2004-11-05 / Columnists

Simon says...

Lew M. Simon
Lew M. Simon

From the Desk of Lew M. Simon, Democratic District Leader, 23 rd A.D. Part B

On Thursday evening October 21, the Good Government Regular Democratic Club celebrated its 17th anniversary at a blockbuster extraordinaire at Rockaway’s Beach Club. Close to 500 people packed two rooms in support and recognition of the fine work the Good Government club does for the 23 A.D.

Dr. Kathleen Cashin, Regional Superintendent of Region 5 received the award for educational leadership. She is committed to fostering professional growth on the part of all staff, as well as engaging parents and community leaders in all components of the educational program.

Among Dr. Cashin’s achievements is the initiation of the Scholars’ Academy. This school will accept students based on their standardized test scores, interview, essay, open-ended math problem, special achievements, talents, citizenship, attendance and lateness. Students completing the fifth or sixth grade at any public or private school within District 27 are encouraged to apply.

The Humanitarian Pioneer award was presented to Charlotte Kulovany. She was born and raised in Rockaway 87 years ago. Her father was the very first President of the Democratic club and her mother was the organizer of the first women’s Democratic club.

Mae Hegarty, known as “Miss Rockaway”, a resident of Rockawayfor more than 75 years, received a Humanitarian award. She has been an active parishioner of St. Francis de Sales Parish since 1940, and has been a valued member of the Good Government Regular Democratic Club, Business and Professional Womens Club, Rockaway Council of the Knights of Columbus, 100th Precinct Community Council and Belle Harbor Yacht Club.

An award was given to Grace D’Agostino of Ozone Park. She is well known in the community as the retired manager of a thrift store. She now takes pride is assisting everyone from eight to eighty.

James P. Mahoney was given the Developers award in memory of Dominick Mickey Cincotta. James, an ironworker since 1982, rose through the ranks and is now the Business Agent for Iron Workers Local 580. He is known as a dedicated fighter for workers rights throughout the industry.    

Dominick Mickey Cincotta was one of the finest men to ever walk the streets of Rockaway. He chose to invest his money in building two strip malls with stores and offices. He always contributed to community, civic and religious causes. We feel that there was never an unkind or jealous bone in his body. He cared and shared whatever he had. He was basically an average ordinary person, easy to talk to and brilliant in business. Mickey was like a father to me, being available for advice, friendship and caring.   

The second annual Stephen Lefkowitz Memorial award was presented to Steve Greenberg. Steve served on Community School Board 27 since 1991, and was its last president. He is now Chairman of the Breezy Point Cooperative.

Stephen Lefkowitz was one of my best friends, As a board member of the Good Government Regular Democratic club, he was campaign treasurer until his untimely death due to 9/11. He worked in 2 World Trade Center on the 87th floor. He helped people to safety and lost his own life. He was a loving husband, wonderful father and community activist.

Special thanks to Adam Funtleyder, the owner of Busy Bee learning Center. Adam was our great DJ.

The Star Spangled Banner was performed by Ms. Robin Johnson, principal of the newly opened school in Far Rockaway. She was so good that we are suggesting that she perform at President Kerry’s inauguration.

Sean Minardi, of SMC Designs, set up an audio visual system so guests in two rooms could participate.

Among the notables present were Public Advocate Betsy Gotbaum, Assemblywoman Audrey Pheffer, Senator Malcolm Smith, Congressman Anthony Weiner, Ed Williams, President of the Far Rockaway branch of the NAACP, Rev. Les Mullings, Father Bill Sweeney, Father Weisskopf and Arverne By The Sea developers Les Lerner, Alvin Benjamin, Peter Florey and Jerry Romski.

The BCHS Jazz Band under the direction of Barry Domfort electrified us all with their fantastic performance. There are a lot of positive things going on at Beach Channel. We also heard from a singing group of M.S. 53 students who are members of the Community Church of the Nazarene. Rev. Les Mullings is pastor and Rebecca Lifranc is music director.

The tireless work of our dinner committee with Virginia Carson Smith as chair, Barbara Reiche, Judy Smith, Linda Ward, Terry Harris, Barbara Kilfoil, Andy McGee, Patty McCabe and John Socha made this event successful. John Socha is pesident of Local 1321 of the Library Guild. If you missed this event, plan on coming next year.

We wish to give an extra special thanks to Virginia Carson Smith who is always there as a community activist constantly improving the quality of life in Rockaway. A single mother with two young boys, she is devoted to their education. There are not enough hours in the day for all that she does. We nominate her for community activist of the year as well as mother of the year.

We wish to give special, sincere thanks to Rockaway’s own Beach Club, to Kenny, Steve, Theresa and staff. You performed a miracle with all the people we had. Your service, food and ambiance were the best. Thank you and God bless on your wonderful job.

One of the best kept secrets of the night was the special award presented to businessman of the year, Federico Salinas Jr. Your availability is assisting us in all our printing requirements on a timely basis with excellent results and your friendship have been above and beyond.

A special note of thanks to Key Food on Beach 105th Street. Your candies and Halloween ornaments made the night special. We wish to thank all of the merchants, businesses, neighbors and friends who took ads in our journal and unselfishly gave gifts as well for our raffle. We urge everyone in the community to support these merchants. Copies of our dinner journal are available in our office on Thursday evenings.

Our Atlantic City bus trip will be on Saturday, November 13. We leave at 5:30 p.m. and return at 8 a.m. The cost is $32 with $25 and a 100 minute phone card returned. Call 945-1216 now for seats.

We are saddened by the loss of a dear friend who was a member of the Good Government club before she moved to Florida. Virginia Ann Adams, otherwise known as Jean, was one of the most kind, loving and supportive individuals you could ever meet. Her optimism, positive words and love in her heart were always available to help a friend. She was a wonderful wife and a loving mother and an angel in her way. We know God once again has a special angel in his kingdom in heaven. You will be deeply missed.   

The Rockaway subcommittee of the Regional Rail Working Group will meet at club headquarters on Monday November 8 at 7:30 p.m. Southern Queens residents have been ignored in plans for better city transportation. We are putting together a plan to get our message to all the right people. We meet at 112-20 Beach Channel Drive.

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