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Old Traditions For A New Year

Families ring in 2014 at Children’s Museum

Many families in our area chose to take advantage of the holiday break from school and work commitments to enjoy one another. On New Year’s Eve, some families honored old traditions, others dreamed up new ones and everyone created lasting memories.

Those who ventured out for a mid-day celebration and countdown at the Long Island Children’s Museum in Garden City, experienced a space-theme gala featuring a Martian hitching a ride on the countdown ball, which fell at 4 p.m.

“Many parents tell us the don’t make it until midnight anymore and our ball drop is the big moment for them,” said Maureen P. Mangan, museum director of communications.

Mia Ramirez said, each New Year’s Eve, she enjoys spending time with her kids having a special dinner with child-friendly treats and playing board games. The whole family then enjoys a mock countdown at 10 p.m. Fellow mom Kristen had a great idea. She records the countdown from the previous year then plays it for the kids just before their bedtime, getting them to sleep, well before midnight.

Librarian Barbara Grodin, shared her New Year’s Eve tradition. “First we would all go grocery shopping,” she says. “The kids were allowed to chose anything they wanted. Then we set up a blanket in the living room and picnic while watching a family movie until the ball drop at midnight.”

Many people see the coming of a new year as an opportunity to do something new, lose some bad habits and take stock of the past year. Modeling how we do this for our children can assist them in goal setting, improve their memory and may help organize their thinking patterns. While children under 7 may have a difficult time understanding the concept of a “new year,” they can see for themselves how much they’ve changed by looking at pictures and growth chart markings.

Some families use scrapbooks to document the year while others spend time scrolling through pictures. “I simplify my scrapbooking by making a collage page featuring the highlights of the year. I ask the kids to share their favorite things about the past year and I write down their comments under the pictures,” said one East Norwich resident.

“This year we’re trying something new,” said Nikki, who didn’t wish to give her last name. “ I put a jar in the kitchen and placed some index cards next to it. Each time someone did something memorable, they would write it down on an index card and place it in the jar. On New Year’s Eve, we’re planning on opening the jar and reading our favorite moments from the past year.”

Once we’ve seen how far we’ve come in the past year, it’s only natural to want to begin the process of looking ahead. This may entail setting realistic goals. local mom Karen says, “Our family usually writes down three to four things we want to work on improving, whether it’s getting to bed earlier or being more positive. Then we see how we did at the end of the year.”

“We work on goal setting all year long,” says Ramirez. “New Year’s is a nice time, though to reassess how we’re doing and how far we’ve come.”

While reminiscing about her New Year’s celebrations when her children were young, Grodin had this to say, “traditions that you do as a family and remind you of family give you a warm feeling.”

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.

Stewart Manor budget, mayor’s salary increase

At a time when municipalities are grappling with keeping expenditures down, the Village of Stewart Manor saw not only its 2014-15 operating budget increase, but its mayor’s salary. At a meeting of the board of trustees held on Monday, April, 8, Stewart Manor adopted a budget of $2,418,548.03, a 1.4 percent increase over the previous year. In addition, the board approved a raise of $1,000 for Mayor Gerard Tangredi, bringing his salary to $3,000. The salaries for trustees John Egan, M. Carole Schafenberg, and William Grogan are set at $2,000 each. Deputy Mayor Michael Onorato has declined his stipend.

Salaries and benefits make up 42 percent of the total budget. According to the state comptroller, it’s acceptable for that number to be as high as 65 percent. The total costs of salaries and benefits have actually decreased by around 5 percent from the previous year’s adopted 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