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The United War Veterans Council (UWVC) hosted the first of a series of meetings to organize the Little Neck-Douglaston Memorial Day Parade, which was in danger of being canceled this year, on Wednesday, March 19, at Community Church of Little Neck.
Since the former parade board was dissolved, the UWVC, which organizes the annual National Veterans Day Parade in Manhattan, reached out to help save the event.
The UWVC isn’t taking over the event, but just wants to help the community organize the parade, which started in 1927.
“We’re not uncomfortable by taking this leap, and we are not uncomfortable to say to you that if you want it, we could help you get it done, but we can’t do it, you have to do it and we will help you keep on track and make sure that it happens,” said Vince McGowan, president and founder of the UWVC.
About 60 residents, some of who were on the former board of the parade, packed the room at the church, full of resolve to keep the parade alive.
The UWVC just took a census from the room about saving the parade. They then talked about the committees that would be needed to organize the parade, including the Executive Division, Legal, Treasury, Parade Operations, Marketing, Public Relations, and Institutional Involvement, Dignitary, Opening and Closing Church Ceremony Committees. They also noted possible volunteers from the community.
Past parades cost about $30,000, so the UWVC believes it should cost about the same this year. The group is pledging $10,000, and former State Senator Frank Padavan donated $1,000, according to Geraldine Spinella, who was the head of the Treasury Committee of the former board of the parade. Many kinks still need to be worked out, but residents left feeling confident the parade will be back again.
“The best people in the community were in this room and they will get it done,” said Spinella, who volunteered to continue as the head of the Treasury Committee.
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