This yearly event is an opportunity for residents to dress in their finest and celebrate another very successful and eventful year for the WRBA.
At a recent Woodhaven Town Hall meeting, WRBA President Martin Colberg announced the three honorees that will be celebrated at this year’s gala.
This year’s Woodhaven Woman of the Year is Charlotte Butler, president of the K9 Korral Dog Run at Forest Park. The dog run is located at 85th Street and Park Lane South, and provides a place where dogs can play off leash.
Butler is well-known for her love of animals and she has put in countless hours over the years on their behalf. I’ve known her for many years, and can tell you that she’s one of the nicest people you will ever want to meet.
Readers of this column may remember Butler from last October, when she and her husband John rescued and then adopted a deaf and blind Yorkie that had been cruelly abandoned, tied to a fence in Victory Field. The Butlers renamed the dog Clancy and opened their hearts and their home to this beautiful pup.
This year’s Woodhaven Man of the Year is Walter Steffens, lifetime resident of Woodhaven and a vital member of Emanuel United Church of Christ, where many public meetings are held.
Steffens works hard to ensure that the meeting rooms in the church are ready and available for community meetings. He and Emanuel always put their community’s interests above their own, a trait that’s missing in far too many people these days.
Steffens is a Woodhaven story through and through, having worked as a delivery boy for the Leader-Observer, while living on the same block for nearly eight decades. He was also one of the original members of the WRBA, and was an original member of the Woodhaven Security Patrol.
I have known Walter and his lovely wife Pam for many years, and I am proud and happy to call them good friends. This recognition is well earned and deserved.
The Business of the Year is the Holiday House at 90-02 Atlantic Avenue. The Holiday House has become the go-to place for all your Halloween and Christmas needs. They are also very supportive of the community.
"Each year, our fundraiser provides a fun, happy opportunity to gather with many people who care about Woodhaven,” said Colberg. “We're thrilled to celebrate this year with highly deserving honorees. Everyone who attends the fundraiser helps the block association's work for the community, so we hope to see you there."
The annual event provides a major source of funding for the organization's operation. When you purchase a ticket for this event, you aren’t just getting a great night out, you are also supporting an all-volunteer organization that is good for our community.
I can tell you firsthand how hard it is to get volunteers to come out and work to improve our community. Even to get people to come out and volunteer for an hour is a tough sell.
The people on the WRBA board are volunteering on behalf of our community seven days a week, 365 days a year. This is a good opportunity to support and thank these people for their efforts.
For the record, they are: Martin Colberg (president), Giedra Kregzdys (vice president), Stephen Forte (treasurer), Arlene Annunziata, Vance Barbour, Janet Chan-Smith, and Janet Forte. Thank you to all of them for their continued and ongoing efforts on behalf of Woodhaven.
Adult tickets (12 and older) are $70, and tickets for children over five are $30. Tickets include a full buffet dinner with soda, beer, and wine. The event kicks off at 7 p.m. and concludes at 11 p.m.
Roma View Fine Catering is located at 160-05 Cross Bay Boulevard in Howard Beach. To purchase tickets, call the WRBA at 718-296-3735.