I’m madder than Mary Poppins in a rain storm on the one day she left her umbrella home over the fact that Mother Nature decided to open up the clouds on the day I gave out my annual “Carmine” awards!
Look, you all know that my deal with the big man upstairs explicitly states that the night I give out those coveted “Carmines” the sun is shining bright! That’s why I’m planning on rescinding my contract that gets him a copy of this column before it’s even written because me and my trusty steed Tornado got soaked and wet when we headed for the Access-A-Ride to take us home after what was clearly the otherwise greatest “Carmine” awards night ever.
Well, everything else about it was great except for that fact that the $85 birthday cake my lovely wife Sharon got for yours truly only got served to half the guests (those that didn’t run to beat the rain) — meaning I got to eat the other half of that zillion-calorie monstrosity! So I guess that wasn’t all that bad, after all.
Now, let me get to the meat (or, should I say the creamy goodness) of BWECC!’s 53rd Annual Gala.
Since none of the executive board volunteered to emcee, it was left to me and Tornado to take care of business. So I announced that I wanted to be the first to welcome spring with a rendition of Mendelson’s “Welcome Sweet Springtime” as only I know how! And when I say “As only I know how,” I mean forgetting most of the words and doing it out of tune.
So after an ovation of silence, I introduced my gala committee (Randy Garay, Linda Dalton, Heather Fiorica, Erica Kushkin, Maria Digraziano, Mary Montemorano, Milisa Donahue, Sid Schatzman, Eddie Gary, Jr.) who do all the legwork for which I get the credit.
I then introduced Community School Distric 21 Superintendent Isabel Imola, whom greeted the crowd and presented me with my award celebrating my 35th year as BWECC!’s president.
At that point, I got my only cheer of the night when I announced that everyone in attendance could get a free one-year subscription to my beloved Brooklyn Graphic; keeping up with the 34-year-old arrangement I made with the late, great Herb Berman.
To start the festivities I called PS 212’s principal Josephine Marsala to present our Woman of the Year, her assistant principal Deborah Delluomo. Six tables of friends, family, and colleagues stood up front of podium to show love and support.
Boody’s IS 228 assistant Cathy Hayes presented Scott Hemann with the BWECC! Man of the Year award, assisted by principal Domenic D’Angelo in front of 42 friends and colleagues.
Neil Apromala, last years Educator of the Year presented first to Ann Marie Lettieri-Baker, this year’s Educator of the Year Award, and the new School Leadership Award to Rosalia Bacarella. After each educator received their plaques, it was time for a 30-minute respite while the dinner was served.
However, these young teachers and educators decided to work up another appetite because they stuffed themselves to the gills the hour before and obviously dancing and drinking was their solution — and it worked.
During the interlude, I made the announcement that on March 16, my bride of 46 years and I will celebrate our 46th anniversary. I then introduced old friends from Coney Island, Frank Giordano and his beautiful wife Lina who will be celebrating their 55th wedding anniversary soon, but are announcing Frank’s retirement as a pharmacist after 67 years in the business — 50 of them in Coney Island at Friscia and Mermaid Pharmacies. Frank worked with our council’s fund-raising committee selling ads. He is always the first one to lend a helping hand. We wish them both a happy retirement and look forward to their Diamond Anniversary this December.
After dinner was served, PS 177’s principal Shoshone Singer made the presentation of the Cesaria Soccoa Parent of the Year Award to both Anne Polizzi and Luisa De Silvio.
Newly elected councilman Mark Treyger came back to his roots, winning a Project Learn Grand Prize award. His Trophy was as tall as he is. Treyger apologized for Assemlyman Bill Colton being called back to Albany and unable to present the Couple of the Year Award to Mary and Steve Placanaca, as well, as to congratulate all the distinguished honorees. The councilman announced that he was happy to make the presentation to Mary and Steve, having worked with them the past 10 years. At the United Progressive Democratic Club, where he was president. Treyger said that there were citations from state Senator Diane Savino for all the honorees. A good time was had by all!
Screech at you next week!