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Tradition Triumphs Over Sandy

Garden City’s 58th Annual Village Tree Lighting goes off without a hitch

Garden City’s Chamber of Commerce presentation of the annual Village Tree Lighting was certainly the place to be for residents and Garden City supporters this past Sunday. Sponsored by Astoria Federal Savings, its staff was there to give out candy canes and small treats. This was the bank’s 18th year supporting the holiday festival, in cooperation with the Recreation and Parks Department and Garden City Fire Department. As in past years, this village tree lighting allowed friends and families to come together and enjoy the essence of Christmas and togetherness.

The village gazebo came alive with lights, music, and happy spirits awaiting the arrival of Santa and the flick of the switch to illuminate the tree at the holiday festival. Music was provided by The Five Stone band, which played classic rock and alternative Christmas songs. Garden City High School’s Vocal Jazz Ensemble also performed unique renditions of many Xmas classics directed by Stephen Mayo. Enthusiastic residents of all ages who came to enjoy the afternoon with family members and even pets sat in lawn chairs scattered throughout the village green. Mary Spadaro has been a Garden City resident for more than 47 years, and has always attended and looked forward to this holiday celebration.

“This event is very family oriented,” said Spadaro. “The Garden City community is very close, and has a celebration for almost every holiday.”

As the day went on, the crowd grew, as legions of eager and excited children and parents waited for Santa Claus to show up on his traditional red fire truck to assist Mayor Brudie with the big moment. Kingsley Bear, Kings Supermarket mascot, was also in attendance, socializing and taking photos with attendees.

Hot chocolate and munchkins were generously given out by the Garden City Volunteer Fire Department to the public, along with holiday cookies from Bagelman, Riesterer’s Bake Shop, Kings Super Markets, Dunkin’ Donuts, My Three Sons Bagel Cafe, and Key Food Marketplace.

Director John Wilton, senior marketing director for Garden City Properties, Inc./GC Commercial, expressed his appreciation over the event being a continued success this year despite damaged areas in and around town. He also stated that the annual tree lighting is an important and traditional part of Garden City history.

Mayor Donald T. Brudie spoke before the tree was lit, thanking all the supporters and residents and expressed the gratefulness he feels that Garden City had the luxury of returning to a post-Hurricane Sandy regularity that not all surrounding towns have. The mayor continued to enjoy the afternoon, mingling among the crowd.

Santa Claus easily took the spotlight, putting a majority of the children in a frenzy of smiles and awe upon his arrival. After addressing the crowd to wish all a Merry Christmas, Santa hung around to talk to his many lively fans to answer questions and listen to children’s claims that they have certainly been good, making for a successful afternoon of holiday joy.

News

April 19 fundraiser to be

held for baby with rare disease

Tom Onorato, the nephew and office manager of Dr. Joseph Onorato Garden City practice All Island Dermatology Plastic Surgery & Laser Center, recently celebrated the birth of a baby boy with his wife Melissa. Both were thrilled when Thomas Kevin Onorato came into the world on September 10, 2013. Despite being born five weeks early, baby Thomas managed to surprise his parents with his indomitable spirit and was sent home with a clean bill of health. A mere four days later began the fight for Thomas’ life.

Stewart Manor budget, mayor’s salary increase

At a time when municipalities are grappling with keeping expenditures down, the Village of Stewart Manor saw not only its 2014-15 operating budget increase, but its mayor’s salary. At a meeting of the board of trustees held on Monday, April, 8, Stewart Manor adopted a budget of $2,418,548.03, a 1.4 percent increase over the previous year. In addition, the board approved a raise of $1,000 for Mayor Gerard Tangredi, bringing his salary to $3,000. The salaries for trustees John Egan, M. Carole Schafenberg, and William Grogan are set at $2,000 each. Deputy Mayor Michael Onorato has declined his stipend.

Salaries and benefits make up 42 percent of the total budget. According to the state comptroller, it’s acceptable for that number to be as high as 65 percent. The total costs of salaries and benefits have actually decreased by around 5 percent from the previous year’s adopted budget.  


Sports

Easter Egg Hunt For Pre-K To Grade 5

The Garden City Recreation Department is once again sponsoring the annual Easter Egg Hunt on Saturday, April 19 at Community Park’s fields. This Year Three hunt will be held at 10 a.m. sharp with three age divisions: preschool to kindergarten, grades 1 and 2; and grades 3 to 5.

Special eggs will be stuffed and hidden for all divisions. Each hunt will also feature a grand prize (an Easter basket filled with goodies) which will go to the youngster who finds the egg marked “#1 Lucky Egg.” For further information about the hunt, please call the recreation department at 516-465-4075.

Commitment at Kellenberg

Garden City residents continue to excel while participating in the athletic program over at Uniondale’s Kellenberg Memorial High School.

Each season, coaches of Kellenberg sports pick one player from their squad who has demonstrated remarkable commitment to the team through their hard work at practice and in competition.

The Village of Garden City has a long history of residents who've excelled both on the academic and athletic side of the ledger at Kellenberg. This time around, seniors Kelly O’Donnell (varsity cheerleading), Stacy Madelmayer (varsity girls basketball) and Bryan Salecker (swimming and diving team) have all been awarded the Commitment Award for their outstanding efforts, devotion, hard work and commitment to their respective teams.


Calendar

Dinner & A Movie: In Transition 2.0

Thursday, April 17

School Budget Meeting

Wednesday, April 23

Judi Mark One-woman Show At Library

Thursday, April 24



Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
Written by Mike Barry, MFBarry@optonline.net

Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com