Brooklyn Boro

Seneca Club honors community leaders during 119th annual dinner

July 3, 2018 By Rob Abruzzese, Legal Editor Brooklyn Daily Eagle
From left: Steve Cohn, former Borough President Howard Golden, David Chidekel, president of the Brooklyn Bar Association; and Gerald Esposito, president of the Seneca Club. Eagle photos by Mario Belluomo
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The Seneca Club of Kings County, one of New York’s oldest Democratic Clubs, held its 119th annual dinner dance at Giando’s on the Water in Williamsburg on Tuesday where it honored 11 people and recognized dozens of others.

“I thank the good lord for giving us this beautiful night,” said Steve Cohn, the club’s longtime leader. “As this night progresses, you’ll look out and watch the lights of the city come on.”

This year’s honorees included Francis Bronet, president of Pratt Institute; state Sen. Brian P. Kavanagh; U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney; Richard M. Levy, of Rubenstein & Rynecki; Public Advocate Letitia James; Mark Cannizzaro, Council of School Supervisors and Administrators; Assembly member Joseph Lentol; Craig Montalbano; Jonathan Harkavy; Rick Russo, acting president of the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce; and David Chidekel, president of the Brooklyn Bar Association.

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The event is a whirlwind of awards and very brief speeches. Cohn introduces the honorees and the others recognized from 6 p.m. until nearly 9 p.m. Many politicians and judges running for re-election gave brief speeches including Letitia James, who is running for attorney general.

“What we need now more than ever is a champion because the only thing this president recognizes and understands is a street fight,” James said. “As the next attorney general of the state of New York, I look forward to challenging him at each and every level.”


Cohn, a past president of the Brooklyn Bar Association, also made a special point to introduce everyone to the association’s newest president — Chidekel — on his birthday.

“It took him many years to get here and I’m going to be proud to be called upon to help him this year,” Cohn said.

Those recognized as Men of the Year included Lenny Schwartz, Steven Schwartz, Arthur Katz, Roger V. Archibald, Robert Galpern, Jeffrey R. Miller, Andrew Rendeiro, Tommy Torres and Joseph Hershkowitz. The Women of the Year were Sasha Baumrind, Monica Holowacz, Lucy Baumrind, Carol DeLillo, Judy Pecorino and Ramon Vergara. There were also Couple of the Year including Gina Argento and John Ciafone, Mr. and Mrs. James Quail, Eva and Louis Galpern and Mr. and Mrs. Frank Siracusa.

Business and Nonprofits of the Year included Helen Keller Services, Pilku Construction Services, Brooklyn Historical Society BARC Shelter, Dime Savings Bank of Williamsburg, Red Apple Group/Gristedes and Preventive Medical Services.

Community members who were given the Carmine “Dusty” DeChiara and Israel Dear Community Awards included Joseph G. Garber, Det. Brian Laffey, police officers Julius Hudson, John Kenny and Diana Torres, Joseph Foglia, Judy Pecorino, Aphrodite Frangos, Karen Marchione, Zeneida DeJesus, Rosemarie Locascio, Loretta Mangano and Louise Sampogna.

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