The Richmond Hill South Civic Association welcomed new group members at its meeting last Thursday. Councilman Eric Ulrich (R-Ozone Park) dismissed the previous members of the executive board, and state Sen. Joe Addabbo Jr. (D-Howard Beach) swore in the new ones.
Margaret Finnerty was named president for the 19th year, and Terri Saporita and Phyllis Saraceno both became vice president. Lee Condra was named financial secretary, Angela Morgan will act as the recording secretary, and Terri Haflich will serve as treasurer. Rose Guida and Rosemary Ferrara will be the appointed chairpersons, Ellen Carruba and Maureen Faubion are in charge of hospitality, and Elke Henkell is in charge of publicity.
During the meeting, the group also honored Mike Matarazzo, owner of Liberty One Hour Photo, as the civic organization’s “Outstanding Merchant of 2012.” He has owned One Hour Photo for more than 20 years and has had his hand in many community endeavors, including frequent donations to many churches. He has supported the Richmond Hill United Methodist Church, where the civic association meeting was held, Holy Child Jesus Church and St. Mary Gate of Heaven. He also donates to the New York Families for Autistic Children, the Muscular Dystrophy Association and a variety of little league baseball teams.
Matarazzo was unable to attend the event because he was in the hospital. Ulrich, Addabbo and Civic President Margaret Finnerty said they were sad that Matarazzo could not be in attendance.
“Mike is a terrific guy, “ Ulrich said. “He’s involved in a lot of great things in the community, and he does a lot for the church. I’m really sad that he can’t be here today to accept his awards,” Councilman Eric Ulrich said.
“Mike is truly deserving,” of the recognition, Addabbo said.
The group decided that Finnerty would bring Matarazzo his awards in the hospital, and they would have a ceremony for him once he was feeling better.
Other topics discussed at the meeting were problems with the overcrowding of the Q37 bus on the way to the Aqueduct Casino.
“It's a problem because the buses fill up because we’re catering to people that are not in our community, so we need the MTA to cooperate and get more buses,” Finnerty said.
Graffiti and animal control were also hot topics of discussion. Claudia Filomena, of the mayor’s office, talked about the “Graffiti Free NYC” program, for which the city will remove graffiti from any property at no cost to the owner. She also talked about aiding in the removal of feral cats from properties by contacting her department.
In closing, Addabbo reminded everyone to honor the veterans during Memorial Day.
“Remember veterans who have passed; remember the ones that are still here,” Addabbo said. “When you see a veteran, say thank you.”
Finnerty encouraged members to help the civic grow.
“Remember to bring a neighbor, it takes all of us to build this civic,” she said.