On The Beach
With Beverly Baxter
Parade Honorees Make Debut
The parade committee hosted its annual fall dinner dance, the first of our fundraising season, at The Beach Club on November 21st.. The occasion introduced our slate of honorees whom we will proudly celebrate in our 2005 parade. Anyone who has ever had the privilege of having such an honor bestowed upon on them knows the exhilarating thrill that one feels when they march down the boulevard on that special day. It’s an experience that is impossible to describe in words.
As we commence in the 30th anniversary of what has become a Rockaway tradition and continues to include those from all throughout the entire city, let us not forget that this glorious day that celebrates such a glorious culture was the vision of our very own, James Conway Sullivan. In fact, it was the thrust of his entire life. For that, this gift of the tradition of our parade that displays in all its majestic pageantry the beauty that is the Irish culture, we thank and remember him.
Under the remarkable leadership of parade President Michael A. Benn, the parade continues to grow and expand. “We are constantly thinking of new ways to include more in the community. Any community-based organizations that wish to participate in the parade are warmly invited to do so by contacting the committee at P.O.Box 82 Rockaway Beach.”
This year, our honorees hail from Labor, Sports, Medicine, Law, Business, Civil Service, Politics, Community Activism, and Education; all areas of endeavor that the Irish are so for noted. Each, through the work and example of their lives, has enhanced the quality of all our lives—and we are grateful for their contributions. I’m sure you will agree with our selection.
They are: Grand Marshal James Mahoney, Business Agent, Local Union 580 of the Iron Workers Union; Female Grand Marshal Theresa Crowe, Past President of the Tipperary Association who is also a Registered Nurse and is active in the Gaelic Athletic Association. Our Honorary Grand Marshals are Gerrard McCabe, President Irish American Builders Society and former Assistant District Attorney. Our Honoary Female Grand Marshal is Mary Lee, a sports enthusiast, Irish organizer, and friend of labor.
Our Deputy Grand Marshals are: Frank Connelly, President Cabra Construction; Joseph (Joey Flowers) Perrotta, Breezy Point Activist and President of Shannon Florist, whom we thank for the magnifient floral arrangements he provided for our dinner dance; John Conroy, NYPD Lieutenant with the Counter Terrorism Squad and member of the Holy Name and Emerald Societies in Breezy Point and Roxbury; Keith (Bugsy) Goldberg, Founder and Director of the Saint Frances De Sales Sports Program and Catholic Youth Organization, as well as Director of the Volley Ball League; Teresa Ariola,Re- publican District Leader, 23rd Assembly District, and activist with Project Children, an organization that hosts children from war-torn Northern Ireland to spend summers in America; Mary Bowles, who hails from County Cork and is the former proprietor of The Blackwater Inn and activist with the 100 Precinct Community Council; Edward Shevlin, who had a successful career in Finance and who is the President of the Saint Camilus Seniors; Terrence WIlliams, Founder and Director of the Breezy Point Catholic Youth Band and parade committee member; and Brian O’Connell, beloved Principal of P.S. 114 and community activist.
I hope you will applaud our selection and plan to join us at our next benefit, the annual Hearts and Shamrocks Dance at Saint Camilus on Sunday January 23rd..
Congratulations to parade committee President Michael Benn and his wife Christine, as well as the committee, for a wonderful evening.
***My thoughts this week are with the Sullivan family on the third anniversary of Jimmy’s passing, a significant loss for our community.
***I extend my sincere and best wishes to Patrick Keane who endured a horrible construction accident.
***Birthday Wishes to the divine Ms. Alison Lane and everybody’s favorite: Bobby Gates.
***See you...On the Beach!