It was the press event of the season.
Community News Group’s Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, and Bronx staff ventured to Buckley’s in Sheepshead Bay for the company’s annual holiday bash on Dec. 17. It was one of those rare opportunities where hard-working newsies forgot the stress of grueling production cycles and daily deadlines amid food and libations, and colleagues separated by several yards of office space had a chance to reunite, according to one staffer.
“It was good to see everyone out and hang out with different people you don’t speak to on a normal basis,” said Classified Salesman Teddy Thelemaque. “And it’s also good to see people go out of character, lets say, under the influence.”
Community News Group, which is headquartered Downtown at Metrotech, decided to keep its business in the borough and headed to Buckely’s for its holiday celebration, according one company honcho.
“We want to support local, family-owned businesses, because that’s what we are,” said President and Publisher Jennifer Goodstein. “They’re a Brooklyn institution, and we like doing business in Brooklyn. Plus, the food’s great.”
By the end of the night, the papers’ movers and shakers had ripped the dance floor at the Sheepshead Bay watering hole to shreds, according to staff writer who donned a pair of snazzy, sequined slacks for the event.
“We had a royal knees-up,” said Staff Writer “A Britisher’s View” Columnist Shavana Abruzzo,
A few staffers took advantage of the party to distinguish themselves as bona-fide jitterbugs, and Vice President of Advertising Ralph D’Onofrio’s moves in particular left an indelible impression upon all in attendance, according to Chief Executive Officer Les Goodstein.
“I think Ralph D’Onofrio tore the dance floor up,” he said. “I couldn’t tell you what the dance was, but it was very fast, almost like a ritual.”
D’Onofrio claimed that his routine was entirely unrehearsed, but that inspiration for his awe-inspiring boogie “comes from within.”
Afterwards, there was some disagreement over which Community News Group department partied the hardest.
The sales department cut loose and blew off the most steam, one editor said.
“Sales cut it up on the dance floor — no doubt — but somebody had to keep Brian the Bartender company, and a few of us folks in editorial did that job with unmatched gusto,” said Deputy Editor Max Jaeger.
Thelemaque, however, pointed out the dance shenanigans of Editor Paul Schindler in claiming editorial let its hair down and really whooped it up.
“He was partying hard,” said Thelemaque. “He would not leave the dance floor. So editorial partied the hardest.”
For his part, Schindler said he wasn’t representing editorial so much as men everywhere, and that he merely wanted to bring balance to the dance floor.
“I danced, because I felt like it was junior high, where only the girls were dancing,” he said. “I felt like the guys had to get on the dance floor, so I did.”