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A Word From Mayor John Watras

“The Pashayan Christmas Gala for Maria’s Mission” set for Dec. 14.

Christmas Tree Lighting Dec. 8: On Sunday, Dec. 8, the Garden City Chamber of Commerce will sponsor its 59th Village Tree Lighting Ceremony, beginning promptly at 3:30 p.m. on the Village Green (corner of Stewart and Hilton Avenues).

This year's program once again is sponsored by Astoria Federal Savings and will feature the Garden City High School Vocal Jazz Ensemble under the direction of Stephen Mayo, playing a medley of holiday music. Also featured will be the Fivestone Contemporary Rock Band well known for their performances at past spring Belmont Festivals and Chamber Fall Festival Street Fairs. They will be performing special renditions of familiar holiday tunes. An added attraction this year will be the young Garden City Recreation Dancers. As always, “Kingsley Bear,” King’s Supermarket mascot, will be on hand to pose with the little ones.  The Garden City Volunteer Fire Department will deliver Santa Claus and hot chocolate will be provided to everyone.

Please bring your entire family to welcome Santa and the holiday season. I look forward to seeing you all there!

Christmas Tree Lighting Dec. 13: On Friday, Dec. 13, the Western Property Owners’ Association will be holding their traditional tree lighting ceremony at 6 p.m. at the south end of New Hyde Park Road. I hope that you will be able to come to this event to join in with the festivities that include music, dancers and the arrival of Santa Claus.

Pashayan Christmas Gala for Maria's Mission Dec. 14: On March 24 of this year, Richie and Maria Pashayan and their three daughters were on vacation in Italy for Easter. They were driving in the pouring rain when a car cut them off and forced them into the guardrail. The impact of the collision broke Maria’s neck. Miraculously, she is alive today, but is paralyzed from the neck down except for the ability to move a couple of muscles in her arms and left wrist. All of this happened in a split second, but their lives have now been changed forever.

A group of their closest friends have banded together and created Maria’s Mission to spread the word and offer support as the Pashayans begin to put together the pieces of their new lives. Please join in a fundraiser, “The Pashayan Christmas Gala for Maria’s Mission” which will be held on Saturday, Dec. 14 at 7 p.m. at the legendary Muldoon House located at 103 Brook Street in Garden City. Tickets are $200 per person. There will be silent and live auctions with incredible prizes. The money raised will go to support a wonderful family and help toward Maria’s short- and long-term expenses. Although this is a busy time of year, I do hope that you will be able to take time out to attend this fundraiser. If you are unable to attend, please consider making a donation to this worthwhile cause.

Toys for Tots Program: With the holiday season coming near, it is the time to reflect upon how fortunate we are to have the opportunity to share these times with family and friends. As you may be aware, there are many displaced children and adults who are not so fortunate.

In an effort to bring some happiness to families who will not have the resources to provide a gift for their child this year, the Garden City Police Department has a gift depository for the United States Marine Corps (USMC) Toys for Tots Program.

In the spirit of giving, I ask that if you are able to do so, please drop off an unused, unwrapped gift into the collection box in the lobby of the Garden City Police Department by Friday, Dec. 20. Your generous gift, no matter how small, could make a difference in the life of another. Thank you in advance for your support of this most worthwhile program.

Continue to Shop in Garden City: The residents of Garden City are very fortunate to have viable retail businesses on Seventh Street, Franklin Avenue and New Hyde Park Road where there is a good variety of quality merchandise and family dining experiences available to be enjoyed. Please support these businesses and enjoy the products, variety and outstanding customer service.  Keep in mind that these merchants save you from traveling outside the Village for your needs. Consider the harsh reality if we did not have these businesses here to service our needs. I look forward to seeing everyone in town.

S.T.O.P. Program: The Town of Hempstead Sanitation Department will conduct the last of its monthly S.T.O.P. (Stop Throwing Out Pollutants) program on Sunday, Dec. 8. The program, which is held at various locations throughout the Town of Hempstead, will make hazardous waste facilities accessible to as many residents as possible.

This Sunday’s program will be held at Eisenhower Park, Parking Field 3, in East Meadow. Take Hempstead Turnpike, to Park Boulevard, which will take you through the center of Eisenhower Park and follow the signs to Field 3. The hours of operation will be 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Under the S.T.O.P. program, residents are able to take polluting materials to the facility and have them disposed of by a registered professional disposal company, free of charge. The facility will not accept the following materials: ammunition, explosives, fireworks, infectious or medical waste, propane or oxygen tanks, radioactive materials, unlabeled materials and fire extinguishers. Non-conforming or damaged propane tanks can be returned to the establishment that refills your grill tanks.

Board of Trustees' Meeting Schedule: The next regularly scheduled Board of Trustees’ meeting that will be held in December is on Dec. 19. I encourage all residents to attend Board of Trustees meetings so as to be thoroughly informed of village issues from a first-hand perspective.

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