Hello Everyone!

Looks like we made it through the long winter and it wasn’t all that bad. The snow birds are back and we look forward to a great summer.

Congratulations to Our Lady of Hope’s 4th grade Basketball team. They are the 2016-2017 CYO Pee Wee Diocesan Division I Champions. They were undefeated in CYO with a record of 25-0. Great job girls!

Pictured are: Francesca, Kenzie, Olivia, Brianna, Eva, Avery, and Cathy.
The team was coached by Bob Posio and assistant coach John Mahon. (Picture)

Frank Muzio who plays for RGMV pitched in the All Star Game on Sunday,
June 4th. Congratulations Frank! (Picture)

Friends and family celebrated John Sciulli’s 90th Birthday at a party at his daughter Carol’s home. Pictured with John and Lorraine are brothers Bob, Tony and sister-in-law Evelyne. Happy Birthday John!

A Sweet Sixteen Birthday celebration was held at Giando’s Restaurant in Brooklyn for a great girl, Dana Cerillo. Happy Sweet Sixteen Dana! Pictured are Danna, Alyssa, Geraldine, Nicole, Julia and Diana.

Congratulations to Emma Caiafa who received her first Holy Communion at Our Lady of Hope on Saturday, May 20th.

Mrs. Vicki Koenig, teacher at PS/IS 128 writes in:

On May 31st, the first grade students at PS/IS 128 in Middle Village had the opportunity to participate in a wonderful yoga experience. The class was led by Samantha Simonian, a yoga instructor certified in teaching yoga to children. Samantha taught the students various yoga poses as well as belly breathing. They even got to play a game called “Freeze Yoga,” which they enjoyed very much. The class ended with a calming savanna pose, where the children lie still on their back. The first graders would like to thank the PA of PS/IS 128 for helping to make this yoga experience possible.

Peter and Cecilia Amato welcomed great granddaughter Gabriella Nicole, born on December 21, 2016. Gabriella Nicole’s proud parents are Danielle and Joe Serafino of Staten Island and first granddaughter of Denise Labrit Amato. Congratulations to all!

Congratulations to Dan Miller who graduated from Binghamton University with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering. Dan will be starting his career at an Engineering firm in Manhattan in June.

Vernon McDermott had a big birthday celebration at the home of his son, Vernon and daughter-in-law Robin where many family members and friends gathered on May 6th. The celebration continued at Citi Field where the Mc D’s met the Mets. Pictured are Ruth and Vern with Birthday cake and at Citi Field with family. Happy Birthday Vern!

Frank Chiiodi graduated Magna Cum Laude with a B.S. degree from Quinnipiac University. Frank will be continuing his studies at Quinnipiac working towards his Doctorate in Physical Therapy. Congratulations Frank!

Theresa and Terry Arlotta welcomed a beautiful granddaughter Victoria Elizabeth born on March 19th. Proud parents are Vinnie and Cathleen Arlotta. Congratulations to all!

Congratulations to Graham Evan Luongo who graduated with honors from Fork Union Military Academy. Graham will be attending the U.S. Coast Guard Academy. Graham also graduated from PS 49 in Middle Village. Wonderful accomplishments, Graham.

On May 20th, Nicholas Lynaugh graduated Magna Cum Laude from Fordham University, College of Rose Hill with a BA in English. Congratulations Nick!

Congratulations to Nicolas Torres for graduating from Long Island University with a doctorate in physical therapy. All of your hard work has finally paid off and your entire family is beyond proud. Good luck in your new career.

Our new Kosciuszko Bridge was all lit up for Memorial Day in red, white, and blue; a beautiful sight with the Empire State Building in the background exhibiting a similar tribute.

Recently in a conversation about baseball, the subject of “Dexter Park” a baseball stadium in Queens came up and I wondered how many of you might remember. I recall going there with my father and “Johnny” who sang out “Call for Phiip Morris” threw packs of cigarettes out of his case that I retrieved for my Dad. The stadium was across the street from where Franklin K. Lane High School is now at Eldert Lane and Jamaica Avenue. This park was home to the Brooklyn Bushwicks who were an independent semi pro team. They played there from 1930 until the mid-‘50s. Among the renowned players who played there were: Joe DiMaggio, Casey Stengel, Jackie Robinson, Satchel Paice, Phil Rizzuto, Hank Greenberg, Lou Gehrig, Babe Ruth and Josh Gibson who hit a home run over the 30 foot high wall behind the 418 foot deep left center bleachers.

A sign was placed by the Woodhaven Cultural and Historical Society. A state grant provided funding for the historical marker at the site of Dexter Court with the help of State Senator Serphin Maltese and Assemblyman Anthony Seminerio.

Dexter Stadium was the first baseball stadium to have lights for night baseball. Many great teams from the Negro League played there as well as various all-star teams from major league baseball. Some teams that also played there were: The Cuban All Stars, The House of David, The Monarchs, and our own Midville Dodgers back in the 40’s.

And now the part that I hate to write about: the goodbyes. Since the last issue of the Juniper Berry, we lost Brian Hartenstein, son of JPCA executive board member Theresa Riley, to cancer. “Dancing Louie” Stefanowicz, who was a colorful fixture in the area for decades, also passed away. The neighborhood concerts certainly won’t be the same without him.

Middle Village’s resident artist, Doug Leblang, passed away in April. He loved the history of the town and his family’s presence here dated back decades. He had provided several artistic renderings for use in Berries past.

Thomas V. Daily, former bishop of the Diocese of Brooklyn from 1990 until his 2003 retirement, passed away in May. He was a truly great spiritual leader.

On May 29th Ezio Benini, 87, longtime Juniper Park Civic Association Executive Board member and a former member of Community Board 5 passed away. He was a loyal member of the JPCA for 40 years. Ezio Benini’s wife Jo Ann served as president of the Juniper Park Civic Association in the 1980s.

May they all rest in peace.

Vice President of the JPCA, Lorraine Sciulli is recovering from a serious car accident. We wish her a speedy recovery and hope she will be back soon keeping her watchful eyes on Middle Village.