by Rita Hansen
The evening of Friday, December 5 was a success in many respects. It brought the chance for friends and neighbors to gather and meet, a renewed sense of community spirit, and an opportunity to support Neighborhood Roots in their continuing efforts in helping the neighborhood. I was so enthused after the November 9th march and rally, I approached my neighbor, Joe Vance, asking 'what's next?, where do we go from here?' I decided to open my home for a fund-raiser to benefit Neighborhood Roots. Thanks are extended to the Tapper family for the wonderful donation of food and refreshments from The Garden and Vino Liquor Store. With a fire blazing in the fireplace, music being played on the piano, the warm atmosphere was mirrored in the many residents, local businessmen, merchants, and leaders of local organizations who joined the celebration. "It's been an inspiring year. After the devastation of the Asian beetle crisis, the community was successful in leveraging restoration funds and now is starting to see the benefit of their combined efforts in community rallies and participation in community meetings. Hundreds of trees are appearing along our streets and in our parks,"said Annette Kupiec, cofounder of Neighborhood Roots. Assemblyman Joe Lentol spoke of the daily contact Neighborhood Roots had with his office during the Asian Beetle crisis and commended John and Annette Kupiec on all the work their organization has done. Assemblyman Joe Lentol went on to say that he agreed with the members of Neighborhood Roots that Greenpoint's brightest days are ahead. Neighborhood Roots wishes to continue to work toward the promotion and preservation of Greenpoint. They have now focused on moving forward the many projects that have been stalled in the community for decades such as the Manhattan Avenue and McGuinness Blvd. projects, the development of waterfront access, and finding solutions for many of Greenpoint's environmental concerns. The funding raised will help to offset the costs of publishing the Newswire, mailings, organizing community events, and many other initiatives. THANKS TO ALL for a successful fund-raiser. Donations continue to come in from the many concerned residents of our community.