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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

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.

Budget adjustments, staff reductions recommended

The Garden City Board of Education will prepare to adopt next year’s school budget in a couple of weeks. Before they do, they’ll have to go over a few changes.

At the board’s public work session held at the high school on Wednesday, April 9, school superintendent Dr. Robert Feirsen recommended a few adjustments, part of the annual balancing act that is the school 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