Bay Ridge

Bay Ridge Lawyers donate toys to Fort Hamilton base

December 11, 2015 By Rob Abruzzese Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Officers of the Bay Ridge Lawyers Association (from left): Stephen A. Spinelli, Margaret Stanton, MaryAnn K. Stathopoulos, BRLA President Grace M. Borrino and Joseph R. Vasile. Eagle photos by Rob Abruzzese
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The Bay Ridge Lawyers Association (BRLA) hosted its annual holiday party and judges’ night at the trendy Cebu Restaurant on Third Avenue Thursday night, where they collected toys for the children of the Fort Hamilton army base.

“I want to thank everyone who came out tonight on behalf of the Bay Ridge Lawyers Association,” said BRLA President Grace Borrino. “I want to thank my holiday party committee chairs for all their help, RoseAnn Branda and Andrea Caruso, who is on maternity leave, but helped organize this party from home.

“And I want to thank all of the judges who made it out, despite the fact that December is a difficult month since we are so busy.”

The attendees packed into two rooms, shared holiday cheer and mingled with the judges. Borrino recalled her first holiday party, and described being a bit nervous, but credited it as the reason why she has been so active within the BRLA for all of these years.

“I remember my first holiday party; I was a new attorney and we went to Pazos, which is no longer open,” Borrino said. “I was brand new to the association, but they made me feel like one of their own, which is what led me to come back every year.”

The BRLA began a tradition a few years ago when they partnered with the Fort Hamilton army base, to do a toy drive for the children of the base. Every year, giant piles of toys are collected as everyone attending the party is required to donate at least one unwrapped gift.

“I want to call attention to everyone who was thoughtful enough to bring a toy to our toy drive,” Borino said. “We came up with the idea because we’re a community organization and we really wanted to do something that would give back to our local community.”

Col. Joseph D. Davidson was on hand along with a contingent from the base to share in the festivities and collect the toys.

“This is a great honor,” Davidson said. “This is my second year being here with you, and I never stop being amazed at the generosity of not only this organization, but really the whole Bay Ridge community. It is unbelievable. Our military families certainly appreciate your spirit and kind hearts. Thank you very much and happy holidays.”

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