Letter from the President
It is a great honor for me to be the President of the Semantics on the auspicious occasion of the 50th Anniversary of the Club. I want to Thank each and every one of your attendance tonight and for helping us to celebrate this milestone Event.
I became a member of the Semantics in 1995 when I was brought to a meeting by my good friend, Anthony Oro, of Anthony’s Flowers Fame. I walked away from that first meeting impressed by the devotion of the members of the organization that go out of their way with both their time and money to raise the funds that the club disburses to assist those in need. I was also impressed by the personal nature of the giving. You were able to make a personal connection to the person that was benefitting from the Freight Brokers and Truckers Nights and the Annual Saint Patrick’s Day Benefits, that would not be possible in most charitable circumstances. Everybody has problems and challenges in their lives, but I would always leave a Semantics event humbled by the courage of the people we were trying to help. Whatever problems I had, seemed trivial in comparison to theirs.
With the Semantics, you get intimately involved in the recipient’s circumstances. And you can see firsthand the fruits of your efforts. You can see the handicapped bathroom that the Semantics helped construct for a young disabled nurse who had a terrible accident, you can hear of the medical progress of the five year old boy that is getting constructive surgery to reconstruct his ears. I heard that young boy’s Father tell us that he could not believe that a bunch of guys (and girls) from Kennedy Airport had heard about the problems that his family was having and were looking for him with a check for $5,000. He did not think such people as the Semantics exist, but he does now!
That donation did not cure the child and getting a benevolence check from the Semantics has never been a solution for anyone, nor is it any kind of big financial windfall. It is at best, a band aid for a gaping wound. But over the years, I have seen letters from people we have helped who were thankful to discover that there were individuals, who they had never met, that were expressing their concern and support with a few dollars, at a time when it was needed most. The Semantics really did make a difference in their lives that impacted them far beyond the amount of the check.
That is why we are here at this event tonight, to continue the efforts of a group of individuals, that made their living at Kennedy Airport, who decided in 1969 “To better ourselves through the betterment of man in the spirit of Altruism”.
The Semantics are still a work in progress, with a history they can be proud of, because of the generosity and support of people like you who have taken your time and your money to support the Club this evening. We can only do what we do, with your continued generosity.
Thank You all and while we work toward our benevolent goals, please be mindful of the fun and frolic that goes along with it and enjoy the evening.
Brendan P. Ryan