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Padavan to be lauded at annual GOP event

The Queens Village Republican Club is set to honor former state Sen. Frank Padavan as part of its 137th-anniversary Lincoln Day Dinner.

Padavan, who suffered a mild stroke last month, is planning to be at the event, according to Jim Trent, treasurer of the Queens Village Republican Club and chairman of the dinner.

“Frank Padavan is definitely coming to the dinner. In fact, he told me from his hospital bed that he’s coming,” Trent said.

Padavan’s daughter, Allison, is also expected to attend.

Trent said Padavan is able to talk and walk and “he’s as sharp as he ever was.”

“With their Lincoln dinner celebrations well known as the vanguard of Queens political events, the club promises that this one will be its grandest affair of all as a way to say ‘thank you’ to their beloved senator,” the club said in a statement.

The event at Antun’s in Queens Village Feb. 27 is set to begin at 3 p.m. with a cocktail hour and meet-and-greet event followed by the beginning of a full course dinner at 4 p.m., the club said.

A journal of letters and messages from the community and elected officials to thank Padavan for his 38 years of service is being put together and is to be handed out to all attendees of the event as a keepsake, the club said.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg also wrote a letter to Padavan as part of the event.

“This journal is going to be much more personal” than others, Trent said, because the messages are written by organizations and people whom Padavan helped during his 38 years in office.

The club also plans to read a proclamation declaring Feb. 27 “Frank Padavan Day.”

“Regardless of their political affiliation, friends throughout the Queens, metropolitan and Long Island community are welcome to come, participate and express their gratitude to Padavan’s legacy of selfless devotion to the community, regardless of political affiliation,” the club said.

The club expects “prominent Republicans,” including Padavan’s former colleague, state Sen. Martin Golden (R-Brooklyn), and City Councilman Dan Halloran (R-Whitestone) to attend the event and toast Padavan.

Also expected to attend is state Assemblywoman Barbara Clark (D-Queens Village), whose Assembly district overlapped with Padavan’s.

One of the major speakers at the event is expected to be U.S. Rep. Michael Grimm (R-Staten Island), the club said.

The club’s traditional Lincoln Day address is expected to be read by Professor Gerald Matacotta, who teaches a history seminar series at Queensborough Community College, on the topic of Lincoln and the birth of America’s middle class.

The dinner will also feature awards, including the Ultimate Sacrifice Award, to the family of U.S. Army Spc. Roberto Hernandez II on his behalf.

Hernandez, who emigrated from Panama to Queens, was killed in 2009 in Afghanistan when an improvised explosive device hit the Humvee he was riding in.

Also being honored are Jeffrey Wiesenfeld, a CUNY trustee who is set to receive the club’s Education Advocate of the Year Award, and Hemant Shah, owner of Allstars Realty, who is scheduled to get the Businessman of the Year Award.

For tickets, call Trent at 718-343-8830 or e-mail at jtrent8830@aol.com.

Reach reporter Howard Koplowitz by e-mail at hkoplowitz@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4573.

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