BAY RIDGE — Two local civic groups — the Rotary Club of Verrazano and the Salaam Club of New York — joined forces to say thank-you to the service members at Fort Hamilton Army Base in Bay Ridge by distributing 80 turkeys at the base on Friday, Nov. 20.
Trevor Loew, director of Family Morale, Welfare and Recreation at Fort Hamilton, made sure all the turkeys were reserved for service members who signed up, with extras allotted for any last minute walk-ins.
“Our goal is to take care of the military families on Fort Hamilton and we’re lucky to have community partners such as the Verrazano Rotary and the Salaam Club of New York that support not only the military families but the Fort Hamilton community in general,” Loew told this paper.
“This is an annual tradition,” said Rotary Club president William Sobolow. ‘It’s just our little way of saying thank-you to the troops who protect us, and it’s just a small thing that we can do to show our appreciation.”
Rotary Club member William Fahy echoed Sobolow’s sentiments. “This is my third time being here as a member of the Rotary and we are here to help out those who support our country,” he said. “We’re patriots and we appreciate everything they do.”
The Rotary Club also sponsored a pre-Thanksgiving dinner for veterans at the Brooklyn VA Hospital on Saturday, Nov. 21.
Rotary Club members Sobolow, Fahy, Aldo Adamo, Michael Iacobucci, Joseph Speziale, Frank Frasca and Jim Giustiniani handed out the turkeys along with Salaam Club members John Abi-Habib and Tabet Eid.
The Rotary Club of Verrazano is one of more than 30,000 Rotary Clubs in 160 countries worldwide. It works to help feed the hungry, procure open-heart surgeries for children overseas and support a variety of local projects.
Abi-Habib helped deliver the turkeys to the army base on behalf of the Salaam Club. “Getting ready for the holidays we want to take this time to thank our soldiers for all they do for us throughout the entire year,” Abi-Habib told this paper. “The Salaam Club has been doing this for over 15 and it’s our honor and pleasure to host another turkey drive for the soldiers at the army base.”
The Salaam Club was founded 71 years ago by Lebanese and Syrian immigrants in Bay Ridge as a fraternity of men of Middle Eastern descent. In 1994, the Salaam Club Community Fund was established to benefit local organizations such as St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital, the St. Nicholas Home and the Guild for Exceptional Children in Bay Ridge.
“Fort Hamilton is always very appreciative of community partnerships that build our relationships and we’re thankful for those who serve our military families,” said Fort Hamilton Chaplain Maj. Bruce Duty.