One of Bay Ridge’s most beloved activists was in the spotlight as she celebrated her 95th birthday at a surprise dinner with fellow movers and shakers.
Jane Kelly – who thought she was going out to dinner with three friends, Kate Cucco, Renee Dorsa and Ilene Sacco – was in fact joined by some 40 friends and colleagues at the event, held at the Greenhouse Café on Third Avenue near 77th Street on Monday, November 28.
“You are very much beloved and a fixture in our community,” Linda Lupia told Kelly, a former teacher at Our Lady of Angels School who has been involved with some of the neighborhood’s most enduring organizations, including the Bay Ridge Community Council and the Bay Ridge Council on Aging.
For her years of dedication and selfless service, Kelly was lauded by both State Senator Marty Golden and City Councilmember Vincent Gentile, who joined the party.
Golden expressed a wish for “more Jane Kellys making a difference in the community. Whatever she does, she does 210 percent,” he said.
I was never taught in school by Jane but I was taught in community by Jane,” added Gentile.
“I really am so impressed by the fact that so many came out,” the surprised Kelly told the assembled group. “I certainly will never forget it. We all have such a long history. To say that I’m touched really hardly describes it. I love each one of you. Thank you so much. I absolutely had no idea. I thank you all for coming, and I thank you for all the love and good wishes.”