2010-12-03 / Columnists

Broad Channel Bits

By Elizabeth Guarino

Looking at the houses decked out in their lights and other decorations gives a clear reminder of the time of year it is, even if the weather doesn’t always send such a clear message. Our temperatures average between 30s and 50s and sometimes up to 60 — a bit crazy for December. Oh well. It’s certainly true that no one can control the weather, but a fun element is that it can be surprising!

The Broad Channel Crafters and the American Legion Auxiliary will hold the 22nd Annual Craft and Christmas Gift Sale on Friday, December 3 from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. and on Saturday, December 4 from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. in the American Legion Hall on Cross Bay Boulevard in Broad Channel. The kitchen will be open for refreshments and lunch. There will be baked goods, jewelry, ornaments, raffles, seasonal decorations and much more. All proceeds benefit the Rockaway Graybeards for the Wounded Warriors.

The Second Annual Broad Channel Christmas Tree Lighting will take place on Wednesday, December 8 at 6 p.m. at the BACK field. Performances by the Girl Scouts and PS 47 chorus will be enjoyed by all in attendance. Hot cocoa, cookies and other baked goods will be available as will candy canes. A special visit from Santa is expected – all followed by the lighting of the tree by “our very own Mayor Timothy Hanning.”

The BCVFD is selling chances for its “Holiday Raffle,” to be drawn on Saturday, December 11. Prizes are $1,500, $500 and $350. Contact the firehouse any evening at 718-474- 6888; Christmas shopping cash will come in handy in December. Reminder, Santa’s helpers are making arrangements for his early visit this Christmas Eve. Please call early if you wish for Santa to stop by for an early visit. Please note for reference: The Emergency line for the BCVFD is 718- 474-8888; this line is always manned even if the firehouse members are not in quarters. Please place this number near your phone, or enter it in the automatic dialing for easy reference. The person answering this line can remotely activate our radio paging system to get help on the way. Thanks, Happy Holidays, members of the BCVFD. P.S. help still wanted, no pay, no benefits, free training, help many.

‘Tis the season for: Home Energy Assistance Program. (HEAP) helps qualifying Americans with a one-time grant for heating their homes. Apartment dwellers can also qualify for HEAP, receiving a lesser amount. There are guidelines to meet to qualify for this federally funded assistance. If you got help from HEAP last year, you don’t have to do anything, but an application for a first-time applicant is available by calling 311.

For Teenagers (grade 7 and older): Come to Teen Club to spend time with old friends and to meet new friends. There will be music, food and games. Teen Club will be held on Wednesday evenings from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. in St. Virgilius Meeting Room, 16 Noel Road. Please use rear entrance. For more information, please call Sister Mary Anne at 718-634-5680.

St. Virgilius Golden Age Club (age 50 and over) meets every Thursday afternoon at 12:30 p.m. in Christ Presbyterian Church by the Sea Hall (entrance on Church Road). All seniors are welcome.

Every Thursday from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m., there will be a free Yoga Class with Broad Channel resident and yoga instructor Mary Lou in Fort Tilden in building sTudio 7; there is a sign on the building. Bring mat or towel. Wear loose comfortable clothes. Enjoy.

Don’t forget to be heard on this issue! The National Park Service is looking for public comment in the form of ideas for future use of the parks. There is a series of public hearings held at various locations for this purpose. Anyone who has an idea for park use is invited to share it with Public Affairs. Their telephone is 718-354-4606. Their email address is: GATE_Public_Affairs@ nps .gov and their mailing address is: Public Affairs Office; 210 New York Avenue; Staten Island, NY 10305.

Come and Meet the Artists at their exhibit in the visitor center at Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge on Sunday, December 5, from noon to 4 p.m. This is the first exhibit of the artists of the Rockaway Artists Alliance in the visitor center of the Refuge, even though some of the artists live in Broad Channel; the exhibit will feature artwork of Jamaica Bay. Exhibit runs through February 2011.

In addition to the lovely displays on private homes and in stores this time of year inspires, are the many people the season brings out for buying gifts. Shopping, crowded stores, sidewalks and streets — a lot of people are braving mobs of other people to buy gifts for the folks on their usual list of “people to buy for.” Interestingly, because the economy is weak and a lot of people are looking for work, there seems to be somewhat of a shift in the types of purchases made for adults. Items produced locally are a big puller as are handmade items — of wood, wool, fabric, etc. – both edible and not. This last can mean unique toys as well. One of our neighbors learned how to knit a few years ago while she was still working. Now retired she knits warm winter wear for the lucky people on her list. Donations to charities in honor of someone, museum/zoo memberships and magazine/newspaper subscriptions are popular gifts these days, too. So many adults have so much stuff, an ‘in honor of’ gift might be a welcome change — after all, you don’t have to wonder where to store it! But whatever you buy or make, it is the fact that whatever you choose — your gift comes straight from the heart with a lot of love put into its selection or handcrafting!

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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