FUND RAISING WEEKEND FOR A PLAYGROUNDThe Forum
Thursday, September 21, 2000 - Page 7
Residents and community leaders came together on Friday, September 9 & Saturday, September 10, 2000 for two fundraisers for the proposed playground project of the Hamilton Beach portion of Charles Park, part of the Gateway National Recreation Area. The weekend kicked off with an Out Door End of Summer Dance. D.J. services were donated by local resident John Stewart and the facility was provided by the West Hamilton Beach Volunteer Fire Department. Residents young and old came out to dance the night away under the stars in the efforts of raising money for playground equipment.
The fun continued at the Quarter Carnival the following day. Once again, the crowds of people gathered at the firehouse moving to the music of D.J. -John Stewart, change in pockets and ready to play. Various games sponsored by S.T.A.R.S. gave everyone a chance to try their luck. Also on hand were Spin Art, Sand Art and face painting.
But no one could compete with cheers at the Soak The Mailman Booth, as local mail carrier John Bluemke got drenched. Bluemke and his wife volunteered to make and run the booth that clearly was a crowd pleaser. Lots of goodies were also available. Ice Cream bars (donated by Ben & Jerry's on Crossbay Boulevard) and Cotton Candy (donated by local resident Donna Penn) were sold, with all proceeds benefiting the project. All the prizes, donated in large part by members of S.T.A.R.S., including the Baseball signed by Yankee Shortstop Derrick Jeter, added to the event's success.
"The best part of the weekend was knowing how many people came out to contribute to the events," stated Frances 0. Scarantino, President/Founder of S.T.A.R.S. and co-chair of this project. "It was truly a community effort and we could never have pulled it off without everyone's help, especially the volunteer firefighters, the Stewart family, the Bluemke family, and the members of S.T.A.R.S." Even those who could not make the event either stopped by to drop off their donations or gave money to a neighbor to give on their behalf. When all the change was counted, it was determined that the combined fundraisers brought in a total of $1,086.19.
Elvira Barisano, co-chair of the project, was very encouraged by the achievements of the weekend stating, "What was once a concept on paper, has now begun to show signs of coming to fruition." Aside from raising much-needed funds, the weekend's events spread the enthusiasm throughout the community for the playground project. "This is just one example of what can be accomplished when determined people work together for a common goal," commented Joe Addabbo, Community Leader and Vice President of S.T.A.R.S.
Contributions are still being collected for the proposed playground project in efforts to meet the monetary goal. If you would like to contribute, please make checks payable to S.T.A.R.S. Youth Center and mail them to 8 Coleman Square, Howard Beach, NY 11414. Please include a note if you would like the money to be earmarked specifically to the "Proposed Playground Project".