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Letter: A Message of Thanks

On Friday evening, December 2, this year’s Holiday Lighting of the Village of Farmingdale’s Tricentennial Tree took place on the Village Green. This blue spruce tree was planted following the community’s Tricentennial of Settlement observance in 1987, which commemorated the 300th anniversary of the arrival of the first settler Thomas Powell in 1687. The Farmingdale-Bethpage Historical Society has been one of the co-sponsors of the Tree Lighting event since the first was held in 1989. Incidentally, we will reach the community’s 325th anniversary of settlement next year, 2012.

This year’s event was the first in its 23-year history to be postponed due to unfavorable weather. The original date, November 29, was a very wet day. We appreciate the decision of Mayor George Starkie and the Village Board to move the program to Friday evening, which was a perfect night weather-wise, clear and seasonably cool.

Much appreciation is extended to Brad DeMilo, who has organized the event and served as its master of ceremonies for the past several years. Brad effected the rescheduling quickly, after numerous phone calls. Friday evening however was a conflict for Brad personally, as he was scheduled to participate in a music educators’ conference at the same time in an upstate city. He quickly resolved the dilemma by asking his daughter Erika Felker to do the “emcee” honors. Erika, a music instructor at Saltzman-East Memorial School, did a superb job!

Many others cooperated to make this brief but festive program a success, including:

*Mayor of the Village of Farmingdale George Starkie, the Village Board of Trustees, and the Village Department of Public Works, under the leadership of Andy Fisch

*The Village Beautification Committee, led by Deputy Mayor Pat Christiansen, who colorfully decorated the Village Green and the Gazebo/Bandstand, along with other numerous areas of the Village.

*Judy Feuss, director of the Third Grade Chorus at Northside Elementary School, and her students for their beautiful musical selections

*The Farmingdale Chamber of Commerce for providing the South Shore Brass Ensemble, a highly skilled instrumental group, for the 23rd consecutive year

*Jeff Pritzker, audio-visual technician of the Farmingdale Public Schools, who set up and manned the public address system so capably

*JoAnne Bihary, hospitality chair of the Farmingdale-Bethpage Historical Society, in providing refreshments in Village Hall following the program, ably assisted by FBHS members Joe Carosella Sr., Bob Deignan, and Pierre Lehmuller

Finally, we thank the members of the community who attended the program in likely the largest numbers ever. The officers, trustees, and members of the FBHS wish all a happy, healthy, and safe holiday season!

Mildred Johnston, president of Farmingdale-Bethpage
Historical Society