When my partner Chris Brazil and I decided to open an antique shop, we chose Tarrytown because there were already a number of shops here in Tarrytown. In our line of work, the more destinations in a place the merrier.
Tarrytown has become a destination, and people come from far and near to shop here. But that is not why we chose to live here. We chose to make Tarrytown our home because of the people here. The feeling of belonging. The community spirit.
When we first met our good friend Louise Lambert we would often discuss different ways to improve the appearance of the business district. One day Louise came home from a road trip and told us about a quaint town where she had stayed. There were window boxes full of flowers on all the shops. Never shy about adopting an idea, the next day Louise and Chris were off to Home Depot to buy boxes for their shops.
The flower boxes looked so good that the two of them went door to door to all the other businesses and asked who wanted them. Before I knew it my work room was transformed into a nursery of sorts with 47 window boxes, newly painted and full of flowers. The problem was how to install them into the many different facades made of stone, marble, metal, glass or wood. We asked another friend, Scott Weaver, if he could help.
The next day we had the Tarrytown Fire department at our door ready to install them all. Greg, from Goldberg Hardware, donated all the different drill bits needed, and by 3 pm they were all installed and the street was looking great!
I see this community spirit in other places too. The Halloween parade is a prime example. We saw small communities within Tarrytown coming together to create floats. Moms would get together and make the costumes while the Dads would do up the family car or truck to fit what ever theme they chose. The sheer volume of spectators the parade attracts shows us all how much community spirit this sleepy little town has.
A few years back another friend, also with an abundance of community spirit, started the Halloween parade. It was the first of a series of accomplishments that would be recognized by the community. As a Village Trustee, Susan Sincero also made the beautification of the Village a priority. Many have commented on her efforts and accomplishments, but her dream was yet to be fully realized.
A couple of years ago, Susan came to Chris and me and asked what we thought of the idea of a Village-wide beautification foundation that would be totally voluntary. We thought it was a great idea. We spoke about it on many other occasions and soon after she left office she asked Chris if he would help her make it a reality. Another community organization was born. Susan spent two long and tedious years dealing with all the forms and red tape needed by the federal government and the IRS to make it a tax deductible, not-for-profit organization. Anyone who has ever tried to do this knows just how hard it is to do. But in the end, as her dining room started looking more like a place to eat and less like an office, she emerged triumphant.
The "Tarrytown Beautification Foundation" was born.
Susan handpicked her seven member board very carefully to ensure that each member had something different to bring to the table.
With the help of people like Robert Welsch from Westover Landscaping, Joanne Murray from Alan Block Insurance, (along with many other business owners), they were able to do their first Village-wide mailing. It says a lot about these 7 people that they can go out and get seed money to do this without even breaking ground (no pun intended ) on their first project. The mailing was a great success and the Foundation is coming very close to starting their first project.
The first project is entitled Project Daffodil, taking place on October 21st. With the help of the Tarrytown DPW and (hopefully) numerous volunteers, the Foundation is going to plant over 10,000 daffodil bulbs all throughout the Village. Just imagine what this will look like come early spring when they will explode with cheerful yellow flowers all over the Village!
This is what the Foundation has to ask of you, — we need as many people as possible to come out that day and support this new foundation by helping them plant this huge undertaking. It’s a great way to show our kids what it means to be a part of the Village, meet your neighbors and get involved in an effort to make Tarrytown a more beautiful place.
So how about it? We will be meeting at 10 a.m. on Saturday, October 21st at the McKeel Avenue parking lot at Broadway and McKeel. This is a great way to show how you feel about your village. After all, it is our Village — it is our home.