2004-11-12 / Columnists


By Joanie Omeste, Executive Director, Rockaway Chamber of Commerce

Joanie Omeste
Joanie Omeste Have I mentioned that the Cham-ber’s dinner dance is Wednesday, November 17, at Russo’s on the Bay … have I mentioned anything else? This year during the sports auction portion of the event, we’ll feature special guest, former New York Jets Wide Receiver and NFL star, Wesley Walker. During Mr. Walker’s first year with the Jets, he set a team record for a rookie with 740 receiving yards. He spectacularly led the entire NFL in receptions in both 1977 and 1978 and played in two Pro-Bowls, 1978 and 1982. Walker had the most catches of his career in 1983 (61), the most by any Jets receiver since a record was set almost twenty years prior.

This year’s Dinner Dance honorees are distinctively different from each other, but each with the common thread of contribution to the revitalization of this wonderful neighborhood.

Arverne is a beacon of hope and a bridge joining different communities within the Peninsula. Brown’s, successful in the neighborhood for over 30 years, continues to contribute to the community by beautifying the area with their lovely plantings; La Vida Jervis, the spirit of a new entrepreneur, taking a chance by opening a business here, supporting and caring about her new neighborhood; Dr. Chapey contributing to the wellness of people of all ages, she is the glue holding together populations of all ages; and Councilman Joe Addabbo, is the backbone and support of a changing neighborhood, and has the Chamber’s gratitude for bringing the Beach 116 Street business district an honorable program to clean our streets, the first of its kind in this community. Revitalization begins by the creative thinking, hard work and dedication of people who can envision a better way……separately, within their own walks of life, and together as a community. It makes you proud to be here at this time in Rockaway’s history. If you haven’t done so yet, please call the Chamber office at (718) 634-1300 for tickets.

October 30 was the first “Halloween on Beach 116.” Although the weather may have kept some people away, fun was had by all who participated (especially the adults). Special thanks to the Beach Channel High School Marching Band who ceremoniously led the parade. A big thank you to our sponsors Arverne by the Sea for providing the giveaways, and many, many thanks to Steve Good who set up a hospitality tent and provided hot chocolate, cider and candy for the kids.

On Sunday, October 31st, the Chamber’s illustrious Executive Board Member, Linda Plummer, was featured by Newsday in the Everyday Hero section. Newsday applauded Linda’s new presidency of RDRC and gave kudos to her contributions to Peninsula Hospital, the Addabbo Family Health Center and many other organizations. Linda who is one busy lady, always makes time to contribute to the community and the Chamber Board is lucky to have her serve.

The Chamber would like to welcome new member, the Riis Park Golf Course. Kelley Brooke, recently awarded the concession to operate the Riis Park Golf Course stated that she learned to play golf before she could walk. An LPGA Golf Professional, Kelley began her golf career when she won her home state of Iowa’s High School State Championship and the Iowa State Junior Championship. In 1993, Kelley went on to teach golf in Staten Island and Brooklyn. Recognizing a void in women’s golf, Kelley created the Kelley Brooke Women’s Golf Clinics and other programs geared toward women golfers.

One of Kelley’s most proud accomplishments is the formation of the not-for-profit NYC Junior Golf Club, Inc. The Club services economically disadvantaged youth along with the average junior golfer. She also created the Police Athletic League Golf Program educating volunteers on how to teach kids golf.

Kelley is presently planning The NYC Senior Golf League to be conducted at Riis Park Golf Course.

Due to the Par 3’s length and flat terrain, the course is a perfect location to get seniors out and walking.

If you would like further information on the Riis Park Golf Course including golf lessons, please call (718) 474-1623.

If you are considering starting a small business, the Chamber has brochures provided by New York State to use as guidance in the process. “Starting a Business” and “Permit Assistance” are helpful in providing information on the initial steps of beginning a business, such as exactly what permits are needed, which state agencies can be helpful, and what categories you would fall under for incorporation.

Please call the Chamber office if you would like these brochures mailed to you.

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