St. Anthony of Padua ‘girl group’ honored at street naming
BY PATRICK ROCCHIO
One of the early ‘girl groups’ of
Rock and Roll was honored with a
street co-naming near where they
fi rst launched their career.
The Chantels, famous for their
1958 hit ‘Maybe’, had a street corner
co-named in their honor in Morrisania
on Friday, April 5.
One of the fi rst girl groups to
gain national attention, the Chantels
met while singing in the St. Anthony
of Padua Church choir and
attending the parish’s high school
in the 1950s, said Lois Powell, a Chantel
who attended the ceremonial
Prospect Avenue between East
165th and East 166th streets, near
the church, was named in their
The unveiling of the sign with
band members was followed by a
program inside St. Anthony of Padua’s
where members of Toys and
Cookies, R&B girl groups from the
same era, serenaded the Chantels
with renditions of some of their top
songs. Powell said the group found
hearing their songs performed by
others especially moving.
“It was totally overwhelming,”
said Powell. “It was amazing that we
ended up when we started, that was
by the grace of God.”
Powell said that the Chantels
were thankful and grateful for anyone
who had been a part in making
the day happen.
The sign unveiling and program
honored the group: Powell, Arlene
Smith, Jacqueline Landry Jackson
(who passed away in 1997), Renee
Minus White, and Sonia Goring
Wilson, as well as the band’s newest
member Neomi Ortiz Brink.
Beverly Lindsay-Johnson from
Kendall Research, Clyde Fraser Sr.
of the Frederick Samuel Foundation,
and Hal Keshner organized the
program, and the church was glad
to welcome the group home.
“I am very excited and feel that
the parish community is privileged
to host such a special event for the
south Bronx,” stated Fr. Joseph
Espaillat of St. Anthony of Padua
Church, adding “Welcome home Chantels.”
Approximately 400 people
attended the tribute.
Councilman Rafael Salamanca,
who got the street co-naming passed
in the NYC City Council in 2018,
said that in 1958, when Elvis Presley
and Chuck Berry were making
their names, it was remarkable that
fi ve teenage girls from St. Anthony
of Padua High School caught the attention
“An inspiration to other girl
groups of the time, it was only fi tting
that we permanently honored
The Chantels contribution to music
in United States and in the south
Bronx,” said Salamanca.
Their fi rst hit, ‘Maybe’ went to
15 on the Billboard 100 charts and
reached number one in Canada and
number two on the U.S. R&B chart.
The song title and the year are featured
prominently on the sign.
Fraser was recognized as one of
the key people who spearheaded the
street co-naming effort.
John Dudley, district manager
of Community Board 3, said that
Fraser brought to his attention the
fact that the Chantels got their start
at the church, and that they had already
honored another early Rock
and Roll group from the area, The
www.BXTimes.com BRONX WEEKLY April 14, 2019 8
Councilman Rafael Salamanca joins members of the Chantels who fi rst met when they were part of the St. Anthony of
Padua’s Church choir for a street co-naming in their honor on Friday, April 5. The street co-naming honors their 1958 hit
song ‘Maybe.’ Members of the group include Lois Powell, Sonia Wilson, Renee Minus White and Ami Ortiz.
Photo by Silvio Pacifi co
American Turners NY to send teams to nationals
BY PATRICK ROCCHIO
A local chapter of a national
promotes soundness of body
and mind is sending a team
to the Midwest to compete in
a national competition.
American Turners New
York, which has its NYCbased
Throggs Neck, will field
teams comprised of youth
and adults to compete in a
variety of sports at the 55th
National Turner Competition
in Fort Wayne, IN in
The event, sometimes
called ‘Turnfest,’ also includes
and is the longest running
festival in the United States,
occurring every four years.
“It’s like a mini-Olympics
with a family flavor,” said
Terry Fardella, ATNY president.
Elaine Makowski, ATNY
vice president, said that it
was the first time in about
20 years that the local Turners
have fielded a group to
compete at the nationals.
Plans have already been
made for lodging and travel
for at least 16 youth and
adults, all of whom are members
of the private organization.
The ATNY team will compete
in swimming, golf, pickleball
(a racquet sport), drill,
track and field, and cultural
competitions which include
the performing and visual
arts, said Arlene Grauer,
ATNY past vice president.
Both youth and adults
will be competing in the
tournaments, said Grauer,
adding that the organization
is looking to make use of all
that their national parent
group has to offer, including
the ‘turnfest’ and some
“(The trip) should develop
a new feeling of ‘esprit
de corps,’” said Grauer, adding
“The kids will get to see
another part country, and
compete like they haven’t
Grauer said that she was
helping with the planning
which is easy for her because
she has family in the
Fort Wayne area.
(l-r) Terry Fardella, president; Joe Loughery, participant; Elaine Makowski, vice president; and Michele Loughery, trustee and head
swim coach all are in the process of preparing for a trip to the nationals in Indiana. Photo courtesy of American Turner