CONEY ISLAND — It was back to the Jazz Age as guests were dressed in outfits straight of “The Great Gatsby” for the Rotary Club of Verrazano’s 24th annual fashion show. It felt like the Roaring ‘20s as flappers and vamps flooded the dance floor at Gargiulo’s Restaurant in Coney Island.
The much-anticipated annual Rotary fundraiser was held on Friday, Feb. 28. It was a night filled with music, food, fun, furs and fashion as over 200 guests had the opportunity to bid on gifts and buy raffles to help raise money for the Rotary Club’s numerous charitable endeavors including St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital, American Cancer Society, Gift of Life International, HeartShare Human Services, the Guild for Exceptional Children and Reaching-Out Community Services.
The 43-year-old Rotary Club of Verrazano is one of more than 30,000 Rotary Clubs in 160 countries worldwide. The club’s motto is “service above self,” as it prides itself on helping the less fortunate. It’s an organization made up of local businesspeople who enjoy raising money to help the needy. They meet at Gargiulo’s every Wednesday night at 7:30 p.m.
Club member Dr. Joseph Caruana welcomed guests before introducing Rotary Club President William Sobolow. “We thank everyone for coming here tonight because without your support we can’t do the things that we do,” said Sobolow.
“We give up our Wednesday nights and time with our families to do what we can do, and the club does everything from feeding the homeless to helping fund heart operations for kids from all around the world. Whatever it is, wherever there’s a need, that’s what we do,” he added.
Sobolow also thanked his wife Janet Sobolow and Laura Caruana for co-chairing the event.
The fashion show included fur coats and designer outfits from Hyman Kersner & Sons and Lu Bella Boutique. All the models were Rotary Club family members.
Among the notable individuals attending the event were 60th Precinct commanding officer Deputy Inspector Joseph Hayward (the former C.O. of the 68th Precinct), former President of the 68th Precinct Community Council Ilene Sacco, Federation of Italian- Americans Executive Vice President Frank Naccarato and Gift of Life International Director Carl Campagna.
Bay Ridge Community Council President and past Rotary Club President Ralph Succar called it a blessing to be a part of the organization. “And it’s a blessing to give back to the community,” Succar told this paper.
“The money we collect from this event ends up going back to the community for people who are in need — a lot of them are children in need we help through the Gift of Life — and charity work for the local organizations that we support. God bless everyone that came tonight to support us; supporting us is actually supporting your community,” added Succar.