2011-06-03 / Columnists

Broad Channel Bits

Commentary By Dan Guarino

By now Memorial Day might be a fading Friday afternoon smile for you. But boy, did it turn out to be a beautiful day. Hope you enjoyed yours with special people.

Despite the early morning soaking downpour, the flashing lightning and thunder that might have rattled your roof, by afternoon it became a fine and fitting day for remembrance.

Here in Broad Channel, Memorial Day, the origins of which date back to just after the Civil War, was celebrated on Sunday with a parade hosted by our own American Legion Post 1404 and Veterans of Foreign Wars Prince-Wynn Post 260. Along with the BC Vollies and others, both venerable veterans’ groups stepped off near the Cross Bay Bridge toll plaza sometime after 1:30 p.m. and marched down the Boulevard. After stopping at the flag and memorial at West 17 Road Park adjacent to the library, they continued to the memorial triangle at West 4 Road. Afterward all enjoyed hot dogs and soda at the VFW Hall.

The BCVFD remembered the fallen earlier in the day with a service at the firehouse on Noel Road, and there was also a Veterans Memorial Mass at St. Virgilius at 10 a.m.

Both the Legion and the VFW are very active groups in our community. If you know a returning vet, and there are many, you might suggest he or she gets in touch. Sharing the transition back to civilian life with those who know can certainly lift a lot of burden.

Note from Carol Corbett, president of the American Legion Auxiliary: “On behalf of the Auxiliary I’d like to thank all those who attended (our) Doo Wop Show in April. Because of you it was a great success! For that reason we are having another Doo Wop Night on Saturday, October 1. So keep the date open. For those who’d like to be put on a list for tickets, please call 718-634-7235. Thank you!”

You can’t beat out a night like that!

And, a little closer to summer, the VFW is starting the season off with a barbecue from 1-3 p.m. on Saturday, June 18. It’s $20 for adults with kids half price. All proceeds go to the Post, located on Shad Creek Road. Join the neighbors for an afternoon and enjoy the sizzle, the smell and the taste of summer in Broad Channel.

Also Noted: BC Civic Association President Dan Mundy Jr. advises “the Association would like to thank VFW Post Commander Mattie Conklin and all of the members for their continued generosity in the use of their hall and … constant assistance in setting up for our monthly and ‘special’ meetings. Their support is critical to the Civic Association’s ability to function and represent the residents of this town.”

I am happy to report the production of this column will now be ably aided by the addition of Ms. Christina Sullivan. Says Ms. Sullivan, “I have lived in Broad Channel my entire life, and I truly love this town.” Currently at Mary Louis Academy and planning on majoring in Journalism and Communications, she will be helping with research and will occasionally be adding some writing to the column.

Herewith is her Wave debut: A small town that offers big things, Broad Channel is home to many opportunities. With summer rapidly approaching, the people of this small island town are definitely keeping themselves busy in the warm weather. While many organizations are already very well known, Broad Channel now has a new organization in which people can get involved!

The St. Virgilius Youth Group offers a chance for kids in sixth to ninth grade to spend time together in a safe environment. Food, music and games are available for everyone who comes. While the kids definitely have fun, they also help give back to the community through good actions. The group recently created and wrote many “Get Well Soon” cards to be donated to Schneider’s Children’s Hospital, and is planning to help animals in local shelters.

The group is moderated by Sister Mary Anne Kollmer, the religious education coordinator of St. Virgilius and St. Camillus, and is run by Broad Channel teenagers Christina Sullivan, Helen Henglein, and Joseph Klein.

Meetings are every Wednesday night from 7:00-8:30, and admission is only a few dollars.

Broad Channel is a beautiful place for young teenagers to spend their free time, and the St. Virgilius Youth Group is without a doubt the place to do it!

Thanks, Christina.

News from Across the Bridge – Fore! The Battalion Chief John Moran Memorial Golf Outing is Friday, June 18. Check-in is at 8 a.m. at the Riis Park Pitch and Putt golf course. The “shot-gun” start is at 9 a.m. A barbecue will follow from noon onward. For each golfer the $85 admission includes green fees, giveaways, barbecue and beverages. Non-golfers can enjoy beverages and barbecue for $40. All proceeds benefit the St. Camillus School. As you know, St. Camillus is the ‘sister’ church to our own St. Virgilius RC Church. Together they form the St. Camillus-St. Virgilius Parish.

By the way, as Ed “B.” informs us, “Father James Dunne of St. Camillus is about to celebrate his Golden Jubilee (50 years) as a priest. He will be celebrating 11:30 a.m. Mass on Sunday, June 5. All are invited for refreshments afterward.

Enjoy the sun, the sand, the open air and making the world a more beautiful place. Gateway National Recreation Area is offering volunteer beach cleanup opportunities. Call 718-318- 4340 for more info.

Got BC news, organization information or an upcoming event (non-profit or benefit only) or anything that is new and newsworthy in the Channel? Send it to workingstories@aol.com. Please send all by 5 p.m. on Friday if you’d like to see it in the following Friday’s paper.

Finally, let me end with the closing lines from a poem called “Broad Channel,” written by John H. Kern, and given to me by a neighbor. “ ‘See Rome and then die,’ say the sages, but heed the advice that I give/Don’t go there to Europe and perish/But come to Broad Channel and live.”

Thanks for reading.

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