2002-03-20 / Front Page

Expo Comes To Town With Gift For Non-Profits

By Seth Wharton


Photos Luis Rocha The Expo Design Center at 73-91 25th St. held a fund-raiser March 14 to benefit Queens Child Guidance Center and Lexington School for the Deaf. Borough President Helen Marshall (c.) cuts the ribbon to open the new Expo Design Center. She is shown with Assemblymembers Ivan Lafayette (l.) and Michael Gianaris (r.).Photos Luis Rocha The Expo Design Center at 73-91 25th St. held a fund-raiser March 14 to benefit Queens Child Guidance Center and Lexington School for the Deaf. Borough President Helen Marshall (c.) cuts the ribbon to open the new Expo Design Center. She is shown with Assemblymembers Ivan Lafayette (l.) and Michael Gianaris (r.).

The new Expo Design Center in Northern Queens, the first of its kind in New York City, opened its doors for a fund-raising event to benefit two organizations that serve the children of Queens.

The Queens Child Guidance Center and the Lexington School/Center for the Deaf, were both guaranteed $2,500 from the fund-raising event by the Expo Center, but each organization might actually see a considerable amount more, depending on how much was donated at the affair last Thursday.

Donations were accepted at the door, and a Chinese auction was held as another means to raise money.

Borough President Helen Marshall, City Councilmember Helen Sears, Community Board 3 members and other dignitaries and representatives from both benefited organizations were all on hand for the event.


The Expo Design Center, at 73-91 25th Ave., an affiliate of Home Depot, opened its doors to the public on Saturday, March 16, but as is the practice with the company, according to Robert Barletta, Expo spokesman, with each new store comes a fund-raising event to benefit local organizations.

"It’s part of the corporate culture to support non-profit organizations," he said.

The two organizations chosen were grateful for that practice.

Linda Henley, director of development for the Queens Child Guidance Center, an organization that provides mental health and recreational services to children throughout the borough, said the money would certainly help the center.

"It can buy some therapeutic toys," she said. "We can buy some extra people (employee time). We’re very flattered."

The QCGC, located at 60-02 Queens Blvd., also serves the immigrant population by providing acculturation services. There are 13 languages spoken in the center.

Kevin Keane, superintendent and chief executive officer of the Lexington School/Center for the Deaf, which is located just down the road from the Expo Center, saw the benefits of the fund-raising and store opening extend beyond that single night.

"We have high school students who need internships," he said about the potential to place students in the Expo Center to fulfill vocational training needs. There are currently two such clients from the center working at the Expo Design Center. "More than anything, it can provide opportunities for employment for clients in our vocational services center."

In addition to being the only high school program for the deaf in the area—it draws students from across the city—Lexington provides mental health services, hearing and speech services, vocational training and research. It is a private, state-supported school.

For Keane, the opening of the Expo Center, with the pre-opening fund-raiser, and the vocational training relationship with the school, benefits the area greatly.

"It’s a resurgence for everybody," he said.

Borough President Helen Marshall agreed when cutting the ribbon to officially welcome the store to the city.

"You’re going to employ lots of people," she told the gathered employees, managers and attendees. "It’s a sign of us bouncing back from catastrophe, and I welcome you."n


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