What’s in a Name?
ChappaQUAlity. Seemingly, the overarching reason we all move here is built right into our town’s very name. Ask anyone what they cherish about Chappaqua and you’ll likely hear some version of the American dream. Outstanding schools, pastoral beauty, small town vibe and values within commuting distance of big city lights.
Certainly, that was my husband’s and my thinking when we moved here nearly 20 years ago. Having grown up in Westchester, he already knew it as a great place to be a kid. And so, the thinking followed, why not follow suit with our own? We looked at a handful of communities, but chose Chappaqua for its pretty woodsy vistas and CHArmingly QUAint village appeal. Little did we know then the many ways it would come to spell home.
There are a great many ways to define and determine “quality.” At this time of year, it’s natural to think about it in terms of our esteemed schools and children’s education. June graduation means mortar boards tossed high and pomp-and-circumstance celebrations. But it stands for so much more. Students work extraordinarily hard in this town. Parents and teachers do too. And, while college may be the ultimate goal for most (HGHS graduates regularly gain entry to many of this nation’s finest universities), the years upon years of committed focus are also about the learning process, and the students’ ability to synthesize knowledge while moving it and themselves forward in the world.
Without doubt, there are many distinguished scholars among us, but a handful of local men and women take that distinction to the very highest level. Remarkably, given our town’s size and relatively small population, Chappaqua is home to no less than five Rhodes Scholars. We profile each, and invite you to feel proud by association as you read about them and their many fine accomplishments in Chappaqua’s Rhodes Scholars.
A Caring Community
Our cover story is another testament to quality; quality of character. The photo captures former President Bill Clinton at the Tina’s Wish Global Women’s Award evening. Guest-of-honor Clinton, recognized for his outstanding contributions to global healthcare through the Clinton Foundation, gave a passionate acceptance speech in which he praised founder Andy Brozman and all involved in Tina’s Wish for their tremendous efforts in the funding of, and research leading to, early detection of ovarian cancer. As a woman, as a cancer survivor myself and as the mother of a daughter, I am both moved by and appreciative of the vital importance of this work and the incredible people who are involved.
Also tremendously inspiring, the American Cancer Society’s emotional Relay for Life, held annually at Horace Greeley High School. The goal of the event is to raise funds for, and awareness of, the many ways this devastating disease invades lives regardless of gender, culture, age or other qualifiers. But it is the event itself, and the many ways the community comes together for it, that takes this particular fundraiser from ordinary to extraordinary. A celebration of survival and salute to hope, Relay is, as well, a memorial to beloved family members, friends and neighbors taken too soon. Ready, Set, Relay gives us an Inside look at the quality thinking, effort and goodwill that goes into the making this impactful event for a worthwhile cause.
When it comes to health, our physical well-being is but part of the equation. Mental and social health, too, are critically important to living a full and balanced life. Helping to make this possible for the ever-increasing number of children (and, by extension, their families) diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), are five of the most engaging eighth-grade boys I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting. Collectively, they’re known as the Robobenders. And, together with their parent-mentors, they’ve developed an internationally recognized iPhone App that helps those on the spectrum to decode facial expressions and related underlying emotions. What’s My Face might very well help make the neuro-typical world become an easier place for ASD others.
Want more? How about a group of local teens who, instead of dreaming about making it big someday are already entrepreneurial forces to be reckoned with? Chappaqua Teens Start It Up shows us all how quality work and a can-do attitude translate to market-place success in today’s competitive work environment.
Good Things, Small Packages
When John Cougar Mellencamp sings Small Town, I always smile to myself and picture ours. I see the gazebo, where, speaking of music, we gather mid-week in summer to enjoy the al fresco Concert Series. I recall one of my first images of Chappaqua, the train station; an iconic part of downtown and soon the site of the much-anticipated new restaurant, Chappaqua Station Farm to Town. And I note our town merchants’ welcoming shop windows, like those of long-standing Family Britches, which add distinction to our downtown area and provide a pretty backdrop while we meet up with friends to grab a bite, share a moment and shop local.
We’ve all heard that ‘good things come in small packages.’ ChappaQUAlity over quantity. That’s us.