2017-11-15 / Features

Annual PJ Drive A Huge Success


(L. to r.): Assembly Member Aravella Simotas’ representative, Waael Abdellh giving citations to Maria L. Delgado for organizing the PJ Party events every year, and to Diane Kantzoglou, who helped facilitate the event by bringing Monika’s and Delgado together. (L. to r.): Assembly Member Aravella Simotas’ representative, Waael Abdellh giving citations to Maria L. Delgado for organizing the PJ Party events every year, and to Diane Kantzoglou, who helped facilitate the event by bringing Monika’s and Delgado together. The Eighth Annual PJ Drive hosted by Monika’s Café, organizer Maria L. Delgado and Assembly Member Aravella Simotas, was a huge success. The community donated plenty of new pajamas, for newborns through 18 years, and books to encourage children nationwide to read and to show children they care. The event raised 356 pajamas and books, and $800 was raised from the raffle for the Pajama Program, whose slogan is “Good Nights are Good Days.” Many of the children in the program are waiting to be adopted.

Following is a list of generous donations by local businesses for the raffle:

Intercontinental Hotel NYC Barclay - luxurious two night stay valued at $1,500


(L. to r., top): Monika’s Café General Manager Robert Constantinides, Assembly Member Aravella Simotas’ representative, Waael Abdellh; (middle): Diane Kantzoglou, organizer Maria L. Delgado; (next two rows): Delgado’s son (bottom l.) and classmates from the Garden School who came to help and support the event. 
Photos Melissa Mennona (L. to r., top): Monika’s Café General Manager Robert Constantinides, Assembly Member Aravella Simotas’ representative, Waael Abdellh; (middle): Diane Kantzoglou, organizer Maria L. Delgado; (next two rows): Delgado’s son (bottom l.) and classmates from the Garden School who came to help and support the event. Photos Melissa Mennona First Central Savings Bank - Samsung 32” HDTV

Bulova - woman’s watch, valued at over $500

L’incontro* - $100 gift certificate for dinner

Ponce Bank - donated a beautiful holiday gourmet basket

Gym-Azing* - $50 gift certificate towards classes

El Olivo* - $50 gift certificate

Dimitris Hair Design* - gift certificate for salon services

Ria’s Cleaning Services* - gift certificate for cleaning services

SHI - gift certificate towards dinner

Cassinelli Pasta* - $50 gift certificate towards products.

*Businesses that support the PJ Drive every year

Assembly Member Aravella Simotas’ representative,

Waael Abdellh gave citations to the following honorees: Maria L. Delgado for organizing the PJ Party events every year; Monika’s Café; Robert Constantinides, General Manager of Monika’s; Diane Kantzoglou, who helped facilitate the November 9 event by bringing Monika’s Café and Delgado together; and Ana Maria Fraioli, NYC Chapter President of the Pajama Program.

Monika’s was packed, with approximately 125 attendees, many of whom, in keeping with the spirit of the event, wore pajamas to the party. Everyone had a blast. Monika’s Café Bar, which donated food in addition to the space, is located at 32-90 36th Street in Astoria. For further information, visit www.pajamaprogram.org.

—Annette Hanze Alberts

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