Queens Community House to honor former Secretary of the Treasury and New York Mets All-Star

Queens, NY (June 25, 2018) - Queens Community House (QCH) will honor Jacob J. Lew, 76th Secretary of the Treasury and Former White House Chief of Staff, and Edgardo Alfonzo, former New York Mets All-Star and current Manager of the Brooklyn Cyclones, at their annual Strengthening Neighborhoods Inspiring Change Gala on October 23. Both individuals are being recognized for their deep and longstanding commitment to the people and communities of Queens.

Hon. Jacob Lew

Jacob Lew served as White House Chief of Staff for President Barack Obama from 2012 to 2013 and was chosen by Obama to serve as Secretary of the Treasury in 2013, a position he held until 2017.

Lew grew up just blocks from QCH’s main site in Forest Hills, and remembers the organization’s origins. “The housing project that became the original home of the Queens Community House was a major topic of controversy,” he said. “While many opposed it, I grew up in a home where responsibly opening the doors to the community was seen as a good thing, and even advocated on behalf of the project at a local forum at Forest Hills High School. A local lawyer named Mario Cuomo earned his reputation as the mediator to resolve the siting issues – producing the low rise scatter site development that now stands. ”

“That early lesson,” Lew continued, “both in taking a position on important and controversial issues, and the power of an individual to make a difference, made a big impression on me. I am proud to be honored by an organization in the finest tradition of community service, which found its first home in that building.”


Edgardo Alfonzo

Edgardo Alfonzo played third base for the New York Mets from 1995 to 2002 and inspired fans through his exceptional talent, his dedication to the game, and his success as an immigrant who arrived in this country at a young age. He is the all-time Mets leader in post-season hits, was chosen as an All-Star in 2000, and finished second in Gold Glove balloting on three separate occasions.

Although Alfonzo played for other teams after the Mets, his affection for the borough has remained steadfast. “I have loved Queens ever since I came here from Venezuela. I chose to raise my family here because Queens offers a great quality of life.”  

Since retiring as a player, Alfonzo has shown a continued dedication to building stronger communities in the borough through generous philanthropic efforts.   

“When a player gets on the field, their focus is to play the game well,” he says. “You never think that one day you’ll be acknowledged for the work you do. It's an honor to be recognized by Queens Community House for my history as a baseball player but even more important to be recognized for doing good.”

“Our honorees have been inspiring role models for the people in our borough,” QCH Executive Director Ben Thomases said. “Both have achieved great success in their fields but remain humble in their commitment to service.”


The gala will be held at Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria.


QCH serves 20,000 people in 32 sites across Queens, helping individuals and families access tools to enrich their lives and build healthy, inclusive communities. Funds from this event will allow QCH to sustain and grow its programs and have a deeper impact on the neighborhoods it serves.


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About Queens Community House: Founded in 1975, Queens Community House, is a multi-site nonprofit organization that offers a wide network of comprehensive services to individuals, families, and communities throughout Queens. From 32 sites in 14 neighborhoods, QCH helps thousands of Queens residents to thrive in school, make healthy life choices, succeed in educating themselves, become engaged citizens, stabilize their housing situations, and make the most of their senior years.  Learn more at www.qchnyc.org.



Jennifer Weil

Communications Coordinator

Queens Community House

Office: (718) 592-5757 x 249

108-25 62nd Drive Queens, NY 11375


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Queens Community House provides individuals and families with the tools to enrich their lives and build healthy, inclusive communities.