2007-11-23 / Columnists

Chatting with Chapey

Queens Walk For Juvenile Diabetes And The 'Little North Pole'
Commentary by Dr. Geraldine M. Chapey, Democratic District Leader

Dr. Geraldine Chapey Dr. Geraldine Chapey My students from Kingsborough Community College and I were delighted to join the 10th anniversary Walk to Cure Diabetes at Flushing Meadows Corona Park.

We were pleased to walk with Joe Mure's team - Michael's Legal Eagles; with Brian O'Connell - the principal of the Scholars' Academy and his school team; with Crissy and Terry Williams and their Breezy Point team; with Vicky Apice's team from Cyberzone; and with Kiwanis members from around New York City and New York State. Joe Mure reports that the team raised over $50,000 to help find a cure for diabetes.

Participants in the Queens Walk were treated to great entertainment, breakfast, children's activities and after the walk, participants were given complimentary admission to the Queens Zoo and the petting zoo located in Flushing Meadows Corona Park. It is urgent that we find a cure for diabetes because as the Juvenile Diabetes web site notes, over 17 million people in the United States have diabetes. Additionally, 35 American children are diagnosed with the disease every day. Heredity, viral and immunological factors play a role in diabetes. The prevalence of diabetes has grown by more than 40 percent since the 1990s and more people are getting the disease at an earlier age, according to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Health Bulletin of February, 2005. The New York State Health Department found that more than 12,000 school children living within and attending school in New York State have juvenile diabetes. This "type 1 diabetes" is a potentially deadly illness in which the body does not produce a sufficient amount of insulin, which would allow glucose to fuel cells and create energy.

Statistics show that the risk for developing juvenile diabetes is higher than virtually all other severe chronic diseases of childhood combined. Diabetes is the leading cause of kidney disease, blindness, amputation and nerve damage in the United States. Diabetes is the third leading cause of stroke and heart attack. (This information was obtained from the Juvenile Diabetes web site.)

A kick-off for the Little North Pole extravaganza is scheduled on Saturday, December 8 at 6 p.m., at Beach 144 Street and Neponsit Avenue. The entire community is invited to come together again to enjoy the lighting ceremony and support the work to find a cure for juvenile diabetes. People of every age can admire the creativity and splendor. Allen Zwein will be producing the show. This year many great community groups will add their talent to the festivities, including the Breezy Point Pipe and Drum Band and the Tyrone County Pipe and Drum Corps. Gumba Johnny, the fabulous WKTU radio host and comedian will be appearing in person. He comes to us from Time Warner Cable, Cablevision and other nationwide appearances. He spends his free time helping to raise countless dollars for charities, particularly juvenile diabetes. Another outstanding and talented popular performer will be entertaining us - Tony Sirico. He is most famous for the role of Paulie Walnuts in the television series - "The Sopranos." Another headliner will be the Italian heartthrob, Angelo Venuto. He will serenade the group with his booming singing voice and instrumental musical renditions. Joining the star parade will be Barney, Big Bird, Mickey and Minnie Mouse, and many more. Mure confided in me that they are also planning several surprise guests. Back by popular demand will be Jodee Timpone to lead us in the Star Spangled Banner.

Joining Mure in his efforts is his beautiful, talented and chic wife, Maritza. Maritza and Joe have three beautiful children - Christina, Joseph and Michael. Their greatest moments - they believe - are those they spend together as a family and working for a cure for diabetes.

Funds raised at this event will go to benefit the children's diabetes center at Peninsula Hospital and to fund research to find a cure for diabetes through the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

Right after this event, it's just a short stroll to join us at the West End Temple - "Shop till you Drop" event, from 6 to 11 p.m. The West End Temple is at 147-02 Newport Avenue. Chaya Kirshen, the Temple President, told me that this event will be bigger and better than last year - if that is possible. Join us for a fun night of shopping, great food, music, raffles, 50/50's and dozens of vendors with brand-new merchandise. This year they are also adding their first Scholastic Book Fair. My family and I look forward to the event. We find great gifts for everyone on our holiday list. I also find great items for myself. Make it a family evening of fun. See you there!

Please note - In his Wave article of last week, Lew Simon made untrue and misleading statements attributed to me.

The purpose of the tenants' meeting was to discuss the building issues. He did not break the story. In addition, his designation of the Catanese property is incorrect. A C2-2 zone is only a commercial overlay to the R1 to R10 designation.

I hope that everyone has a Happy Thanksgiving.

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