Hello Everyone,

As I write my last column for 2017, congratulations are in order for the outgoing president of the Juniper Park Civic Association, Robert Holden, who has been elected in a hard-fought battle for the City Council.  Both he and his energetic campaign committee worked tirelessly at pounding the pavement to prevail over the Democratic incumbent, Elizabeth Crowley in a very close race.

The Principal of St. Margaret’s Academy, Victoria Richardson, announced the beginning of Catholic Schools Week on January 28, 2018 and welcomes visitors to the school during that week.

The annual Veterans Day Parade honoring our veterans took place despite the rain on Sunday, November 5th.  Leading the parade for the Juniper Park Civic Association were three generations of Holdens, Bob, Brian and Parker.

A ceremony and luncheon was held after the parade at Christ the King High School with presentations honoring grand marshal Joseph Martino, a WWII U.S. Army veteran.

Congratulations to Ellen and Bob Heffner who celebrated their Golden Anniversary.  A celebration was held with family and friends at the New Hyde Park Inn on Saturday, October 21st.  A great time was had by all. 

Laura Talbot sends us a photo of her son Sean Zulj flying a plane (Her husband, Tino has been taking lessons for a while and now sometimes Sean goes along). Sean is attending his first term and in his Mom’s own words, “He’s totally loving Aviation High School, even though it's a lot of work.”

Introducing Alessandra Joy Labrit born Sept.26, 2017.  Proud parents are Joe and Christina. Alessandra Joy is the great granddaughter of Peter and Celia Amato.

On Saturday, October 28, The Juniper Civic Association in conjunction with the NYC Parks Department, the Middle Village Moms and the Boy Scouts hosted a fabulous Halloween Parade and Party at Juniper Park.  It has been estimated that a thousand people attended throughout the day.  Alicia Vaichunas cooked and gave out at least 1000 hot dogs with the help of the Boy Scouts.  There were also carnival games, pumpkin painting and plenty of popcorn.  The highlight of the afternoon was the 1980’s Tribute Band White Wedding.  A wonderful day of entertainment was had by all.

On November 17th, Council Member-Elect Robert Holden was on hand as Michael Sammon became an Eagle Scout. Achieving Eagle Scout is no small feat. Congratulations Michael and the Sammon Family.

On November 5th, several JPCA members participated in the Veterans Day Parade on Metropolitan Avenue. After it was over, Juniper Berry editor Christina Wilkinson walked down Metropolitan Avenue toward Fresh Pond Road and came across this sign lying on the sidewalk just past Admiral Ave. She recognized it as a 9/11 memorial sign and tucked it under her arm and walked home in the rain with it, getting a few suspicious looks from people along the way. Her husband, Steve Garza, cleaned the sign up and smoothed out the damaged edge. Thanks to some contact info provided by Dawn Scala, she was able to deliver the sign to Christina Donovan-Flannery's mother on Thanksgiving weekend. She also put in a request for a replacement sign for the pole.

Although 9/11 happened 16 years ago, the death toll from it continues to climb. This year, we lost several more members of the FDNY due to 9/11 related illness. Since the last Berry, 2 of the good guys, FF Robert Tilearcio and Lt. Eddie McDonough, passed away from cancer caused by toxins at Ground Zero. May their families find peace and comfort during the holidays and may we Never Forget their sacrifice.

Tom and Andrea McGoldrick’s grandson Thomas McDonagh had the opportunity to represent his hockey team, The Rye Rangers at the NY Rangers game on Sunday, November 26th. He was called out on to the ice for the National Anthem. Thomas met famous NY Ranger Kevin Shattenkirk on the ice.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!