Early June, a dozen young members plus parents volunteered for City Council Member Dennis Gallagher’s semi-annual district wide graffiti cleanup. The Juniors were assigned the Trinity Lutheran Church property and the surrounding area. The church property had been shockingly vandalized. Apart from graffiti that reflects the intellect and literacy of the vandals, there were several large beer bottles lying near the graffiti in the rear stairway, plus, finally, residue from marijuana in several cigar halves (blunts). All the graffiti and the bottles and residue were collected and turned over to investigators.

That was just the church property. The members divided and went through the neighborhood painting a variety of silver posts that had collected graffiti. Several members traveled about the area painting over graffiti. Still another group cleaned the graffiti from the brick wall by the sidewalk on Dry Harbor across the street from Trinity.

We later reported the church property to the police as a magnet for teen vandals after dark in the summer. Many neighbors near the church have complained for quite some time. Never hesitate to phone 911 for vandalism in progress – graffiti is vandalism and a crime, or to report vandalism afterwards. But, always report; that makes you a good neighbor and good citizen.

Then, in late June, a dozen members arrived for a day of hard work. The members and mothers came to Juniper Park volunteering to help prepare the Memorial Candles to honor victims and survivors of cancer. The New York Cancer Society was holding its annual “RELAY FOR LIFE” to recognize the struggle needed to fight cancer.

It so happened that this particular Saturday was the start of what became is very hot and humid summer. If you were watching these youngsters from an air-conditioned room, preparing the candles, you would have been overcome by the heat just seeing how hard they (and their mothers) worked – without complaint.

Then we had heat, rain and summer vacations. So the rest of the summer had no activities. We hope that September will now start some interesting activities. September 11 falls on a Sunday, so we can expect a memorial ceremony near the tennis courts on that day. Stay on the lookout for notices in the local weekly newspapers.

On Thursday, September 22, the Juniors will have a general membership meeting at the Our Lady of Hope Cafeteria, The meeting will start at 7PM and finish at 8PM. Naturally, all current members are welcome, and, so are any youngsters from the community invited to see for yourself what the Juniper Juniors are all about. To join, the only requirement is that the youngster volunteer for activities from time to time. There are no membership dues or any other fees expected from the family. A youngster is registered once we have the name, phone and e-mail address of the new member, so that we can contact you to announce any meeting or activity.

On Saturday, October 15, at Juniper Park’s Brennan Field, The Parks Department will hold its semi-annual “It’s My Parks Day”. Helen Ho is our contact and organizer. She has improved this event for us each year. This will be another opportunity for the youngsters to make a community contribution. We can perform flower planting and cleanup – raking, sweeping or graffiti cleanup. E-mails will go out shortly with all the details.

The Juniper Junior Civic Association would like to express its mixed emotions in bidding farewell to Jane Dagostino and her daughters Catherine (Katie) and Emily. The Dagostino family has already moved to their brand, spanking new home in North Carolina. As much as we all will miss their presence here, we certainly wish this terrific family all the best.