Friday, May 19, 2017

Project Main Street And Team Gleason Team Up For 3rd Annual Roosevelt Island Tim Sheehy Softball Tournament To Benefit People With Lou Gehrig's Disease Saturday May 20 - 10 Games, Home Run Derby, Former Major League Players And ESPN Personalities Attending

The Third Annual Project Main Street Tim Sheehy Softball Classic to benefit people with ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease) will be held at Roosevelt Island's Capobianco and Firefighters Field Saturday, May 20 from 9:45 AM - 5 PM.

This year,  Project Main Street has teamed up with Team Gleason for the May 20 Softball Tournament.

According to the Tim Sheehy Softball Tournament web site:
...The goal of this tournament is to raise money in the fight against ALS as inspired by Tim Sheehy. Tim fought a courageous battle against ALS before his death in 2007; and like Steve Gleason, he saw the need to help those living with ALS by providing care. He created a 501(c)3 - Project Main Street that raised more than $1 million dollars to this mission from 2006-2016. We are fortunate Project Main Street now continues this mission in a partnership with and for Team Gleason....
More information on how you can support a player or team in the Tim Sheehy Softball Tournament here.

Roosevelt Island resident Justin Towey reports:
Help me raise money for Team Gleason and Project Main St...Fight ALS!

Our Founder, Architect & Inspiration: Tim Sheehy

Project Main St, named after Roosevelt Island's Main Street, and its mission were conceived entirely by Tim Sheehy during his own courageous battle with ALS. Tim, who grew up on Roosevelt Island, never stopped working on Project Main St. and his desire to help others grew stronger, even as his illness progressed. On April 23, 2007 Tim Sheehy, 38, succumbed to ALS, but not before seeing his vision of a support system for families struggling with this debilitating neurological disease become a reality.

Tim will forever be loved and missed – it is in his honor that Project Main St. continues through a new strategic partnership with Team Gleason!
Mr. Towey adds:
... On Saturday we have 10 softball teams competing at both Fireman's field and Capobianco field throughout the day. We will have 2 former MLB players on each team and plan to have a home run derby of ex MLB players at approx 12:30....
Click here to help support Mr. Towey's efforts to raise funds for Team Gleason and Project Main Street.

Here's more on Tim Sheehy and Project Main Street from the 2016 Softball Tournament

and Team Gleason.

Sponsored Post - Check Out Roosevelt Island Gristedes Bonus Card Diamond Rewards Items For May 19 - June 1 - Weekly Sales & Specials For May 19- May 25 Too

The Roosevelt Island Gristedes Supermarket

Diamond Rewards customer loyalty program items for May 19 - June 1 are now available .

Examples of featured items purchased from May 19 - June 1 that earn you big points include
  • La Croix 12 Pack Sparkling Water earn 100 points,
  • Vita Top Muffins earn 75 points,
  • Pepperidge Farm Layer Cake earn 50 points,
  • Eggo Waffles earn 25 points and
  • many more shown in flyer below.

According to Gristedes:
Start Earning Points Today

Join the Diamond Rewards loyalty program today! Get exclusive offers and earn points on hundreds of items! Get $5 Coupons for every 500 points earned, redeemable on next order.

Look for the Diamond Rewards label on the shelf or the product
If you have a Gristedes Bonus Savings Card and provided your email address, you are automatically enrolled in the Diamond Loyalty Program.

You can sign up for a Gristedes Bonus Savings Card online or in store - just make sure you give your email address and whether you are a new or existing Bonus Savings Club member, in order to be eligible for the Diamond Rewards Loyalty program.

Also, Roosevelt Island Gristedes Supermarket invites you to check out their:
  • Groceries, 
  • Organic & Gourmet, 
  • Snacks
  • Meat, 
  • Fresh Produce, 
  • Seafood, 
  • Frozen, 
  • Deli &;
  • Fresh Bakery
Department Offerings for May 26 - June 1

Gristedes representative Bob Capano invites Roosevelt Island residents to check out their various product departments for all of your shopping needs.

Don't forget the 10% Roosevelt Island Seniors Discount on Tuesday and Wednesday and Sign Up for the Gristedes Diamond Loyalty Rewards Program.

More Gristedes Supermarket information available at their web site, Facebook Page and Twitter feed.

Roosevelt Island F Train Service To And From Manhattan This Weekend

According to the MTA, there will be Roosevelt Island F Train service

to and from Manhattan this weekend.

The Atlantic's CityLab created a geographically accurate map of the NYC subway lines and it included Roosevelt Island. In addition to the F train, the E, NR & 7 subway lines run beneath Roosevelt Island but only the F has a Roosevelt Island station.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

You're Invited To Roosevelt Island FDR 4 Freedoms Park Imagination Playground May 20 & 21 - Build Whatever You Imagine With Giant Blocks, Pop Up Reading Room Too

Roosevelt Island's FDR 4 Freedoms Park will host the Imagination Playground this weekend. According to the FDR Four Freedoms Park:

Join us for a fun-filled weekend with these family friendly events! At Imagination Playground, channel Louis Kahn by building whatever you imagine with oversized, architectural blocks on the lawn.

Image From FDR Four Freedoms Park

At the Uni Project, our pop-up reading room, come sit, read, draw, and explore a curated collection of books and hands-on materials.

Image From FDR Four Freedoms Park

Free; no registration required.

Imagination Playground and the Uni Project will visit the Park on:
Saturday, May 20 & Sunday, May 21; Saturday, June 24 & Sunday, June 25; Saturday, September 16 & Sunday, September 17; Saturday, October 14 & Sunday, October 15.


Imagination Playground is an innovative playground equipment system that transforms any space — schools, children's museums, parks and recreation, daycare centers, camps, hospitals, churches — into a play space that encourages learning, social development, movement, and above all fun.


The Uni Project is a nonprofit that brings learning opportunities to public space in New York City. Using custom-designed installations, the Uni Project pop ups in parks, plazas, and other public spaces to offer reading, drawing, and hands-on activities that let New Yorkers embrace the act of learning. The Uni Project partners with community organizations and city agencies, and we prioritize underserved locations.

The Uni Project is generously supported by NYC Council Members Ben Kallos & Mark Levine.

Imagination Playground is made possible by Amalgamated Bank, the bank of Roosevelt Island.
More info on the Uni Project

available at their web site.

Sponsored Post - Register Now For Island Kids Roosevelt Island 2017 Summer Camp - Swimming, Sports, Photography, Science, Arts, Field Trips & More

Island Kids is a not for profit organization providing support to the families of Roosevelt Island by offering affordable, quality enrichment opportunities and support groups including:


Entering our 11th year of providing children with an exciting summer experience right here on Roosevelt Island!!!



In response to demand we are opening a limited number of spots to children who are entering Pre-K in September 2017







JULY 10th - AUGUST 25th


9-4 PM


Children aged 4-6: $350 A WEEK

Children aged 7-10: $325 A WEEK

cost includes all program fees

Early drop off at 8:30 am for no extra charge

Extended day available until 6pm for an additional fee

($50 per week until 5pm, $100 per week until 6pm)

Please email with any questions.

Here's more information regarding Island Kids and our 2017 Summer Camp Program.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Roosevelt Island Public Use Of RIOC Facilities, Playground Upgrades, Main Street Retail Update & More On Agenda For May 18 RIOC Real Estate Committee Meeting

The Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Real Estate Advisory Committee is meeting tomorrow, May 18. According to RIOC:

PLEASE TAKE NOTICE that a meeting of the Real Estate Development Advisory Committee of the RIOC Board of Directors will be held on Thursday, May 18, 2017 at 5:30 p.m. at the RIOC Administrative Office, 591 Main Street, Roosevelt Island, New York.


1. Review Public Utilization of Available RIOC Facilities
2. Review Upgrades to Playgrounds and Other Installations
3. Receive an Update on Retail Space Utilization
4. Enter into Executive Session to Discuss Leases of Real Property
5. Any Other Committee Business That may be Brought Before the Committee


The Open Meetings Law of the State of New York requires that all public bodies conduct meetings, convened for the purpose of officially conducting public business, in a manner open to attendance by the general public to observe and listen.
During April 20 RIOC Board of Directors meeting public session, Roosevelt Island parent Chris Warsing requested that RIOC make our local ball fields more available for local kids and residents by reducing the amount of permitting to off-Island groups.

The picture below shows entire Firefighters Field being used on a weekend by off-island permitted group.

Mr. Warsing also asked for the ball fields to be re-surfaced for better and safer use.

Here's what Mr. Warsing had to say.

Hopefully, this issue will be discussed as part of the public utilization of RIOC facilities agenda item.

UPDATE 5/18:

RIOC adds:
PLEASE TAKE NOTICE that the Real Estate Development Advisory Committee meeting previously scheduled for Thursday, May 18, 2017 has been postponed. The date and location of the rescheduled meeting shall be announced at a later time.

Oh What A Beautiful Morning At The Roosevelt Island East River Pier Today

The Roosevelt Island Twitterverse reports:

It's not summer yet, but what a beautiful morning to spend on Roosevelt Island today.

Some lucky folks enjoyed, a little breakfast, cup of coffee, working on their computer

or just enjoying the incredible NYC waterfront views at the outdoor tables and chairs

on the Roosevelt Island East River Pier.

As reported last week, the outdoor tables and chairs were brought back to the Pier by the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) and according to RIOC President Susan Rosenthal:
We’ve got more---assuming they are in demand, we’ll increase the #.....bottom line: we’re here to serve!
Use the Pier and Enjoy!!!!

UPDATE 2:15 PM - A former resident returned to Roosevelt Island today with her friend from Queens and enjoyed a Sushi lunch at the Pier

brought with them from a restaurant in Forest Hills.

UPDATE 10 PM - Enjoying the beautiful nighttime view

from the Roosevelt Island East River Pier

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Yoga And Zumba Classes Return To Roosevelt Island Sportspark Facility, $5 Per Class, Also, Sportspark Pool Open Swim Hours 7 Days A Week

According to the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC):

  Sportspark Image From Google Maps
Yoga and Zumba are back at Sportspark!

Each class is $5 per session. Register at



Mondays: 6:30 – 7:30 PM with Flora

Thursdays: 7:00 – 8:00 PM with Flora

Saturdays: 10:00 – 11:00 AM with Aprilyn


Mondays: 6:30 – 7:30 PM with Edita

Thursdays: 6:30 – 7:30 PM with Ying

Saturdays: 11:30 AM – 12:30 PM with Ying
Sportspark is open!

The operating hours of Sportspark are Monday-Friday 7 AM – 10 PM, Saturday and Sunday 8 AM – 7 PM.

Open Swim pool hours:
Monday-Friday: 7 – 11 AM and 7:30 – 10 PM. Saturday and Sunday 12 – 3 PM, All Ages and 4 – 7 PM, 18 years and older.
Sportspark Calendar here.

You're Invited To Community Board 8 Full Meeting On Roosevelt Island Wednesday May 17 At Manhattan Park Theater Club - Public Session If You Wish To Speak Too

Manhattan Community Board 8

is holding it's full Board Meeting on Roosevelt Island Wednesday May 17 starting 6:30 PM at the Manhattan Park Theater Club (8 River Road). The public is invited to attend.

Below is the Agenda:

Call to Order

1. Public Session – Those who wish to speak during the Public Session must register to do so by 6:45 pm

2. Adoption of the Agenda

3. Adoption of the Minutes

4. Manhattan Borough President’s Report

5. Elected Officials’ Reports

6. Chair’s Report – Jim Clynes

7. Committee Reports and Action Items:

1. Street Life Committee-Abraham Salcedo, Chair

2. Landmarks Committee-David Helpern and Jane Parshall, Co-Chairs

3. Transportation Committee-A. Scott Falk and Charles Warren, Co-Chairs

4. Parks Committee-Susan Evans and Margaret Price, Co-Chairs

5. Street Fairs Committee-Barbara Chocky and Lorraine Johnson, Co-Chairs

James G. Clynes, Chairman
According to CB 8:

Community Board 8 represents the Upper East Side of Manhattan and Roosevelt Island. Specifically, our area extends from the north side of East 59th Street to the south side of East 96th Street, Fifth Avenue to the East River, and Roosevelt Island.
Community Board 8 reviews and makes recommendations on applications for:

Zoning Text Amendments
Building variances and special permits
Liquor licenses
Sidewalk cafes
Street Fairs
Changes to landmarked buildings or buildings in historic districts

The Community Board also monitors traffic and transportation issues, capital projects in the parks, economic development, public safety issues and the concerns of seniors and youth. The Community Board and the Board office work closely with city, state and federal elected officials; community groups; and other city agencies on these issues. In addition to the work described above, every Community Board plays a role in the Citywide budget process. Each year, the board submits a "District Statement of Needs." Every Fall, the Budget Committee holds a public hearing to determine our priorities for the City's Capital and Expense Budgets. You are encouraged to attend! The District Statement of Needs is available online here and the Budget Priorities are available in the Board 8 Office....
More information on CB 8 available at their web site and Twitter feed.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Discussion Of RIOC Board Member Appointments On Agenda For Roosevelt Island Operating Corp May 16 Governance Committee Meeting

The Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Board of Directors Governance Committee is meeting tomorrow. The only specific agenda item is a discussion of RIOC Board member appointments. According to RIOC:

PLEASE TAKE NOTICE that a meeting of the Governance Committee of the RIOC Board of Directors will be held on Tuesday, May 16, 2017 at 5:30 P.M. at the RIOC Administrative Office, 591 Main Street, Roosevelt Island, New York.


1. Discussion of Committee’s Role in Assisting with Board Member Appointments.
2. Any Other Committee Business That May be Brought Before the Committee.


The Open Meetings Law of the State of New York requires that all public bodies conduct meetings, convened for the purpose of officially conducting public business, in a manner open to attendance by the general public to observe and listen.
As previously reported, Governor Cuomo has asked for information:
... seeking details about the RIOC Board vacancies and appointment process....
leading to community speculation that new RIOC Board appointments may be coming. As noted in the video of April 20 RIOC Board meeting, the Governor was asking about all Public Authorities Board vacancies, not just RIOC.

However, during the May 3 Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) Common Council Meeting Public Session, in response to a question from RIRA's Aaron Hamburger, NY State Assembly Member Rebecca Seawright's Chief Of Staff Katerina Matic said that her office has no new information regarding RIOC Board appointments.

Ms Matic added that Assembly Member Seawright will be meeting with the Governor's office very soon and the issue of RIOC Board appointments:
... will be at the top of her list...

RIRA conducted a vote on April 17-18
Image From RIRA

to provide Governor Andrew Cuomo with recommendations for Roosevelt Island resident nominees to fill 7 vacant and expired seats on the RIOC Board of Directors. The results of the vote were as follows:
  • Lydia Tang 558 Votes
  • Brian Bower 470 Votes
  • Mark Block 464 Votes
  • Michael Shinozaki 432 Votes
  • Eduardo Janey 429 Votes
  • Howard Polivy 287 Votes
  • David Kraut 235 Votes
Howard Polivy, David Kraut and Michael Shinozaki are currently seated RIOC Directors. Howard Polivy and David Kraut were added to the ballot without their consent. Director Michael Shinozaki consented to appearing on the ballot. The remaining current RIOC Directors, Margie Smith and Faye Christian, did not appear on the ballot. Ms Smith indicated she did not wish to be on the ballot. It's not clear if Ms Christian indicated any preference about having her name on the ballot.

The remaining nominee candidates are not currently on the RIOC Board.

The RIRA May 3 Common Council approved the following letter be sent to Governor Cuomo:
Dear Governor Cuomo,

On April 17 & 18, 2017, the Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) conducted a referendum to determine how the community would like the expired seats on the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp. (RIOC) board filled. We understand that vetting by the State is an important part of the process and we hope that the State will find the following community residents worthy of the task:
Lydia Tang
Brian Bower
Mark Block
Michael Shinozaki
Eduardo Jany
Howard Polivy
David Kraut

There are 7 expired seats on the board. We hope you will honor the community’s wishes and appoint all seven Island residents to those expired seats.

We sincerely thank you for considering the voice of the community regarding this important matter.


Jeffrey R. Escobar

President, Roosevelt Island Residents Association
Below is the approved RIRA letter to Governor Cuomo regarding the RIOC Board Nominee Candidates vote.

The RIOC Board Candidate Nominee vote is not without controversy. Claims of ballot fraud, which I am not going to get into right now, have been raised. Click here to read about the election controversy in this comments thread.

Will have more on the vote controversy in upcoming story.

Roosevelt Island Girl Scouts Learn First Aid From Local NYC FDNY EMT's And Earn Merit Badge

Roosevelt Island Girl Scout Troop 3001 Leader Aiesha Eleusizov shares these photos and reports:

Roosevelt Island’s local EMT response team helps island Girl Scouts earn their First Aid badge and Be Prepared!

On Monday, May 8, Lt. Jennifer M Ison, an FDNY paramedic, organized a special meeting last week to help our girls earn their First Aid badge.

Lt Ison and Victoria Johnson, an FDNY EMT, opened up their large first aid bag that they bring on calls and described the equipment they use to help people in medical crisis.

They taught the girls what to do (and not to do) in common medical emergencies,

how to treat burns and cuts and how to make arm and leg splints. The girls practiced their new skills on each other.

As a special treat, FDNY Unit 45A3 (that serves Roosevelt Island) stopped by with their ambulance.

EMTs Matthew McEvoy and Christopher Pierce gave the girls a tour of their ambulance. They showed the girls the gurney,

the “stair chair” used to help carry patients down stairs

and let the girls see inside the ambulance.

The girls were fascinated by the equipment and especially enjoyed trying out the stair chair and gurney themselves!

Lt Ison and Victoria also brought supplies for each girl to create and take home a first aid kit so they can Be Prepared!

Lt Ison, a former Girl Scout, visited our cookie booth in March. Noticing that we hadn’t yet earned our First Aid badge, she volunteered to come and teach our girls First Aid! We are so glad she did as it was an incredible experience for the girls to learn First Aid from a female medical professional.

What a great role model! Thank you to FDNY’s Lt Ison, Victoria Johnson, Matthew McEvoy and Christopher Pierce!

Sunday, May 14, 2017

A Wonderful RIRA Roosevelt Island Mother's Day Community Celebration Honoring 4 Local Moms - Happy Mother's Day!!!!!!

Happy Mother's Day wishes for all the moms out there.

Give your Mom a Great Big Hug and Kiss today and tell her how much she is loved and appreciated.

Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) Child, Youth & Education Ad Hoc Committee Co-Chair Adib Mansour reports on a wonderful Roosevelt Island Mother's Day Celebration held May 13.

According to Mr. Mansour:
Yesterday, the Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) , Carter Burden Network, Roosevelt Island Disabled Association, and the Roosevelt Island Community Collaborative Coalition were thrilled to host a special Mother’s Day gathering at the Seniors Center.

The event started with a welcome speech by Carter Burden Program Director Lisa Fernandez who emphasized the collaborative work between numerous organizations on Roosevelt Island. Lisa reminded the attendees that “everyone is welcome to the center whether it is you or someone you know”.

Jeffrey Escobar, RIRA President welcomed everyone and described his goals as a committed advocate for greater community service. Mr. Escobar's tenure on both the Roosevelt Island Residents’ Association and Community Board 8 Manhattan has been to refocus the mission of both organizations on engaging directly with those who call Roosevelt Island home and to offer programs, services, and events where all Island residents, neighbors, family and friends can come together as a community, as well as to protect and insure the continuation of the quality of life on the Island through advocating for responsible community development.

Assembly Member Rebecca Seawright was happy to be part of this community and delighted to partake in such notable events. She stressed the importance of women and mothers in our society and praised the advancements that women have achieved in business, sciences, arts, and politics. Speaking directly to the over 30 youths participants, Assembly Member Seawright praised them for being active in community service. She spoke about being a proponent of the advancement of women and supporter of women’s rights. She was particularly proud of her call for providing feminine hygiene products at no cost to menstruating individuals in schools, homeless shelters, and state & local correctional facilities. “Tampons are not luxury” and should be tax exempt.

As part of the event, Assembly Member Seawright presented 4 mothers and grandmothers with a special Honorary Certificate, including:

Patty Fallone:

In 1977 and at the age of 11, Patty Fallone moved to “a very special place”, Roosevelt Island; she was one of the original new kids on the block. She loved the island’s sense of community, the safety and ability to develop an early sense of independence. In 1989 Patty married Anthony and they both raised 2 boys and 2 girls and were sure they made strong connections to Roosevelt Island. Patty herself coached soccer and baseball for 15 years. She was active at the St. Francis Cabrini Parish. Patty’s Husband wanted his children to be part of the Main Street Theatre & Dance Alliance, but sadly was not able to see their oldest daughter Katie perform the lead role in Alpha Girls. Anthony passed away on September 11, in the Twin Towers. The theatre brought glimpse of joy during the family’s intolerable pain.

All Patty wanted is for her children to be happy and to grow into healthy adults. She wholeheartedly believe that the best thing she did as a mother was raising Katie, Alexandra, Anthony, and Patrick on Roosevelt Island and engaging them deeply in the community. "Strong ties, tons of support and lots of love can't prevent bad things from happening but it can absolutely effect how we survive and recover from bad things and I thank God that my husband and I had the foresight to provide that kind of community support for our children. Who would have known how much they would end up needing it.”

Patty is an exemplary mother who single-handedly raised her children to become entrenched in their community and works hard to make them the best they can be!

Derl-Marie Cole:

Derl-Marie moved to Roosevelt Island in 2003, but she worked at the Gold Water Hospital since 1988 as a clerical Assistant with a love to help people. In 1998 she was diagnosed with a brain tumor, the worst news she ever got. Just before she underwent a major surgery, the only thing she was thinking about is that she will not make it alive. In the recovery room, she got the bad news that her mother passed away. She wanted to stand and shout, then arrived to the realization that God wanted her to be alive for a reason! That was the moment she decided to become a foster parent.

In 1999 Khalif joined her family when he was 10 months old; followed by Josiah in 2005 when he was barely 10 days old.

Derl-Marie has been an exemplary mother to her son Danny Evans Jr. as well as Khalif and Josiah. She is a grandmother to 2 girls and 2 boys. Derl-Marie has raised Khalif to become the Most Exemplary student in high school and works at an after school program helping younger students to become leaders of tomorrow. Josiah is in 6th Grade and is doing very well in school. He loves sports. Derl-Marie made sure to take them to every activities and programs Roosevelt Island offered from soccer, to baseball, summer camp, swimming, and theatre.

Shirley Carrero:

Shriley Carrero celebrated her birthday on Friday, and today she was honored for being an outstanding grandmother. She has been living on Roosevelt Island since 1976; she used to work at RIOC as a part-time receptionist, and volunteered at Coler Hospital. She is the grandmother of 4 wonderful children Taj, Tyler, Tia, and Trey. At one time when the grandchildren were very young, she moved to Kentucky however, when she heard that the they were in dire need of her help, she left it all behind and returned to the island without any hesitation.

Since then, Shirley has been instrumental in insuring the 4 grandchildren receive the best education, healthcare, and community involvement. She has a hands-on unequivocal approach to raise them all. She makes sure they are constantly involved in the after school programs, all the sports, community service and leadership programs. Tia has been a stellar in RIRA’s Children, Youth & Education Committee participating in all our events.

Alvie (Pat) Rivera:

 Pat Rivera Is Third From Left

Alvie Rivera is a 28 yr resident of Roosevelt Island. She is a mother of 2 and grandmother of 6. She moved to Roosevelt Island along with her 2 children on march 23, 1989 after living in Spanish Harlem her whole life. As time went by, she started babysitting for other parents in this close knit community, performing odd jobs in order to sustain her family. She has always selflessly assisted others as needed. Alvie helped raise 3 of her grandchildren as well as her nephew, while taking care of her own. Her passion has always been to “help others”. Her other passion is cooking. She said that her cooking for others is her way of saying thank-you.

Alvie started working at The Roosevelt Island Senior Center in 2009 delivering meals to the homebound for the Meals on heels program. She started working as a Kitchen Aide for the Senior Center in 2015 She remains working there to this day, waking up early every morning to provide coffee for our seniors and disabled residents. She says, “My goal for each day is to make sure that Our Seniors have a healthy and hot meal”. She is very well known in the community and is a blessing to all that cross her path, She continues to assist anyone who needs help.

Last March 14th, during the snow storm, Pat was the only one who could get to the Seniors Center to be sure the seniors were served a hot meal at lunch and had coffee and social time in the morning.

Assembly Member Seawright then presented an Honorary Citation to RIRA President Jeffrey Escobar for his leadership and Adib Mansour for bringing our community together.

Congresswoman Maloney, Adib Mansour, Assembly Member Rebecca Seawright

Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney enthusiastically joined the celebrations with a speech that reminded everyone to hang on to what is special in the community on Roosevelt Island. She stressed her continued unrelenting efforts in congress to get the Equal Rights Amendments passed. Congresswoman Maloney was thrilled about the future of Roosevelt Island with the opening of Cornell Tech’s Campus and all the high tech jobs it will bring to our community. She thanked Carter Burden’s Lisa Fernandez, Community Collaborative Coalition’s Wendy Hersh and Mary Coleman, as well as RIRA’s Children, Youth & Education Committee Co-Chairs Adib Mansour and Anne Heskel.

Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) President Susan Rosenthal

was delighted to be part of this special occasion that put women and mothers on a pedestal. She recounted the joys of being a mother and her close relationship with her two children. Ms. Rosenthal gave a sweet account of her children holding on to her ankles every morning asking that she stays home instead of going to work. She also recounted the numerous times she told her daughter her favorite story every night, and when her son would pretend to fall off the bed, so she can cuddle with him a bit more. Following her speech, Ms. Rosenthal presented the 4 mothers/grandmothers honorees with beautiful bouquets of flowers and thanked them for being role models to their children and the community.

I thanked Carter Burden’s Lisa Fernandez for her hard work to make this event possible as well as for the numerous cultural, educational and health programs she brings to the Seniors of Roosevelt Island. Also, thanks to RI Community Collaborative Coalition’s Wendy Hersh

and Mary Coleman for their invaluable help in preparing for today’s event, as well as RIRA's VP Lynne Shinozaki for her unwavering service to the community at large.

I introduced my Children, Youth & Education Committee co-chair Anne Heskel and expressed our commitment to connect Roosevelt Island's youths with their community by creating connections with their peers, the elderly, and the disabled community. Our mission is to offer them positive engagements for a flourishing future.

Growing up in Lebanon as a youth during the civil war, I volunteered with the Red Cross and without my mother,  would not be where I am today. My endless love for my wife and children are the reasons I want to give back to our community and build a bridge between the youth, the seniors and everyone in between. I see the potential of leadership greatness in every child on Roosevelt Island.

Kristi Towey welcomed everyone and expressed the Main Street Theatre and Dance Alliance’s commitment to nourish creativity by providing high quality theatrical and dance training as well as performance opportunities to everyone in our diverse Roosevelt Island community. “We believe that every person, child or adult, should have the opportunity to participate in the arts, regardless of cultural, socio-economic, ethnic background or age.”

The MSTDA presented 3 performances from their upcoming musical Pippin this coming Friday May 19th through Sunday May 21st, and a heart-felt sing-a-long by Musical Director Jonathan and his wife Kimbirdlee Fadner. The crowd sang their hearts out with smiles and happy tears.

Mia Zurovac, a 16 year old islander wowed the crowd with a special rendering of Fly Me To The Moon accompanied on the piano by Ms. Shuang Yu. Mia dedicated the song to her mom, and said it was her dad’s favorite song. It is noteworthy that the Zurovac family, owners of the famous Pain d’Avignon who’s pastries are featured at the Plaza Hotel, donated over a hundred succulent croissants and brioches for the occasion today.

The young Girl Scouts dazzled the crowd with Mother’s Day poems they wrote themselves or found for the occasion.

Tia Young left the attendees speechless with a special dance she choreographed for today’s special event. Her energy and smooth moves impressed everyone who cheered her with enthusiastic applause. Following Tia, her friend Anyah Lamb presented us with a tender reading of A Poem For Mom, by Champagne Baker. She brought tears to many with her moment of silence before finishing the poem with “You are my love, my life……. my mom!"

Wendy Hersh, one of the collaborators of the Mother’s Day Celebration, recounted her special relationship with the Seniors Center where her ailing mother enjoyed visiting every day, before passing away.

Since then, Ms. Hersh has dedicated numerous hours at the center bringing collaborative programs with many organizations on the island. She has worked on 2 fun-filled events with RIRA’s Children, Youth & Education Committee at the Carter Burden Senior Center. Once the event ended and the crowd left with big smiles on their faces, Wendy asked “what’s the next event!”

Before brunch, the attendees were astounded by Ms. Shuang’s Smusicute piano recitals, including:

Emma-Rae Alexia Deiye (9 yrs): What Makes You Beautiful
Thea Edna Deiye (5 yrs): Barcarolle
Alexander Bertellini (13 yrs): Sonata in C
Danel Reparaz Basoko (6 yrs): Dinosaur Stomp
Lou-Ann Sire (11 yrs): River Flows in You
Mark Reparaz Basoko (10 yrs): Basket Base
Isra Ghrib (9 yrs -Flute) & Amelia Ghrib (8 yrs -Piano): Ode to Joy

A scrumptious brunch was served at 1PM while Ms. Shuang beautifully played Moonlight Sonata.

The RI Parents Network’s kids presented the attendees with handmade picture frames they crafted for this occasion while the Girl Scouts presented them with gift bags and special Happy Mother’s Day handmade cards and silk flowers.

A very deep thanks to the following people and organizations that donated their time and efforts for this special celebration of Mother’s Day… a special time of year when you get to celebrate your first best friend and the person you always turn to when you need advice. Mother’s Day is also a great time to show your love for all the other wonderful women in your life. It is a way to show gratitude and love to your mother, grandmothers, sisters, aunts and friends. They are the roots where you came from and the anchor of where you are going!

Assembly Member Rebecca Seawright,
RIOC President Susan Rosenthal,
RIRA President Jeffrey Escobar,
Carter Burden Network:
Lisa Hernandez, Hallie Shapiro,
R.I. Community Coalition:
Wendy Hersh, Mary Coleman,
Roosevelt Island Disabled Association,
RIRA VP Lynne Shinozaki,
A.M. Seawright Chief Of Staff Katarina Matic, Main Street Theatre & Dance Alliance:
Kristi Towey, Jonathan & Kimbirdlee Fadner,
Girl Scouts Troops and their leaders:
Dimaura Cole, Aiesha Eleusizov,
Ms. Shuang Yu & the Smusicute School,
Mia Zurovic,
Irene Clark,
Tia Young, Anyah Lamb, Nia Bethea & Jayden Luna, The Roosevelt Island Parents Network children Pain D’Avignon,
New York Bagels,
Wholesome Factory,
RIRA Children, Youth & Education Committee Co-Chairs: Adib Mansour A.F., Anne Heskel

“All that I am, or ever hope to be, I owe to my angel mother.” - Abraham Lincoln