Tuesday, August 9, 2011

WRBA Celebrates 40th Year With Fundraiser

The residents, elected officials, and civic leaders of Woodhaven will gather at Joe Abbracciamento Restaurant on Friday, September 23, 2011, for a fundraiser to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Woodhaven Residents' Block Association.

The WRBA's founding mission in 1972 was to foster "an interest in civic, social and political affairs." The all-volunteer organization continues that mission today, advocating on behalf of the Woodhaven community. The civic group has struggled financially, though, meaning that the fundraiser -- which has been held annually -- is especially important this year to buy the WRBA some breathing room.

"We're proud of what we've achieved," said WRBA President Edward K. Wendell. "When they came for our firehouse, we were there. When they came for our library, we were there. If it concerns our community and our neighbors, you can be sure that we'll be there."

At this year's fundraiser, the WRBA will celebrate the contributions of four honorees.

Assemblyman Mike Miller, who has worked closely with the residents of Woodhaven in identifying and resolving a variety of issues, is Man of the Year.

Eleanor Errante is 2011's Woman of the Year. The longtime district leader was an eloquent spokesperson for the area's older residents earlier this year when the city considered closing the local senior center.

The Leader-Observer is the Business of the Year. The 102-year-old paper has been a mainstay in the lives of Woodhavenites.

The Woodhaven-Richmond Hill Volunteer Ambulance Corps, which has worked tirelessly to assist the residents of Woodhaven and has provide a fertile training ground for young emergency medical technicians, will be this year's inductee into the WRBA Hall of Fame.

In addition to advocating on behalf of Engine 294, the Woodhaven Library, and the CCNS Woodhaven-Richmond Hill Senior Center, the WRBA has recently been at the forefront of fighting against noise abuse, illegal conversions, illegally posted commercial signs, and unwanted solicitations from real estate agents. The WRBA has also been instrumental in sealing an abandoned house that was being used as a drug den, and recently took to the streets with cans of paint to cover up nearly 100 instances of graffiti vandalism.

The WRBA survives on the support of those it serves -- the residents of Woodhaven. The Block Association hopes that a good turnout will help keep them alive and fighting.

Each ticket to the fundraiser is $65 and includes a four-course dinner with wine and beer. The event kicks off at 7:30 p.m. Joe Abbracciamento Restaurant is located at 62-96 Woodhaven Boulevard, in Rego Park.

The event will kick off at 7:30 p.m. Joe Abbracciamento Restaurant is located at 62-96 Woodhaven Boulevard, in Rego Park. Each ticket is $65 and includes a four-course dinner with beer and wine. Tickets can be purchased at the WRBA office (84-20 Jamaica Avenue), at the Block Association's monthly Town Hall meetings (the next meeting is Saturday, August 20, 1 p.m. at the Woodhaven-Richmond Hill Volunteer Ambulance Corps, 78-15 Jamaica Avenue), or by credit or debit card online at http://events.woodhaven-nyc.org/2011/08/2011-fundraiser_9247.html.

For more information, call the WRBA office at 718-296-3735, e-mail info@woodhaven-nyc.org, or visit http://www.woodhaven-nyc.org/.

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WRBA office: (718) 296-3735

The photo above depicts two of the honorees at this year's WRBA fundraiser: Eleanor Errante (left) and Assemblyman Mike Miller (right).