Decades of Strength: Annual Manny Fiallo Jr. Men’s Luncheon Honors Far Rockaway Community Advocates, including Our Own Deepmalya Ghosh

Deepmalya Ghosh, The Child Center of NY’s Senior Vice President of External Affairs and Community Engagement, was presented with a City Council proclamation for his tireless efforts to improve the Rockaways at the Manny Fiallo Jr. Men’s Luncheon this past weekend. New York City Council Member Donovan Richards (pictured, right) hosts the annual event, held June 9 at the Rosedale American Legion this year, to celebrate men who have given back to the community in honor of local giant Fiallo whom we lost last May.

 Affectionately known as “The Mayor of Far Rockaway,” Fiallo made an enormous contribution to the Rockaways by organizing various community activities which began in 2012 with the “Stack Bundles Stop the Violence Basketball” summer-long tournament, which, while keeping local youth engaged and off the streets, provided resources for participants and audience members, including information about GEDs, job readiness, and college preparation. His other initiatives included the Far Rockaway RBI baseball program; Break Every Chain: A Move Meant for Change sit-in; Unity in the Community Talent Show; National Night Out; Do it for Domo Talent/Fashion Show; the Toys for Tots Christmas toy drive; and the Santa Sleigh Parade, along with various community job and health fairs and the annual Turkey Giveaway during the holidays.

Richards, who represents District 31 in Southeast Queens including the Rockaways, worked closely with Fiallo on these countless initiatives. It was shortly after Fiallo’s death in May 2017 that Richards instituted the men’s luncheon to, in his words, “take time to acknowledge those that have spent a considerable amount of time protecting and advocating for our community.” 

In his letter to Ghosh announcing the City Council proclamation, Richards touchingly stated, “I am a firm believer in giving flowers while people can still smell them.” The proclamation, the highest honor Richards can bestow, recognizes Ghosh for being a “community staple” who keeps “our neighborhoods safe, vibrant, and strong.” Richards continued, “You are one of the select few that have, year after year, shown that you cannot be deterred and will continue to endure in community work. You serve as a great mentor and male figure for all of us to follow.”

“I was really moved by it,” said Child Center CEO Traci Donnelly about the event and its theme, Decades of Strength. “The diversity of men who were honored, including our own Deep Ghosh, was impressive. They came from every race and background and represented so many different initiatives and aspects of the community.”

Other honorees at the luncheon included Reverend Evan Gray of the Macedonia Baptist Church, Lonnie Glover of the Eastern Queens Alliance, Richard “Richie” Fox, and Dwight Johnson, each receiving a proclamation from the New York City Council. The luncheon included a step show by the Nu Omicron Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, music performances, and speeches from the honorees.

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