Alley Pond Environmental Center held its annual Green Gala Thursday night inside the elegant penthouse of Flushing's Terrace on the Park, honoring two Queens conservationists.
National Grid President Kenneth Daly was presented with the award for Corporate Friend of The Environment of 2011, an honor of which he said he was proud.
"I'm here on behalf of my 10,000 colleagues at National Grid in the state of New York and also the thousands of others in the U.S. and the U.K. We're proud to be the number one utility company in the world in terms of our commitment to the environment," Daly said.
Deputy Mayor of Operation Cas Holloway was also recognized at Thursday’s awards banquets, taking home this year's Green Leadership Award.
"It really is an honor to be here tonight receiving this honor," Holloway said.
Both men garnered high praise for their dedication to environmental protection and the restoration of the wetlands in northeast Queens as well as throughout the city.
"In many ways, Alley Pond is like my backyard and I think it's incredibly important that all of us act as stewards on its behalf," said gala attendee Andrew Kolodny, of Douglaston, a long time APEC supporter.
For many who attended the soiree, it was a celebration of the hard work that countless people have put in through the years.
"The world we inherit is the one we have a duty to pass down to our children and I'm proud to have been a supporter of such a critical movement here in Queens," said Marjorie Ferrigno, of Flushing.
The Green Gala is the largest annual fundraiser for the Alley Pond Environmental Center.
"The center relies heavily on fundraising events and sponsors, so evenings like tonight are crucial," said Aline Euler, education director at APEC.
Former State Sen. Frank Padavan, another long time friend and supporter of the Alley Pond Environmental Center, also dropped by the ceremony.
"Looking back on what they've accomplished over the past 30 years, it really makes me proud that I was apart of it," he said.
The Alley Pond Environmental Center provides environmental educational programs to over 55,000 children per year and its wetlands are home to hundreds of different types of plants and animals.
For information on the environmental center or the educational programs they offer visit www.alleypond.org.