By Paula Katinas
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Republican mayoral hopeful John Catsimatidis showed his support for the Kings County Memorial Day Parade by showing up at a parade committee fundraiser in Bay Ridge on April 28 and pulling a $5,000 check out of his pocket.
Catsimatidis was joined by his wife Margo and Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis (R-C-Bay Ridge-Staten Island) as he presented the check to Parade Committee Chairman Ray Aalbue at the http://www.saltydogbar.com/ Salty Dog Restaurant and Bar on Third Avenue.
The parade, which is in its 146th year, will be held on Monday, May 27, starting at 11 a.m. The parade route begins on Third Avenue and 87th Street and ends in John Paul Jones Park on Fourth Avenue and 101st Street, where a wreath laying ceremony will take place. Soldiers at the nearby Fort Hamilton Army Base will give a 21-gun salute.
The parade, the oldest continuously run Memorial Day Parade in the U.S., has been held in Bay Ridge for the past 20 years. Prior to that, is was held on Eastern Parkway. The event is sponsored by the United Military Veterans of Kings County and Borough President Marty Markowitz.
Due to decreased government funding, local leaders, musicians, and the parade committee have joined together for an annual fund-raiser to ensure the parade has the resources to continue, Aalbue said. Two years ago, the parade was threatened with extinction due to a lack of funding. But the event was saved by a flood of donations that poured in from elected officials, business leaders, and Brooklyn residents.
Catsimatidis heard about the fundraiser from Malliotakis, who has endorsed him for mayor. “John is a very generous philanthropist. I told him about the struggles the parade has had in recent years. He really wanted to do what he could to help,” Malliotakais told the Brooklyn Daily Eagle.
The parade is important, according to Malliotakis. “It’s a time when we get to publicly thank our veterans for their service to our country,” she said.