Queens, NY: The 10th Biennial Civic Luncheon held by Queens Civic Congress (QCC) was a huge success with capacity attendance, a well-organized program with keynote speaker Preet Bharara, prominent U.S. Attorney for the Southern District, New York as well as featured speaker, Queens Borough President Melida Katz and several other notable elected officials. The event was sponsored by Queens Civic Congress Foundation and held at Antun’s in Queens Village.
Paul Kerzner, President, Queens Civic Congress Foundation, welcomed the guests, followed by the Pledge of Allegiance then a beautiful rendition of the National Anthem by Hon. Melinda Katz. QCC president Harbachan Singh welcomed members and guests, acknowledging the important role of members and officers for the successes of QCC activities focusing on improving the quality of life issues. Mr. Singh also expressed due gratitude and outlined several future plans,
Presentation of various proclamations and resolutions to the 3 honorees was done by Hon. Melinda Katz and NYS Senator Tony Avella. In his remarks, State Sen. Tony Avella congratulated QCC and the honorees, citing the advocacy of QCC on community issues Kevin Forrestal, executive vice president of QCC, made presentations on behalf of several elected officials.
In her speech, Hon. Melinda Katz thanked QCC for its issues oriented community efforts and remarked on the appeal, diversity and progress in Queens which is fast becoming the destination of visitors to New York.
Keynote speaker Preet Bharara was introduced by Vice President Ashook Ramsaran with a warm welcome of admiration and appreciation. Mr. Bharara recounted his family’s journey from India to USA and the many opportunities in the USA which contributed to his success as a notable and quite visible official in New York State and indeed the entire USA. Bharara reiterated determination and relentless pursuits of his office to enforce and encourage accountability in all sectors, and provide protection from predators and those who do not abide by the rule of law. He said that “fair and equitable treatment under the law applies to everyone regardless of position or standing and is a cornerstone of United States of America”.
QCC Civic Achievement Awards 2016 for high achievements in community service were presented to: James Gallagher, Jr. (President, Fresh Meadows Homeowners Civic Association) presented by QCC vice president Kim Ohanian; Warren Schreiber (President, Bay Terrace Community Alliance) presented by QCC vice president Tyler Cassell; Christina Wilkinson (President, Newtown Historical Society) presented by QCC treasurer James A. Trent.
Other elected officials in attendance included several NYC council members and NYS senators and assembly members. NYS Assemblyman David Weprin congratulated QCC and the honorees for outstanding community work.
QCC vice president Richard Hellenbrecht made the concluding remarks, citing several QCC initiatives and support for many important community issues. Hellenbrecht also welcome the youth group of Civic Activism Network (CAN) and thanked Elmhurst United for supporting CAN’s participation.
Music was provided by John Walters. Queens Civic Congress, Inc. and Queens Civic Congress Foundation, Inc., a 501(c)(3) corporation, were formed in 1997, representing more than 100 civic and other community organizations throughout the Borough of Queens in New York City, and are committed to the protection and advancement of the “Quality of Life”, to provide a forum for the civic associations and neighborhood organizations, to develop and present common policies and positions, and to furnish effective leadership and advocacy for the advancement of the welfare and interests of Queens’ neighborhoods.