A night filled with ‘Stars’

| vschneps@queenscourier.com |


BP Helen Marshall (right) helped me honor “Star of Stars” Danielle Monaro and “Mentor of the Year” Bud Harrelson.

As I sat with my husband Stu watching the Super Bowl, it was a house divided. He cheered for the Baltimore Ravens, and I was pulling for the San Francisco 49ers because I have cousins who live there and I like their power red colors. But between plays, I reflected on a wonderful week.

I often say that my company is as good as it is thanks to my amazing staff. That was never so evident as it was last Thursday night when we recognized 40 awesome men and woman as “Rising Stars.”

The well tooled “team Courier” greeted and welcomed over 500 people who came to share the evening with their friends and family at Citi Field’s Caesars Club. There was electricity in the air and a joyousness that spread to all.

For the five years we have been doing the event Maria Romero and our staff of sales, reporters and artists have made it the success it is. To add to the power of the evening we were delighted to recognize Danielle Monaro, a co-host on Z100’s Elvis Duran & The Morning Show, and a thyroid cancer survivor as our “Star of Stars.”

We were honored to have Bud Harrelson, World Series hero of the 1969 champion New York Mets, as Mentor of the Year. What a gentleman he is. Over the years, in his retirement, he has helped a group called the Morgan Center, a pre-school for kids with cancer. How powerful that is.

As always we ran a raffle, where all the proceeds go to raise money for local causes. This year we chose the Hank Auffarth Family Center of The Child Center of NY, and the Morgan Center.

The Hank Auffarth Family Center is named for a caring, passionate man who was lovingly called “Hank from the bank.” While he worked for several banks over his career, he always tirelessly worked on behalf of what was previously called Queens Child Guidance Centers. His passing left a hole in all our hearts, so we were delighted to help the newly-created center.

Thanks to the generosity of Creative Group, LLC, and Delta Airlines, the grand prize was a Cancun trip, which included four nights and five days at the Ocean Spa Resort or the Laguna Suites, and two round trip airfare tickets. It was won by Paul Papoutsakis from Wells Fargo Mortgage.

Broadway tickets, an HD TV, two Nets tickets to the TGI Suite at the Barclays Center and many gift certificates were also given away by exhibitors. Guests also snapped pictures in a free photo booth sponsored by Investors Bank and snacked on free Nathan’s hot dogs and pretzels.

What a night! So many winners, so much joy, so much networking. It doesn’t get better than this.