Carmine cheers the Carmine winners for Couple of the Year

I’m madder than a dad who paid top-dollar to fly his family to Alaska for a winter vacation only to find out when he got there that the polar vortex had made it 60 degrees, and his kids would have had more fun — and he would have spent less money — had he just stayed home and gone sledding on that hill in Owl’s Head Park over the fact that sometimes the way you plan things doesn’t always work out, and I don’t always take rolling with the punches lightly.

Look, you all know that the ol’Screecher is set in his ways, and there is no changing how I wake up in the morning, take a soapy bath atop a heavy-duty shower chair, and sit down in front of the Zenith in the living room and watch old “Price is Right” videos on the Betamax just so I can get my required dose of Bob Barker every morning (to heck with you, Drew Carey!) while I scarf down pickles and Seven-Up. And that ain’t ever gonna change.

You know another thing that will never change? You don’t? Wanna hear about it? No? Then turn the page or click on something else that might take your mind off me, because I’m going to tell you anyway. My group BWECC!’s annual gala honoring those who deserve it with the Carmine awards will stay the same — and by the same, I mean awesome — every year. Including this year!

So now, I’m going to tell you about Steven and Mary Placanica who, despite being retired when many people do nothing, have spent endless hours helping and doing for others. I proudly introduce to you the Placanicas, the Carmine winner for Couple of the Year, who will be honored on March 19 at the 53rd Gala of the Bensonhurst West End Community Council (BWECC!) at the Incomparable EL Caribe Country Club in fabulous Mill Basin.

Of course, I’m going to let you know about them in the only way I know how — cutting and pasting from an e-mail that was sent to me, and making my editor check it for typos!

Mary is one of six children born to Mary and Thomas J. Toolan Jr. Since her graduation from Catherine McAuley High School in 1977 and Kingsborough Community College in 1979, Mary pursued a career in the former New York Telephone Company.

Mary was one of the first female frame administrators hired in midtown Manhattan, because of her diligence at her work and the tests Mary took, she received two more craft promotions and was a member of CWA during all of her non-management years. Mary was given the opportunity to become management in 1989. Mary, again, was one of the first selected to take this exam and passed with high marks and was immediately promoted to management and promptly joined the Association of Management Women and the Pioneers of America. In 10 short years, Mary managed to accomplish a great deal in her career and acquired many accomplishments. Now retired, Mary is a member of the Association of Bell Tell Retirees and is still a member of the Pioneers.

Mary and Steven were married on March 15, 1980. Mary and Steven have two grown children, Kristen born in 1985 and Brian, in 1989. It was not an easy task raising two well-adjusted children while pursuing a career in Verizon. Mary was a hands-on mom, using her personal time from work whenever a crisis arose with her children. For years, vacation days were spent at PTA meetings and functions, class trips, and anytime she was needed to attend to her children while still taking an active role in her career.

Steven is the oldest child of Geraldine and Salvatore Placanica. After his graduation from Grady High School in 1974 and New York City Community College in 1976, Steven sought a job in the elevator industry. He worked for three elevator companies in the private industry, from 1977 until 1981. He was a quick learner and gained much respect from his peers. In 1981, he began to work for the city’s Department of General Services elevator repair division. He was also a member of the Teamster’s Union elevator division. His job included elevator maintenance and repair as well as electrical trouble shooting. Steven retired in 2000.

Both Mary and Steven are active members of Saints Simon and Jude Parish, in Gravesend, since 1982. Mary is on the Sunday Hospitality Committee.

Join us in honoring Mary and Steven as well as the other most-deserving honorees. Contact me asap at bwecc@aol.com or diegovega@aol.com to reserve tickets.

Screech at you next week.

Read Carmine's screech every Saturday on BrooklynDaily.com. E-mail him at diegovega@aol.com.

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