Astoria Civic Holds Annual Scholarship Dinner Fundraiser
The Astoria Civic Association (ACA) held its annual gala dinner to raise funds for the Judge Charles J. Vallone Scholarship. The association honored philanthropists John and Margo Catsimatidis, CEO of Red Apple Group and president of MCV Advertising respectively. Also honored was Astoria resident and business leader Santino DiFiore. More than 300 guests were in attendance including state Senator Michael Gianaris, Assemblymember Aravella Simotas and Councilmember Peter Vallone Jr. at Riccardo’s By the Bridge Catering Hall in Astoria.
“Not only is this a great night for the community to come together but it’s for a very worthy cause,” said Vallone Jr., whose grandfather Judge Charles J. Vallone founded the organization in 1933.
The event, held on March 31, was hosted by former City Council Speaker Peter Vallone Sr.
Each year high school principals nominate students residing in Northwest Queens, who are then interviewed and selected by the civic association’s scholarship committee. The scholarships range from $750 to $4,000.
Students must be in the top 20 percent of their class and have been accepted at an accredited college.
Past scholarship alumni were on hand to celebrate the organization and encourage future recipients to excel. Past winners have gone on to be successful in a wide variety of fields, including law, medicine and politics. Simotas herself is a former scholarship recipient.
The evening concluded with the swearing in of new board members and officers. Paul Halvatzis was sworn in as the association’s president.
The ACA hosts free monthly meetings at Riccardo’s by the Bridge on the first Tuesday of each month at 7:00 p.m., where city leaders take questions from the community.
The association will also host a children’s bike race at Astoria Park on May 20 at 8:30 a.m.