After a week of opening the beaches in the city, Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe tells residents he saved the best for last - Rockaway Beach. Summer was definitely in the air as the Rockaway beach season got off to a rousing start when Parks and Recreation Commissioner Adrian Benepe officially opened the area's beaches in a ceremony last Friday afternoon.
Throughout last week, Benepe had been attending beach openings across the city.
"I've saved the best for last - Rockaway Beach," Benepe told the crowd on the boardwalk at Beach 108 Street.
Although it was an occasion for summer fun to begin, the commissioner issued a few warnings. For parents he said, "Watch your kids. Be careful around the water." To the children, he said to "never go swimming without a lifeguard on duty." Among the improvements to the peninsula's beaches, Benepe said there will be a wheelchair ramp at Beach 117 Street and boardwalk restoration in the 70's and 80's.
There will be several new programs this summer - beach soccer and beach cricket. Also, two exercise classes will be sponsored by the Parks Department - one at O'Donohue Park on Beach 17 Street, Tuesday mornings at 9 a.m., which starts on June 5, and the other at Beach 116 Street, which starts on June 7, on Thursday mornings at 9 a.m.
|Borough Coordinator for Lifeguards JR Ferrer, back, right to left - Chief Lifeguard Jose Diaz, Chief Lifeguard Wilber, and lifeguards Monica Savage and Jennifer O'Connor pose for a photo before the ceremonies began. Following the opening ceremonies, Brenda Lee of Roy Wilkins Park and Recreation Center leads an exercise session. Some of those participating were Councilman Addabbo, Assemblywoman Pheffer and Queens Commissioner of Parks Dorothy Lewandowski. Aband kept the music going with such favorites as, you guessed it - Under The Boardwalk. There was also free food and drink courtesy of COSTCO. Photos by Miriam Rosenberg Assemblywoman Michele Titus, Councilman Joseph Addabbo Jr. and Assemblywoman Audrey Pheffer were among those who attended the opening of Rockaway Beach. An unexpected flyover thrilled the huge crowd at the opening. Two girls have their faces painted by Parks staffers. The first sunbathers of the season take advantage of the early beach opening last Friday afternoon. Students from a nearby school were special guests for the opening. Benepe told the children "Never go swimming when there is no lifeguard. Something bad could happen. We can't save you, if we're not there." It's time for a game of volleyball. |