Last week, I participated in the Scrabble competition at the Senior Olympics at the YMCA.  I know what you are going to say, “Scrabble is part of the Olympics?!”  Yes!  If you know me and my history, every child in our family grew up playing tennis, Canasta and Scrabble.  My Mom, Aunt and I played every Sunday until they passed.  My grandson has been playing Scrabble for 2 years already.  Before game #2, one of my opponents stated proudly that no one in her family will play with her because she always wins—she only plays against the computer now.  How sad!  My second opponent did not speak much and when he did, spoke haltingly and his hand shook.  I felt sorry for him.  Ha! Those two sharks beat me!  I praised them when they made good plays and thanked them for a challenging game. The Olympics continued all week with Ballroom Dancing, Golf, Bocci, Tennis, Swimming, Bowling, Basketball and many more events.  These seniors lead extremely active lives working out at the gym with weights and participating in many exercise classes.  If this is the answer to living long, exciting, healthy, full lives, I subscribe wholeheartedly!

On another note, my granddaughter, the youngest member of the family, shared cozy time while I read books to her.  She is not yet two but called out words to different pictures in the books—duck, hat, truck, baby!  I videotaped her singing a song for 2 minutes in perhaps a language I had never heard, smiling the entire time.  At the end, she clapped for herself.  Later on, my grandson noticed 12 caterpillars on my parsley plant on the porch and mused how they are eating the whole plant and how they would soon become butterflies.  Wow!

At times, I have heard people say--he/she is too old, too young, handicapped, doesn’t understand, cannot learn, is rude because he/she was not raised correctly.  Any of these biased remarks can be disproved merely by spending time with the young or old or anyone who needs companionship, understanding, love and maybe even a hug.  This past week, I had the privilege of doing just that.  Try it!  I know you will like it, and you may even learn a thing or two!

Did you take your children to the Staten Island OutLOUD special program for very young readers, Paws & Read OutLOUD for Kidz on Thursday at the Richmondtown Library?   Did they read aloud to the gentle, licensed therapy dog?  Did you encourage your teen to meet at the Teen Café at the Mariners Harbor Library?  Suggest, if you can’t encourage, your teens meet like-minded friends at the Library.  Did you attend the Lighthouse Fest in St. George?   Did you meet your high school friends at the St. Peter’s High School for Girls Alumnae Brunch?  Check out the vibrant senior alumnae from the 40’s, 50’s, ‘60’s? Below are some photos from that event.




The Staten Island Health and Wellness Expo takes place on Wednesday, 10/5 from 9-3 at the Hilton Garden Inn, 1100 South Ave.  It is FREE and open to the public.  Free health screenings, seminars, flu shots and more are available.  For information and schedule of events, visit

The Toys For Tots Drive begins Wednesday at Edward Jones, 1150 South Ave., Ste. 305. Debra Feaser, the local Edward Jones financial advisor, is supporting the Toys for Tots program by using her office as a drop-off location for this year's toy drive. Local residents may help needy children in the area by bringing in a new, unwrapped toy to the office during regular business hours now through 12/15.  Call 718-761-3960 for info and hours.

Attend the Goodhue Town Hall Meeting on Wednesday at 7 at the Children's Aid Society (Goodhue Center), 304 Prospect Ave. to discuss preserving the parkland on the Goodhue property as well as the future of the Goodhue Center.  Call 718-447-2630 for info.

Join the Group Hike or Trail Run at Greenbelt Nature Center, 700 Rockland Ave. on Wedesday at 6FREE and for all ages.  Call 718-351-3450 for details.

Bring your infants-1 ½ years of age to Bouncing Babies on Thursday at 11:15 to the West New Brighton Library, 976 Castleton Ave., for story telling, dancing and singing. 

Teens Grade 6+ are invited to the Teen Lounge at the Tottenville Library, 7430 Amboy Rd. on Thursday at 2:30.  Meet friends and make new ones.

Attend Family Storytime on Thursday at 4 at the Todt Hill-Westerleigh Library, 2550 Victory Blvd.  Ages 3-11 are welcome.

The Pipes are Calling at St. Albans Episcopal Church, 76 Saint Albans Pl.  The Richmond County Pipes and Drums offers FREE piping and drumming lessons to students of all ages. Beginners are always welcome, all they ask is that you like to have fun and are willing to participate in community activities throughout the year but especially during the month of March.  Practices are held every Thursday night at 7:30 at St. Alban’s Episcopal Church.  For info, email or visit their Facebook page.

A Family Literacy Workshop takes place on Friday, 10/7, from 12:30-1 at the Todt-Hill Westerleigh Library, 2550 Victory Blvd.  Parents and caregivers will learn about fun, easy ways to encourage literacy at home!  For information call 718-494-1642.

Toddler Story Time and Activity Hour takes place on Friday at 10:30 at the Port Richmond Library, 75 Bennett St.

The SIMHS Touch-A-Truck Fundraiser is on Saturday, 10/8 from 11-3 at The Vanderbilt, 300 Fr. Capodanno Blvd. Help raise funds to support services for children with special needs and their families.  Learn about and explore fire trucks, police cars, school buses, construction equipment, and more—an exciting hands-on experience for kids and adults.  Admission is $5.  For info, call 718-442-2225 or visit 

Rome Through Richmond Town, a FREE Columbus Day weekend celebration, takes place Saturday from 12-5 at Historic Richmond Town, 441 Clark Ave. featuring food, music, culture and events for the entire family.  A FREE shuttle will be available from the Staten Island Mall.

Attend the Annual Pumpkin Festival on Saturday from 12-4 in Willowbrook Park, Eton Pl. and Richmond Ave. near the Carousel for All Children.  Pumpkins will be for sale in our patch (first come, first served), and the Carousel for All Children will spin throughout the day.  There will be crafts, games, two free puppet shows at 1 and 3 and more.  

A Mental Illness Caregiver Course takes place on Saturday from 3:30-6:30 at Holy Rosary Church, 85 Jerome Ave.  Family-to-Family is a 12-week course for families, friends and caregivers of adults living with mental illness. Participants will gain vital information, insight and understanding of their loved one while maintaining their own well-being. For details, call 718-477-1700 or visit

Calling all creative individuals, Movers and Shakers!  The Techbox Symposium–2016 takes place on  Saturday from 7-12 at 75 Clinton St. Business Meets Art continues to keep the pulse beating as entrepreneurs, artists and patrons alike all come together to enjoy the company of our neighbor's while appreciating artists, business and libations. Everyone is invited to network, mingle, enjoy music, drinks, appetizers and a good time.  For info, call 718-581-3622 or visit

Join the Urban Park Rangers for a Deer Exploration Hike on Sunday, 10/9 at 11 at High Rock Park, 200 Nevada Ave. and learn about deer habitats and their existence in Staten Island in all seasons. Meet at the entrance gate to High Rock Park and dress for the trail terrain. For info, call 718-667-2165.

Participate in a Butterfly Walk and Tagging on Sunday at 1 at the Conference House Park, 298 Satterlee St. Tag monarch butterflies with naturalist Paul T. Lederer who will discuss this insect's biology and behavior. For info, visit

Attend the Oktoberfest Dinner and Auction on Sunday at 4:30 at the Church of the Ascension, 1 Kingsley Ave. German food, including pork loin, Kielbasa, turkey, sauerkraut and apple strudel will be served. Bring your own beer, wine, soda. Call Roy Williamson at 718-448-9508 for info and tickets

The "Creatures Great and Small" Photography Exhibit at the CPG Gallery (Creative Photographers' Guild), 814 Richmond Terr. begins on Saturday with the Opening Reception from 5-8.  Featured photographer is Joyce Coletti. Gallery hours are Saturday and Sunday, 1-5. Exhibiting Photographers: Willie Chu, Bruce Cohn, Joyce Coletti, Connie J. Frisch-Cherniak, Robin George, Robert Haber, Marilyn Kiss, Jeff Mason, Gail Middleton, Paul Nueckel, George Roos, Virginia Ross, Doug Schwab, Joan Velazquez, Fritz (Steven) Weiss and Richard Xuerub.For info, call 718-288-2405 or visit

Did you reserve your produce bounty yet?  Every Tuesday from 4-6 at Goodhue, 304 Prospect Ave. (up the street from St. Peter’s Boys H.S.) at the Children’s Aid Society presents the “Go Healthy Food Box Program”, where a sack of freshly harvested New Jersey produce will be available for $10.  You can sign up, reserve and pay for a sack for the following week and then pick up your produce. You can pay by credit card, cash, NYS Health Bucks and EBT.  Each week you will receive a new recipe and samples of the recipes. This week, we received a recipe and samples of Beet and Cabbage Soup.  My food box included: apples, cabbage, acorn squash, white onions, beets, dill, frying peppers, corn—all for $10.  Hope to see you next week!If you would like me to post photos from the weekend events you participated in, please let me know.  If your organization would like to promote their event or if you have events specifically for children to participate in, or volunteer opportunities, please do not hesitate to call me at 646-258-9696, leave a comment below or e-mail me at

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