A ‘BIG’ deal: Bay Improvement Group holds ‘Oscar’ night

Brooklyn Daily
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They’d like to thank the community.

The Bay Improvement Group honored five men and women — and one marina — during its annual BIG Oscars Awards Dinner at Il Fornetto Restaurant on April 21. The evening proved how a community torn apart by Hurricane Sandy can come together to raise itself up, one club member said.

“The honorees were very uplifting — especially after all the damage we’ve had,” said Patie Ventre.

And the Oscars went to the 61st Precinct’s Sgt. Karen Brennan, Miramar Yacht Club, Dennis Shifter from Aardvark Amusements, Don Wade from Collegium Sound, Renee McClure from National Grid, and firefighter Robert Gnerre from ladder 169 — who saved a teen from drowning in the Bay last year, according to group president Steve Barrison.

And McClure actually received her honor virtually while at a conference in Chicago, Barrison said.

“We were able to give her the award by FaceTime and then she spoke to the audience — it was really cool to use modern technology,” he said.

The night also included a four-course meal with wine, raffles, and a disc jockey who didn’t rest until everyone in the packed restaurant was up on their feet and dancing, Barrison said.

“It was pretty moving, he got everybody up, from 86-years-old, every single person up to dance,” he said. “It was a great night.”

Reach reporter Julianne Cuba at (718) 260–4577 or by e-mail at Follow her on Twitter @julcuba.
Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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