,000, plus the notoriety of winning this prestigious award. Small business owners can enter the competition and learn more about the program and the City’s resources for small businesses at www.nyc.gov. Applications will be accepted through September 20, 2004 and winners will be announced in December of 2004.

If anyone is interested in becoming a member of the Chamber….the one that serves business people ….please call the Chamber office at (718) 634-1300.

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