Tag Archives: Jacques Leandre

New Queens golf group hopes to grow sport in black community


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy the UBGA

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They’re not specifically looking for the next Tiger Woods, but two golf-loving Queens residents are hoping their new nonprofit can help foster the sport in the black community. 

Vernel Bennett, of Laurelton, and Jacques Leandre, of Rosedale, started the United Black Golfers Association (UBGA) — the first of its kind in Queens, they said — and the group will begin hosting meet-ups on golf courses shortly.

Both Bennett, the president of the nonprofit, and his vice president, Leandre, were convinced to play the sport by others and know there is interest, but the sport isn’t as readily available. The nonprofit seeks to provide opportunities for people to play the game.

“If we were exposed to it, we would love it,” Bennett said about the black community. “But our community is exposed to the typical stuff: a basketball court, a baseball field, a football field …”

Bennett, a retired accountant, started playing golf after his son’s recommendation and a lesson on a cruise about seven years ago. He fell in love with the sport and after competing in tournaments and joining the Roosevelt Golf Association, and he realized the benefits of golfing, including the networking side.

He believes through golf, members of the organization will be able to connect even if there is a generational gap.
The UBGA is co-ed, and accepts anyone over the age of 18. There is a monthly membership fee of $20, after a one-time $100 fee. The UBGA will make group trips to golf courses around the city, Long Island and even New Jersey several times each month. And for beginners there are private lessons available from certified trainers, with group and individual packages.

Since announcing the creation of the association, Leandre said they have gotten a positive response from the community on social media.

“The interest is there, but the engine isn’t. Right now UBGA is going to serve as the vehicle to take people to the golf course,” Leandre said. “It’s about exposing and creating an outlet for people to have a game that will last a lifetime.”

Click here or call 917-300-8310 to apply for membership and more information.

 

 

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Rosedale Jets celebrate successful football season


| mhayes@queenscourier.com

Photo via Facebook

The Rosedale Jets Football Organization celebrated a successful season, including three Super Bowl wins, at its annual awards dinner Sunday night.

The nine-year-old division, the “Nasty 9s,” was among the Super Bowl victors. This win, however, was not their first.

The 21-boy team won the 2012 Super Bowl game and kept the tradition alive this past 2013 season.

“Their intent was to come out here and learn, and follow through from day one to completion,” said head coach Malik Cherry. “The guys played together last year. They already had a bond, and it helped with the transition in moving up to the 9 year olds [division].”

Cherry attributes the team’s undefeated season to teamwork and enthusiasm amongst all of the players.

“When they came to practice, they understood why they were out there,” he said. “They came to practice. They were focused. They had a lot of enthusiasm. They were out there to learn.”

The Nasty 9s defeated the Hempstead Tigers in a 12-0 victory during November’s Super Bowl game which they played in “arctic” conditions. Cherry said the temperature reached 15 degrees that day.

Coaches wrapped the young kids in blankets while they were on the sidelines and utilized all players so others could have a chance to warm up.

Cherry, in his sixth year coaching, said the past season was “one of the best experiences.”

“My past experiences have been good also. The teams always play hard and put their best foot forward and give 100 percent regardless of any loss,” he said. “But to have a combination of the guys winning and playing their A game, this is definitely a good feeling.”

The Jets’ 10-year-old and 12-year-old divisions also celebrated Super Bowl victories. All three teams were given trophies and jackets at the awards dinner on Jan. 19.

“So often, we highlight when things go wrong, and I think we need to find a way to be enthusiastic when things go right,” said Jets President Jacques Leandre. “Being recognized reinforces they’re special, and can and will be successful.”

About 200 football players and cheerleaders, 45 coaches and team moms make up the Rosedale Jets organization. This year, it was recognized as the Nassau County Football League’s Organization of the Year. Officials said the 2013 season was the “best year Rosedale had in all its 52 years.”

 

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Special election candidates patrolling poll sites


| mhayes@queenscourier.com

The race continues, and candidates for the 31st District’s City Council seat are making the rounds, reaching out to the people they hope to make their constituents.

“I’m feeling great,” said Selvena Brooks, who has a political past working in the State Senate. “We have a real presence on the ground throughout southeast Queens and a lot of community support.”

Brooks and fellow candidates Pesach Osina, Donovan Richards, Jacques Leandre, Michael Duncan, Allan Jennings, Saywalah Kesselly and Marie Adam-Ovide have spent election day continuing their campaigns, and do not plan to rest until polls close at 9 p.m. tonight.

“I’m going to be out there until 8:59 p.m., just trying to get one more person to the polls” said Marie Adam-Ovide, district manager of Community Board 8. “I’m trying to encourage more people to come out.

 

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City Council replacement to be decided in special election today


| mhayes@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Pesach Osina

Decision day has arrived, and one of eight candidates for southeast Queens’ 31st District will sit upon the City Council.

The council hopefuls hit the ground running just over a month ago when James Sanders vacated his seat and moved to the Senate. The campaign stretch, although short, has been heated.

Michael Duncan, Marie Adam-Ovide, Saywalah Kesselly, Jacques Leandre, Selvena Brooks, Donovan Richards, Allan Jennings and Pesach Osina were put up against each other in several public forums, testing their knowledge of the district neighborhoods and their ideas for the future.

The Daily News reported that in a nonpartisan special election such as this one, political observers note that merely a few hundred votes could determine a winner.

Donovan Richards, Sanders’ former chief-of-staff, received the veteran pol’s support, as well as 18 union endorsements and support from 60 community leaders, according to his Facebook page. Additionally, his campaign war chest came in first, and raised nearly $130,000.

Residents in communities such as Springfield Gardens and Laurelton are concerned with area flooding, and hope their new councilmember can make progress in eliminating the issue. Many people also want to see improvement in the school system and a decrease in home foreclosures.

Photo courtesy of Selvena Brooks 

 

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City Council candidate Jacques Leandre revokes election lawsuit


| mhayes@queenscourier.com

File photo

Attorney Jacques Leandre, one of nine candidates in a special election for former Councilmember James Sanders’ 31st district seat, has withdrawn a lawsuit questioning the validity of qualifying petitions of some of his rivals after the Board of Elections (BOE) authenticated the signatures.

“Leandre should have never filed his lawsuit in the first place,” said Selvena Brooks, one of the candidates under fire. “[It] was a cynical, anti-democratic exercise, and a waste of the court’s time.”

Before withdrawing his claims, Leandre said that it was all a part of the electoral process, a system that his opponents were “not adequately versed in.”

“This is really nothing out of the ordinary,” he said. “Candidates and objectors have the right to question petition signatures, and the BOE verifies those signatures.” After Leandre and his team received the determination by the board that the other candidates met their requirements, he decided that withdrawing was the best thing to do.

“Although we disagree with the determination, we respect the board’s decision,” he said.

Earnest Flowers, another candidate Leandre targeted, said that the allegations were “most certainly false,” and that it was just a tactic to try and get candidates to spend campaign funds on lawyers instead of the race. Leandre countered this by saying this process ensures the integrity of the race.

Others accused included Allan Jennings, Marie Adams-Ovide, Michael Duncan and Donovan Richards. Richards, Sanders’ former chief-of-staff, is reportedly the favorite and recently received the endorsement of mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio.

The candidates will now square off in several debates until the special election on Tuesday, February 19.

 

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