On The Beach
With Beverly Baxter
Parade Honorees Feted At Antun’s Gala
A throng of nearly seven hundred stepped out to attend the thirtieth anniversary of our parade at a black tie affair held at Antun’s on February 19. The occasion, which has become the premiere social event in the Irish community, benefits the mounting of our ever-growing parade. This year’s roster of distinguished honorees depicts a Who’s Who within the New York rish community.
They represent the height of excellence in their chosen professions as they hail from Labor, Medicine, Education, Law, Sports, Private Enterprise, Civil Service, and Philanthropy; all areas of endeavor that the Irish are so for noted. Our Male Grand Marshal is James Patrick Mahoney, New York Business Agent of the New York District Council of Ironworkers. He resides in Belle Harbor. He will be joined in the honor by our Female Grand Marshal, Therese Crowe, of Co. Kerry and Co. Tipperary, respectively. Our Honorary Grand Marshals are Gerard McCabe, a principal of McCabe & Associates, a law firm specializing in Real Estate and Labor Law. A former firefighter who still holds the cause dear to his heart, Gerard is engaged in fundraising efforts to benefit the families of fallen firefighters. He will be joined by our Female Honorary Grand Marshal Mary Lee, a noted Special Education Teacher at the High School Level, who has dedicated herself to the cause of Cystic Fibrosis. Our Gael of the Year is Eugene Pasternak, President of Special Security and esteemed member of our parade committee.
Each year, the parade committee nominates and selects its roster of Deputy Grand Marshals. They too, hail from Civil Service, Sports, Business, Labor, and Philanthropy; as well as represent the best among us. I know you will applaud our selection. They are: Keith (Bugsy) Goldberg, President of the Catholic Youth Organization at Saint Frances de Sales; Mary Bowles, former proprietor of the Blackwater Inn and activist with the 100 Precinct Community Council; Terrence Williams, parade committee member and member of the Breezy Point Pipe Band; Terry Ariola, Republican State Committeewoman and activist in Irish causes; Ed Shevlin, President of the Saint Camilus Golden Age Club; Donald Hart, retired police Detective and Republican Activist; Brian O’Connell, Principal of P.S. 114; John Conroy, of the Conroy Learning Center; Frank Connolly, Community Activist; and Joe (Flowers) Perrotta!
This year marks the thirtieth anniversary of a vision; a whimsical makeshift gleam in those proud blue eyes of parade Founder and President Emeritus, James Conway Sullivan, who was initially ridiculed for his notion of a parade for Rockaway, yet proudly marched and took us all along for the glorious ride.
The parade has swelled to its distinction as the second largest parade in honor of Saint Patrick in New York State! I dedicate this and every parade to his memory.
Congratulations to Michael and Christine Benn, under your dedicated leadership, the tradition marches on!, and to the parade committee, and all the honorees.
You wear it so well!
***Happy Birthday wishes to Brenda Di Lisi Flynn! I love you!!
***See you....March 5th...at the Parade!