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Queens Chronicle

WHAT'S HAPPENING Woodhaven The differences between the GWDC and the WBID

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Posted: Thursday, January 10, 2019 10:30 am

Here we are in the month of January already. I would like to share an interesting bit of information. Janus, the ancient Roman god, believed that January was sacred. The four-headed Janus preceded over the four seasons. He was known as the god of all beginnings. A very knowledgeable man just happened to mention this to me, and I thought what a great way to start my January article.

January, the start of the new year, brings about all new things but I must include some information from 2018 before starting 2019. We lost a dear friend, our longtime Greater Woodhaven Development Corp. and Woodhaven Business Improvement District Executive Director Maria Thomson, on Jan. 10, 2018, just one year ago now. Running both the GWDC and WBID as she did was definitely not an easy task. After her passing we needed to continue her good work, and in 2018 two new executive directors were hired, myself for the GWDC and Raquel Olivares for the WBID.

The reason I mention this is that there are some people who are confused as to who took over Maria’s position as executive director and also what the difference is between the GWDC and the WBID. Maria ran both these organizations for many years almost as one, but in fact they are two separate organizations. The GWDC is in charge of community activities for Woodhaven. We organize and run the Wonderful Woodhaven Street Festival every year. We also sponsor a Memorial Day Observance by Forest Parkway Plaza and a Spring Promotion and participate in the Night Out Against Crime every year.

We hold an Annual Dinner Dance gala where we honor fine men and women. Last year we had our first charitable fundraiser, which was very successful, and we plan on doing it again this year. We do our best to help with any community problems and work closely with our elected officials in handling any important issues that arise throughout the year.

The WBID supports the stores, other businesses and property owners on Jamaica Avenue from Dexter Court to 100th Street. Raquel oversees the daily operations of the WBID, including marketing promotions for small business owners and sanitation services. The WBID handles the annual Tree Lighting Ceremony, the holiday lights, the Make Music Promotion, Small Business Saturday and several other events that take place during the year. It is Raquel’s role as executive director of the WBID to help the stores and other businesses with any problems they may have.

I would just like to add that even though we are two entirely different organizations we all are working together as one for our community of Woodhaven. I hope that this helps in clarifying some of the confusion and if you have any further questions that you may think of, please do not hesitate to call our office any time or stop by for a visit.

Now on to our annual meeting. The Greater Woodhaven Development Corporation will hold our annual meeting on Jan. 29. We will discuss the year of 2018 along with our ideas and goals for 2019. This meeting will be held at Woodhaven Manor, located at 96-01 Jamaica Ave., at 7 p.m. All are invited. Come and see what the GWDC has in store for 2019 or just stop by to say hello.

We hope to see you there. Until we meet again in February, have a great month.

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1 comment:

  • VBarbour posted at 4:42 pm on Tue, Jan 15, 2019.

    VBarbour Posts: 50

    I would like to clarify that while the GWDC does "run community activities" in Woodhaven, it was and is still done from a commerce perspective. In effect, as a "chamber of commerce" for the community. The Woodhaven Residents' Block Association (WRBA), founded in 1972, was and is the primary organization representing the residents of the community of Woodhaven.