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Opinion

At a recent meeting of the committee for Gambol 2007 the attending community members were asked to consider three possible venues for this future event: the Schreiber Gymnasium, Hempstead House and the new catering hall at Harbor Links. After attending this meeting, I was filled with a strong desire to reach out to the community to ask for your help in saving a long-standing tradition and vital part of this community.

Although it was encouraging to see so many community members attend a meeting about an event which will not occur until more than a year from now, I was saddened that it was necessary to raise the issue of a new location at all. The people of this community have been creating, developing, constructing and ultimately bestowing the precious gift of a Gambol to the seniors since 1952. Every aspect of the work involved including the relentless hours of design, solicitation, construction, fundraising, and the strong sense of the generous nature of this community have not escaped the attention and appreciation of the seniors and seniors-to-be. No matter how jaded and entitled we may feel that some of today's children have become, being the recipients of a long-standing tradition and a gracious act of love still has a large impact upon them and they truly regard it as an integral part of the special nature of being a graduate of Schreiber High School.

It is for the children of this town that I strongly believe that Gambol 2007 (as well as all future Gambols) should take place either in the Schreiber Gymnasium (as it has for 50 years) or at the Hempstead House (as it has for the past four years, first out of necessity and then out of desire). For Gambol 2007, due to an anticipated lack of parental/community involvement, there is an option to move the venue to Harbor Links. With this alternative, the amount of preparation and involvement will be significantly diminished. Without the continued hard work and personal investment from our community my fear is that the Gambol will become another gift for which we pay but not one in which we invest. Are we in danger of expressing to our children that they are no longer worth the time and personal contribution it takes from each of us to give them this unique and meaningful gift? We have clearly demonstrated to our children for the past 54 years that no amount of effort is too great to put into a worthwhile endeavor. And what is more worthwhile than our community coming together to create and present a magical, memorable, meaningful graduation gift? These are the lasting values and impressions that I hope we, as a community, will continue to model and impart to our children.

I implore each and every one of you to attend the next and final meeting concerning this issue. It is on July 12 at 7:30 p.m. at One Plum Beach Point Road. Our presence will be a compelling demonstration of our willingness to participate in the work before us and give us the opportunity to cast our vote on either one of the venues that will continue to express to our children and our community that we are special and our children are special. The people of Port Washington have in the past, and it is my vision, will continue into the future, put in the effort it takes to maintain a long-standing, greatly appreciated tradition. Let us show the planners of Gambol 2007 that they need not fear a lack of community involvement in any aspect of the event. The people of this town are hard-working and generous of themselves because our children are worth it!

Rebecca Weis


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