Bay Ridge

Merchants of Third Ave. set to honor Bay Ridge pioneers

Award winners to be celebrated at dinner on Jan. 9

January 5, 2017 By Paula Katinas Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Josephine Beckmann, district manager of Community Board 10, shown taking part in a Red Ribbon Campaign in 2014 to raise awareness of drug abuse, will receive a community service award. Eagle file photo by Paula Katinas
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A Bay Ridge business group is busy planning its annual dinner to give a pat on the back to store-owners, community activists and political leaders who work tirelessly to make the Southwest Brooklyn neighborhood a better place to live and work.

The Merchants of Third Avenue organization will hold its 23rd annual Pioneer of Third Avenue dinner on Monday, Jan. 9 at the Bay Ridge Manor at 476 76th St., starting at 7 p.m.

President Bob Howe and his members call the honor the “Pioneer Awards” to reflect the winners’ status as trendsetters on the Third Avenue shopping thoroughfare. With more than 250 shops located between 68th Street and 95th Street, Third Avenue is one of the busiest shopping areas in Brooklyn.

This year’s list of pioneers includes Susan Chen, owner of the Angel City Nail Spa; Patrick Gilbride, a financial advisor at Edward Jones; Pete Lekkas, owner of Elia Restaurant; and Anthony Rinaldi, owner of the Pearl Room Restaurant.

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The Merchants group also hands out awards to community officials and civic leaders. This year’s community service award winners are: Josephine Beckmann, district manager of Community Board 10; Ted General, columnist for the Home Reporter and Sunset News; Helen Klein, editor of the Home Reporter and Brooklyn Spectator; Essa Masoud, owner of Balady Food; Joanne Seminara, a partner in the law firm Grimaldi & Yeung LLP; and Sandy Vallas, owner of Vallas Realty.

John Quaglione, deputy chief of staff to state Sen. Marty Golden, and chairman of the Brooklyn Chapter of the March of Dimes, will receive the Larry Morrish Community Service Award.

The award is named in memory of Morrish, the late community activist who founded the Bay Ridge Ambulance Volunteer Organization (BRAVO) and the Bay Ridge Unity Task Force, among other grass-roots organizations. Morrish died last year.

“Humbled and honored are truly the only two words that can describe how I feel having been picked to be the first recipient of the Larry Morrish Community Service Award presented by the Third Avenue Merchants,” Quaglione told the Brooklyn Eagle. “For over 20 years, Larry was both a role model and a cheerleader for my civic involvement, and I know he will be smiling down upon the event Monday night. The award will serve as a constant reminder of the extraordinary community life in which Larry lived, and will inspire me to continue in his ways for the good of the neighborhood.”


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