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The Alliance for Flushing Meadows Corona Park to honor legacy of former Queens Borough President Claire Shulman next month

Aug. 2, 2023 By Bill Parry

The Alliance for Flushing Meadows Corona Park has created an award that will honor former Queens Borough President Claire Shulman.

The Claire Shulman Award for Public Service will go to a dedicated local volunteer during its annual Evening Under the Sphere fundraising gala next month.

The legacy of trailblazing former Queens Borough President Claire Shulman will be celebrated with a newly created award named in her honor.QNS/File

During Shulman’s 16-year tenure at Borough Hall, she was a relentless advocate for Flushing Meadows Corona Park. The new award is a tribute to the trailblazer’s lifelong dedication to bettering Queens and fostering the public servants of the future.

“It heartens me to create this award in Claire’s name and for the Alliance to honor her dedicated life of service to the people of Queens,” said Daniel Zausner, Chairman of the Alliance and COO of the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. “I see the Alliance as an organization committed to the same principals that Claire fought for, one that exists to serve the community. I see that same passion and commitment in the work of our other honorees, and that is at the core of what Evening Under the Sphere is celebrating.”

Shulman passed away in 2020 at age 94 leaving behind a legacy for the ages.

From 1986 to 2002, the first woman ever elected as Queens Borough President spearheaded many transformational projects including a new Queens Hospital Center; Queens Theatre; Queens Zoo; USTA National Tennis Center; Museum of the Moving Image; Queens Botanical Garden; Queens Museum; Jamaica Center of Arts and Learning; new terminals at JFK Airport; a new civil and criminal court building, and of course the restoration of the iconic Unisphere.

“Our mother loved Queens, and most of all loved the people of Queens,” the Shulman family said in a joint statement. “She was devoted to making Queens a warm, welcoming and nurturing place for everyone to live.”

Evening Under the Sphere will be held on Thursday, Sept. 8 bringing together park enthusiasts celebrating those dedicated to community. The annual benefit will feature entertainment, dancing and unlimited food and beverages from more than a dozen Queens Night Market vendors.

“Evening Under the Sphere brings our community together to celebrate Flushing Meadows Corona Park, while raising vitally needed funds for our programming,” Alliance Executive Director and FMCP Administrator Anthony Sama said. “It is a night where we show our gratitude to the people who keep our parks beautiful, the leaders who have dedicated themselves to Queens, and, with the support of the Queens Night Market and local business partners, it’s also a fantastic party.”

Last year, honored Long Island Jewish Forest Hills Hospital, New York Presbyterian Queens and Elmhurst Hospital for their heroic work during the COVID-19 pandemic and for their community-driven philanthropic efforts.

This year, LaGuardia Gateway Partners, the operator of the new award-winning Terminal B at LaGuardia Airport, will be honored for its robust investment in the surrounding communities during the terminal’s reconstruction.

“I am truly honored that we have been selected for this recognition from the Alliance for Flushing Meadows Corona Park on behalf of LaGuardia Gateway Partners,” LGP COO Suzette Noble said. “At LGP, we are deeply committed to the borough of Queens, bolstered through our partnerships with organizations such as the Alliance. Together, we remain dedicated to supporting initiatives that enrich the lives of our fellow Queens residents.”

The Association for a Better New York (ABNY) will be recognized for its continued support of the Alliance and many other critical cultural organizations in Queens and across the city with ambitious, transformational programs that pay special attention to oft-overlooked communities.

“I am truly honored that ABNY has been named to receive the Freedom of the Human Spirit Award from the Alliance this September at its Evening Under the Sphere benefit,” ABNY CEO Melva Miller said. “This recognition highlights the collective efforts of our passionate community working tirelessly to improve and preserve this remarkable park. By accepting this honor on behalf of ABNY, I am committed to raising awareness about the park’s needs and continuing our work to enhance the lives of those who call Queens home. Together, we can ensure Flushing Meadows Corona Park remains a cherished and vibrant space for generations to come.”

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