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Jackson Heights Beautification Group brings back ‘good neighbor’ award

JHBGJuly 1, 2015 By Michael Florio

Residents and local business owners who work to better the Jackson Heights community may well be recognized for it this fall.

The Jackson Heights Beautification Group, a civic group that aims to enhance the neighborhood, will be bringing back its “Good Neighbor Award,” after a 10-year absence.

Len Maniace, the group’s president, said that 10 awards will be handed out to residents/business owners this year.  The group selects people who work with children, or maintain gardens, or increase the appeal of apartment buildings, or upgrade storefronts.

“We honor those who keep Jackson Heights looking beautiful and serve those in the community,” he said.

Maniace said the awards will be handed out at a special dinner at the Community United Methodist Church, located at 81-10 35th Ave, on September 26th.

He said that Jackson Heights residents can nominate people by sending an e-mail to [email protected], with the name of the resident and why he or she should receive the award.

Maniace said people are free to nominate themselves.

Nominations are being accepted until July 15th.

The group’s Good Neighbor Award committee, made up of roughly five members, will review all of the nominations, Maniace said.

The Jackson Heights Beautification Group began giving out the Good Neighbor awards in the early 90’s—shortly after its 1988 founding.

“We started this as a way to recognize those who make the neighborhood a better place,” he said.

However, the group stopped handing out the awards about 10 years ago.

“It wasn’t a case of us not wanting to do it anymore, it was a case of us being busy doing other things in the neighborhood,” he said.

The group decided to bring back the award now and have an event as a means to bring the community together.

“We view Jackson Heights as a small town in a big city and this helps capture that feel,” he said.

Maniace believes bringing back the awards can only benefit the neighborhood.

“It sets an example,” he said. “If you honor those who do good things in the neighborhood maybe others see that and do the same.”

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