Bay Ridge

St. Nicholas Home board of directors host Christmas banquet

Elected Officials, Clergy and Civic Leaders Attend Celebration for Worthy Institution

December 20, 2016 By John Alexander Brooklyn Daily Eagle
From left: Penny Santo, St. Nicholas Home Chairman Ed Mafoud and Alexandra Santo. Eagle photos by Arthur De Gaeta
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On Wednesday, Dec. 14 the St. Nicholas Home, a nonprofit interdenominational residence for elderly individuals in Bay Ridge, hosted its board of directors’ Christmas Banquet. The event brought out several elected officials, civic leaders and members of the clergy to help raise funds to renovate the home located at 425 Ovington Ave.

Attendees included state Sen. Marty Golden, Senior Vice President of Signature Bank Zoe Koutsoupakis, Northfield Bank Vice President Brian Chin, Donna McClellan of Connors and Sullivan, newly elected President of the Salaam Club of New York Joe Avignone and Rev. Khader El-Yateem of the Salam Arabic Lutheran Church in Bay Ridge.

The St. Nicholas Home opened its doors in 1982. It was the dream of the late Rt. Rev. Gregory Abboud of St. Nicholas Antiochian Orthodox Cathedral on State Street to build a residence for elderly people in the Arab-American community. Abboud died in 1978, but not before he signed the contract to purchase the old Bay Ridge Hospital. Along with Richard Zarick and his wife Florence, the property was secured and Abboud’s dream became a reality.

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El-Yateem delivered the invocation and thanked everyone for supporting the home. He emphasized that the assisted living institution needed additional support to keep it thriving and flourishing. He spoke about the home’s expansion plans and said he was looking forward to the home’s future.

Golden also addressed the plans for the home’s expansion and praised the home for taking pride in caring for the elderly.

Edward Mafoud, chairman of the St. Nicholas Home board of directors, thanked everyone for always being there to support the home. He said that many people at the home have nobody to be with during the holidays, and explained how the staff is told that the guests are not clients. “They are encouraged to treat them like their own family,” he said, adding, “the St. Nicholas Home is one big family.”

Koutsoupakis told the Brooklyn Eagle that she has been supporting the home since the time of its inception. She said the late community leader Larry Morrish “played a major part in obtaining funding for the expansion of the home.”

She added, “The home is part of our community and that’s why we need to keep supporting it. They’ve taken good care of our parents, grandparents and, who knows, maybe someday we’ll be here. That’s why we need to keep supporting it.”

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