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Jackson Heights group announced ‘Good Neighbor’ award winners, pays its respect to people who have improved area


Sept. 20, 2015 By Michael Florio

A well-known Jackson Heights organization is paying tribute to a number of residents and business leaders who it believes have added to the fabric of the community.

The Jackson Heights Beautification Group, a volunteer group that looks to enhance the neighborhood, has announced the recipients of its so-called “Good Neighbor” awards, with 14 individuals/groups to be recognized this Saturday at a community dinner.

“We want to recognize and award those who improve the community,” said JHBG President Len Maniace. “Whether it’s by working with children, the poor, or fighting to preserve the Historic District we want to acknowledge them.”

The organization received roughly three-dozen nominations. A committee of six JHBG members voted and the winners were then selected.

Winners included the owners of several local businesses who either renovated their stores or helped upgrade the neighborhood. These including the owners of Espresso 77, Table Wine, Kitchen 79, Delhi Heights and Central Café.

Several individuals were selected. These included Don and Katha Cato, who created the Queens World Film Festival, as well as Shelly Brevda, who is leading the charge against a developer who wants to convert a one story building into a five-story structure in the Historic District.

“My work is out of love for my neighborhood and to be recognized for it is fantastic,” Brevda said.

The organization also recognized those who offer services to children. Sergio Lamarque, who provides free tennis lessons at Travers Park, was recognized for his service.

Others were acknowledged for taking care of local gardens.

The Good Neighbor winners will be honored at a dinner and fundraiser at the Community United Methodist Church on September 26th from 5 pm to 8 pm. The event will be catered by Armondo’s Italian Restaurant.

Tickets will cost $25 if bought in advance. Tickets are available at Espresso 77, Table Wine, the Sunday Market at Travers Park, or online at

Tickets at the door will cost $30.

All proceeds will go to the JHBG.

The organization began handing out these awards shortly after it was founded in 1988.

It has tended to off them every three years.

“We hope people will see others get acknowledged and be inspired by it,” Maniace said.

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It’s so great that you want to know all of the honorees! Here is a list of the
winners and there are some extraordinary things flying under the radar here
and we hope to acknowledge the good work tomorrow evening. Please join
us. BTW- there a still a few more tickets at the door @30.

Shelly Brevda
Don and Katha Cato
Central Café
Gloria Daini
Delhi Heights
Donnolly Gardens Garden Committee
Griswold Garden Committee
Kitchen 79
Sergio Lemarque
Lion’s Share Food Pantry
Bill Meehan
St. Joan of Arc’s Youth Council
Table Wine


I don’t understand why none of the coverage of this event includes a COMPLETE list of the names of all the award recipients. I would be more likely to attend if I knew, in advance, who all the “winners” were.


It is a great thing to recognize those deserving souls! Congratulations to the winners, keep up the good work for our neighborhood! And Thank you!


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