Tag Archives: Kiwanis Club of Howard Beach

PHOTOS: Italian pride on display at Howard Beach Columbus Day Parade

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photos by Kelly Marie Mancuso


Cross Bay Boulevard was awash in red, white and green on Sunday in celebration of the Howard Beach Columbus Day Foundation’s 10th Columbus Day Parade.

The parade kicked off on the corner of 156th Avenue and made its way southbound on the boulevard in a colorful procession of floats and fanfare.

This year’s grand marshal was Monsignor Jamie Gigantiello, the pastor of St. Bernard’s parish in Bergen Beach, Brooklyn. Deputy Commissioner of Sanitation Rocco DiRico and NYPD Inspector John Corbisiero shared the honor and title of the parade’s deputy grand marshals. Other honorees included Salvatore Armao, a local certified public accountant and Italian-American Businessperson of the Year.

Queens Borough President Melinda Katz marched in the parade along side City Councilman Eric Ulrich, Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder, Community Board 10 Chair Elizabeth Braton and state Senator Joseph Addabbo, who was accompanied by his two daughters Alexis and Arianna.


Grand Marshal Msgr. Jamie Gigantiello (center) of St. Bernard’s parish in Bergen Beach, Brooklyn, kicked off the parade with a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

Gigantiello and his fellow honorees celebrated the official start of the parade with a ribbon-cutting ceremony. An honor guard from the NYPD Ceremonial Unit, along with the NYPD marching band and Emerald Society bag pipers, led the parade. The procession that followed included an array of marching bands and contingents from Franklin K. Lane, St. Francis Preparatory, Christ the King Regional and All City high schools.

A group of young students from St. Helen’s Catholic Academy carried a large Italian flag banner and wore special red, green and white beaded necklaces. They were joined by scouts from St. Helen’s Troop 139, American Softball League, students from Mantra MMA, and team members and parents from the Ozone Howard Little League.


Howard Beach Columbus Day Foundation

Fraternal organizations such as the Order Sons of Italy in America (OSIA), UNICO National, Kiwanis Club of Howard Beach and the South Ozone Park Council of the Knights of Columbus also joined in the festivities.

Colorful floats outfitted in gold and white streamers from local businesses and the Howard Beach Columbus Day Foundation carried a host of lively DJs, dancers and revelers.

Parade spectators of all ages waved Italian flags and danced to both traditional and modern versions of Italian songs played from passing floats. Pope Francis even made an appearance in the form of cardboard cut-outs and souvenirs from the recent papal visit.


Star of Queens: John Spagnuolo, president of the Kiwanis Club of Howard Beach

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com



Background: John Spagnuolo, 46, lives in Howard Beach, where he was born and raised. He loves the no-nonsense character of the town, and flourishes among his neighbors who are genuine and never mince words. The fact that Queens has continued to prosper culturally through both good and hard times keeps him and his wife of 21 years proud to raise their son and daughter in the borough.

Occupation: Spagnuolo is the vice president and store manager of the TD Waterhouse Bank at 162-02 Crossbay Blvd. He joined the bank when the branch opened, basing his decision partly on its sparkling reputation regarding civil outreach, such as its involvement in the Hurricane Sandy relief.

Community Involvement: The Kiwanis Club of Howard Beach was founded in 1962 and offers guidance to community youth through projects such as the Key Club and the Builders Club. Spagnuolo has been a member for three years and was elected president in October. The club comprises 55 volunteers who pay membership dues that go toward initiatives including Project Eliminate, which supports sufferers of pediatric tetanus, and the Silver Shield Foundation which, in conjunction with the Kiwanis Club, will help pay the college tuition for the children of the recently assassinated policemen. Their involvement with the Lindenwood Volunteer Ambulette Service saw them donate defibrillators directly. Spagnuolo discovered the club when he started working at the bank down the block from the club’s meeting place, Lenny’s Clam Bar. He also devotes time as chairman of the board at local St. Helen’s Church, where he teaches kids the importance of hard work without shortcuts, and leads them in writing letters to troops in Afghanistan.

Greatest Achievement: “Providing a stable home life for my family in increasingly tough times, while teaching children to love what they do, and yet still finding the time to help those in need,” said Spagnuolo. “It feels awesome and rewarding to have an impact on the old hometown.”

Biggest Challenge: “Juggling responsibilities between managing the branch, leading Kiwanis and being chairman at St. Helens,” he said. “Plus, of course, keeping time for family.”

Inspiration: “My father is number one,” he said. “He came to America with nothing and worked seven days a week to send me and my three siblings to the college of our choice. To this day he looks to help me out and still preaches the value of honesty.”


Kiwanis Club of Howard Beach honors past and present members

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Vicki Schneps

In a tribute to its members, the Kiwanis Club of Howard Beach held its 52nd annual dinner dance and honored past and present members. The well-attended event honored Queens County Clerk and Rockaway resident Audrey Pheffer; former Howard Beach resident and successful construction management owner Frank Sciame; and the Kiwanis Club of Howard Beach’s immediate past president Edward Tudisco.

Supreme Court Justice Augie Agate introduced Pheffer, who had previously represented the area as a member of the New York State Senate. She is responsible for maintaining all files of the Queens Supreme Court. And, as commissioner of jurors, she supervises the summoning and placement of jurors selected to participate in trials.

There was also recognition for Kiwanis members who helped their communities, which were ravaged by Superstorm Sandy.

The club supports many causes, including the West Hamilton Beach Volunteer Ambulance Corps, sports programs in five schools, a Halloween parade and Kamp Kiwanis.

They welcome new members and offer more information at howardbeachkiwanis@hotmail.com.

State Supreme Court Justice Augustus Agate, Daniel Golom, state Sen. Joseph Addabbo, Queens County Clerk Audrey Pheffer, Councilman Eric Ulrich, Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder and Robert LoCascio, the evening’s MC.

Daniel Golom, Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder, Councilman Eric Ulrich, Frank Sciame, state Sen. Joseph Addabbo, and Robert LoCascio, the evening’s MC.

(Left) Angelo and Annmarie Gurino, Frank Pantina and Councilman Eric Ulrich.




Kiwanis Club of Howard Beach honors those who give back

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Mike DiBartolomeo

The Kiwanis Club of Howard Beach hosted its 51st annual dinner dance at Roma View. The club honored immediate past president Robert LoCascio and Joann Ariola, winner of the Clement Vicari Service Award.

Clement Vicari Award winner Joann Ariola (third from right) and her family along with Edward Tudisco, Steven Sirgiovanni and Robert LoCascio

Frank Monteforte and Wayne Scheriff receive Legion of Honor Awards

Steven Sirgiovanni accepts a check from Marjorie Centrone, with president Edward Tudisco