On the Avenue: Volunteers assist in beautification effort along Third Avenue

It’s good to be back!

Thank you to everyone who reached out to me this past week to catch up and wish me well after seeing my byline back in print. I’m especially pleased to learn that so many people had been enjoying this column for so long despite not knowing who was behind its content.

Now I look forward to connecting with you all directly as I continue to promote exciting happenings taking place in Bay Ridge and beyond.

So, now that I’m back, I’m happy to shed some light on where I have been. During the past several years, I have been fortunate enough to establish professional and personal connections with a number of community-based civic and business organizations, many of which you have been reading about in this very newspaper.

This week, I would like to share some news about a few of these groups, all of which are doing good work “on the avenue.” Enjoy!

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Give them two green thumbs up!

Dozens of volunteers gathered “on the avenue” on Saturday, April 27 for a major cleanup organized by the Merchants of Third Avenue Civic Improvement Association, Inc. in cooperation with Community Board 10 and the New York City Department of Sanitation. Dubbed “3rd Avenue Beautification Day,” the massive undertaking involved planting more than 1,000 flowers and plants, one large tree and several bushes at locations spanning from Marine Avenue all the way to 67th Street. Volunteers also swept and cleaned the sidewalks and installed 13 plaques bearing business names and tributes to loved ones in front of selected trees.

“Wow! What a successful community event,” Merchants of Third Avenue Events Coordinator Chrisie Canny said. “It was an amazing day. Many hands make light work!”

Merchants of Third Avenue Civic Improvement Association, Inc. President Dan Texeira (left) checks in with Events Coordinator Chrisie Canny during the cleanup.

Merchants of Third Avenue President Dan Texeira was glad to see such a strong volunteer effort taking place along the bustling thoroughfare.

“This really looks great,” he said while admiring the brand-new garden that had been planted at Foodtown Supermarket. “Everyone did a spectacular job, and this will be enjoyed by shoppers and passersby for a long, long time.”

Among those who helped to install the garden were members of the Lee family — Tinchi, Jennifer and their sons Sebastian and Jensen.

“We heard about it on social media and wanted to help,” Jennifer told us. “This is a good thing. And it’s good for them to volunteer.”

She was referring to her sons, both of whom helped spread mulch across the newly soiled area.

Volunteer Gabriela Handal worked diligently at several locations, planting fresh new flowers for passersby to enjoy.

Volunteer Gabriela Handal was one of dozens of local residents who came out to assist in the beautification effort.

“I’m a local resident. I saw the flyers and wanted to come and help,” she said. “I think it’s coming along.”

Following the beautification effort, temperatures here reach well into the 70s with clear and sunny skies. That can’t be a coincidence!

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Talk about a dynamic duo!

Brothers Bartolo and Sergio Allegretti were among those honored at the Rotary Club of Verrazano’s 46th Anniversary Gala held “on the avenue” last week at Staten Island’s Hilton Garden Inn, 1100 South Ave.

Both men are longtime members of the Kiwanis Club of Bensonhurst & Bay Ridge, and each received a special Lifetime of Community Service Award from the Rotary group in recognition of their work to improve the lives of children in need.

Rotary Club of Verrazano Lifetime of Community Service Award recipients Bartolo Allegretti (third from left) and Sergio Allegretti (fourth from left) are congratulated at the Club’s 46th Anniversary Gala by Rotarians Enrico Ferrara, Carl Campagna, John Blandi and Peter Ungaro (left to right). Eagle Urban Media/Photo by Tom McCarten

The two organizations share in common a mission of helping those less fortunate, so the Kiwanians made for ideal recipients, organizers said.

A large contingent from the Ben-Bay Kiwanis group attended the affair to show support for the honorees as well as the Rotarians.

“We’re very thankful to the Rotary Club of Verrazano for recognizing two of our own distinguished members for their lifetime of service to the community,” Acting President Thomas Aellis told us. “The Rotarians do incredible work to better the lives of those in need and we are happy to support them in their mission.”

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If you’re doing something noteworthy “on the avenue,” reach out to me at rick@brooklyneagle.com!

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