The Big Band sound is, thanks to MAS Swing, back. The 15-piece mega ensemble with saxophones, trombones, trumpets, bass drums, piano and vocals transports us back to a time when Swing was King and burgers were in the backyard. Crooner Eddie Gentile sounds so much like the “Chairman of the Board” — you know who — Frank Sinatra, that you look around wondering where the rest of the Rat Pack are hiding. Mary Stack and hubby Dick Bennett are the engine that drives MAS Swing and they invite you to come on down and get “In the Mood” with Glenn Miller, take a “Sentimental Journey,” with Tommy Dorsey or “Sing, Sing, Sing,” with Benny Goodman on Nov. 5 from 2 to 5 pm.
No matter your preference, you can swing, sway and stomp the day away. Tickets are $20 at the door, truly a bargain, and it includes a hot buffet. Hey, where else can you get the big sounds and a big buffet all for low, low prices? Get your swing on, spiff up and dust off the old Zoot suit, put on your pork pie hat and button up your Chesterfield, ’cause baby it’s cold out there.
Tamaqua Bar and Marina [84 Ebony Ct. between Bijou and Channel avenues in Gerritsen Beach, (917) 841-1617 or (718) 646-9212].
A mensch is a mensch
And Sloper Sheila Dallas-Katzman is one. Sheila travels around the world bringing her brand of “can do” brand of enthusiasm. She told Standing O that she just returned from Haiti where she volunteered with Partners of the Americas’ Farmer to Farmer program. You may wonder, what does a dyed-in-the-wool Brooklynite know about farming, especially one with a degree in Applied Theatre Practices? Quite a lot in fact. Our pal Sheila used her skills, including role play, exercise and theatre games as tools to effect social change. She assisted the farmers, academics and community leaders in Haiti in identifying and developing leadership skills. Thanks to Sheila individuals were able to discover their hidden leadership talents and in turn they were able to use them to re-build the earth-quake ravaged nation one bee hive and rabbit farm at a time. “It was a tremendous opportunity to offer assistance,” Sheila told us. Standing O gives Sheila the Gold Star of Excellence and one big pat on the back for all her hard work.
When you say Turning Point, the first name that pops into your head is Ray Figueroa. As executive director Ray spearheaded so many programs that there isn’t enough room in this column to name them all. But Standing O will give it a try: Sunset Terrace a shelter for runaway youth; We Care About You, a shower program for homeless persons; 50 new units of housing for HIV/Aids clients with mental health problems; 100 units of housing for people who are chemically addicted and mentally ill; an educational center providing GED and other programs; and Project Excel, an integrated life skills and community service program for the youth in the community. Whew, Standing O is dizzy just thinking about it all. This past September, after 22 years of great service, Ray retired. So, Ray, kick back, put your toes up and enjoy. No one deserves the rest more than you.
Three cheers to New York’s Finest
Our men in blue along with a Good Samaritan were directly responsible for the apprehension and arrest of a suspect involved in a stabbing that took place in the early evening hours of Sept. 21 near 86th Street and Fourth Avenue. Police Officers Raymond Sinnott, Yaser Shohatee, Jeannette Figureroa and civilian Larry Vento were praised by state Sen. Marty Golden (R–Bay Ridge) and Capt. Richard DiBlasio, Commanding Officer of the 68th Precinct for their bravery. Standing O sends out some gold medals too. “Thank you officers Ray, Yaser and Jeannette for making our borough safe. And thanks Larry Vento for seeing something and saying something.”
‘Come on, gimme a hug’
Domenico “Menny” Coluccio was never your ordinary kid, when he was 10 years old, he was diagnosed with Bechet’s disease, a rare autoimmune condition that causes inflammation of the body. Through his many operations and hospitalizations, he never lost his humor, kindness or generosity. When he was up to it, he would visit the children in the other wards and share whatever goodies and treats he had with them. According to Marie Coluccio, Menny was able to receive life saving experimental treatments at the National Institute of Health, which provided life-saving treatment. Menny was still undergoing therapy at the time of his death, which was unrelated to the disease. In order to keep Menny’s memory and zest for life alive, the Coluccio family hosts a yearly charity drive which raises money for Bechet’s disease and the Children’s Inn at the National Institute of Health Research. The inn provides housing for families of children that are in treatment.
This year’s event, A Toast to Life, held at Dyker Park featured face painting, music, food, games and raffles, all donated by local businesses and groups.
“I would like to thank the over 200 people that came to Dyker Park this year and made this endeavor so successful. Our family is so happy to see so many people celebrating Menny’s life in such a positive way,” sis Marie told Standing O.
Standing O says donate – it’s a worthy cause.