The Hollywood Reporter: "Salah M. Hassanein, Former Warner Bros. Exhibition Executive, Dies at 98"
Arts Programs Queens

Salah M. Hassanein, Founder and longtime Board Member of Variety Boys & Girls Club of Queens passed away on Friday June 7th at age 98.


Salah M. Hassanein, the former president of Warner Bros. International Theaters who was a tireless philanthropist in Hollywood, died Friday at his home in Del Mar, California, his family announced. He was 98.

He served for many years as a member of the board of the Variety Boys & Girls Club of Queens (renamed the Salah M. Hassanein Variety Boys & Girls Club of Queens in his honor) and was board chairman and president of Variety International.

He also was president and honorary chairman of the Will Rogers Motion Picture Pioneers Foundation and instrumental in creating the Will Rogers Institute on the grounds of Burke Rehabilitation Hospital after the closure of the Will Rogers Hospital in 1975. The Pioneers Assistance Fund's Salah Hassanein Medical Grant provides temporary financial aid for film industry members in need.

HUFFPOST: "Astoria Characters: The Mom in Charge of Kids and Cakes"
Arts Programs Queens

A profile on Renée Edwards, long time volunteer at the Variety Boys & Girls Club of Queens.


What with her degree and interest in youngsters, it was inevitable that Renée would opt for a career that kept her close to them.

For 31 years, she has worked for the New York City Department of Education’s LYFE program, which provides child care for student parents. A para, she’s stationed at Long Island City High School.

“I’m responsible for four infants whose ages are two months to 12 months,” she says, proudly calling up their photos on her smartphone and cooing.

When she gets off from work, Renée starts her volunteer duties. She heads over to the Variety Boys & Girls Club of Queens in Long Island City, where she teaches sewing, knitting and crocheting a couple of times a week.

PressErica Ammann
LIC/ASTORIA JOURNAL: "Variety Boys and Girls Club Hosts Its First International Film Festival"
Arts Programs Queens

The Variety Boys and Girls Club of Queens hosted its first ever international film festival over the weekend.

The two-day event featured a screening and awards ceremony to celebrate the work of the students in the club's film and media arts program as they presented their short films alongside professional filmmakers.

The students, who learned various film techniques such as screenwriting, camera operation, and lighting, worked together and produced eight films under the guidance of Marc Lyons, the club's film and media arts specialist.

"I wanted the kids to have that professional experience, that festival experience," he said. "The opportunity for them to be able to explain themselves in a different way and show themselves in a new light."

PressErica Ammann
LIC/ASTORIA JOURNAL: "Variety Boys & Girls Club Looks to Expand!"
Queens Boys and Girls Club

The neighborhood youth center at 21-12 30th Road is planning to expand to a five-story community center, featuring new art and technology labs, basketball and swimming facilities and even a planetarium. The space will be accompanied by a 14-story, 112-unit residential building with retail on the first floor.

Variety’s team will present the plan in a public hearing this Thursday, May 24, at 6:30 p.m. at the Ravenswood Community Center at 35-40 21 St. The rezoning will ultimately require City Council approval.

The club has served the Astoria and Long Island City communities for 63 years, starting as the “Boys Club” in 1955. In addition to its free after-school program, the largest in western Queens, Variety offers classes in athletics, science, technology, media and more.

PressErica Ammann
MLB.COM: "Boys & Girls Clubs Pitch in for Earth Day"
Volunteering in Astoria

Major League Baseball partnered with its official charity, Boys & Girls Clubs of America, to enhance the Variety Boys & Girls Club in Astoria, N.Y. in celebration of Earth Day. About 20 employees from MLB came to the Club to work with our kids on a variety of projects that included construction, gardening and design.

The volunteers worked on revitalizing the club, which included planting flowers and food such as spinach and kiwi. They also enhanced the club's media room by painting objects on the wall in the basement. Scotts Miracle-Gro, the official lawn and garden company of MLB, donated materials to support the landscaping project.

PressErica Ammann
QUEENS GAZETTE: "Queens County Young Democrats 4th Annual Charity Basketball Game at Variety Boys & Girls Club"
Community Partnerships Queens 

Queens County Young Democrats (QCYD) challenged some of the borough’s elected officials at its Fourth Annual Charity Basketball Game at the Variety Boys & Girls Club of Queens in Astoria on Saturday night.

Elected officials and Young Democrats played a competitive but friendly game, with the Young Democrats emerging victorious for the first time in the event’s history, with a score of 43-36.

The game raised over $1,000 for the Variety Boys & Girls Club of Queens (VB&GCQ), the largest after school program in western Queens, and collected non-perishable goods for families affected by Hurricane Maria.

PressErica Ammann
LIC/ASTORIA JOURNAL: "New Makerspace Opens at Variety Boys & Girls Club"
Makerspace Astoria Queens

Creative Queens residents now have a new local space to let out their inner maker.

Last Tuesday, the Variety Boys and Girls Club and IONYC officially unveiled their new makerspace, equipped with electronics, power and woodworking tools, and 3D-printing technology.

The collaboration started when two local tech entrepreneurs, Joe Kim and Louis Cooper, decided they wanted a regular space for their projects. They founded IONYC, a community of creative people and “makers,” which Kim described as individuals who make things out tools and scrap materials using technology. 

PressErica Ammann