A picture of strollers left on the Poland/Ukraine border to greet the massive influx of refugees pulled heartstrings internationally. So many good moms of the world, parents & non-parents alike, are reeling from what has befallen Ukraine especially knowing that children have been killed and in harm’s way. One child victim is one too many. As I wrote this column while closing editions on March 19th, I hoped by the time you read this, a peace, however imperfect, would have arrived. But here in my update, I’m sad to state this brutal war goes on. However, no surprise to me, local moms and non-moms alike are stepping up to do what they can.
I was especially grateful to hear about an effort by two area humanitarians–Ivana Denniston (an aesthetician formerly of the Chappaqua Wellness Center) and Kristen Salomon–who were with an on the ground team working furiously at press time to help Ukrainian refugees into Slovakia. I shared their efforts online in case you missed it.
Meanwhile, strolling along Armonk’s Main Street one day, I came upon two young ladies, both freshmen at Byram Hills High School, selling baked goods on behalf of the Ukranian Crisis Mission Relief. Adrianna Zawojek had asked her friend Ariana Foreman to join her in baking some 200 items to sell. Adult friends also dropped off coffee & cake to their table. They raised close to $3000!!!, including what was donated to their Venmo, @helpingukraine914
The girls offered this statement: “When you have no political power (for example, high school freshmen), and the world is in dire need, you often feel helpless. You think, ‘Oh, I’m not a politician, I’m not a huge business owner, what influence can I have to make this better?’ It is humanity’s obligation to help each other when the time calls for it. When we heard the appalling & terrible news of what was happening in Ukraine, we knew that we had to do something!”
‘Mom’s World’ happened to be a theme developed months ago before this war began. Of all the issues published each year in the last 19 years, preparing Mother’s Day editions is always my favorite. After all, nothing has brought me more joy in my own life than being a mom, even with its challenges sometimes. I loved gathering the heartfelt essays and stories you’ll find in the current editions and here online from talented contributors who I count as dear friends now too.
For our Mother’s Day coverage, I was thrilled to include a touching cover love story about two Chappaqua Rotary Citizens of the Year, the indomitable Frank and Suzanne Shiner! Plus, please check out our more up close and personal interview with New Castle’s dynamic new Town Supervisor Lisa Katz. Please also don’t miss the spotlight on the Chappaqua School Foundation and consider supporting their efforts for innovation in education at the upcoming Tacos & Tequila night on April 29! It’s sounding like a rollicking great time is in store. In Armonk, we were struck by the enthusiastic response to the Armonk Fire Department’s CPR education offered free to local residents, thanks to the department’s awesome Julie Gallagher, assisted by Rich Greenwald. We were also delighted to learn about the return of the Fol-de-Rol!
A side note: while producing these editions, I thoroughly enjoyed and learned a lot from my interview with author Dorothy Wickenden during a Chappaqua Library Author Talk: Dorothy Wickenden Sheds Light on the Strength & Perseverance of Three Women Who Fought for Abolition & Women’s Rights (theinsidepress.com) For the next edition, I’m looking forward to sharing future events the library has planned to celebrate 100 years of serving the New Castle community; indeed, we plan to explore the future of libraries in general!
All three editions offer a substantial nod to the considerable gardening and beautification efforts around town–a maternal endeavor if ever there was one considering the many moms involved. Their efforts are spotlighted in each edition, and the upcoming Mother’s Day Plant Sales, but we also ‘packaged’ them altogether for a special Mother’s Day floral celebration of sorts in Inside Pleasantville & Briarcliff Manor. In that edition, you’ll also find info about the upcoming Pleasantville Day, an animated conversation with two key community leaders about all things spring and summer in Briarcliff Manor, plus a colorful ‘mom profile,’ Stacey Winnick, a compassionate local volunteer and businesswoman.
We have additional articles for your reading pleasure as always. We have also been actively promoting the idea of subscriptions in print and/or online if you’d like to support our efforts! Finally, the balmy weather arrived early, so we spotlight three fabulous locales for spring strolling on Mother’s Day, or any day! Enjoy!