Brooklyn leaders shine at 2014 Kings of Kings event

October 9, 2014 Heather Chin
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The accomplishments of the 33 Kings of Kings County for 2014 shone even more brightly than the jewels on their golden party crowns, presented to them at the fourth annual event, held on October 8 at Grand Prospect Hall in Park Slope.

Hosted by the Home Reporter and Brooklyn Spectator, the annual networking event celebrates the dedication of 33 honorees, who represent some of Brooklyn’s most influential and active leaders in business, education and community service, from Adelphi Academy of Brooklyn to Empire State Bank and Avondale Care Group to Gargiulo’s Restaurant.

“We are delighted to stop our world and give tribute to men who have made our community a better one by their contributions,” said Victoria Schneps, co-publisher of the host newspapers. “It’s a night of fun and tributes.”

“One of the things that really impressed me tonight is the honorees,” said Dean Balsamini, director of the Small Business Development Center at the College of Staten Island. “We have an opportunity right now to be able to help that small business engine that drives the economy and help them get back to where they were before the recession.”

Sandy Vallas of Vallas Real Estate agreed, stating that he’s “honored to be with a group of people who care not only about business but about their community.”

His young adult children, Eleni, Hope and Theodore, said their father is a perfect example of that dual dedication. “Even our friends love him. He’s a role model and a great father who’s always there for us and always trying his best to make sure the community succeeds,” they said.

A Lifetime Achievement Award was also presented to Howard Dunn, 87, retired yeoman petty officer third class and past county commander of the American Legion, for his continued service to both his country and his native southwest Brooklyn community.

“I’ve been involved since I was a young boy [and] I thank God I came home safe,” said Dunn, who admitted that he still has work to do with helping wounded warriors.

His advice for the next generations? “Grow up and get action with the Boy Scouts and any other organization,” Dunn said. “We have a great community. Brooklyn sticks together and works together.”

Raffle ticket sales raised over $2,000 and counting for Reaching-Out Community Services and the Boy Scouts of America.

Veteran Fox 5 news anchor Antwan Lewis served as the night’s emcee and the singing cop himself, Daniel Rodriguez, sang God Bless America.

Sponsors included Adelphi Academy of Brooklyn, Avondale Care Group, Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, CPEX Real Estate, Dyker Beach Golf Club, Empire State Bank, Flushing Bank, Gillen and Scali PLLC, Investors Bank, Lutheran Healthcare, National Grid, Northfield Bank, People’s United Bank, Ridge Abstract, TD Bank, Wyckoff Heights Medical Center.

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