Bay Ridge Community Council hosts 66th annual dinner dance
Civic Organization Honors Arthur Aidala and Ilene Sacco
The Bay Ridge Community Council (BRCC) hosted a room full of elected officials and civic leaders at the Rex Manor in Dyker Heights on Thursday. Dinner dance chairman and BRCC President Ralph Succar welcomed guests to the annual event, this year honoring attorneys Arthur Aidala and Ilene Sacco.
Attending the event were state. Sen. Marty Golden, Acting District Attorney Eric Gonzalez, Councilmember Vincent Gentile, Public Advocate Letitia James, Community 10 District Manager Josephine Beckmann, attorneys Mike Connors and Bob Howe, Re/Max Real Estate Broker Julie Thum, Northfield Bank President Brian Chin, Fort Hamilton Commanding Officer Col. Peter Sicoli and City Council candidates Justin Brannan, Kevin Peter Carroll, Liam McCabe and John Quaglione.
The evening began with an invocation from the Rev. Gerasimos Makris of Holy Cross Greek Orthodox Church in Bay Ridge. A new slate of BRCC officers were then installed and Succar was sworn in as BRCC president by Judge Theresa Ciccotta.
“The Civic Award is given out to people who really care about the community, who really go out of their way to make us proud,” Succar explained. He then invited Lori Bambina up to introduce her brother, Civic Award winner Aidala.
Aidala is the managing partner at Aidala, Betuna & Kamins, P.C., a law firm specializing in civil and criminal litigation. He has tried several high profile cases, most notably the successful defense of football great Lawrence Taylor. Aidala has been the Fox News channel’s legal analyst for the past decade.
Bambina spoke about growing up with Aidala. “There is something called the ‘Arthur Factor,’ that when you meet Arthur, his overwhelming personality just sucks you in. And he makes you feel like part of the family.
“The thing about Arthur,” continued Bambina, “is that he would literally give you the shirt off his back if you needed it, and all his happiness comes from making other people happy.” She called Aidala “A Bay Ridge, Brooklyn boy who always shows love, respect and kindness to everyone, no matter who they are or what job they have.”
Aidala thanked his sister and the members of the BRCC for the award. He said that when he proposed to his wife he told her, “I’m a Bay Ridge boy, so if you want to marry me, Bay Ridge comes with me.” He told the audience that he, his wife and children would soon be moving into their new home in Bay Ridge. He reminisced about growing up in the neighborhood and playing sewer-to-sewer football and sewer-to-sewer whiffle ball.
He called Bay Ridge a special place and said, “When I meet people like Magic Johnson and Alan Alda and senator so-and-so, or vice president so-and-so, the first thing I say is ‘I’m Arthur Aidala and I’m from Bay Ridge, Brooklyn.’ I’m so proud of this place. I love this place.”
The second BRCC Civic Award was presented to Sacco, an attorney who currently works for the New York State Office of People with Developmental Disabilities. Prior to that, she was the Deputy of Community Relations in the New York City Comptroller’s Office and Counsel and Director of the Brooklyn Office for former City Councilmember James Oddo.
Sacco said that she does all she can to help the community and that people who do not live in the neighborhood don’t understand. “We do it because of who we are,” said Sacco, “and because we all know and care about each other.”
Golden took the stage to congratulate the BRCC and the Civic Award winners and present them with proclamations from the state Senate. The evening ended with Succar asking everyone to raise their glass for a champagne toast.