Parks and Recreation Commissioner Adrian Benepe (standing at podium) hosts Rockaway's beach opening ceremony last Friday on Beach 97 Street and the boardwalk. Students from P.S. 225, resident and local officials joined Benepe for the annual event, which included tips on beach safety and rules, giveaways, beach volleyball, rollout of Parks Department beach vehicles and free hot dogs and refreshments. Benepe, who has children of his own and likes to have fun with the kids at Parks events, turned serious for a moment when discussing beach safety. "You must never go in the water without a lifeguard [on duty]," he said.
|Kids have a good laugh as "Bob the Beach Buddy" found out about all of the items that are prohibited at the beach. The weather for the beach opening was cool and foggy, but Brendon Byrne, 21 months, didn't seem to mind. He sported a hooded sweatshirt and stayed close to his dad, Marlin. Local Parks manager LeRoy Temple (left) goes over a list of beach rules with "Bob the Beach Buddy" aka Seamus Moloney, who learned that he couldn't use his brand new boogie board at the beach. City Councilman Joseph Addabbo Jr. rolled up his sleeves and with Parks Commissioner Benepe, here getting ready to serve, takes on Assemblywoman Audrey Pheffer and State Senator Malcolm Smith (both not shown. School kids take a peek over the boardwalk railing at Parks Department vehicles roll out on the sand. Assemblywoman Audrey Pheffer and Community Board 14 District Manager Jonathan Gaska attended the ceremony, as did several NYC lifeguards who Parks Commissioner Benepe called "New York's Tannest or Wettest." Students from P.S. 225 cover their hearts with top hats decorated with the stars and stripes as they sing America the Beautiful. |