Those who know me know that I am very fond of the School Sisters of Notre Dame Educational Center for Women. They bring value to our community by offering tuition-free educational opportunities to women. They help individuals succeed which, in turn, helps their families and helps our neighborhood.
And if you know me you also know that I am very fond of Lieutenant Loy Gordon of the FDNY and owner of Neir’s Tavern. Gordon not only brings historical value to our community by way of his restoration and preservation of a tavern that’s nearly two centuries old, but he is also very supportive of Woodhaven.
Gordon has held several fundraisers for other groups and organizations and made many generous donations, including to the School Sisters.
And the sisters will be acknowledging Gordon’s generosity towards them and our community by honoring him at their annual Wine and Cheese Harvest at their center at 87-04 88th Avenue on Sunday, September 24, from 3 to 6 p.m.
There will be wine and cheese (naturally) as well as raffles. It’s also just a real good opportunity to tour the center and get an idea of the good work that the sisters do.
And that’s where this story should have ended, except for the stupid acts of a few senseless crooks who robbed a firefighter on 9/11. When Gordon opened up that morning, he discovered that Neir’s had been burgled.
These days, the line between staying in or going out of business is very thin for all of our establishments and any loss, such as the one Gordon now faces, is difficult to overcome.
And so, the Woodhaven Cultural & Historical Society has launched an effort to bring together the friends of Loy Gordon, as well as those who appreciate Woodhaven’s long history, to try and help right this wrong.
We’re calling this a “friend raiser” instead of a fundraiser, because the idea is to bring good people together to help a friend to our community. Gordon was initially against the idea, until we explained that it was our turn to help him.
Over the past few decades, we’ve watched as so many classic old businesses went under, closed up shop, and disappeared from our landscape for good. What would you give if you could walk through the doors of Lewis of Woodhaven again? Or Jason’s Toy Store. Or Jahn’s Ice Cream Parlor in Richmond Hill?
Sadly, those businesses and others like it are gone for good. But Neir’s is still right here, as it has been for the past 189 years. And while it’s not in any immediate danger, it’s in our historical interest to make sure that it remains healthy.
And so, we’ll be gathering at Neir’s the night before Gordon gets honored on September 23 at 7 p.m. Come out and be a part of the community effort to make things right by supporting someone who has supported us.
Details are still being sorted out, but we’ll plan a few fun things. Come out and have a few laughs, and if you can drop a couple of dollars in the bucket it will be appreciated.
And if not, we hope you’ll come out anyway, either Saturday night or Sunday afternoon for the sisters, to show your support for some of Woodhaven’s best.
On a side note, this Saturday is the Richmond Hill Park Fair from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. at Myrtle Avenue and Park Lane South at the Buddy Monument. There will be rides and food and live music and lots of vendors selling interesting items.
The Woodhaven Cultural & Historical Society will be there, right alongside the WRBA. Please make sure you stop by and say hello.