“Magic, Music and Munchies” Draws Crowds of Kids
A crowd of more than 100 kids and parents came out to enjoy cotton candy, popcorn, music, magic and fun on Saturday, January 12 as Operation Sandy Relief hosted “Magic, Music and Munchies.” The event was held just off the beach in the school yard of the still closed Martin De Porres School.
Featured were Virgil the Magician and The Silly Dilly Band.
Virgil kept the little ones, and the ‘bigger kids’ too, entertained with a variety of juggling, sleight of hand, mind reading tricks, conjuring, humor and audience participation.
The Silly Dilly Band, all of whom have strong ties to the Rockaways, Broad Channel and other storm affected areas, entertained with a mixture of accomplished music and singing, laughs, props, sing-a-longs and young audience activities. They closed with a heartfelt rendition of their original song, “Yes You Can.”
This is the fourth trip to the area by Operation Sandy Relief and was mounted in collaboration with two other groups; The Hudson Valley Helpers and Rockaway Recovery – 94th Street Donations. Residents of Broad Channel and Rockaway Beach have been the focus of Operation Sandy Reliefs efforts following the storm.
The idea for Saturday’s event came from volunteers of Operation Sandy Relief, Virgil Dombroski, a magician and owner of an entertainment company in Syracuse, NY. He felt his magic performances would bring smiles to the faces of the children of the area. The Silly Dilly Band, a local very popular family entertainment band, was also very eager to perform for the children and families in The Rockaways.
With the collaboration of the three relief groups and help from NYPD 100th Precinct Community Council President Danny Ruscillo, the location for the event was obtained. Weather was overcast and a bit chilly but that did not stop the community from coming out in full force.
The timing of the event also allowed the three groups to assist the “Walk a Mile in Our Shoes” march held on the beach earlier in the day.
Operation Sandy Relief volunteers’ first trip to the area was to drop off desperately needed supplies in Broad Channel immediately following the storm. For the second trip, they organized a massive community cookout in Rockaway Beach where 5,000 residents and first responders were fed fresh cooked meals. They also setup a large donation area of clothes, kid’s items, cleaning supplies, as well as other needed supplies.
Their third trip, titled “Merry Thanksgiving” brought 2,500 gifts which were given to the children of the Rockaways as well as a children’s hospital, three churches and a neighboring town.
Operation Sandy Relief was founded by three individuals who felt that it was the duty of New Yorkers to help their own. The group works with several other groups and dozens of individual volunteers all with the same goal in mind; to help the residents of New York City who were affected by Superstorm Sandy.