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Dishing with Dee: Queens GOP, Dems draw faithful to events

Everyone is scurrying around tying up all the beginning-of-summer loose ends. There are many graduations, communions, conformations and early weddings.

The nonprofits as well as other community organizations are slowing down to accommodate their summer schedules. Mostly everyone else is involved one way or another in getting the numerous Memorial Day parades and festivities organized. Whether you are part of the Memorial Day parades as a participant or spectator or perhaps are just planning with family and friends a barbecue in your backyard, we hope it’s a really fun weekend for you, as it is the first big summer weekend bash.

The business-as-usual events that took place this week were on Wednesday evening. The early one was the Northeast Queens Republican Club annual spring fund-raising dinner at the Reception House in Flushing. The honored guests were former U.S. Rep. John Le Boutiellier and former state Lt. Gov. Betsy McCaughey. There was also a surprise visit from John and Bart Haggerty. It was good seeing them again, as our paths have not crossed since former Sen. Frank Padavan’s Dec. 29 gala at Leonard’s of Great Neck.

The second Wednesday evening event was the Ridgewood Democratic Club’s 103rd anniversary dinner-dance at Riccardo’s by the Bridge in Astoria. State Assemblywoman Cathy Nolan, who’s on the club’s board of governors, was an excellent hostess and there was an excellent turnout at the event.

Thursday evening was a triple header — they are always killers. The first stop was at Antun’s in Queens Village for the Democratic Organization of Queens County annual spring dinner. That dinner is always one of the county’s biggest and most popular parties.

Jamie and Mary Lu Plunkett, as well as Joe Crowley, deserve a lot of credit for getting the faithful to support the organization. Antun’s host and proprietor Joe King outdid himself with exceptionally good food. The lobsters were delicious and the ice sculptures were fantastic. Former Assemblywoman Audrey Pheffer was introduced by Crowley as the new Queens county clerk, replacing the late Gloria D’Amico.

Our second Thursday stop was at the American Legion Hall on Metropolitan Avenue in Forest Hills, where Conservative Party Chairman Tom Long introduced to his membership three potential 2011 candidates. They were Marco De Sena, Jane Deacy and George Maragos — all of whom presented themselves as caring, confident candidates. Stay tuned more on them later.

Our last stop was the Msgr. Francis Dillon Council No. 5872 Knights of Columbus at Verdi’s of Whitestone. It was its Choice for Life fund-raising dinner. That group provides for expectant mothers’ care and an ultrasound program. The evening’s honorees were Padavan and former Sen. Serphin Maltese. The guest speaker was City Councilman Dan Halloran. Grand Knight Edward Weisenburger and the other Knights apparently appeared pleased with the evening’s results.

On Friday night, the Little Neck-Douglaston Memorial Day Parade Committee held its annual art and essay contest at the Ernie Pyle Building in Fort Totten in Bayside. More than 100 children entered the contest. What a great bunch of children and what great talent they all displayed. It was also good to see the proud parental support all the children enjoyed. After all the trophies, medals and certificates were presented to the children, the party then ended with hot dogs and soft drinks, which were enjoyed by all.

On May 29, there will be a grand marshal’s reception at 1 p.m. at the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point and on May 30 the Little Neck-Douglaston Memorial Day Parade will start at 2 p.m. on Northern Boulevard next to the Nassau County line. Please come out to support these activities and honor our veterans. It’s good to show a little patriotism on this special day and remember that this is still the greatest country in the world to live in. See you at the parade.

That’s it for this week.

I look forward to hearing from you with information on people, parties and politics or gossip. I like receiving your voice mails at 718-767-6484, faxes at 718-746-0066 and e-mails at

Don’t forget to check out the Focus on Queens page.

Till next week, Dee.

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