Tucked away on the west side of the small town of Broad Channel in the middle of Jamiaca Bay is a narrow, dead end, street that goes by the name of West 12th Road. Those of us who live there know that the nice part about living in a small town is that when you are not quite sure what is going on, someone else always does!
[Peter J. Mahon West 12th Road, Broad Channel]
Next month will be two years that I am in my new place. I had been displaced after the storm and already apprised that I would not be able to move back to where I was. First I was in Forest Hills for a month, and then I had a room in South Ozone Park.
Two years ago, it was one of the happiest days of my life when I could finally move back into the Channel into a lovely little apartment, when I could finally move back home.
On that same day, 220 Broad Channel adults and more than 60 kids came out to build a donated playground up at the BCAC field.
That included clearing the ground, setting down new paving stones, painting the bleachers, putting down cedar chips and planting new greenery.
The playground was donated by JetBlue and Kaboom. Part of the deal of the program, which was applied for by folks in the Channel, was that there needed to be local participation. I guess that ensures community involvement, as opposed to “okay, we’re just going to give you a playground. Good luck.”
I am pretty sure the ‘local participation’ requirement was about 75 people to be eligible to get the playground. Broad Channel mustered more than three times that amount. And they happily built that playground in record time!
This is what I love about this community, and why I am so proud to live here. Everyone makes it their business to make Broad Channel a better place.
To put that into perspective, here’s a few lines from a story I wrote on nearly two years ago. Called ‘Broad Channel Builds A Playground,’ it gives you the backdrop from which this project went forward. “An estimated 95 percent of those children lost their homes due to Hurricane Sandy, while the (Broad Channel Athletic) Club itself lost virtually everything.”
There is no place like the Channel. And as the icing on the cake spelled out in the photo my friend Dorothy Fraher left at my new door two years ago, “There is no place like Home.”
Don’t forget there is a special Mass at St. Virgilius this Sunday, July 19, to celebrate Sister Margaret Mary Kimmin’s 50th anniversary as a Sister of St. Francis. That’s at 12 noon. This is fitting as Sister Margaret grew up here and graduated from St. Virgilius School and even taught there before it closed. Today she is part of the leadership team of the Sisters of St. Francis. So Broad Channel, the place and the people, are very special to her.
Following the Mass there will be a reception at Christ Presbyterian By The Sea Church Hall just across Church Road. Refreshments will be served and all are invited to come and be part of the day.
Well, it was certainly the weekend that was in Broad Channel last week. There was the It’s A Fluke fishing contest at the Shad Creek Association. It was the 21st annual tournament, I might add. There was the second annual grand Pig Roast and BBQ at the VFW.
Thanks to Mason and Frank Poretto, 12 bands and the hospitality of Grassy’s Bar and Grill, there was the marathon outdoor fifth annual Two Bridges Music Festival.
The BCAC’s Softball/Kickball Day at Memorial Field is this Sunday. Check their Mardi Gras Facebook page for details.
Next Friday, July 24, evening they’re doing the BCAC Shamrock Shuffle. Sign up is on Saturday, July 18, from 10 to noon, and Sunday, July 19, from 11 to 1. There’s a Kid’s Run (once around the field) at 6:30 p.m. The 3 Mile, which is through the town and back, is open to all and starts at 7 p.m.
It sounds like a great night and all proceeds go to BCAC. For more information contact Johnathan Walters at 718-869-6459 or firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also register at www.roca pulcorun.com. Keep your eyes open for more great Mardi Gras events.
Ann Lundon sent me an email about some things she wanted to say. I think her words expressed it best.
“We thought it important to share our experience when our Community Affairs Officers came to our home recently to investigate a theft on our premises. We experienced firsthand the importance of patrolmen being assigned to our community. Both officers showed sincere concern, not only about our incident, but also about being assigned to Broad Channel.
“At first we hesitated making the phone call, but it proved to be the right thing to do, as both officers agreed that no theft was too small to report. It’s not a pleasant experience to have something belonging to you taken from you, but on the other hand it gave us the opportunity to meet the officers assigned to Broad Channel and realize they truly care about our town and its residents. (We'd also be appreciative if that someone would return the rocking chair!)
“Unfortunately, my husband recently was rushed to an emergency room – FORTUNATELY, Broad Channel has exceptional EMS volunteers. We thank all of them for making time in their busy lives to assist their fellow “Channelites.” You gals and guys are the best, and we can’t thank you enough for your expertise, professionalism and caring!
By the way, he's back home and recovering.” - The Lundons