President’s Message Jan 2021 by Phil Orenstein
I hope all our club members, families and friends are enjoying a cheerful Chanukah and Christmas holiday season. We have a lot to celebrate! We wish everyone a most happy, healthy, and prosperous New Year as we enter 2021, and leave 2020 in the dust.
As we put the lid on the old, and kick off the New Year, it’s important to reaffirm the mission and principles of America’s oldest Republican club. Simply put, it is to uphold and spread the principles of the Republican Party and elect strong Republicans who uphold these principles, which we consistently list at the beginning of every club meeting.
We affirm our total support for our Police and Firefighters, and for our great President Donald Trump and his America First agenda. We believe President Trump won re-election by a landslide of legal votes and we won’t give up until the massive voter fraud is exposed and overturned. The election is still far from over, and we will keep up the fight until we see President Trump inaugurated on January 20 for four more years of American greatness!
2020 has been a good year for us as a club, despite the outbreak of the virus, tyrannical lockdowns, restaurants closing, crime and chaos, rioting mobs and destruction, and people flooding the exits to leave our once great City of New York. Through it all, we’ve been out in public sharing folks’ worries and frustrations, and encouraging fellow patriots that the Republican Party is alive and well in Queens!
Recalling the opening months of 2020, as the pandemic suddenly hit us with a vengeance, we held a virtual Lincoln Dinner for the first time ever. Every year we put together a gala Lincoln Dinner at Antun’s with hundreds in attendance. Together with nationally renowned speakers, local heroes, and honorees, we celebrate Abraham Lincoln, the first Republican president and founder of our Party in a great display of patriotism and unity. This year our keynote speaker was to be Steve Bannon and guest speaker, the British freedom fighter, Katie Hopkins.
However due to the pandemic, one week before the event in March, Antun’s was ordered to shut down and there would be no dinner party. But our Ways and Means committee came together immediately and rapidly switched gears and organized the great event on Zoom.
It was an amazing success story, setting the example of triumph over adversity. It’s significant that some beautiful personal success stories emerged. After being fittingly honored and recognized, our Businessman of the Year, Mike Amvros, owner of the famous Oasis Café in Bayside, was deeply encouraged to forge ahead and overcome his setback of a debilitating illness and business shut down. He determined to fight back and emerged thriving financially and enjoyed extraordinary success in the later half of the year.
Also noteworthy, was our World War II Veteran of the Year honoree, Sgt. Philip Kahn, who had turned 100 prior to his appearance at the virtual event where he proudly spoke about how honored he was to be able to serve the U.S.A. in the Pacific Theater as a co-pilot on Iwo Jima, alongside so many of the most courageous Americans who have ever lived. Shortly after the gala event, he passed away due to the virus, and its significance strangely enough, bookended a century since his twin brother died from the Spanish Flu in 1920. View the entire video of the extraordinary virtual event on our website, including our incredible honorees, Dawn Eskew, recipient of the Sanctity of Life Award, Religious Freedom honoree, Rabbi Menashe Bovit, and the inimitable Gavin Wax, Young Republican of the Year, and others.
We kept making headway through the brutal winter and spring months of the pandemic. We held topical monthly Zoom club meetings with great speakers, such as Gordon Chang illuminating the threat of China, Curtis Sliwa founder of the Guardian Angels, now running for mayor, and many more.
We also had a session with Congresswoman-elect Nicole Malliotakis, on her road to victory. At her request, we brought a team down to Bay Ridge Brooklyn for a Day of Action and knocked on doors of all voters, to Get Out the Vote. She has just created the “Freedom Force” in the House to fight against AOC, the Squad, and Socialism, and will be giving us an update at our January 7th meeting.
On to the summer, after months in isolation, it was great to see everyone at our club’s electrifying dinner meeting at the Triple Crown Diner tent, with local Republican candidates and Bevelyn Beatty, a courageous young patriot who spread paint across the BLM mural on 5th Ave. We held an outdoor backyard meeting to “Salute our Police,” with our member, Lawrence Block and his Zuckery Bo Band, performing “It’s Just a Matter of Time,” blasting the lockdown and oppressive government overreach. All our Lincoln Dinner honorees were there as well to receive their awards in person.
We participated in “Support our Local Police” rallies, car caravans, the “Save Teddy” protest, and we even went to campaign for President Trump in the battleground state of PA with Diane Atkins, co-chair of the Mighty American Strike Force for New York.
We answered the tyrannical authorities and the anarchist mobs, with incisive press releases, targeted calling campaigns, talk radio and TV appearances, and articles which were published nationally on such topics as the unconstitutional lockdown and contract tracing fiasco, standing up for our police, and standing against the “defund the police” insanity, urging the exodus of Jewish voters from the Party of socialism and anti-Semitism, blasting the mob attacks on our private property rights, and many others.
Due to the pandemic, we missed our annual Historic Bus Tour, nor could we participate in local parades, but we have exciting events lined up for 2021 and expect the best to come. Please join our club if you’re not already a member. Please donate to support our work to make Queens Republican again! Through our efforts we will build and galvanize our fellow Republicans. Most of all keep the faith, stay strong and never lose hope. We will prevail!