Photos: BIG Oscars Honor Local Heroes

Bay Improvement Group held its annual Oscar Awards Dinner for Distinguished Service, honoring local business leaders and public safety heroes last Thursday, April 14.

The local ceremony is its own odd brand of Sheepshead Bay kitsch, if only for the curious design of the award: a trophy topped with twin icons, one reminiscent of the Academy Award statuette, and the other of a fish frozen in mid-flop. About 50 people chowed down waterside at Il Fornetto Restaurant (2902 Emmons Avenue), entertained by an Elvis impersonator and a ventriloquist comedian (Johnny Lombardi a.k.a. Gemini) that got his start working at Pip’s back in the day.

After speaking to brass in the relevant departments, BIG chose to honor the 61st Precinct’s Officer Lawrence Dunbar, an officer that launched his career at the 61st and, according to Deputy Inspector Mastrokostas, has been instrumental in providing intelligence about crime and suspects in a slew of cases, including a Secret Service counterfeiting bust and several gang- and drug-related arrests.

They then turned their attention to Captain William Gallagher of FDNY Ladder Company 169, who pulled off a daring rescue of an elderly couple in a Brighton Beach apartment last June.

Other honorees included the local office of the Young Adult Institute, a care and educational facility for people with developmental and learning disabilities, as well as Il Fornetto and Liman’s Seafood Grill for their service to the community. They also surprised BIG executive member Bill Woodroffe with an award for his dedicated service to the group, the community and waterfront activism.


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