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Dishing with Dee: Farewell party to Sen. Frank Padavan a smashing success

Despite the dire predictions that it would be impossible to pull off a successful party for outgoing state Sen. Frank Padavan on such short notice during the holiday season, with all of its many demands on everyone’s time, money and participation in traditional events, we did it. In fact, it exceeded our expectations. Everyone was thrilled to be part of the Padavan tribute.

Aside from the wonderful folks who purchased tickets and came out on a cold, wintery evening, I would like to give a big thank you to our elected officials who took the time to thank Frank for his 38 years of service, which was one-half of his lifetime.

Thanks to Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who made the trip to Leonard’s. Thank all you guests for not personally attacking the mayor and not complaining about the inadequate snow removal. As it turned out, it really wasn’t the mayor’s fault. The city Sanitation Department apparently was suffering from the equivalent of the “blue flu.” Thank you Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos; Sen. Martin Golden; Sen. Owen Johnson; City Councilmen Dan Halloran, Peter Koo and Eric Ulrich; Michael Long, the state Conservative Party chairman; Tom Long, the Queens Conservative Party chairman; Judith Stupp, the Republican commissioner of the Queens Board of Election; and the Haggerty brothers, John and Bart, of the Queens GOP.

Of course, a large thank you to Queens DA Richard Brown as well as our original Queen of Queens, Claire Shulman, one of my favorite ladies. While everyone there was important in their own way, the above mentioned were the most highly profiled names.

The entertainment was stupendous. It started off with the NYPD Emerald Society Pipe Band, who marched all the dignitaries through the lobby and into the “Da Vinci Room.” The color guard was provided by Boy Scout Troop No. 1, the oldest troop in America, represented by Eric Moore and Andrew Gitkin, who led the Pledge of Allegiance. “The Star-Spangled Banner” was sung by Margret Able, the wife of former Councilman Mike Able. Alexandria Dunne sang “Unforgettable” to Frank and Liz Berney was gracious enough to bring her violin and play for everyone’s entertainment.

The senator decided to get into the act and sang “I Did it My Way.” No one can deny that! The music was provided by DJ Jim Darmos, who played the music at a level comfortable for all to dance to but soft enough for everyone to have conversations.

The decorations were gorgeous. Ron Keil of Keil Bros. outdid himself. Everyone raved about the magnificent poinsettias and the mind-boggling total amount of them. The guests were told they could take them home at the end of the evening, which they did. Devon O’Conner of Dabby’s Party Space was responsible for the nice balloon centerpieces on each table. There wasn’t one of those left either. Leonard’s decorated Frank’s cake beautifully and it was delicious. Each table had a huge tray of cookies which were impossible to eat after all the food. Leonard’s provided bright red boxes for anyone wishing to take the cookies home. Needless to say, there wasn’t a crumb left.

Of course, we can’t forget the media. They turned out in impressive numbers and included TV, daily and weekly newspapers and a slew of photographers. There were bloggers there, too. In short, we had good coverage. Thank all you media guys for providing coverage.

Being the political junkie that I am, even though the event was promoted as non-partisan and non-political, there were many side deals going on, but what would you expect when you get a room full of politicians and political-types?

The most surprising part of the evening was, even though they were invited, that no one from the Queens GOP hierarchy showed up, nor did they have the good manners to send a thank-you letter to the senator for all his good work. It would have been nice to have had a letter to be read during the party. The letter could also have included their regrets with some sort of excuse for their absence.

I know I am not one of their favorite people, as I have a horrible habit of writing and telling how it is. This party was not about them nor was it about me. It was about the senator.

You surely make the Haggerty brothers look better all the time. In fact, better than any highly priced spin doctor could do. Remember: Good manners are never out of style.

I look forward to your voice mails at 718-767-6484, faxes at 718-746-0066 and e-mails at deerrichard@aol.com.

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