2008-01-04 / Columnists

Broad Channel Bits

Commentary By Liz Guarino

Happy New Year! It's always exciting to begin a new year. Some folks make resolutions to put themselves on a different path. Do you know that the number one resolution is to lose weight; numbers two and three are exercise and quitting smoking? Whether you made resolutions or not, enjoy this new year. May it be filled with many wonderful moments for each of us. And may 2008 bring peace, prosperity, joy and wonder to all!

The year is off to a flying start in the Channel with plenty of activity. A bus ride to Atlantic City to the Trump Plaza Casino on Tuesday, January 22 is being sponsored by St. Virgilius Golden Age. The bus will leave from the corner of Noel Road and Cross Bay Boulevard at 8:30 a.m. sharp! Cost is $30 per person; coin return is $25 with a food coupon worth $5. For a seat on the bus, contact Margaret at 718-945-4967 or Dolores at 718-634-9472.

The BCAC Jamaica Bay Little League has scheduled registration dates for the upcoming 2008 season. Registration dates are Saturday, January 19 and Saturday, January 26 from 10 a.m. till 2 p.m. at the VFW hall at Shad Creek Road and Cross Bay Boulevard. Registration fees are $100 for each child playing in the CYO program, and $50 per child for the inhouse program. At registration, each family is also required to purchase $25 in Field Maintenance Raffles- five tickets for a chance at winning a prize of $500! You can either put your name on them or sell them yourselves. There will be a $25 Late Fee charged for anyone who registers after January 26.

It is important to register on time so the league can set up the divisions and teams properly. This year both softball and baseball teams again will be put into the CYO program; there will be an in-house league for the younger kids ages 3 and up. The child must turn three on or before May 1, 2008 as the CYO programs go by the child's year of birth. Late registrants will only be accepted if there is space in the specific division for that child. This year each family must participate in selling Fantasy Baseball raffles. Each family will get five (5) raffle tickets to sell at $10 per ticket. The profits from this fundraiser will cover the cost of some capital improvements at the field. Save money by using the online registration and payment service on www.bcacny. com and go to the registration link and follow the instructions; save $10 per family for registering online. You must register online before or on January 31, 2008 to avoid paying a $25 late fee. Please register on time, so the league can properly set up the teams and divisions.

On Sunday, January 6 from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge kids age 8 and over and their families can take part in "Winter Birding for Kids." The workshop begins indoors with a view of bird behavior, and then goes walking outdoors to watch birds. Dress for that day's weather and bring binoculars. Pre-registration is a must; call 718- 318-4340.

Start the year off right by saving box tops and labels for education. The labels/box tops are used by elementary schools to get equipment for the schools. The Parents Association of P.S. 47 uses the box tops while the parochial schools on the Rockaway peninsula use the labels.

As they do every year, the vollies provided Santa visits on Christmas Eve to bring joy and presents to the Channel's children (and raise some much-needed cash for BCVFD as well). Most of the kids visited were quite young, but others were not that tiny. On Christmas Eve the fire engine could be heard going up and down the streets bringing Santa Claus on his appointed rounds of visitations to good boys and girls all over the Channel. The vollies worked very hard that evening getting Santa around to meet, greet, present gifts and pose for pictures with some very excited youngsters. At one house, Santa was greeted by two teenagers; he sat and waited for what he called "the little guy" to come out of the bathroom. The "little guy" was a strapping six-footer- who towered over Santa. Santa was somewhat surprised but he was a very good sport. He smiled and posed with the three teens for the grandfather's camera, then bidding farewell, continued on his rounds. An eighth grader, who was spending her first Christmas Eve in the Channel, believes in the spirit of Christmas but no longer in Santa Claus. When she saw Santa filling his bag with presents outside of a house on her block where younger kids live, she got very excited over the sight of him in spite of her age. Another child- not a wee one either- was obviously quite pleased with the present Santa had given him. He was heard to exult as the red and white suited fellow went on his way to keep other appointments: "Santa rocks!"

If you have a product or service you want to tell your neighbors about, the BCVFD annual journal is a great place to buy a little advertising space. A whole page, ½ page or even a fourth- can trumpet your business- and can include a photo. The journal is distributed at the annual installation dance. Ask the vollies about the journal.

If you have news that belongs in this column, please get the item(s) to me by Tuesday by 9 a.m. of the week in which the item is to appear.

Please sign your email or letter; like the rest of the newspaper, I cannot publish info that comes without a name.

Email can be sent to: Lizbcbits@aol.com

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