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Winterfest at Garden City Bird Sanctuary

Joe and Laura DiLallo with their "2012 Volunteers of the Year Award from the Garden City Bird Sanctuary/ Tanners Pond Environmental Center.
Joe and Laura DiLallo with their "2012 Volunteers of the Year Award from the Garden City Bird Sanctuary/ Tanners Pond Environmental Center.
     The holiday season is over, the days are short, and the snow has come for more than one visit. The Garden City Bird Sanctuary held its Winterfest ceremony at the community's environmental center with about two dozen hearty participants.  

     Each year, during the Winterfest the GCBS presents an award to a volunteer who has contributed significant service.  Laura Napoli DiLallo and Joe DiLallo were awarded the "2012 Volunteer of the Year Award" for the Garden City Bird Sanctuary/ Tanners Pond Environmental Center.  Joe and Laura, both Adelphi University alumni, began volunteering at the GCBS while in college. They were initially student representatives for Adelphi and later stayed on as directors. They are stepping down from the Board, but Joe, a programmer with Google, continues to manage the GCBS website with Laura, an earth science teacher.  

     Wearing green "Mardi Gras" type necklaces, the guests helped fill all of the bird feeders, and gathered around the evergreens for hot chocolate, cookies, fruit and desserts. Then, lead by GCBS President John Cronin, the meaning of Winterfest was told. Candles were lit to ward off the darkness. The significance of the Winter Solstice leading to the coming spring has been used by many religions and cultures throughout history.  Many plants have significance for winter, including mistletoe and, of course, the evergreen.

    The ceremony continued with a poem about trees, and a reading of the names and donors for whom trees were planted at the site in honor or memory of loved ones.   During 2012, trees planted in memory and honor were:

     In memory of Mary Ann Fraites by Jeannine Castiglione

     In memory of Roy C. Weigand by Anne Hesse and Lyn Maxner for Joan Catell  

     In memory of Anthony Cenzoprano by the Cenzoprano family          

     In memory of Mason Los Kamp by the Los Kamp family  

     In memory and honor of Kevin Matheis, EPA by EPA Co-workers

     In memory of Clifford Hauswirth by neighbors and friends

     In memory and honor of Dr. John H. Loret by Sabina Miller

     In honor of: Mr. and Mrs. Joseph and Laura DiLallo by the GCBS Board

     The site is undergoing emergency repairs from the effects of Hurricane Sandy, a blizzard, and even a car accident that crashed into the fence along Tanners Pond Road. Volunteers and funds are sought so the site can resume operations as planned for March. If you support the environment, please donate. Donations can be made through the website at www.gcbirdsanctuary.org.  

     (photos by Suzie Alvey)