I live in Rockaway. I moved here 15 years ago from Howard Beach.
I am Special Events Director for the Beach 116th Street Partnership. I am on the legal committee; I’m on the Executive Board. And I oversee all the special events we put together, like the Beach 116th Street Tree Lighting.
We’re also doing Poland’s International Children’s Day on Beach 116th Street on June 1st.
Were you involved in other civic or community activities before working with the Beach 116th Street Partnership?
No, not before I moved to Rockaway. I found so many people that worked for me were living here, it became a community thing, a family thing.
What I do for a living, just fit right in. I’m a production labor consultant/ producer. My company, Elite Productions, is one of the largest on the East Coast. We supply other production companies with qualified professional labor to run productions all over the tri-state area.
Some people build houses, I build stages.
Tell me about the 116th Partnership.
It’s growing very rapidly. The organization is getting stronger by the dayThe community response has been even bigger.
We’re about bringing the community, all the organizations and groups together.
We reach out, and keeping reaching out, to every organization. Like with the children’s event we’re doing now in June. We’re also getting St. John’s Hospital to come down, to talk about their services and meet the community.
How long do you see yourself staying with the Beach 116th Street Partnership?
As long as they’ll allow.
I don’t see myself leaving anytime soon. If I am not on the Board, I’ll be involved on a sub-committee.
I think it is an honor to be able to help your neighborhood.
What do you see as the biggest issue facing Rockaway?
Biggest issue? Bringing in strong mom-and-pop businesses into the (Beach 116th) business corridor…as well as bringing in large retailers to the area.
We need to make it more attractive to other people from other places to come here and shop. And also we need to let people (here) know that they can get what they need right here.
We took a beating, all of us (with Sandy). No question about it.
What’s the best thing about living Rockaway?
The fact that with all the complaints people had after Sandy, with not getting help, when we were down, we were always ready to be there for each other. Whether it was emotionally, physically— we were there for each other.
That’s the heart of Rockaway. That will always be here.
I would think people would love to see the boardwalk go up faster.
There’s a lot to be done, and not just to throw things up fast. But to do it right, to think about what we are building, think about what we are leaving for our children. What advice would you give to someone who is not currently involved, but is interested in helping
Look up Rockaway civic associations and you will find something. No doubt.
Get in touch. All the clubs all welcome help. If you contact us, we will help you get going. We always welcome help.
Get up and do it. Don’t talk about it. Do it.
We keep making it happen. That’s what we do.