A special Thanksgiving tribute to the heroes of the week

(Left), Dr. George Melillo, Dr. Carly Czuba, Lila Branigan with dog Chloe, Joey Chestnut, and Ashley Harns medical director.
Photo by Stefano Giovannini


The swirl’s the thing

Heads up, cheesecake fans: Junior’s is getting into the holiday spirit by donating $5 from every purchase of its delicious Strawberry Swirl Holiday cake ($34.95), through December. The money will be presented to Brooklyn Community Foundation to help borough residents in need. “Brooklyn has been our home for more than 60 years and our success is due to the enormous love and support we have from our friends and neighbors throughout the borough,” Junior’s owner Alan Rosen told Standing O. What are you waiting for? Those cheesecakes aren’t going to eat themselves, you know?

Junior’s Restaurant [386 Flatbush Ave. Ext. at Dekalb Avenue in Downtown, (718) 852-5257].

Bay Ridge

One more block to go

Here’s a big shout out to the girls at Visitation Academy. The students took on the challenge of a walk-a-thon to raise funds for the school’s outreach programs. The second-grade class, led by teacher Noreen Romano, did five laps around the block — which is a great distance when you consider how big academy’s grounds are (and how small second graders are). “Parents and students were more than generous in raising the much-needed funds,” said Standing O pal Eileen LaRuffa, director of development at the school.

Visitation Academy [8902 Ridge Blvd. between 89th and 91st streets in Bay Ridge (718) 680-9452].

Boerum Hill

Woof is all she said

PetSmart has opened to barking reviews at its newest spot. In partnership with PetSmart Charities, the shop has partnered with the Brooklyn Animal Foster Network to save homeless pets in the area. In addition to offering one-stop shopping for pet owners, the new store houses everything your pet needs for a happy and healthy life. This location boasts grooming and training and an in-house veterinary clinic, Banfield Pet Hospital. “I’m thrilled to have PetSmart and PetSmart Charities adoption centers in our neighborhoods to help create new families by helping pets find loving homes,” said Borough President Markowitz, who is as almost as good a Brooklyn booster as Standing O herself. Almost.

Pet Smart, [238 Atlantic Ave. at Boerum Street in Boerum Hill, (718) 852-2519 and 8725 Avenue D in Canarsie, (718) 241-1379].


Calling AT&T!

Can you hear them roar? AT&T Foundation, the philanthropic arm of that big communications giant, made a $10,000 donation to PS 261. The money, which is roughly to equivalent of two reporters’ cellphone bills for the month, will improve the science department. “In a time when American students rate so low on the international scale in science, the community is lucky to have the support of AT&T,” Principal Zipporiah Mills told Standing O. Carmelo Piazza, aka Carmelo the Science Fellow, and a teacher at the school for the past 15 years, added his two cents: “I am so thrilled for the opportunity to motivate thousands of children in the world of science.” Standing O is thrilled to be thrilled.

PS 261 [314 Pacific St. between Smith and Hoyt streets in Boerum Hill, (718) 330-9275].


Blow out those candles

Congratulations to Dynamic Youth Community on celebrating its 41st anniversary. The group whose motto is “Drugs destroy families, but families destroy drugs,” is a non-profit group offering treatment for youths, ages 13 to 23, who have severe drug or alcohol dependencies. More than 720 young people have graduated, then gotten an education, a job and their lives and self respect back. The gala event is planed for Dec. 7 at the Prospect Park Picnic House.

Dynamite Youth Community [1830 Coney Island Ave. between Avenues O and N in Midwood, (718)376-7923].

Borough wide

For the birds

To all our readers: Have a happy and healthy Thanksgiving.

Reach reporter Joanna DelBuono at jdelbuono@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-2523.

Teacher Norreen with her second grade students.

More from Around New York