Queens Centers for Progress “Summer of ‘69” Annual Gala -2019

BY: Atul Kapoor Staff Writer For World Liberty TV

Queens Centers for Progress (QCP) will host its annual gala on Tuesday, June 25, at 7PM, at Terrace On the Park.

Dr.Abbey with Michael J Macaluso President QCP

The theme will be The “Summer of ‘69.” The event will take note of significant events that include Woodstock, The Miracle Mets and the Moon Landing, which are the standouts from this momentous year.

Center Honoree Nancy Vargas CEO DH2 Chauffered Transportation with her friends

The agency will also honor several distinguished individuals from the Queens community and pay tribute to the memory of Ed Charles, The Mets third baseman, who is famous for scoring the winning run in game two of the 1969 World Series. Charles was a long-time friend and supporter of QCP.

2019 QCP Gala Honorees

More than two-hundred guests will enjoy an evening of dining and dancing along to the music of the era. The evening’s Emcee will be Greg Mocker of WPIX-11 TV.

Dr.Abbey with David I. Weprin Assembly Member and Honoree

All proceeds of the event will go to support the services QCP provides to more than 1200 individuals in Queens with developmental disabilities.

Those services include residential, pre- vocational training and job placement, day-habilitation services, senior support and Pre-K-UPK for both typically developing and children with developmental disabilities.

Dr.Abbey with QCP Adult with Developmental Disabilities

QCP’s Executive Director, Terri Ross, spoke about QCP’s involvement in the Queens community. “We are out in the community all the time.

William D Martin Board of Dir of QCP with Wendy B.Phaff Dir of Development for QCP

We have a dedicated staff and partners who support us. Fundraisers like the gala help support and grow the employment opportunities for the wonderful people we serve.”

L-R Douglas J Meyer Honoree with his Co-Workers

This year’s honorees are: Man of the Year, Douglas J. Meyer, Senior Vice President, Bank Leumi USA; Woman of the Year, Francine Salomon, President JFA Insurance Brokerage & Associates, Inc.; Business Woman of the Year, Nancy Vargas Chief Executive Officer, DH2 Transportation; Legislator of the Year, Hon. David Weprin Assemblyman, Assembly District 24.

Fresh Food on Dispaly

Douglas Meyer is Senior VP at Bank Leumi, and took a special joy in visiting the QCP Children’s Center. “These children are the brightest stars I’ve ever seen, so full of love and passion.” Douglas has a one-year-old. He said the visit QCP definitely draws him closer to his son.

Devastating Desserts to enjoy

Francine Salomon founded JFA Insurance in 1984, and was a kind of trailblazer as a woman-owned business at the time. She supports a number of non-profit groups in Queens, but has focused on QCP because, “What we’ve learned about QCP is that they are truly dedicated to bettering the lives of others who really need to forge forward in their zest for life.”

David Weprin with his wife and his mother

Nancy Vargas and her husband, Mike, started DH2 in 1995. Under Nancy’s leadership as CEO, the company became a certified Minority/Women-Owned Business Enterprise (M/WBE). The business has grown dramatically.

Nancy visited QCP recently, and the visit made a real impression. “I am humbled to be honored. This is a great organization. I’m amazed by all the great work being done here, and it gives me the feeling that I want to do more.”

Cakes donated by Panepinto Bakery

Assemblyman David Weprin, a well-known leader and figure in the Queens community, has consistently supported agencies like QCP, and has advocated tirelessly for NY State budgetary and legislative support for people with developmental disabilities.

Dr.Abbey with Sonia J .T.Saleh of Uplifting Nonprofits

ABOUT QUEENS CENTERS FOR PROGRESS: Queens Centers for Progress is committed to providing person-centered services and supports to children and adults who have developmental disabilities. The goal of these services and supports is to promote independence, community involvement, and quality of life.

R-L James F Gennaro Dept Commissioner NYCSSR with Dr Abbey & Mr Weprin

The program started of with an Invocation by Rev .Liju  Augustine, after that national anthem was sung by Juliana Mayor, Auctioneer for the event was John Luke, Emcee of the event was the classy Greg Mocker ,reporter ,PIX 11, after that awards were presented to the 4 honorees mentioned above.


There was a special tribute to the memory of Ed Charles, The Mets third baseman, who is famous for scoring the winning run in game two of the 1969 World Series. Charles was a long-time friend and supporter of QCP.

Live Entertainment by Les Kurtz

The Food was great the Penthouse was a great place you can see whole of queens, with 1960’s music blasting, food stations with many varieties of food for you to enjoy, we have to give a shout out to our sister Wendy B. Phaff, Director of Development for Queens Center for Progress (QCP) , alongside her committee in organizing this event for the guests to enjoy.

Wendy Phaff Presenting award to Honoree Francine Salomon

See more about QCP in our World Liberty TV Humanitarian Channels and blogs by clicking here.

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