2006-08-11 / Columnists

Chatting with Chapey

Joan Farrell: A Community Asset
by Dr. Geraldine M. Chapey, Democratic District Leader

Joan Farrell: A Community Asset

Dr. Geraldine Chapey
Dr. Geraldine Chapey

Congratulations to Joan Farrell on receiving the Community Beautification Award at Chapey's Trinity Services Fourth Annual Luncheon. Farrell is a remarkable asset to our community. She has been married for fifty years to Joseph H. Farrell, Esq. who was born and raised in Belle Harbor, and is the mother of Joseph S. Farrell and Patricia A. Harty and grandmother to Ryan, Patrick and Kelly Ann Harty.

A capable, talented and innovative woman, Farrell enjoys sharing her innate talent and creative spirit with her family and her neighbors. These remarkable attributes led her to become a board member of the Shore Garden Club of Neponsit and Belle Harbor.

Her willingness to serve her community is exhibited in the fact that she has served for eleven years as Treasurer of the Shore Garden Club and as Beautification Treasurer.

The club honored Farrell with their prestigious Presidential Citation Award in June 2003 for her services. It is impossible to drive through the Rockaways without passing some of the stunning plantings of the garden club.

They play a great role in making the Rockaways a great place to live and work.

It is these magnificent touches that show that people care about the appearance of our community. It is wonderful to see the successful efforts that the garden club makes bringing additional beauty to our community which has such breathtaking natural assets.

Farrell is a graduate of St. Angela Hall Academy and Lady Cliff College. Her parents were the late Helen and Joseph Sharkey who were both active in democratic politics in the City of New York.

Joseph Sharkey served as the Kings County Democratic leader for many years and as the majority leader of the City Council of New York for over 32 years.

Farrell's parents instilled in her and her two sisters a wonderful appreciation for the need for community service and following the lead of her parents, she and her husband, Joseph, instilled this in their children.

Last week we lost our Queens County Democratic Leader, Congressman Thomas Manton. Manton was truly a man for all seasons. He was the only son of Irish parents who came to America.

At an early age he recognized the opportunity to go ahead through achieving educational success. He joined the New York City Police Department and went to St. John's University Law School at night. He married his wife, Diane, who is a nurse. (My mother and I were invited by Diane Manton to Washington, D.C. to have lunch with Hillary Clinton and Tipper Gore.) Tom inherited an Irish love of politics and served for 15 years as a New York City Councilmember.

When Geraldine Ferraro ran for Vice President of the United States, Manton succeeded her in the United States Congress. He cherished his Irish roots, and worked with President Bill Clinton to work toward peace and justice in Ireland. He told me that the proudest day of his life was when he was chosen as the Grand Marshall of the St. Patrick's Day Parade in Manhattan.

He was the major partner in the law firm of Manton, Sweeney, Gallo, Reich and Bolz.

Manton loved his family, his religion, his Irish heritage, his community, his city and his nation, and served them proudly. He loved his dog - Tippy and we shared many moments laughing about the exploits of his dog and my dog - Rocky.

Manton was a powerful and humble man. President Bill Clinton credits Manton with being a major force behind his achieving the Presidency of the United States. Manton built a unified Democratic force in Queens. He appointed judges and elected presidents and was a major moving force in electing U.S. Senators, Hillary Clinton and Chuck Schumer; New York State Comptroller Alan Hevesi, our Queens New York State Senators, Assemblypersons, City Council persons, district leaders and so many more.

He was a man of unusual strength of character.

He served in the United Stated Marines. This strength served him well through his life and his final illness. He was at work making Queens and New York and our nation a better place to live and work up until June 2006.

I am very proud to have him as a friend, colleague and mentor.

On Monday, the Queens democrats had their annual golf outing. Tom Manton was eulogized by many. His contributions to the everyday lives of many people will live on forever. He will be sorely missed.

On Tuesday I attended a meeting of the Peninsula Hospital Auxiliary. Peninsula Hospital is an institution that is in the forefront of meeting the health needs of our community. Under the leadership of Robert Levine the hospital has an excellent reputation as a premier medical center. Levine announced with a great deal of professional pride that Peninsula Hospital has received full approval to perform cardiac procedures and can now give advanced cardiac care to patients in conjunction with Long Island Jewish Hospital. This will allow patients to receive this urgent care at our local facility. It will provide them with a seamless transition to Long Island Jewish Hospital should they need further care.

Sheila Schwartz, the co-president of the auxiliary, is a knowledgeable and informed person. She noted that we are so fortunate to have this first class hospital so near to us. They have many different services addressing the medical needs of our community. They even have a dentist. Schwartz and I had both had dental emergencies in the middle of the night. We went directly to Peninsula Hospital. They have a dentist on staff that is available to treat patients. Although we had visited the dentist at different times, we both felt that the care we received was top notch. Sheila Schwartz and I grew up here in the Rockaways. We love the Rockaways and we are very encouraged by the great additions to the medical staff at Peninsula.

Congratulations to Dr. Guiney on receiving national recognition of a study conducted at Peninsula Hospital. The study was featured on the front cover of the Journal of the American Osteopathic Medicine. As Dr. Guiney noted this is just one indication of many that Peninsula Hospital is an excellent, state of the art medical facility. The three-year study validated the effectiveness of the D.O. treatment of children with asthma thereby reducing the need for hospitalization.

The Night Out Against Crime is always an important event. Tuesday night was so hot that we were happy to be at the Beach Club and near the water. Everyone always enjoys the fireworks at the end of the program. Thanks to the Goods for providing such excellent service at the Beach Club.

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