2016-12-21 / Features

Toys For Tots


(L. to r.); Queens native Staff Sergeant Herbert Nicolas presented a certificate of appreciation to St. Michael’s Cemetery Director of Community Relations Ed Horn. They were joined by Council Member Costa Constantinides and Gazette Publisher Tony Barsamian. Hank Johnson of Jazzbone Records, who provided soothing holiday music, is in the background on the (l). 
Photos Jason D. Antos (L. to r.); Queens native Staff Sergeant Herbert Nicolas presented a certificate of appreciation to St. Michael’s Cemetery Director of Community Relations Ed Horn. They were joined by Council Member Costa Constantinides and Gazette Publisher Tony Barsamian. Hank Johnson of Jazzbone Records, who provided soothing holiday music, is in the background on the (l). Photos Jason D. Antos St. Michael’s Cemetery hosted its sixth annual Toys for Tots program sponsored by the United States Marine Corps. Guests arrived at the cemetery’s All Souls Chapel on December 17th with all kinds of toys for children less fortunate.

The US Marine Corps – represented by Staff Sergeant Herbert Nicolas, a Queens native from Cambria Heights – was on hand to help box and package the toys which will be brought back to Floyd Bennett Field in Brooklyn to be distributed to children in need throughout the community. Also present was Assembly Member Michael DenDekker who made an appearance to drop off toys and Council Member Costa Constantinides came to contribute, as well.


(L. to r.); St. Michael’s Cemetery Director of Community Relations Ed Horn poses with Geraldine Williams of Woodside and Staff Sergeant Herbert Nicolas of the US Marines. (L. to r.); St. Michael’s Cemetery Director of Community Relations Ed Horn poses with Geraldine Williams of Woodside and Staff Sergeant Herbert Nicolas of the US Marines. Timmy Motto, representing the Fraternal Order of Police, presented St. Michael’s Cemetery Director of Community Relations Ed Horn with a contribution from his organization. Staff Sgt. Nicolas presented St. Michael’s with a certificate of appreciation for their annual participation in the Toys For Tots program. Henry Gutterman, representing the Knights of Pythias, again made a generous contribution to Toys For Tots.

Woodside resident Geraldine Williams came to Toys for Tots event as she does every year. Williams, who cashes her Social Security check each month, sets aside a portion of the money to purchase toys for the Toys for Tots program. This year knowing she had collected a house full of toys she waited to find the date of the St. Michael’s event so she could personally deliver the toys. As early November came close, she became anxious, thinking that the date might have already passed by, until one day, when Ms. Williams went to cash her monthly Social Security check at the bank she noticed a copy of the Queens Gazette and read through it until she found the St. Michael’s ad announcing the date of the event, on December 17. Williams was delighted to discover she had not missed the event and was on hand to join in the festivities and delivered the collection of toys she had gathered.


Timmy Motto, of the Fraternal Order of the Police helps Cambria Heights native Staff Sergeant Herbert Nicolas of the US Marines box up bags of toys, which were then brought to Floyd Bennett Field in Brooklyn for distribution. Timmy Motto, of the Fraternal Order of the Police helps Cambria Heights native Staff Sergeant Herbert Nicolas of the US Marines box up bags of toys, which were then brought to Floyd Bennett Field in Brooklyn for distribution. “It’s amazing how the Queens community always responds to the needs of children,” said Horn. “St. Michael’s will always be there to support children in need – as it always has since 1852.”

Those in attendance were treated to cookies and beverages and entertained with holiday music provided by Hank Johnson of Jazzbone Records, on piano. —Jason D. Antos

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