Unfortunately the Memorial Day parade and fair were canceled due to heavy rain. However, the traditional Memorial Day Ecumenical Community Service commenced at 9 a.m. at the Cathedral of the Incarnation. It was a very solemn but uplifting service and I encourage residents to attend next year if they can. The Community Exercise, under the auspices of the William Bradford Turner Post 265 and the American Legion Auxiliary, was held at 10 a.m. at the Garden City Middle School auditorium. Because of the change in time I realize that many residents were disappointed that they missed the ceremony.
3rd Vice Commander Dr. Joseph Frey officiated and Post Commander John Donovan offered greetings and presented awards to former Mayor Robert Lewis, Reverend Major Brian McNamara, former assistant pastor of St. Joseph's, and Rev. Laurence Behan, assistant pastor of St. Joseph's Church.
I was honored to join a number of invited speakers to offer thoughts on this solemn day. These included Congresswoman Carolyn McCarthy, Senator Kemp Hannon, Hempstead Town Councilman Ed Ambrosino and Dr. Robert Scott, Adelphi University president.
The Garden City High School Marching Band played several patriotic songs, including The Star Spangled Banner. They were excellent. The raising of the colors was conducted by honored Gold Scouts Kathy Tauches and Susan Gregg and Eagle Scout David Hroncich.
Special thanks to the Department of Public Works for setting up and taking down equipment in the rain and of course to our police department for making sure things ran smoothly. I share in the disappointment of all, particularly the youngsters who were to march in the parade to honor those who died defending our country, that all events were unable to be implemented.
On Tuesday evening, May 27, at The Garden City Hotel, Eileen Murphy received the Maurice and Kay Kirby Award from the Mineola/Garden City Rotary for her sustained spirit of volunteerism and commitment to the community. She is the second woman to receive this prestigious award out of a total of 13. The first woman to receive it was the late Julianne O. Lewis.
Family, friends and Rotary members celebrated Eileen's many and diversified volunteer achievements. In addition, Chamber Executive Director Althea Robinson, to her surprise, received a Paul Harris Fellow International Award in recognition of her willingness to give to others and provide service above self. On behalf of the board of trustees and residents I extend a warm and well-deserved congratulations to both.
Of interest to me was that Althea Robinson was the second female to join the Mineola/Garden City Rotary. As volunteerism is the corner stone of our unique Community Agreement form of government, I think that it is quite significant that these three outstanding women have served in a number of elected roles for many years in their Eastern Property Owners Association (EPOA). And that Maureen Clancy, in addition to being the village's first woman trustee, was also the first woman to join the Mineola/Garden City Rotary in 1987. She also received, in a prior year, a Paul Harris Fellow Award. Aren't we lucky to have three such outstanding role models in our village?
Now on to a subject that provides for the services that we all need and enjoy - taxes. I want to remind all taxpayers that their village tax bills will be mailed to them and their banks this week. The first half of village taxes are due during the month of June and will be delinquent and subject to a penalty if payment is not made on or before July 2. Kindly return the "first half" bill stub with your payment.
The 5th Annual Belmont Stakes Festival at Garden City will be held this Friday, June 6, from 6 to 10 p.m. along Seventh Street and Franklin Avenue. Although the parade will step off at 7 p.m. from Village Parking Field 9E, south on Franklin Avenue and west on Seventh Street to the Village Green, the festivities this year will begin earlier in the day at The Garden City Hotel. The first annual "Hats Off to Garden City Contest," sponsored by Saks, will be held there as well as the "Old Bag" fashion show and luncheon.
The silent auction of new, gently used and vintage designer handbags will raise funds for Winthrop University Hospital's Pediatric Fund for the Future and the Grayson-Jockey Research Foundation. Somehow, I was convinced that as the first woman mayor, I should participate in the fashion show! Another first for me and I only hope that it helps raise more funds for these worthy charities. This event is open to everyone and prizes will be presented following the parade.
This exciting family event will include street performers, antique and vintage cars, local area fire departments, face painting, musical entertainment in addition to the return of the Budweiser Clydesdales, the Nassau County Pipe Band and the Garden City High School Band. Various bands will be entertaining along Seventh Street throughout the evening. Make it a part of your family's weekend plans.
The Clydesdale Team will be preparing for the parade at the employees' parking field at village hall - west of Fire Headquarters on Stewart Avenue. The public is invited to observe.
For information regarding pre-registration contact the Garden City Chamber of Commerce at 746- 7724. Registration will also be held this Friday, June 6 at 5 p.m. on the Village Green.
In order to accommodate the event as safely as possible, Seventh Street will be cleared of parked vehicles starting at 4 p.m. and will be closed to all traffic at that time. Parking fields to the rear of the stores (7S and 7N) will remain open.
It has been the village's pleasure to work closely with the Garden City Chamber of Commerce, the Garden City Hotel, Saks Fifth Avenue and the New York Racing Association (NYRA) on this event. We are all looking forward to June 6 and the Belmont Festival at Garden City and thank its three sponsors: NYRA, KeySpan and the Garden City Hotel.