Tag Archives: rockaway

Restaurant serving locally caught seafood, farm fresh ingredients to open in Rockaway

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of Riis Park Beach Bazaar

Two Rockaway groups have come together to show people that even though summer is over, you can still grab a delicious meal and drinks with family and friends right by the beach.

Riis Park Beach Bazaar and Wildfeast Foods have announced the opening of the Wildfeast at Riis restaurant and bar, a collaboration between the two located at 157 Rockaway Beach Blvd. within the iconic pavilion currently housing a food court.

The location will be the first brick-and-mortar site for Wildfeast, a specialty caterer known for its 1-acre farm, locally sourced seafood and pastured meats.

Wildfeast at Riis is set to celebrate its grand opening on Oct. 10 and 11 during a two-day Oktoberfest.

“We are very excited and proud to be part of the Rockaway community,” said Belvy Klein of Riis Park Beach Bazaar/Brooklyn, and Mirijana Ujkic, owner of Wildfeast Foods, in a joint statement. “Riis Park is such a treasure. It is truly an iconic location with breathtaking views of both the Atlantic Ocean and NYC. We are very much looking forward to serving and cooking for this amazing community and hosting events for our guests and their families.”

The menu, which features 15 dishes priced under $10, will include not only summertime plates such as shark tacos and a grilled monkfish sandwich, but also fall and winter items such as short rib sliders and Long Island clam chowder.

The restaurant’s starting hours will be 3 to 10 p.m. on Monday, Thursday and Friday, as well as Saturday and Sunday 10 a.m. bunch paired with football and other televised sports.

Weekend brunch will include free-range chicken and duck eggs, sweet potato waffles, house-made scones and a traditional Irish breakfast.

Riis Park Beach Bazaar will also expand the current bar at the Art Deco Bay 9 pavilion and operate Riis Point, a sports-themed bar featuring multiple flat-screen televisions showing all kinds of sports. The bar will also have performances by artists and feature craft cocktails.

Parking is free and other activities currently in the works for the upcoming months include a Halloween concert, pumpkin carving contests, farmers markets, crab boils, a Harvest Festival and more.


Parents of Rockaway victim in May Amtrak derailment file lawsuit: reports

| amatua@queenscourier.com

Photo via Facebook

The family of Justin Zemser, the 20-year-old naval midshipman from Rockaway Beach who was killed during the Amtrak derailment in Philadelphia this past May, filed a lawsuit in federal court on Tuesday.

According to published reports, parents Susan and Howard Zemser are seeking unspecified damages and are promising to start a scholarship fund in their son’s honor with the compensation they may receive from Amtrak.

Zemser, who was on leave as a cadet at the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, was on his way home to visit family in Rockaway while on board the doomed Amtrak train that went off track on May 12. He was one of seven killed during the incident, which also injured more than 200 people.

The National Transportation Safety Board previously confirmed that Amtrak train 188 was traveling at more than 100 mph, double the speed, as it was entering a sharp curve before derailing. Before entering the curve, the speed limit is reportedly 70 mph.

The family’s lawyer, Thomas Moore, said in a statement according to reports that this “was an accident waiting to happen” because Amtrak allegedly failed to follow through with a proposal from Congress in 2008 to install safety equipment that automatically slows down speeding trains.


Rockaway photographers to showcase work at Fort Tilden

| amatua@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of John Grillo

Photographers John Grillo and Michael Deutsch have known each other for 25 years, grew up in Rockaway and both began their careers in film photography. A new exhibit, however, is aiming to showcase their differing perspectives.

Double Vision: Two Photographers, Two Perspectives,” will open at Fort Tilden’s Studio 6 on Sept. 19. It is presented by the Rockaway Artists Alliance, a nonprofit started in 1994 whose mission is to engage Rockaway youth in arts and cultural activities.

Both photographers use the High Dynamic Range (HDR) process to capture landscapes around Queens and different parts of the world. The process, according to Grillo, allows for a photograph with increased “depth and luminosity.”

Grillo and Deutsch take several photographs of their subject on a tripod. The artists then combine a photograph that is underexposed, overexposed and the correct exposure to complete the process.

“The goal was to take pictures together yet to come up with different solutions of how to treat the lighting, the scenery, sometimes standing in the same exact spot and coming up with completely different pictures,” Grillo said.

Grillo and Deutsch have been supporters of the Rockaway Artists Alliance for many years and this is Grillo’s 17th year as a board member. To commemorate the organization’s 20th anniversary, the photographers wanted to showcase what they have been working on for the past year.

At first glance, the photographs’ sharp colors look like they have been heavily edited but Grillo promises that he does not use Photoshop for any of his projects.

“Some people look at our pictures and say, ‘Well they’re Photoshopped’ but actually I never use Photoshop. I don’t know how to use Photoshop,” Grillo said.

Photo courtesy of Michael Deutsch

Photo courtesy of Michael Deutsch

Photographers started using a process similar to HDR 100 years ago, Grillo said. When film and glass plates were primarily used to take photographs, artists would take several photos and “sandwich them together” to add flourishes to their subject. If someone took a photo of the Grand Canyon but there were no clouds in the sky, an artist could snap a separate photograph and add it to the original.

Grillo and Deutsch are currently in the process of putting together the exhibit, where 50 of their photographs from around Queens and New York City will hang. Grillo is excited to highlight their work and to show people the capabilities of digital technology. The artists drew inspiration from Akira Kurosawa’s film “Rashomon,” where a crime witnessed by four people is described in four contradicting ways.

“We’re hanging the show and I think it’s outstanding to tell you the truth. I think the pictures are something people will enjoy. Most of them are Queens and they’re from around the city,” Grillo said. “I think this show talks to that even though we both photograph sort of similarly and we’re both from Queens and we’re both similar, we still saw different things and different ways to photograph the same exact scene.”

The exhibit will be open on weekends from Sept. 19 to Oct. 4 from noon to 5 p.m. The opening reception will be held on Sept. 20.


Jacob Riis Park lifeguards take top spots in USLA National Lifeguard Championships

| amatua@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Patrick Kilgallen

Lifeguards Patrick Kilgallen and Thomas O’Neill competed in the United States Lifesaving Association (USLA) National Lifeguard Championships four years ago and have never missed a competition since.

Kilgallen, 21, of Rockaway and O’Neill, 25, of Malverne, Long Island have been lifeguards for six and eight years respectively and work at Jacob Riis Park during the summer. They were persuaded by a friend to register for the USLA National Lifeguard Championships and this summer, from Aug. 6 to  8, they competed and swam their way toward victory in a number of events in Daytona Beach, Florida.

The Jacob Riis Park team, which also included O’Neill’s brother Brian and lifeguard Christian Foti, competed in the rescue race, surf race, run swim run, board rescue and iron man.

“Our team, though we’re small, do quite well,” O’Neill said.

O’Neill, Kilgallen and Foti swept the board, earning first, second and third place respectively for the run swim run event. The Riis Park team also excelled during the surf race where they took second, third and fourth place. Thomas O’Neill, the only member to compete in the iron man, which includes a combination of swim, paddle and rescue races, placed fourth out of 16 final competitors.

“Training for the championships was a grueling process that included multiple training sessions each day,” Kilgallen said. “Both in the pool, ocean and weight room we train all year round to prepare for the championships. We have a small, tight-knit training group at Riis Park which is among the top training groups in the country.”

Competing in these lifeguard events has allowed Kilgallen and O’Neill to travel all around the world to put their hours of training to use. Last year, O’Neill traveled to Montpellier, France, to compete in the Lifesaving World Championships and this summer, Kilgallen and O’Neill will travel to Maroochydore, Australia, from Aug. 27 to Sept. 6 for the International Surf Rescue Challenge where they will represent team USA. Kilgallen and O’Neill were two of 16 members chosen to represent their country against top competitors from Australia, New Zealand, Great Britain, South Africa and Japan.

“Pat and I, as well as my brother and Christian, we’re really passionate about the competition side of lifeguarding,” O’Neill said. “We love the competition side of things and the opportunity it provided us by being able to travel the world and compete in countries like Japan, France, Australia.”

Though training and competing in these championships is challenging and demanding, O’Neill has several rescue stories that illustrate how difficult and important his job as a lifeguard is. This summer, O’Neill rescued a man at Riis Park who got caught in a riptide and hit his head on a rock jetty. The man “was really drunk,” which made the rescue more difficult.

O’Neill also rescued a man who suffered a severe heart attack. The man was not able to hold onto the lifesaving device, making it harder for him and his partner to carry the 200-pound man out of the water. He then had to perform CPR on the man for 10 minutes before he regained consciousness.

“We love protecting the public and making sure that everyone goes home safely,” O’Neill said. “That’s really what the job is all about.”


PHOTOS: Queens residents enjoy a fun ‘Night Out’ with New York’s Finest

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Angy Altamirano

Promoting greater harmony between police and the people they serve, Tuesday’s National Night Out Against Crime brought thousands of Queens residents out to venues across the “World’s Borough” for family-friendly activities.

From Astoria to the Rockaway Peninsula, each Night Out event included free games and activities for children of all ages as well as refreshments, live music and other entertainment. Residents also had the opportunity to meet with the officers who serve their community and learn more about the NYPD’s various crime prevention programs.

Local elected officials, including Queens Borough President Melinda Katz and Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown, attended each gathering and presented proclamations to the precinct commanders. Police Commissioner Bill Bratton, who made the rounds at Night Out events across the city, stopped by the 113th Precinct’s Night Out in Springfield Gardens.

The National Night Out Against Crime, founded by the National Association of Town Watch, aims to strengthen relationships between law enforcement and the communities. Millions of people across the U.S. and Canada were estimated to have participated in Night Out events Tuesday evening.


Reputed Rockaway street gang members cuffed for murder, assault plots

| rpozarycki@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of NYPD

Thirteen alleged members of a Far Rockaway-based street gang found themselves in handcuffs Wednesday for an indictment charging them with various violent crimes including conspiring to murder and assault rival groups, prosecutors announced.

Authorities said the suspects, reputed members of the “70Gs/G-Boyz” gang, operated in an 11 block area of Arverne between Beach 62nd and Beach 73rd streets. According to police, the gang members — some of whom were as young as 16 — obtained weapons and ordered beatings and shootings of rival gang members in an effort to expand their territory and control.

The arrests and indictments were the culmination of a lengthy investigation by the NYPD’s Queens South Violence Reduction Task Force and the Queens District Attorney’s Narcotics Investigations Bureau. Detectives monitored phone conversations and social media accounts of the suspects — in which the reputed gang members openly planned and bragged about their criminal activities — to build their case.

In one instance, alleged gang member Joshua Simon, 21, took to social media to apologize to an individual whom he accidentally hit with gunfire while shooting at rival gang members on April 13, 2014.

Detectives also learned from Simon, through phone conversations he made from Rikers Island, that he was involved in other shootings with fellow gang members Michael Motta, 23, and Matthew Robinson, 19. Motta was charged in a separate indictment for firing shots at rival gang members outside P.S. 42, then pointing a gun at an officer before eventually dropping it, on March 13 of this year.

“These indictments are another example of police and prosecutors working together to eliminate gang violence that too often plagues our neighborhoods and strikes at the heart of a unified and criminally active group of young people who threaten the lives and safety of innocent bystanders,” District Attorney Richard A. Brown said.

“The defendants are variously accused of turning the streets of Rockaway into the Wild West by acting in concert with one or more of their co-defendants to shoot and wound five individuals and firing weapons at no less than four others,” Police Commissioner Bill Bratton added. “Their alleged criminal and violent acts have no place in a civilized society.”

According to the 86-count indictment, the gang members allegedly obtained firearms and carried out violent acts against rival gang members at neighboring housing developments. In many instances, prosecutors said, the adult gang members recruited juveniles as young as 14 years of age to carry out deeds ranging from weapons smuggling to shootings and beatings.

Police also determined that the gang members used coded language in communicating with one another to avoid detection from investigators.

The other suspects named in the 86-count indictment were identified as Taedwon Lyons, 17; Dwayne Lyons, 16; Kane Motta, 16; Ashanti Brown, 18; Isaiah Boyd, 21; Brandon Fuentes, 22; Diequan Underwood, 20; Jordane Maurice Gayle, 16; and Tamar Horton, 16.

Each of the 13 reputed gang members could face up to 25 years behind bars if convicted.


New anti-gun violence initiative launched in Rockaways

| amatua@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Office of Donovan Richards

Councilman Donovan Richards announced on Wednesday a number of initiatives to combat gun violence in the Rockaways.

Several programs were funded by Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Gun Violence Crisis Management Systems, a citywide effort to reduce gun violence. The programs will act as preventative measures, engaging individuals most likely to be involved in gun violence and deploying interventions to curb violence before it occurs.

According to NYPD’s CompStat for the 101st Precinct, which covers the Rockaways, there have been two fatalities as a result of gun violence in the month of June.

“The expansion of New York City’s anti-gun violence initiative is instrumental in reducing crime in Far Rockaway,” Richards said. “With these partnerships, we can work together with the residents of the Rockaways to improve their quality of life and ensure that our communities are safer and more secure by getting at the root of these violent crimes.”

Safe Space, a nonprofit organization in Jamaica, received funding for its violence prevention and mental health programs. According to its website, the nonprofit helped more than 1,200 young adults avoid street violence during after-school hours in 2014, and provided mental health services to 752 community members in crisis.

The Rockaway Development Revitalization Corporation, which was founded in 1978, will use its Justice Plus Program to provide youth with job readiness skills.

“The funding of the Justice Plus Program will provide a range of work readiness activities with vital wraparound services,” said Nick Master, program director of Rockaway Development Revitalization Corporation. “The goal is the integration and advancement of participants into the world of competitive employment. The approach synergizes personal and professional development whose aim is to produce life-long career paths for participants in our community.”

ENACT, the last program to receive funding, will provide school conflict mediation in P.S./M.S. 183 in Rockaway Beach and P.S./M.S. 42 in Arverne and a violence interrupters program.

“ENACT, a community based organization and a longtime partner for many years with the Department of Education and the City Council, is honored to do this important work on anti-gun violence through Donovan Richards’ office,” said Diana Feldman, president and CEO of ENACT. “This sad reality of violence seeps into the hearts and souls of our children who need a sense of protection to grow. ENACT has been going into classrooms every day using our signature method of conflict resolution to help kids address difficult issues.”


Identify this place in Queens

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Do you know where in Queens this photo was taken? Guess by commenting below! The answer will be revealed next week.

Last week’s answer to “Identify this Place”: Across from the Broad Channel S train stop in Rockaway Beach. 




Douglaston native killed in Amtrak derailment

| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Cushman & Wakefield

A 47-year-old real estate executive, formerly from Douglaston, has been identified as one of the eight victims of Tuesday night’s Amtrak derailment in Philadelphia.

Laura Finamore, a senior account director at Cushman & Wakefield, grew up in Douglaston and graduated from Benjamin Cardozo High School and George Washington University. She was living in Manhattan immediately prior to her death.

Finamore joined Cushman & Wakefield in 2008 and according to her family was known among her peers as “someone who would go above and beyond for her clients, to always exceed their expectations.”

“Laura’s smile could light up a room and her infectious laughter will be remembered by many for years to come. She was always there when you needed her — with a hug, encouraging words or a pat on the back,” her family said in a statement.

Finamore is survived by her parents Cynthia and Richard, three brothers, Michael, Paul and Peter, sisters-in-law, nephews and nieces.

“Laura was an incredibly loving and giving person, touching many people each and every day through her generous spirit, thoughtfulness and compassion for others,” her family said. “She will be greatly missed by all who knew and loved her.”

Funeral services for Finamore will be at Fairchild Sons Inc. in Manhasset, New York. In lieu of flowers, the family has requested donations be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in her name.

The National Transportation Safety Board confirmed Wednesday that Amtrak train 188 was traveling at more than 100 mph, double the speed, as it was entering a sharp curve before derailing. Before entering the curve, the speed limit is reportedly 70 mph.

In addition to the eight people who died in the accident, more than 200 people were injured, including the conductor and engineer.

Another one of the victims was 20-year-old Justin Zemser, a naval midshipman, who was on leave and heading home to visit his family in Rockaway.

An investigation is still ongoing to determine the cause of the derailment.


20-year-old Rockaway man among seven dead in Amtrak derailment

| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photo via Facebook

Updated Thursday, May 14 10:43 a.m. 

A 20-year-old naval midshipman from Rockaway Beach, who was on his way home, is among the seven people killed after an Amtrak train derailed in Philadelphia Tuesday night, according to reports.

Justin Zemser, who was on leave, as a cadet at the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland was on his way home to visit family in Rockaway.

The academy confirmed the death of Zemser, who was a sophmore midshipman third class. He was a member of the 17th Company at the academy, an English major and academic honor student. Zemser was also on the Navy Sprint Football Team, the Jewish Midshipman Club, and the Semper Fi Society.

“Justin was a talented, highly respected young man with a tremendously bright future. Our heartfelt sympathies go out to the Zemser family, and our extended USNA family, during this very difficult time,” said Naval Academy Superintendent Vice Adm. Walter “Ted” Carter.

Zemser’s parents released a statement on a Facebook page created in memory of their son, who was valedictorian at Channel View High School and finishing his second year at the academy. The page, titled “RIP Justin Zemser” garnered over 3,000 likes and features a profile photo of the young man with his mother, who lost her only child.

“He was a loving son, nephew and cousin, who was very community minded,” the statement said. “This tragedy has shocked us in the worst way and we wish to spend this time grieving with out close family and friends.”

State Senator Joseph Addabbo, whose district covers the Rockaways, sent out his condolences to Zemser’s family and called the young man  a “good Rockaway neighbor.”

“My deepest condolences and prayers go out to the family of Justin Zemser, a Rockaway resident who passed away as a result of the Amtrak train derailment Tuesday night. News of his passing was reported by the media. I understand Justin was returning home from his studies at the U.S. Naval Academy,” Addabbo said. “Many in Rockaway, including my staff member Sandee Doremus, had known Justin since he was a child and knew him to be a good Rockaway neighbor. Justin’s commitment to serve our country is still and always will be greatly appreciated.”

Councilman Eric Ulrich, who represents the Rockaways, also sent out his condolences to the family of the cadet, who was a former intern at his office.

“Today, the Rockaway community mourns the death of Justin Zemser, a local resident and former intern in my office, who lost his life last night in the tragic Amtrak train derailment. Justin was truly a bright, talented and patriotic young man,” Ulrich said. “My deepest prayers and sympathy go out to his family and friends who are grieving during this very difficult time. He will be sorely missed by all who knew and loved him.”

Zemser was also an intern at Councilman Donovan Richards’s office, who expressed his sadness upon hearing the news of his death.

Justin Zemser and Councilman Donovan Richards. (Photo courtesy of Councilman Richard's office)

Justin Zemser and Councilman Donovan Richards. (Photo courtesy of Councilman Richard’s office)

“I was greatly pained by last night’s train derailment, a pain that quickly intensified when I recognized one of the victims,” Richards said. “Justin Zemser showed great commitment and initiative as an intern in our office, well before he dedicated his life to our country by joining the U.S. Naval Academy. He was a rising star that will be greatly missed by the Rockaway community. His family is in my prayers and my office is always open if there is any way in which we can help.”

According to reports, the Amtrak train, which had left Washington and was heading to New York, derailed around 9:30 p.m. in the Port Richmond neighborhood of Philadelphia.

More than 200 people were wounded, including the train’s conductor.

“We are deeply saddened by the loss of life from Amtrak Northeast Regional Train 188 that derailed north of Philadelphia Tuesday evening,” Amtrak said in a statement.

Emergency responders are on scene and the investigation is still ongoing to determine the cause of the derailment.

The National Transportation Safety Board confirmed Wednesday the train was traveling at more than 100 mph, double the speed limit, as it was entering a sharp curve before derailing. Before entering the curve, the speed limit is reportedly 70 mph.

Service will be provided between Washington and Philadelphia, Harrisburg and Philadelphia, and New York and Boston, according to Amtrak. There will be no Amtrak service between New York and Philadelphia, but New Jersey Transit will honor Amtrak tickets between New York City and Trenton.

Anyone with questions about friends or family on the train can call the Amtrak Incident Hotline at 800-523-9101.


Domino’s delivery man attacked in Rockaways for pizza: NYPD

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of NYPD

Some people will do anything for pizza.

An apparently famished man punched a Domino’s delivery man in the face on Dec. 6 in the Rockaways before taking off with all of his pizzas, police said.

The attack happened in front of Ocean Bay Apartments, at 54-49 Almeda Ave., where the 58-year-old man was delivering pizza.

The suspect, a dark-skinned Hispanic man, escaped into the building and hasn’t been found. The delivery man refused medical attention.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 800-577-TIPS (8477). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website or can text their tips to CRIMES (274637), then enter TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential.


One dead after car crashes into support pillar for A train in Far Rockaway

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

A 28-year-old man died after his car struck the support pillar for the elevated A subway line in Far Rockaway Saturday night, police said.

Cops found the driver, Jeffery McDonald of Far Rockaway, about 8 p.m. unconscious and unresponsive with trauma to his body at Rockaway Freeway and Beach 25th Street, according to police. He was taken to Saint John’s Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

McDonald had been driving westbound on Rockaway Freeway in a white Lexus when he collided into the support pillar of the elevated train, cops said.

Police were investigating the crash.


One dead, three injured in Rockaway collision

| ctumola@queenscourier.com


One person was killed and three more were hurt Wednesday night after a car veered into oncoming traffic and crashed into another vehicle in the Rockaways, police said.

A Nissan 350Z was driving eastbound on Beach Channel Drive near Beach 127 Street about 11:10 p.m. when it veered sideways, crossed over the double yellow line and entered the oncoming lane, authorities said. A Kia Spectra traveling westbound on Beach Channel then struck the passenger side door of the Nissan.

The Nissan’s 19-year-old passenger, Geovanni Balverdy, of Far Rockaway was pronounced dead at St. John’s Episcopal Hospital, police said. The car’s driver, a 19-year-old man, was taken to Jamaica Hospital, where he is listed in stable condition.

EMS took the Kia’s driver, a 29-year-old woman, and her passenger, a 21-year-old man, to Brookdale Hospital. Their condition was not immediately clear.

The investigation is ongoing.


Rally held in Rockaway to show support for the NYPD

| slicata@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Salvatore Licata

Rockaway residents gathered together on Monday to show their support for the men and women in blue.

“We want to show our support for the NYPD,” Councilman Eric Ulrich said. “We are there for them today, we were there for them before the tragedy happened and we will be there for them in the future.”

The rally took place at the 100th Precinct, located at 92-24 Rockaway Beach Blvd. Over 50 residents joined police officers and elected officials to show their solidarity and the respect they have for the NYPD, in particular the precinct that keeps watch over the peninsula.

“We are thankful for the brave men and women who protect and serve us, especially those down here in the 100th Precinct,” Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder said. “These officers wake up every day and all they look to do is help.”

The ceremony started off with a prayer for slain Officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu, who were targeted by a deranged gunman simply because they were police officers. They also said a prayer for four officers who were killed in the line of duty in the 100th Precinct in years past and lit a blue candle for each.

“These officers put on their badge each and every day to protect each and every one of us,” state Sen. Joe Addabbo said. “I’m glad we have a moment to gather and say thank you.”

police rally 4

Toward the end of the meeting, Joseph Concannon, a former NYPD captain, announced that he is holding a rally at Queens Borough Hall on Tuesday, Jan. 13, at noon. The event is titled “Support Your Local Police,” and is meant to raise awareness that there are many people who do support the NYPD.

“Come out and show your support for the men and women of the NYPD,” the rally flier reads. “Stand together with the law enforcement community and your Queens neighbors.”


‘Little North Pole’ comes to Rockaway this weekend

| slicata@queenscourier.com

Photo by Vito Catalano

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas in Rockaway.

The “Little North Pole” is coming back to Neponsit on Sunday at 4 p.m. Joseph Mure is hosting the event at his home for the 19th year and has always done it for a good cause. Every penny that is donated at the event will go to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF).

“Juvenile diabetes is something that is very close to me as it runs through my family,” Mure said. “I love giving back to the foundation and getting the whole community together for a good cause.”

The event was originally supposed to be on Saturday, but due to the weather forecast, Mure switched it to Sunday. It will be held at 144-03 Neponsit Ave. in Rockaway.

The festivities will include singing, dancing and all types of entertainment. Special guests such as Tony Sirico and John Ventimiglia from “The Sopranos” will be there along with Joe Causi from WCBS radio, among others. And of course, Santa Claus will also stop by to see the children.

They will have a raffle for a brand-new 2015 Mercedes Benz GLA 250 for $20 a ticket. It is sure to be an event that everyone will enjoy, Mure said.

“This is an event for people of all ages,” he said. “I do it to put a smile on every child’s face that comes to the event and to help those special children who suffer with diabetes.”

Along with the entertainment, there will be food and drinks, which will be donated to the event, and every child will receive a toy.

Mure wants people from all over to come and kick off the holiday season for a great cause.

“We have a great show planned,” he noted. “It’s very important to me watching the children all around with a smile on their face.”