Vallone Fundraiser Held At Bohemian Hall Beer Garden
Councilmember Peter Vallone Jr.’s Fourth Non-Annual Beer Garden Bash took place Thursday evening, May 31, drawing a crowd of at least 500 supporters. Some assumed the event was planned to coincide with Vallone’s birthday, but in fact, it was his brother Perry’s. In recent years, the fundraising event has indeed been planned in conjunction with Vallone’s birthday in March, and has not always been held at Bohemian Hall and Beer Garden in Astoria (hence the “non-annual” designation). However, the venue was the perfect space to enjoy specialty beers, great food, the music of classic rock band Spitfire, and to donate as a show of support for the councilmember’s work. Tickets for the event went from $75 to $5,000 and desig nated donors by such monikers as, “Astoria Pool Boy”, “Lemon Ice King”, and “Partial Owner of the Mets”, depending on the size of the donation.
As Vallone will finish up his final term in the City Council in December of 2013, I pressed him to say what he had planned for the future. He gestured at the crowd and expressed his gratification at the turnout, taking it as a sign that people want him to stay in public office. Bringing to my attention the fact that Queens Borough President Helen Marshall was in attendance, he hinted that running for office of Borough President might be in his future when both their terms expire. “Events like these,” the councilmember stated, “help me keep my options open. I look out and I see all the people who’ve supported me over the years, and I feel really good.”
At around 7:30 p.m., Vallone took the stage with his band, Spitfire, quipping, “I grew up with these guys!” and rocked out on bass guitar to the tunes, “We’re An American Band”, and “Some Kind of Wonderful”, originally by Grand Funk Railroad, and “Your Mama Don’t Dance” by Loggins and Messina. Afterwards, Vallone brought Marshall to the stage, praising her for having been “…a big friend to myself, my family, and Queens County”. Marshall remarked that though it was too early to endorse a candidate for the office of Queens Borough President in the next election, if Vallone chose to run, she would consider him as among the most highly qualified.