2005-01-07 / Columnists

Broad Channel Bits

By Liz Guarino

Happy New Year! Some folks slept through the New Year’s Eve celebrations while others attended parties, both large and small. Whatever you chose to do on that night, I hope you enjoyed yourself tremendously. Let’s hope 2005 is a very good year—healthy, happy and prosperous—for all of us!

Fluffy eggs, pancakes and a lot of other good breakfast items (and cake afterwards!) will be served up this weekend! There will be a Brunch at the VFW Hall on Shad Creek Road held on Sunday, January 9 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Chances for St. Virgilius Parents’ Association 20/10 Club are on sale now. Drawing begins on February 1, 2005 and will run for 10 weeks. First prize of $200, second prize of $100 and third prize of $50 are awarded weekly. There is an Easter bonus prize of $250. In the tenth week there are two $500 prizes and a prize of $250. Winners can repeat weekly. Chances are $20 each. To buy chances call Karen at 718 945-5823, the rectory at 718 634-5680 or the school at 718 634-6237. Chances make great gifts for those who have January, February and March birthdays!

RAA’s show, Gifted 2004, will be open this weekend. The last day to view this exhibit is Sunday, January 9; it is being held in Fort Tilden’s sTudio 6. The exhibit includes paintings in various media, photography, sculpture and other works. For more information on this or future exhibits or on joining the organization, call RAA at 718 474-0861 or email them at: rockart116 @aol.com.

The gallery is open to the public and there is no charge for viewing the artworks. Gallery hours on Saturday are from noon to 5 p.m. and on Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m.

On Sunday, January 16 at 1 p.m. there will be a Winter Botany Walk at Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge. Join a park volunteer and learn to identify winter plants (did you know there are winter wildflowers?), hear folklore and learn about the importance of winter plant life to wildlife. Reservations are required and can be made at 718 318-4340.

Books and Bagels, the book discussion group which meets at the B.C. Library, will next meet at the Library on Thursday, January 13, 2005 at 10 a.m. Under discussion will be “The Lovely Bones,” a highly unusual, but very fascinating read, by Alice Sebold.

By now, everyone who needed or wanted a flu shot has gotten one..

If you didn’t get a shot, call your doctor and find out if he/she has gotten the material for the shot or if the office can steer you toward a shot elsewhere in the event that the doctor ran out of or didn’t get the necessary materials. Even if you got the shot, other viruses and colds are making the rounds at work, school and home. So how can you tell if you’ve got the flu or a garden variety cold? Flu comes on suddenly, unlike a cold; flu sufferers run fevers while colds don’t produce them. Flu sufferers feel exhausted while colds are somewhat tiring. Appetites disappear with flu, but are present and nearly normal with colds. Lastly, if muscles ache, you have the flu; if they don’t you have a cold.

A reminder that both of our schools are involved in the General Mills box tops for education program, which has a website located at: www.boxtopsforeducation.com Each of the designated box tops is worth 10 cents to the school which gets it! There is a box in the main lobby of P.S. 47 to collect them. At St. Virgilius School they can be left at the school office or deposited in the designated receptacle in the rear of the church.

Products on which you can find these special boxtops number in the hundreds and include: the many General Mills cereals and snack-type products’ Bisquick; Bugles; Lloyd’s bowl meals; Totinos Pizza Rolls; tube refrigerated dough products like Grands; Hamburger Helper; Old El Paso products; Betty Crocker baking products; Gold Medal flour; Yoplait yoghurt products and Nature Valley granola bars to name a few! Each school can earn as much as $20,000 from each of three program components.

Americans are noted for their generosity around the world when it comes to providing aid in the wake of a natural disaster like earthquake or flood. It is not surprising, therefore, that our hearts go out to the survivors of the treacherous tsunamis that destroyed so many people’s lives on the Asian and African continents.

Living close to the water as we all do, none of us is unfamiliar with the idea of losing one’s material goods to water that has overreached its boundaries. The number of those who have lost their lives in this natural disaster is staggering.

Many folks want to open their wallets to survivors along with their hearts, but aren’t sure how best to help. Sending items to the devastated areas is too difficult.

In addition to food, clean drinking water and clothing, the survivors need medical care and supplies as well as blankets, household supplies and shelter etc.

The best thing to send seems to be money; it will enable relief organizations to provide whatever is necessary. Many houses of worship are collecting money to send to the areas.

Since not everyone is affiliated, those who do not belong to a specific group may prefer to give through humanitarian organizations.

Use the 800 number or go online to find out how to make out your check and where to send it: Care USA, 800 521-CARE or go to www.careusa.org; Doctors Without Borders, 888 392-0392 or www.doctorswithoutborders. org; Mercy Corps, 800 852-2100 or www.mercycorps.org; Operation USA, 800 678-7255 or www.operationusa. org or World Concern 800 755-5022 or www.worldconcern.org

Do you have news that you want to see in this space? (Please get your important information to me by 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday morning if you need it in that Friday’s column.).

Send email to: Lizbcbits@aol.com.

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