On the Avenue: Kiwanis divisional meeting features all Brooklyn clubs

The more the merrier! Members of the Kiwanis Club of Bensonhurst & Bay Ridge were among dozens of Kiwanians from throughout Brooklyn who gathered “on the avenue” for a delicious meal at Mama Rao’s Italian Restaurant, 6408 11th Ave., as part of a special Kiwanis Divisional Meeting on Wednesday, June 15.

The meeting gave all Brooklyn clubs a chance to meet with New York District of Kiwanis International Gov. James Mancuso and past Gov. Joseph Ruggiero. Ben-Bay’s own Brooklyn Lt. Gov. James Orlando was also in attendance and welcomed Mancuso, who was pleased to receive a special gift from Ben-Bay President Thomas Aellis on behalf of the club.

Kiwanis Club of Bensonhurst & Bay Ridge President Thomas Aellis (left) presents New York District Gov. James Mancuso with a beautiful framed photo of the Brooklyn Bridge as Ben-Bay’s own Brooklyn Lt. Gov. James Orlando looks on. Photo courtesy of Kiwanis Club of Bensonhurst & Bay Ridge

“It’s always great when all the clubs come together for our divisional meetings,” Aellis said. “Not only do we get to share some of the incredible things we’re doing to help children and families in need here in Bay Ridge and Bensonhurst, but we get to hear about how so many of our Kiwanis brothers and sisters are helping those in need throughout Brooklyn.”

Representatives from each club updated Mancuso as to their recent projects at the meeting and discussed opportunities to work in unison to achieve even greater results. An example of this was Ben-Bay’s recent online fundraising effort to benefit the FDNY’s Genovese family as they battle brain cancer, which to date has raised close to $28,000.

Brooklyn Lt. Gov. James Orlando (left) welcomes New York District Gov. James Mancuso to the Brooklyn divisional meeting. Photo courtesy of Kiwanis Club of Bensonhurst & Bay Ridge

“The online campaign we held for the Genovese family is a great example of how we as Kiwanians can utilize the resources and contacts available to us to achieve a greater good,” Aellis said. “That really gained momentum and we were able to directly impact the lives of this wonderful family when they needed help the most.”

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During a leisurely stroll “on the avenue” we were pleased to see so many businesses along Third promoting the upcoming Summer Stroll on 3rd, part of the 2022 “Open Streets” initiative coming to Bay Ridge through the efforts of Councilmember Justin Brannan, the Bay Ridge Fifth Avenue BID and the Merchants of Third Avenue Civic Improvement Association, Inc.

The colorful full-size posters hanging in so many windows were distributed personally by 2022 Summer Stroll Coordinator David Annarummo, who was spotted near longtime Stroll participant Ben-Bay Realty Co. of Bay Ridge several weeks ago making the rounds and spreading the word.

Annarummo promises that this year’s strolls will feature new and exciting family-friendly activities for the thousands of anticipated visitors to enjoy. 

Summer Stroll Coordinator David Annarummo (left) presents a promotional poster to Charles Fabbella of Ben Bay Realty Co. of Bay Ridge. Photo courtesy of Merchants of Third Avenue

For the latest news, be sure to check out @summerstrollon3rd on Facebook and Instagram, and @SummerStroll3rd on Twitter.

The program begins July 8 from 68th Street through 83rd Street. The Stroll program returns to that end of the avenue Aug. 5. The event takes place on July 22 and Aug. 19 from 83rd Street through Marine Avenue. All events take place from 6 to 10 p.m.

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