By Rob Abruzzese
The Bay Ridge Lawyers Association honored its outgoing president Margaret Stanton during its annual dinner that was held at Casa Belvedere, the Italian Cultural Foundation in Staten Island, Friday night, June 22.
Approximately 200 attorneys, judges, court employees and their families gathered at the mansion for dinner and dancing. About midway through, past President Pat Russo interrupted the crowded dining room to start a ceremony dedicated to Stanton.
Russo presented Stanton with citations and proclamations from local politicians including Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, U.S. Rep. Dan Donovan, Assemblymember Nicole Malliotakis and City Councilmember Justin Brannan. He then introduced State Sen. Marty Golden.
“I want to thank you for all of the great work that each and every one of you and your firms do across Bay Ridge, the city and the state,” Golden said. “You do an outstanding job, and I want to commend you for that.
“We’re honoring a great woman,” Golden said of Stanton. “She’s been a fixture of Bay Ridge for many years. I go back a lot of years with this good lady. There is no woman who has worked harder for the rights of those looking for adoptions, those trying to reach in and start their own families, and she has given an opportunity to many, many children who need it. She has done an outstanding job and as a leader of your organization you have an awful lot to be proud of.”
Past President Stephen Chiaino then introduced Stanton, but not before talking about what an accomplished attorney she is.
“She’s not afraid to shake up the status quo,” Chiaino said of Stanton. “While she was president of the Bay Ridge Lawyers, she was not afraid to change anything that we have done in the past. She has taken on the role with zest and we’re proud to have her at the helm this year.”
Finally, Stanton stood up and addressed the crowd that greeted her with a standing ovation. Fighting back tears, she explained that the dinner is more about celebrating the association than any one person.
“This is supposed to be a dinner honoring our outgoing president, but it’s really a dinner every year honoring our organization,” Stanton said. “The Bay Ridge Lawyers started in 1954. Our elder statesmen have told us about the old meetings of a few attorneys having some drinks and dinner and having fun. It’s evolved into an organization that does [continuing legal education seminars] every month, it does community service and we work with Fort Hamilton. This organization, which is supposed to be a small bar association, has made its mark in Brooklyn and is recognized throughout the state.”