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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

In an earlier column, Mayor John Watras shared some helpful tips on how to secure your property in preparation for a hurricane. The following are additional recommendations on what you can do now to be prepared in the event that a major storm hits Long Island.

As the storm approaches, customers should take the following steps to prepare for the arrival of either a hurricane or tropical storm:

New online company debuts

Two Long Island childhood friends, Scott Reich and Michael Winik, recently left their respective careers as an attorney and investment banker to pursue their dream of starting a business together, online food market OurHarvest.

“When Mike and I decided to start a business, we knew it had to reflect our shared love of food, address the lifestyles of our fellow Long Islanders, and be socially responsible,” said Reich.


Sports

Stretching tips for the high school athlete

Prior to the start of high school running season, Garden City’s Physical Therapy Options (PTO) had an opportunity to provide a presentation to members of Sacred Heart Academy’s cross country team. Team members gathered at Garden City’s New York Running Company to learn strategies and tips for a successful fall season.

PTO staff members Dr. Meghan Goetz, Doctor of Physical Therapy, and PTO Aide Mike Murphy discussed the importance of stretching to prevent injury and provided strategies and tips for success for the high school runner.

The league started on Saturday, Sept. 13 at Garden City’s Tullamore Park. It runs from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturdays. A uniform shirt and soccer balls are provided. Cleats and soccer shorts are recommended and players must wear shin guards. Age groups range from pre-k through 12th grade. Garden City residents and non-Garden City residents are welcome. Middle school and high school age volunteers are needed. No soccer experience is necessary. If you have any other questions, please contact Andy Garger at ajgarger@verizon.net or 516-775-8058.

— Submitted by the Challenger Soccer League


Calendar

Garden City High School Homecoming

Saturday, October 25

Marvelous Movie Matinée

Monday, October 27

A Map Of Artistic Inspiration

Saturday, November 1



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