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Rain can’t damper 12th annual Throggs Neck St. Patrick’s Day parade

A sea of resplendent marchers decked out in green were on hand for the 12th annual, 2010 Throggs Neck St. Patrick’s Day parade. Despite a drizzle of rain, nothing could put a damper on the festive celebration on Sunday, March 14 on E. Tremont Avenue.

Light seemed to break through the clouds as the parade marchers began the trek down E. Tremont Avenue from Layfayette Avenue to the reviewing stand at Harding Avenue, cheered on by spectators. The the parade kicked off at noon, after a mass at St. Benedict’s Church for the marchers and a free breakfast in Father Albert Hall courtesy of Schuyler Hill Funeral Home. Congressman Joe Crowley, Senator Jeff Klein, Assemblyman Michael Benedetto, and Councilman Jimmy Vacca served breakfast to hundreds.

Grand Marshals Terry Connaughton and Linda Murphy, and Honored Clergy Father Robert Dunn of Jeanne Jugan Residence, led many community groups in a horse drawn carriage on the parade route. All called the honors bestowed upon them by the Throggs Neck Benevolant Association, which does all of the leg work in putting together the parade every year, a tremedous blessing.

“Today is a special day not just for myself but for my entire family,” said Connaughton, an Irish immigrant, who came to the United States in 1952 and achieved an American Dream. “[Being honored] is not something that happens every day. I am very grateful to the people of the Throggs Neck community for selecting me as grand marshal of the parade.”

Cannaughton recalled that when he immigrated from Ireland and arrived in New York he had only one Irish pound, about the equivlant of a dollar, in his pocket. Cannaughton went on to serve in the U.S. Army, became a police officer, and later went on to a successful business career as the owner of Cannaughton’s Riverdale Steak House.

For grand marshal Linda Murphy, who founded a scholarship fund for children of firefighters and emergency service response workers in honor of her late husband who was killed in the 9/11 terriost attack, just spending time with her friends and neighbors made the day special.

“It is nice to see so many familiar faces from our community,” she said. “There are so many people here.”

Father Robert Dunn, who was first came to Throggs Neck when he was assigned to Jeanne Jugan in 2007, said that the parade showed the tight-knit fabric of the community in the vast amounts of residnents and friends lining the streets for the parade’s route.

“People know each other here, and that is something that you just do not find at Manhattan’s St. Patrick’s Day parade,” Dunn said. “You see families together here, and the rain is no problem with this crowd.”

Reach reporter Patrick Rocchio at (718) 742-3393 or procchio@cnglocal.com

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