2009-12-04 / Columnists

Broad Channel Bits

By Elizabeth Guarino

The wind now blows with a bit more gusto as the temperatures drop slowly and mostly overnight. Almost everyone is wearing a winter coat, but there are still nice enough days to sit outdoors in an average weight jacket in the sunshine. The trees have dropped their leaves (or had them blown off earlier last month by powerful winds). Still, the nice days we are enjoying make thoughts of snow and ice feel out of place as we bask in an extended autumn!

The 21st Annual Craft and Christmas Gift Sale on Friday, December 4 from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. and on Saturday, December 5 from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. is presented by The Broad Channel Crafters and the American Legion Auxiliary. Craft Sale will be held in the American Legion Hall at 209 Cross Bay Boulevard in Broad Channel. Ornaments, baked goods, raffles, jewelry and more will be available. All proceeds benefit the Rockaway Graybeards Wounded Warrior Fund.

A "Winter Birding Workshop" will be held at the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge on Sunday, December 6 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. with Andrew Baksh and Don Riepe. An indoor/outdoor presentation will look at the many feathered species that over-winter in the refuge. Call 718-318-4340 to sign up for this event.

On Wednesday, December 9 from 9 a.m. till 11:30 a.m. Sister Ave Clark of Heart to Heart Ministry will conduct an Advent morning of prayer at St. Virgilius School in the meeting room. Coffee and cake will be served.

An old-fashioned Christmas Tree Lighting will take place on Thursday, December 10 at the BCAC Field from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Come and decorate the tree. Ornaments are handmade courtesy of the children of the community. There will be free hot cocoa and cookies and free candy canes. Carols will be sung by the Broad Channel Girl Scout troop and the PS 47 Chorus. There will be a visit from Santa Claus! Tree lighting will take place at approximately 6 p.m. There will be caroling around the neighborhood immediately following the tree lighting; everyone is welcome to take part.

Enjoy Sunday Brunch at Christ Presbyterian Church on December 13 from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Your choice of scrambled eggs or pancakes and sausage or bacon; hash brown potatoes will be served with both choices. Juice, coffee, tea and cake will be served. Donation is $7. Tickets for 50/50 drawing to be pulled at brunch are $10. Call Al at 718-474-0534; Barbara at 718- 318-2281; Joyce at 718-474-7769; Tony at 718-945-2334 or Janet at 718-318-6454.

Children ages 4 to 8 and an accompanying adult are invited to Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge on Sunday, December 13 from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. to learn about "Winter Animal Homes." Indoors they will listen to a story, make decorations that benefit wildlife, then take a brief walk outdoors in the refuge. Make reservations at 718-318-4340.

On Thursday, December 24 at 4 p.m. there will be a vigil mass at St. Virgilius Church and a Christmas pageant in which students are invited to participate. Those interested in being part of the pageant are asked to meet Barbara Ahlemeyer in the church after the 10 a.m. mass on Sunday, December 6.

Barbara Toborg, chairperson of the Broad Channel Historical Society, wishes to remind everyone that they can get the 2010 Broad Channel Historical Calendar in Wharton's — which also carries the book Images of America: Broad Channel. They make great stocking stuffers/gifts. Barbara still is seeking a photo of the 1939 graduating class of St. Virgilius School. If you have access to this photo, e-mail Barbara at tobytoborg@ aol.com or call 718-474-1127.

The next meeting of the RAA Writers Group will be held in T 6 at 4 p.m. until 6 p.m. on Sunday, December 13. All types of writers are welcome. Bring a sample of your work to read or have read, if you wish.

Congratulations to Alyssa O'Connor of West 10th Road, a fifth grade student at St. Camillus School, who is soon to become a published writer. She will retain the rights to her original work, allowing her to publish the essay again. (One time rights are allowed so the essay can appear in the anthology, after which all rights return to Alyssa.) Over the summer, Alyssa entered an online writing contest at Creative Communication: A Celebration of Today's Writers. Creative holds writing (essays and poetry) contests for K through 12th grade students. Alyssa's essay entry has been selected for publication in a hardcover book, the Fall 2009 Anthology. Alyssa's essay is about the May donation of her hair (which was cut locally) to "Locks of Love," an organization which uses the hair to make wigs for cancer stricken children. "Celebrating What Is Important to Me" is the title of the anthology. A certificate has been received by Alyssa; her essay is still in competition and may win a further prize.

If you drove into the Channel at midday this past Sunday from the Rockaways, you got a welcoming wave from Elmo — a much loved Sesame Street character via a costumed figure standing near the "Welcome to Broad Channel" sign. As the traffic went by on Cross Bay Boulevard, 'Elmo' raised a hand in greeting. It was a nice surprise — Elmo's enthusiastic wave brought a smile to my face and surely other motorists' faces as well!

The RAA Writers Group is desirous of reaching out to budding or longing to be writers in the local high schools. At present, methods to accomplish this are being sought. Any high school principal or English teacher with ideas about how this could be accomplished is asked to get in touch via email to me or with subject line: "writers group high school outreach" to RAA at www.rockawayartistsalliance.org

Please send material to be published in the column by Tuesday at 9:30 a.m. of the week before it is to appear. Thank you.

Email can be sent to: Lizbcbits @aol.com.

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