2018-06-13 / Front Page

Forest Hills Gardens’ Annual Flag Day Celebration

The Star-Spangled Banner,” led by Queens Borough President Melinda Katz.

Photos Phillip BarsamianThe Star-Spangled Banner,” led by Queens Borough President Melinda Katz. Photos Phillip BarsamianThe Forest Hills Gardens annual Flag Day Celebration was State Senator Joseph Addabbo presenting the Flag Day essay contest winners with their awards.

State Senator Joseph Addabbo presenting the Flag Day essay contest winners with their awards. held on Saturday, June 9, on Flagpole Green in the heart of beautiful Forest Hills Gardens. The celebration is a continuing tradition, which many believe has lasted over 100 years. Master of Ceremonies Tony Barsamian, a Forest Hills Gardens Corporation Board of Directors member and political liaison, started the event with the procession to the flagpole, led by the Boy Scouts Troop and Cub Scouts Pack 96 with Kevin Maddox, and the Continental American Legion Post 1424 with Commander Thomas Long. The flag procession, helped by members of the Forest Hills Gardens Corporation maintenance team, led to the raising of the American Flag.

Master of Ceremonies Tony Barsamian, a Forest Hills Gardens Corporation Board of Directors member and political liaison.Photos Robert SchnellMaster of Ceremonies Tony Barsamian, a Forest Hills Gardens Corporation Board of Directors member and political liaison.Photos Robert SchnellAs the flag was raised, The Pledge of Allegiance was led by Queens Borough President Melinda Katz. She also sang our The Procession to the American Flag.

The Procession to the American Flag. national anthem, “The Star-Spangled Banner.” The Borough President made a strong speech about the beauty, diversity, patriotism and welcoming aspect of Queens, “The World’s Borough,” one of the most diverse places in the world. She received enthusiastic applause and was complimented extensively on her singing talent.

Forest Hills Gardens President Matt Mandell welcomed the audience and the participants. NYS Senator Joseph Addabbo was also present and made a patriotic speech regarding the community-based nature of this event. Betina Hershey and Sunny Knable led The Garden Players with songs from their famous, original family musical, “Switch It Off.” They also performed a medley of patriotic songs.

Barsamian then announced the annual essay contest winners. The six students were from twoRaising the flag.

Raising the flag. Queens Borough President Melinda Katz.

Queens Borough President Melinda Katz. schools, PS 101, The School In The Gardens; and Our Lady, Queen of Martyrs Catholic Academy on Ascan Avenue. The six student winners were Kevin Wilfinger, 6th grade, Our Lady Queen of Martyrs; Francesca Puleo, 6th grade, PS 101; Luke Dimont, 4th grade, Our Lady, Queen of Martyrs; Anna Kolbun 6th grade, PS 101; Parker Fallon, 5th grade, Our Lady, Queen of Martyrs; and Elaine Huang, 6th grade, PS 101. The Flag Day essays were all based on what the flag means and about its importance in our culture, and to being American and inclusive, and at the same time patriotic. The prizes were presented by Senator Addabbo and Mandell.

Forest Hills Gardens President Matt Mandell with his son Oliver and Tony Barsamian.

Forest Hills Gardens President Matt Mandell with his son Oliver and Tony Barsamian. The Forest Hills Gardens office team led by Jacquie Silano, Carol The Flag Day essay contest winners.

 

 
The Flag Day essay contest winners. Preus and David Moon organized the event’s activities and secured the prizes on behalf of The Forest Hills Gardens Corp. Mitchell Cohen, former president of Forest Hills Gardens, helped with the microphone and sound system. Congress Member Grace Meng sent her representative Tim Harper on her behalf. The Garden Players performed “Yankee Doodle Dandy,” “You’re a Grand Old Flag” and “This Land Is your Land,” as well as the The Garden Players performed a medley of patriotic songs and a song from their recent musical, “Switch it Off.” They were led by Betina Hershey, the artistic director and Sunny Knable.
Photo Rogerio BorgesThe Garden Players performed a medley of patriotic songs and a song from their recent musical, “Switch it Off.” They were led by Betina Hershey, the artistic director and Sunny Knable. Photo Rogerio Borgessong, “Remember” from their current show. The event, with well over 150 in attendance, was well received by those in the audience. Forest Hills Gardens board member and Barsamian encouraged more participation in next year’s Flag Day Celebration, as he wanted to guarantee that 100 years from now the community would still be celebrating in a positive way and reinforcing the greatness that is America, the diversity that is Queens, and the special, unique role that Forest Hills Gardens plays in New York City’s history.


 

 

 

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