Todd Miranda, the executive director of the National Small Business Chamber of Commerce and president of the New York Boxing Association, sponsored a Business Appreciation event May 15 at Magna, an Italian restaurant located in Flushing.
The executive director of Magna, Eleonora Greco, supervised the event at 35-25 Farrington St.
The purpose of the occasion was to raise awareness for not only boxers, but also retired athletes.
“Many of these athletes do not make the income today’s athletes make,” said Miranda. “These athletes, and some of them like my brother here and former World Champion Vito Antuofuermo, are national icons and legends.”
It is vital to strive to support legends like Antuofuermo and provide more athletic opportunities for today’s youth, who are the future, according to Miranda.
Loycent Gordon, the owner of Neir’s Tavern in Woodhaven, was excited to be at the event because of middleweight champ Antuofuermo, who was an actor in the film “GoodFellas” (1990). The movie had scenes filmed at the bar over 30 years ago.
Antuofuermo was a prizefighter in the classic crime film.
“I’ve been at Neir’s 12 years,” said Gordon. “The Goodfellas movie celebrated its 30 year anniversary last year.”
Antuofuermo was the second actor from the iconic film whom Gordon has met.
“I hope that this will become a trend,” said Gordon. “Neir’s Tavern was about 14 percent of the movie and is still in the same condition. It’s by default, one of my favorite movies.”
Gordon first met Christopher Serrone, who played a younger version of the mob wiseguy Henry Hill.
“Christopher came to Neir’s Tavern when it was on the verge of closing,” said Gordon. “The fact that someone from that movie came got people excited.”
An issue with the lease almost led the over- 190-year-old bar to close, but it was eventually resolved in January 2020.
Gordon hopes to one day meet the other actors in the film, like Robert DeNiro, Joe Pesci and Ray Liotta.