Tag Archives: St. Thomas the Apostle

Night at Forest Park Carousel helps Woodhaven educators

| editorial@ridgewoodtimes.com

RIDGEWOOD TIMES/Photos by Kelly Marie Mancuso


Woodhaven residents of all ages gathered at the historic Forest Park Carousel on June 12 for an evening of fun and merriment to help benefit the School Sisters of Notre Dame (SSND) Educational Center for Women.

The center, located at 87-04 88th Ave. in Woodhaven, provides a four-tier ESL program and High School Equivalency Exam courses to local women from a variety of countries, backgrounds and religions.

The center was initially founded in 2004 at St. Clement Convent in South Ozone Park with only 18 students. Since relocating to St. Thomas Apostle Church in 2009, the center’s enrollment and services have greatly expanded.

“When we moved to Woodhaven, it just blossomed,” explained the center’s director, Sister Catherine Feeney. “We just gave out 84 certificates.”

Sushelia Loknath, a mother of two, was one of those recent graduates. Loknath completed the center’s High School Equivalency course and is awaiting a date to take the exam.

“I like everything about the center,” she said. “The teachers are there for us anytime we need them. They make a lot of sacrifices for us there and we really appreciate all they are doing. I feel so happy going there.”

Sonia Saleh, director of development at the center, echoed this sentiment. “We’re educating women and helping them to get better jobs. It makes a difference in the whole community,” she said. “The women are motivated. They come here because they want to learn. They want a better life. You get to see the women evolve.”

RIDGEWOOD TIMES/Photo by Kelly Marie Mancuso

The special fundraising event at the Forest Park Carousel was created and organized by Woodhaven Historical Society President and SSND board member Edward Wendell.

“This group has a really deep impact on people’s lives. They’re really great,” he said.

Because students pay a one-time fee of $40 to attend multiple classes at the center, fundraising events such as this are a vital part of the center’s survival.

In addition to benefiting the center, the fundraiser also helps raise awareness and increases attendance at the landmark carousel.

“I love bringing together two different organizations to really help each other,” Wendell said.

“They do wonderful things for the people in the community,” said Wanda Sample, the center’s reigning 2015 Queen of Mardi Gras of the center’s major fundraising gathering held every February. “This is our first fundraiser here and hopefully we’ll have many more.”

Many of the women from the center brought their children to the fundraiser for an evening of face painting, hot dogs, $3 carousel rides and a special magic show.

“We want to reach out to the community and want the community to know about us and the school because we’re a big benefit to the community,” Saleh added.


Woodhaven man killed by toy helicopter

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo via Facebook


A 19-year-old Woodhaven man was killed by his own toy helicopter in Brooklyn Thursday afternoon.

Roman Pirozek was flying his remote control helicopter in Calvert Vaux Park in Gravesend around 3:40 p.m. when one of the blades hit him in the head, killing him.

According to police, emergency crews responded to Bay 44th Street and Shore Parkway and found Pirozek unconscious and unresponsive lying on the ground with severe head trauma. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Pirozek reportedly graduated from High School For Construction Trades, Engineering and Architecture in Queens and was vice president of a Brooklyn-based model helicopter flying club, Seaview Rotary Wings.

His YouTube channel, where he posted several videos of his hobby, shows his passion for model helicopters.

Pirozek also attended Woodhaven’s St. Thomas the Apostle School, according to the Woodhaven Residents’ Block Association (WRBA).

“We heard the news from one of his teachers who said he was a wonderful person from a good family. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family at this time—it’s hard to comprehend the pain they must be feeling,” said the WRBA.