Friday, March 4, 2016

Broad Channel Bits



By Dan Guarino

Not long ago people were opining that there was nothing to do out our way at this time of year. Fighting off severe cabin fever, they said, “Why does everything fun in Broad Channel and Rockaway have to stop when the sun sails further away from our winter shores? Let’s push the season!”
Now there are more things than you can shake a palm tree at. On Saturday, Feb. 27, alone I attended the Poseidon Prom in Rockaway, the BCVFD dinner in BC, and a birthday party, in the middle of a rap concert, at Resorts World Casino in Ozone Park. (Happy birthday to my niece, Sheree!) If somebody said they saw me at the show at the Rockaway Beach Surf Club, they might be right, too!
As someone who doesn’t gamble and, generally, doesn’t drink, a visit to the casino is always fun. I have even performed there. When I was displaced to Ozone Park after the hurricane, Resorts World was literally right on the next block. I remember there was vast encampment of various emergency services quartered in their parking lot for the duration. Ironically I was also right next to Home Depot. Good times. Really.
On Sunday, March 12, the American Legion Auxiliary is holding the 13th Annual Jane Fuller Memorial Brunch from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. There will be fresh cooked pancakes, eggs, bacon, ham, sausage, coffee, tea, cake and more. And of course, there is always the best company. The proceeds go to Cancer Care. Jane Fuller, a member of the Auxiliary, is still deeply missed. The Legion Hall is at 209 Cross Bay Blvd. Coming from out of town? You are always welcome at a Broad Channel event!
The Volies’ 111th Anniversary Officers Installation Dinner Dance on Saturday, Feb. 27, was at the American Legion and was a grand event. The BCVFD noted that they had a record crowd.
As with many things Broad Channel, there was a certain amount of solemn tradition and also an amount of good natured neighborhood humor. It is always impressive to see each of the volunteer officers, firefighters and EMTs proceed forward and take their oath to service and to our community.
Sean Moss and Joe O’Hare were each recognized as Firefighter of the Year, while Jeannie Walsh was awarded EMT of the Year. Dan McIntyre was sworn in as the new chief. Outgoing Chief Robert Leonard Jr. was sworn in as president of the BCVFD.
There were moving tributes to Eileen Smith and Dawn Werther McIntyre. A New York Stateproclamation and a toast to Dawn, led by Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder, brought tears to all and brought everyone to their feet, twice, with applause.
In other news, Chief McIntyre has announced that construction on the new state of the art BC firehouse is slated to begin this summer. It’s a project that’s been in the works since 2005. The current firehouse, built by BC community members, has been in service since at least 1908.
If you were thinking of donating to the BCVFD, now is the time. Among other things, they are looking to build up their building fund.
If you were thinking of volunteering, now is the time, too. The fact is the Volies ranks are stretched pretty thin. Many volunteer members also balance full-time jobs, rotating schedules, are coming in from other neighborhoods, or are still displaced. You may not be able to put on a helmet and jump on a fire truck, but there are many ways you can help. To volunteer or donate go to www.broadchannelvfd.org, look up the “Broad Channel Volunteer Fire Department & Ambulance Corp.” on Facebook or call the firehouse at 718-474-8888.
Sign on now for the 6 Hour Defensive Driving Class and get 10 percent off your car insurance for the next three years and remove four points off your license when you complete the class. It will be given over Wednesday, April 6 and 13, from 7 to 10 p.m. You must attend both nights. But there is no test and refreshments will be served. Call Helen now at 917-553-2409 or 718-945-4648 to reserve your seat. Proceeds benefit St. Camillus Catholic Academy.
Enjoy a St. Virgilius-St. Camillus Parish St. Patrick’s Dance on Sunday, March 6, from 3 to 6 p.m. at Springman Hall. It’s a sit-down corned beef and cabbage supper, with beer, soda and set ups and music by Jim Crowley and the Summer Wind Band. Call 718-634-8229 for info/tickets.
Also on Sunday, March 6, I am hosting the Rockaway Artists Alliance Afternoon of Irish Stories, Humor and Songs musical variety show from 1:30 to 4 p.m. Performing on the RAA’s T-7 Gallery stage at Fort Tilden will be Sheila Cassidy, John Gilleece of the Rockaway Theatre Company, Annmarie Acosta-Williams and the Acosta School of Irish Music and Dance, David Roffe, John Simonelli and myself. The show is free and everyone is invited!
Want to join in the St. Virgilius Choir? Contact Doris Dady at dorisd459@gmail.com. Practice is on Wednesdays at 7 p.m. No musical experience necessary!
Why wait? You can get your tickets for the American Legion’s big Doo-Wop Show on Saturday, April 2 now. Enjoy a great pasta buffet dinner plus The Devotions and The Tribunes doing all your ‘50s and ‘60s oldies but goodies. There’ll be a dance contest, cash bar and more. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Dinner is from 7 to 8 and the show starts at 8 p.m.
Reserve your table early for a great night out. Call Carol at 917-930-0546, Janet at 718-483-3811 or Margaret at 917-751-3698. All proceeds help to support our Legion veterans programs.
Thanks for reading.

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