Tag Archives: anniversary

Kiwanis celebrates its 100th anniversary

| agiudice@ridgewoodtimes.com

Photo courtesy of J.P DiTroia

Kiwanis International is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year.

The Kiwanis was founded on Jan. 21, 1915, in Detroit, Michigan. On Nov. 1, 1916, The Kiwanis Club of Hamilton, Ontario, was chartered, making Kiwanis an international organization.

By 1916, a year after its founding, the Kiwanis had only three clubs with about 500 members; today the Kiwanis has nearly 600,000 members with clubs in 80 nations.

Those clubs and members address the unique concerns of their own areas, while tackling larger global issues. Members of the Kiwanis hold around 150,000 service projects, raise approximately $100 million and contribute more than six million hours of service each year.

As Kiwanis grew around the world, it grew locally as well. The first club in the New York District was founded in Rochester in 1916. The Queens West Division of the New York District currently has 17 clubs.

“Kiwanis, in general, is a lot of work and a commitment to the community, however, what it does is it challenges you…if you want to grow as an individual, it challenges you, it forces you to learn different things,” said JP DiTroia, Lieutenant Governor of Kiwanis Queens West.

In June 2010, at the 2010 international convention in Las Vegas, Kiwanis pledged to raise $110 million and joined UNICEF to eliminate maternal and neonatal tetanus from countries still affected by the disease. This cause is known as Project Eliminate.

Since Project Eliminate began, the Queens West Division has been steadfast in raising money for this cause through several fundraising events.

One such event was the fundraiser wedding they held for the Kiwanis mascot, Kiwally the Koala, where the club raised $5,400 for Project Eliminate. That money went to save over 3,000 babies, according to DiTroia.

“We have raised, our division, over $42,000 in four years,” DiTroia said of his club’s progress with Project Eliminate.

For donating $1,500, DiTroia received the Centennial Award and pin from the Kiwanis.

“I’m thrilled,” DiTroia said of being presented the Centennial Award. “It’s important to me, not just because I got the award, but the importance that I’m showing my fellow Kiwanians that it can be done. The reward in itself is saving the babies, but certainly to be recognized by your peers is the ultimate honor.”

The Queens West Division is also involved with many other organizations such as the Heartshare School, the Ronald McDonald House, among others, according to DiTroia.

“We raised money, $2,200, for pediatric Lyme disease,” DiTroia added.

The Kiwanis continues to add new members and grow both locally and internationally, helping those in need across the globe with its charitable donations.


Queens Centers for Progress celebrates 65 years in the community

| agiudice@ridgewoodtimes.com

Photo courtesy QCP

From their humble beginnings operating out of the basement of a wood-framed house in Queens 65 years ago to now servicing over 1,500 people at several different facilities, the Queens Centers for Progress (QCP) has grown to become a leader in helping people with developmental disabilities.

QCP was founded in 1950 as United Cerebral Palsy of Queens (UCP) by a group of parents who needed services for their children with cerebral palsy. The agency operated out of the basement of a house in Queens before their first building was erected at 82-25 164th St. in Jamaica in 1958.

As the children grew, the facility expanded, doubling in size in 1966 to begin providing vocational services to those it helped.

The group then expanded again in 1974, building the Natalie Katz Rodgers Training and Treatment Center at 81-15 164th St. to provide day programming for people who were living in institutional settings.

In 1979, QCP began providing residential services with the opening of the Robert T. Groh Residence in Jamaica Estates, which houses eight seniors.

During the late 1980s, a Day Habilitation site for 150 people was constructed in Bellerose, Queens, creating five residences, providing a home for 10 adults each. QCP also added services for seniors, focusing on community-based recreation and health education for those reaching retirement age.

“One of the elements of developmental disabilities is that it really doesn’t get cured. I mean, it’s a condition which is going to be with someone for their entire life,” said Charles Houston, executive director of QCP. “As the child grows, they need specialized educational services and therapies, and as they get older, they need other kinds of services.”

In 2001, UCP officially changed its name to Queens Centers for Progress, reflecting their services to both cerebral palsy patients and those with various developmental disabilities.

Photo by Anthony Giudice

Photo by Anthony Giudice

QCP now services over 1,500 people of all ages, from all walks of life, providing a place to live and work, life skill training, education and therapy. The agency prides itself on individual-based programming for each of its clients.

“The overall approach that we take is developing plans for people very individually,” Houston said. “You really have to start with where each person is individually in terms of what their abilities and interests and goals are and then develop a range of services really tailored for that person to try to help them make progress and achieve their own goals in terms of being more independent. So that means very different things for different people.”

QCP helps its clients become involved with the community through a successful community-based employment program.

“Most of our job-related services are out in the community in a program model called Program Employment, where we have somebody go right out onto a job site after our staff arranges with an employer and they actually do the training…there rather than here,” Houston said. “It’s a much better way to develop lasting job placements.”

QCP also hosts several events throughout the year to help raise money for their services. On Saturday, April 25, QCP will host its 39th annual Footsteps for Progress Five Mile Walk. Approximately 250 participants will meet at QCP located at 81-15 164th St. and walk to Kissena Park, around the lake and back to QCP, where brunch will be served to the participants.

WPIX reporter Narmeen Chodhury—a Queens resident—will be the MC for the walk. New York State Senator Tony Avella will be the event’s Grand Marshal for the third consecutive year, and Queens Park Commissioner Dorothy Lewandowski will lead the walk.

Registration is at 8:30 a.m. and the walk will begin at 9 a.m.


Instagrammers to celebrate 4th anniversary at LIC meetup

| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Screenshot via Instagram

Instagrammers from all over the world will be capturing a special moment this weekend as they come together for the 10th Worldwide Instameet — and you can be a part of it.

Days before Instagram’s four-year-anniversary on Oct. 6, members of the photo sharing app will meet up in different cities around the world to snap mobile photos of surrounding communities and share stories via the app using the hashtag #WWIM10.

This year, Instagrammers from New York City will be meeting up in Long Island City on Saturday with mobile photographer David Krugman for sunrise at 6:30 a.m. The meeting point, rain or shine, is the Pepsi Sign in Gantry Plaza State Park.

Anyone interested in attending can email Krugman at davekrugman@gmail.com or direct message him with any questions on Instagram at @dave.krugman or @jnsilva.


Queens pols remember 9/11 during 13th anniversary

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo via Twitter/@TonyAvella


Queens marked the 13th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks across the borough on Thursday.

State Sen.Tony Avella, fresh off his victory in the primary, joined the 109th Precinct at the 9/11 Park Dedication ceremony in the morning to honor the lives lost 13 years ago. After the ceremony, he embarked on his annual motorcade, visiting the streets in his district which have been renamed after those who died that day. He hung wreaths on the poles of 26 streets that bear the names of the fallen.

Paul Vallone, councilman for Bayside, Whitestone, Auburndale, College Point, Little Neck, Douglaston, and North Flushing, observed the 9/11 anniversary with students at P.S.169 and Bell Academy

Assemblywoman Nily Rozic attended the remembrance ceremony at Queens College. The ceremony honored alum Mohammad Salman Hamdani, who died on 9/11, but was falsely implicated as a terrorist.

Rozic is expected to also attend the candlelight vigil at 7 p.m. in Bayside Hills

U.S. Rep. Joe Crowley released a statement in which he said that every detail of that day is etched in our collective memories.

“But just as vivid are the memories of all those we lost – mothers, fathers, children, friends, and complete strangers whom we, as a nation, grieved for as if they were family,” he said. These memories make today “a bit more manageable” and we should “honor our service members who continue to protect our nation.”

New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman stated that “we continue to feel the ache of such a swift and immeasurable loss” but while we mourn the dead, “an attack meant to shatter us instead brought out the great hope and resilience within all New Yorkers and all Americans” and on this day, we should “recommit to our work toward a more secure future.”

State Sen. Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr. called upon the people to not only remember the first responders and uniformed personnel in the city but to also “support our military who remain vigilant in the fight against the evil and hatred of terrorists.”


Officials announce events to mark World’s Fair anniversary

| mchan@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Melissa Chan

The “world’s borough” is ready for its six-month-long anniversary party.

Officials unveiled a long lineup of Queens events and cultural exhibits Friday to celebrate the 50th and 75th anniversaries of the 1964 and 1939 World’s Fairs held in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park.

Festivities begin in April and include 50-cent rides on the historic carousel and a rare tour of the iconic New York State Pavilion.

“Both [fairs] were seminal events that had wide impacts locally, nationally and internationally,” Queens Borough President Melinda Katz said. “As borough president, there isn’t anybody I speak to about the World’s Fair that doesn’t have a story about it.”

An official opening ceremony will take place at the Pavilion April 22. Visitors will be given a rare chance to slap on hard hats and tour the fair icon.

Revelers in the borough can also visit the park, near the Unisphere, May 18 for a full day of festivities and the Queens Museum for a peek into Andy Warhol’s controversial project, which was painted over before the 1964 fair’s opening day.

“With these anniversary events, we will take a look back at the fairs and a look forward to the future of Flushing Meadows – the world’s park and Queens’ backyard,” said Liam Kavanagh, the Parks Department’s first deputy commissioner.

For a full list of borough-wide events, click here.



Logan’s Cafe at LeHavre on the Water celebrates successful first year

| mchan@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Melissa Chan

Logan’s Café has only been open for one year, but it already has a loyal fan base. 

“The food here is excellent, and the environment is nice and comfortable,” said Irwin Hodes, 75, a daily customer. “I don’t know another place that has food as good as this.”

Dozens of diners, and several more in the summer, have flocked to the small Whitestone diner at LeHavre on the Water every day since it opened last Feb. 18, said the restaurant’s operator Logan O’Connor.

“It’s exciting,” said the 20-year-old entrepreneur from Whitestone. “I met a lot of people here and learned a lot of things about being a business person.”

O’Connor saw a notice seeking a new café concessionaire at LeHavre last November, when he was visiting his grandparents.

“I was always interested in cooking and always wanted to own my own restaurant,” he said, leaping at the chance and landing the poolside eatery.

O’Connor often finds himself jumping from behind the grill to the counter, manning all posts at the restaurant, with no fear of burning out.

“I do everything, seven days a week,” he said. “I don’t get tired. It’s fun.”

Logan’s Café is located at 168-68 9th Ave., in the LeHavre clubhouse.

To celebrate the eatery’s first milestone, O’Connor is giving out free cupcakes Tuesday.

“It’s a get-together place,” Hodes said. “We’re all happy he’s here.”



No Changes At Area Airports Expected In Wake Of Foiled Bomb Plot

| jlane@queenscourier.com

The Federal Bureau of Investigation and Department of Homeland Security say there are no plans to change security procedures at airports here in the city or beyond amid news federal intelligence officials foiled a new al-Qaeda underwear bomb plot against U.S.-bound aircraft.

U.S. officials say an attack was to have taken place around the time of the first anniversary of the killing of Osama bin Laden.

Officials say the non-metallic device was a more sophisticated version of the one used by Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab in his failed Christmas Day attempt in 2009.