It was a night for celebration.
Canarsiens gathered on Sunday to recognize one local organization’s 13 years of community service, and to honor a long−time pastor as well as the commanding officer of the neighborhood’s 69th Precinct, during the Friends United Block Association’s annual dinner.
Held at the Glen Terrace, 5313 Avenue N, the event showcased FUBA’s record of achievement, as speaker after speaker praised the group, and its founder and President, Gardy Brazela, who told his listeners, “It is your confidence in me and Friends United that motivates me, and makes me devoted to public service. The trust of the community makes all of our efforts so important, and our satisfaction in a job well done so sincere. A community that is organized is a community that is heard, and everyone here is an important part of what makes our community so vital.”
FUBA has had a positive impact on quality−of−life in the neighborhood, said Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, who stopped by with a proclamation in hand. “Thirteen years,” noted Markowitz jovially. “So, it’s happy Bar Mitzvah. Gardy, you didn’t realize it was Brazelowitz.
“Over 13 years, FUBA has been an incredible asset to the community,” Markowitz added on a more serious note. “We’re Brooklynites. We deserve the best, just like FUBA.”
Among FUBA’s ongoing contributions has been its after−school program, housed at Public School 114. When the use of that school for the coming school year was briefly put in doubt, last week, “The whole community rallied around the organization,” stressed City Councilmember Lewis Fidler, noting, “That is a testament to the work Gardy does, the work this organization does. It’s always a pleasure to be able to support such wonderful activity.”
City Comptroller William Thompson and City Councilmember Mathieu Eugene added their voice to the chorus of praise.
“Thank you for the job you do each and every day,” Thompson told Brazela.
Eugene agreed. “You are doing such a wonderful job taking care of the children, helping the parents, and making a difference in the lives of people,” he said.
The evening’s honorees were the Reverend Pierre St. H. Ferdinand, the founder of the Pilgrim Wesleyan Church of Brooklyn, who was recognized for his years of effort on behalf of the community, and, especially, its young people, and Captain Miltiadis Marmara, who has been at the helm of the 69th Precinct for just over a year, and who, stressed Fidler, “is always available, not just to me, but all of you. To anyone who needs his ear and his help, he is responsive, and always ready to go the extra mile.”
Ferdinand, for his part, spoke of the importance of community service. “Life may be beautiful,” he told his listeners, “but serving others is wonderful. Life is not just a gift. It’s an investment. It is a privilege to leave something behind after you leave this earth.”