Bay Ridge — The commander of the Fort Hamilton Army Base played host to a few friends at a New Year’s reception at the historic military post Saturday night.
Wait … better make that a few hundred friends!
More than 300 VIPs from the worlds of politics, law, religion, military and civic life accepted the invitation of Col. Michael Gould to toast the New Year at a buffet dinner at the Community Club.
Gould, resplendent in his dress uniform, stood on a receiving line at the entrance of the dining hall and welcomed guests as they arrived for the event. He took command of the fort in 2010, having arrived in Bay Ridge from Iraq, where he served as commander of the 6th Battalion of the 27th Field Artillery.
Renee Citron, the deputy commander of the fort, and Command Sgt. Maj. Sylvia Laughlin, the highest-ranking uniformed officer of the fort, joined him on the receiving line in the Community Club.
“Hi there! Welcome to Fort Hamilton!” Gould told New York State Supreme Court Justice Matthew D’Emic and his wife Rosemary, who both smiled as they chatted briefly with the commander.
“This looks like an historic place,” Justice D’Emic said as he looked around at the stone walls of the Community Club.
Awaiting the guests in the dining hall were long tables lined with trays of turkey, filet mignon, fresh fruit, cheeses and other dishes.
The guests included Bill Guarinello, president of the Fort Hamilton Citizens Action Committee. The committee is a group of business and civic leaders working with Gould and elected officials to preserve Fort Hamilton.
“This is a great event,” Guarinello said. “The more people who come here to see the fort, the better.”