He’s both proud and protective of his block and his neighborhood, and gets frustrated when residents don’t make the time or effort to get involved.
“I can’t just live in my neighborhood and not speak up when I see something wrong,” Vazquez says. “If I see something wrong I’m going to say something, believe me, and I’m going to keep saying something until it gets fixed.”
Vazquez can back up his words with action, as residents saw during the WRBA’s fight to derail the city’s plan to bring Select Bus Service to Woodhaven Boulevard. Though the Department of Transportation eventually prevailed in that battle, Vazquez did not emerge discouraged.
Instead, he remains committed to doing everything he can to make sure the neighborhood where he raised his family continues to be a great place to live.
In recognition of his efforts, Jose Vazquez will be recognized as Woodhaven’s Man of the Year by the Woodhaven Residents’ Block Association at its 47th annual fundraiser on Friday, October 26, at Roma View Fine Catering at 160-05 Cross Bay Boulevard in Howard Beach.
“When I look back at all the great people that have been honored in this way before, I feel really proud,” said Vazquez.
He is also proud of his Hispanic heritage, and hopes that other Latin residents will also feel proud and perhaps inspired to get more involved with their community.
“It’s not just about coming to meetings,” Vazquez says. “It’s about seeing things that are wrong, no matter how small, and fixing them.”
The Woodhaven Residents’ Block Association annual Dinner Dance is an opportunity for residents to dress in their finest and celebrate another very successful and eventful year for the WRBA.
Adult tickets (12 and older) are $70, and tickets for children over five are $35. Tickets include a full buffet dinner with soda, beer, and wine. The event kicks off at 7 p.m. and concludes at 11 p.m.
Besides Vazquez, this year’s Woodhaven Woman of the Year is Peggy Finnegan, longtime resident of Woodhaven, and the Business of the Year is Dexter Wines and Spirits at 75-13 Jamaica Avenue.
And the Woodhaven Residents’ Block Association will induct the late Maria Thomson into its Hall of Fame. Thomson was a longtime director of the WRBA, as well as executive director of the Woodhaven Business Improvement District and the Greater Woodhaven Development Corporation.
This annual event provides a major source of funding for the organization's work. When you purchase a ticket for this event, you aren’t just getting a great night out, you are also supporting an all-volunteer organization that is good for our community.
The people on the WRBA board are volunteering on behalf of our community seven days a week, 365 days a year. This is a good opportunity to support and thank these people for their efforts.
For the record, they are president Stephen Forte, vice preisdent Giedra Kregzdys and board members Arlene Annunziata, Vance Barbour, Janet Chan-Smith, Martin Colberg, Janet Forte and Sherman Kane. Thank you to all of them for their continued and ongoing efforts on behalf of Woodhaven.
You can purchase tickets at the next monthly town hall meeting at 7 p.m. on Thursday, October 18, at American Legion Post 118, or you can call the WRBA at (718) 296-3735. You can also purchase tickets online at bit.ly/wrba-2018.
Jose Vazquez is looking forward to celebrating with his wife and two daughters. However, he does regret that his loving parents Rafael and Angelita won’t be able to join him at the celebration due to health reasons. However, they live nearby right here in Woodhaven and he sees them every day.
“I love them both very much,” he says. “Very much.”
This family man who cares for his community is a great example of the type of resident we should all aspire to be like, and for that, he is being honored as this year’s Woodhaven Man of the Year.