The Friends wrapped up another dinner last Saturday and for the 38th year in a row a good time was had by all.
Just to recap, the Friends of 112th Street packed the St. Augustine’s gymnasium, had plenty to eat and drink, reminisced about the old days , honored a few of their own and then had some group laughs thanks to the speakers and the annual skit.
It all started when half dozen guys got together on a whim in 1976 and had such a good time decided to meet again the following year. They’ve been doing it ever since and over the years started drawing others into the mix. This year, some 350 showed up with some walking a couple blocks and others flying in from different states to see old friends and give something back to the community -- all proceeds are donated to non-profit groups and civic organizations.
I can’t go into what was said Saturday night because what happens on the last Saturday of February at St. Augustine’s stays at St. Augustine’s, thankfully. Actually, for a variety of reasons, I missed the speakers and the skit (no, former U.S. Rep. John Sweeney, my ankle bracelet didn’t go off … I figured out how to disable it … I’ll show you sometime) but I heard everyone was a scream.
(As an aside, I will say that Jimmy Lance was partly correct except he has a bigger chest and less facial hair.)
Joining speakers Sweeney, who I heard was hysterical, and Lance, who is always hysterical, was Dave Kissick, who I heard was equally hysterical.
And as in year’s past, some Friends were lucky enough to get – or worked hard enough to earn– recognition from the group. This year’s award winners were:
-Sports Awards: Nick Davy, Mike Corrigan, David Piscitella and Mayor Lou Rosamilia.
-Veterans Awards: Al O’Brien and Bruce Jensen -Humanitarian of the Year: Chuck Fentakes
-Special Award: Bob Swanick
-Man of the Year: Ed Manny
I have to thank the committee – Mick Cahrenger, Kevin Vandenburgh, Jim Duff, Eric Gower, Mike McDonald, Gene Blair, Uncle Tucker Hulihan, Scott Ryan and Ron Bounds – for inviting me again this year.
To close, as with most old adages, “imitation is the sincerest form of flattery” does ring true. Also last Saturday, some 100 women gathered at Franklin Terrace for the eighth time. Some 100 women attended the event, affectionately known as the “Bitches Brunch,” to raise money for Hope 7. As per tradition, women aren’t allowed at the Friends dinner so some decided to start their own same type of event.
If my opinion matters at all, I highly recommend all men attend the Friends of 112th Street Dinner on the last Saturday in February. I also recommend all men avoid, at all costs, Franklin Terrace on that same day.