2004-10-15 / Columnists


By Joanie Omeste, Executive Director, Rockaway Chamber of Commerce

Joanie Omeste
Joanie Omeste Have I mentioned that the Chamber’s Annual Dinner Dance is Wednesday, November 17?

The Dinner Dance will be held at the wonderful Russo’s On The Bay. We are planning a really nice event, and if you are interested in supporting the Chamber by purchasing a journal ad and/or tickets, while having a good time, please call the Chamber office 718-634-1300.

When you do call the office, you may hear the lovely voice of our new Executive Assistant, Lakeasha Williams. She’s an incredibly hard worker, and in addition to her part-time job at the Chamber she works full-time at JPMorgan Chase.

Another of our Dinner Dance honorees is the Benjamin-Beechwood organization for their work at Arverne by the Sea. What can I say that you don’t already know about this incredible endeavor? Arverne by the Sea is changing the face of the Rockaways as well as finally bringing much desired attention to the Peninsula.

A brilliant joint venture of The Beechwood Organization and the Benjamin Companies, Arverne has given this community the hope that revitalization brings - not to mention lovely beachfront homes.

With plans for hundreds of thousands of square feet of retail stores, a new school, a YMCA and the renovation of the transit plaza, Arverne is a well thought out community, bringing the promise of a better way.

If you’ve ever had a chance to meet their dedicated (and fun-loving) staff, you know they bring with them the very essence of community.

The Chamber would like to thank Keyspan Energy for their very generous sponsorship of the Cocktail Hour at the Dinner Dance. It has a nice ring to it, “The Keyspan Cocktail Hour,” and we are thrilled to have them on board as our partners.

Also, we’d like to thank the good people at American Airlines for donating raffle prizes, so, if you’re joining us for the evening, you may win a nice trip.

“Clang clang clang went the trolley,” as the old song goes. Now you, yes you, can be the very first person on your block to own one of these classic vehicles. The Chamber is looking to unload (oops I mean sell) its once beloved 1985 FLXEL trolley designed in beautiful hues of green and orange.

Be the envy of all your friends when you pull up to the Dinner Dance in this little baby. If you would like to take a look at the trolley, it’s parked next to Frank Lloyd Wright’s Transit District 23 Headquarters in the Waldbaum’s parking lot.

Be careful though - I believe there’s a family of badgers currently living in the trolley, which would explain the smell (oops I mean aromatic fragrance) emanating from the vehicle. The Chamber will consider all offers.

The Rockaway Annual Halloween Parade is set for Saturday, October 30. The parade will step off at Beach 116 Street and Rockaway Beach Boulevard at 1:00 p.m. Kids of all ages who are in costume are welcome to march.

The parade is produced by the Chamber and Councilman Joe Addabbo and is very generously sponsored by our friends at Arverne by the Sea. Featured parade guests will be the Beach Channel High School Marching Band.

On the top of Tribute Park bricks - I’ve been getting calls from people who have made donations to the Park inquiring about the commemorative brick that was gifted to them by the Chamber in appreciation for their donation.

Please be assured that all of the bricks that were previously ordered are currently in storage.

Now that the revetment along the bayfront has been completed, the next step is for the base of the dome to be fabricated.

The following phase, after the base is fabricated and laid, is the actual laying of the pathways, at which point the commemorative bricks will be installed. If you ordered a mini-brick and would like to pick it up, they are currently stored here at the Chamber office.

The Initiative for a Competitive Inner City is holding a national competition for growing companies operating in economically depressed areas. It’s called the “Inner City 100” and past winners have garnered national and local media attention, valuable networking opportunities, recognition from government, access to financing and contracts that can be directly attributed to exposure received as a result of winning Inner City 100.

If you would like more information about this program go to www.innercity100. org or contact Dereje Bereta at dbereta@icic.org 617-292-2363 ext. 142. Good luck!

If anyone is interested in becoming a member of the Chamber, please call the office or e-mail rockawaychamber @aol.com, please note in the subject line “member application” and I’ll e-mail the application to you. Thanks.

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