The September 23rd event, which featured people profiled in Nancy A. Ruhling’s weekly “Astoria Characters” column, was kicked off by civil-rights activist Brendan Fay.
“Nobody else is doing what Nancy is doing,” Fay told the audience at the Variety Boys & Girls Club of Queens. “It’s great storytelling and local journalism at its best. The 450 profiles she has written in the last nine years reflect the wonderful diversity of our community.”
Ruhling, who billed the event as a family reunion, encouraged everyone to “meet and greet your neighbors.”
Each Astoria Character received a certificate of merit from Assemblywoman Aravella Simotas, who told them that she was proud to highlight their accomplishments.
The event, sponsored by The Long Island City/Astoria Journal, the Boys & Girls Club and Bareburger and Salt & Bone, featured performances by Queens Poet Laureate Maria Lisella, the Long Island City School of Ballet, stand-up comic Ben Rosenfeld, violinist Marina Fragoulis, Broadway Dance Studio, harpist Tracey Horst, singer Simona Rodano and author Audrey Dimola.