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Annual Winterfest: A New Celebration Of Timeless Ideals

What do Dr. Maulana Karenga, Anna Jarvis, and Garden City’s own Robert Alvey have in common? They each founded a holiday to celebrate the human ideals we cherish. Dr. Karenga founded Kwanzaa as a celebration of African American family, culture and community. Anna Jarvis founded Mother’s Day to extol the virtues of motherhood. Rob Alvey founded the Garden City Bird Sanctuary/Tanners Pond Nature Preserve and in so doing inspired the board of directors to found Winterfest in January 2009. Our holiday is a celebration of the difference that each of us can make for this world to become a better place.

Rob’s selfless dedication to the environment and helping others is embodied in him and our volunteers/supporters with some of the best traits humanity has to offer, such as environmental stewardship, volunteerism, and hope for a better tomorrow because of the efforts that people of good will do for each other today. It is, therefore, my honor to invite all who wish to be there to the 5th Annual Winterfest. See the GCBS’s own holiday that celebrates these very same characteristics and honors our supporters as “people of good will” (a phrase you will hear quite a lot at our ceremonies)! Hence, our festivities are held the second Saturday of January each year. This year they will be held on January 12.

Winterfest begins at 4 p.m. as twilight approaches. As our supporters file in, there is warm cocoa to drink as we fill the birdfeeders and put up some decorations for our fine-feathered friends. About 4:30 p.m., we have a poem recitation around our newly planted trees. Then we culminate the event with our Candlelighting Ceremony at which we have the Great Telling. Just as some Native Americans have a ceremony that describes the history of their tribe, the directors tell the story of the GCBS and Winterfest itself. Each director tells a part of the story. During the ceremony we will publicly honor two of our outstanding helpers and then remember with gratitude both the people who dedicated trees in 2012 for someone special (either in honor or in memoriam) and those people for whom they were planted.

At Winterfest we also remember the past year’s accomplishments and dream of the ones to come in 2013. Special thanks to God this year for sparing insurmountable destruction by hurricane Sandy to our sanctuary and our supporters. We shall rebuild and reopen, stronger both as an organization and as individuals for the adversity endured. We celebrate Winterfest in the middle of the gloomiest time of the year when the days are short, the nights are bitter cold, and nature sleeps in the seeming throes of death. Why? Because our message of hope is “All Winters Must Come To An End.” Not only will the seasonal winter pass to a new springtime of life, but the various “winters” in our lives will also pass. The winter of health problems, financial worries, relationship problems, work related problems—all these “winters” will eventually end. The great religions of the world tell us that the winter of death itself is not the end of us, but a passing into a new life. As long as we remain people of good will, things will work out. Rob Alvey proved that with the GCBS; who thought that one man could establish and maintain so much good for so many people over many years?  

Winterfest takes place at 4 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 12 at the front gate of the GCBS opposite 181 Tanners Pond Rd., regardless of the weather. Please take note that we will have a tent erected to spare us from bitter cold winds, so don’t hesitate to come out. The event is free and open to the general public. Hope to see you there.

News

‘Landscape-altering’ bug creeping north

It’s a cute little ‘bug.’ What it represents, however, is anything but cute.

An unusual-looking Volkswagen is toodling around Long Island this month. Painted to resemble the Asian longhorned beetle (ALB), the VW Beetle is part of efforts by the US Department of Agriculture to eliminate the pest, which can destroy 70 percent of an area’s tree canopy, according to the agency. Initially, officials held hope for complete eradication from about 23 square miles of the Island designated as infested or at risk by 2016. Instead, this “landcape-altering pest” is spreading.

Elmont Library reneges on

Stewart Manor drop-box

It was announced at the August Stewart Manor Board of Trustees meeting that the Elmont Memorial Library recently reneged on a deal to place a library drop-box in Stewart Manor Village Hall. The box would have allowed the Village’s elderly residents a more convenient option for returning books. According to the Board, the deal was all but done before the library backed out at the last minute.

“They offered us the world and we got crumbs. Rocks, really,” said Stewart Manor Mayor Gerard Tangredi.


Sports

Garden City falls to Brentwood

after beating Farmingdale

The Farmingdale Baseball League recently capped off its fourth annual 9/11 baseball tournament with a series of championship games, to ultimately determine which Long Island town reigns supreme. On Aug. 16, teams from 8U to 14U fought tooth and nail for the ultimate prize.

One of the most exciting games was the evening 14U championship match-up between the Garden City Warriors and Brentwood Braves.

Fall Roller Hockey Programs Announced

The Garden City Recreation and Parks Department will once again offer various roller hockey programs this fall for both youth & adults who reside in the Inc. Village of Garden City. Whether you played in the past or looking to get involved, there is no better time to sign up and experience all the fun. All programs take place at the roller rink located at Community Park. Please note at this time, the recreation department is just announcing its programs. Fees and registration information will be announced at a later date.

This season, the roller hockey programs are broken down into grades. Please pay careful attention as grades and dates/times have changed:


Calendar

Alice in Nanoland

Thursday, August 28

Nature’s Nighttime Noises

Saturday, August 30

Art With A French Twist

Thursday, September 11



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