Party Time For Students Victimized By Sandy


“This is fancy!” one student joyfully exclaimed. Other students described the festivities as fantastic, awesome and amazing. Cotton candy, entertainers, juggling, ice cream, popcorn, photo booths for fun, a massive buffet, Santa and his helpers and free toys for everyone were just some of the many surprises that awaited students at a special Christmas luncheon at Russo’s on the Bay on Tuesday, Dec. 18.

Russo’s on the Bay, Howard Beach, hosted the event for all students from the five Catholic schools in the area that were most affected by Superstorm Sandy: Ave Maria Catholic Academy, Howard Beach; St. Camillus School, Rockaway Park; St. Francis de Sales School, Belle Harbor; St. Helen School; Howard Beach, and St. Rose of Lima School, Rockaway Beach.

“The kids were excited about the idea of getting dressed up for a party,” said Theresa Andersen, principal of St. Rose of Lima. “It’s amazing what Mr. Russo has done for them. Everything right down to the bus service was provided for us. All we had to do was obtain permission from the parents.”

Sister Patricia Ann Chelius, C.S.J., principal of St. Francis de Sales School agreed: “It’s absolutely wonderful!”

“This is incredibly generous of Mr. Russo,” added Diane Sama, a teacher at St. Helen School. “In the midst of the stress in their lives, he has given the students an opportunity to be together and to celebrate.”

“This is to bring joy to the children. Simple as that,” said Frank Russo Jr., owner of Russo’s on the Bay.