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Civic Duty Begins At Home

Andy Foundation founder honored by village board

Jill Palmeri, founder of a local charitable organization born out of a tragic event to a loved one in her life, was honored by Garden City Mayor John J. Watras and his trustees at the village board meeting held on Thursday, Dec. 5.

The Andy Foundation was founded by Palmeri in 2004 to honor the memory of her late son Andrew; it’s mission is to help children in need, and to date, the volunteer-driven organization has raised more than $700,000 for kids throughout Long Island through fundraising efforts that include tag sales, football clinics, and bingo parties.

Mayor Watras presented Palmeri with an official proclamation celebrating her hard work in giving back to children in need in light of her own terrible loss years ago.

“The Andy Foundation have become an iconic group in the village, and everything they do is unbelievable,” he said. “They’ve been involved in numerous charities, and while I wish there didn’t even have to be an Andy Foundation, Jill was very brave after we lost Andy in 2004 and memorialized her son in a very special way, and all the people she’s energized in the village is just beyond belief.”

Also at the meeting the Garden City Fire Chief William Castoro welcomed the newest addition to the ranks of the village’s volunteer fire department­—22-year-old James Akel, who was approved unanimously to the position by a board vote.

“It’s always great to have a new volunteer on our team,” he said. “We have a great bunch of guys that you get to join, and we wish you luck.”  

Akel, a recent graduate of Adelphi University where he studied business, said that he felt compelled to become a firefighter out of a strong civic-minded desire to serve his friends and neighbors.

“I wanted to serve my community,” he said. “A lot of my close friends are volunteer firefighters, and it’s something that I’ve always been interested in doing.”

“I’m so proud of him,” said Akel’s mother, Cecilia, who was in attendance at the meeting. “I’m concerned, and I’m proud.”

Trustee Dennis C. Donnelly also reported on recent holiday shopping in the village, most notably Small Business Saturday, an event that seeks to promote local retailers after the onslaught of chain store shopping that normally occurs on Black Friday. Unfortunately, Donnelly said that Small Business Saturday was not a great local success this year when compared to years prior.

 “Many merchants are saying that business on Small Business Saturday was not what they were hoping,” he said. “Please keep in mind that, as the holiday season progresses, if you can shop locally among our merchants in our village, that would be very positive.”

Donnelly’s sentiments were echoed by Mayor Watras, who urged people in attendance at the meeting to spread the word- shop locally and support Garden City merchants. “We have wonderful stores and restaurants in town, so please...don’t go to the big box stores. Come here instead,” he said.

Village Administrator Robert L. Schoelle also gave an initial report in the status of the development of next year’s village budget

“The department heads have been extraordinarily diligent in terms of focus not only on this year’s budget, but next year’s budget as well,” he said. “That should place us in good standing for the budget season of 2014-15.”

News

Michael Stano named to Master Teacher program

Michael Stano of Garden City High School has been named a New York State Master Teacher by Governor Andrew Cuomo.

“The Master Teacher Program creates a community of teacher experts dedicated to providing a first-rate learning experience for students across New York, and contributes to our efforts to attract and retain the best and the brightest in our STEM classrooms,” Cuomo said.

Stewart Manor Fire Department to host open house

You hear the horn sound multiple times a day, around the clock, but did you ever wonder what happens during the critical moments after a distress call is made to the firehouse? Who are the volunteers who are stopped in their tracks at the sound of that horn and dash off to help a neighbor in need? You’d be surprised to learn that it could be the gentleman you see walking his dog after work in the evenings, the woman you see standing at the bus stop with her children every morning, or even the young man you used to see playing with his friends in front of your house.


Sports

Registration For The Community Garden Begins

If you are interested in obtaining a plot in Garden City Recreation and Parks’ Community Garden, it is now time to register. Applications will be accepted until May 1. Plots will then be assigned for planting around May 10. If more applications are received than the number of plots available, all applications will be put in a lottery and winners will be notified.

Spring/Summer Adult Tennis Registration Forms Available

The Garden City Recreation Department will conduct evening tennis lessons for adults who are residents of the Inc. Village of Garden City at the Community Park tennis facility. The lessons will run for one hour each week in three sessions during the spring/summer months. The registrant has a choice of a Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday class and a choice of time. There will be a maximum of four players per court. The dates and fees will be as follows:

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.


Calendar

Going To The Birds (Sanctuary)

Saturday, April 26

Nassau Coaches Meet

Saturday, April 26

Making A Beautiful Noise

Friday, May 2



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