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North Merrick, New York, USA. March 31, 2018. Nassau County Executive LAURA CURRAN cuts the yellow tape to start Egg Hunt at Eggstravaganza, held at Fraser Park.

Eggstravaganza Egg Hunt at Fraser Park

From LONG ISLAND – by Ann Parry (ann-parry.com)
April 3, 2018

Like jelly beans spilling out of cellophane bags, children rushed onto Fraser Park field to hunt for 1,600 eggs during the 16th Annual Eggstravaganza, held Saturday in North Merrick. Though snow was (correctly) predicted for that night, it was sunny, spring-jacket weather the morning of the Egg Hunt.

  • Click each photo to see larger version | SLIDESHOW
North Merrick, New York, USA. March 31, 2018. Young children eagerly wait behind yellow tape for start of Easter Egg Hunt at the Annual Eggstravaganza, held at Fraser Park. (© 2018 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

North Merrick, New York, USA. March 31, 2018. Young children eagerly wait behind yellow tape for start of Easter Egg Hunt at the Annual Eggstravaganza, held at Fraser Park. (© 2018 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

Nassau County Executive LAURA CURRAN officially started the Egg Hunt, and visitors also had the chance to meet and chat with Hempstead Town Supervisor LAURA GILLEN and Hempstead Town Clerk SYLVIA CABANA.

North Merrick, New York, USA. March 31, 2018. Nassau County Executive LAURA CURRAN flings her arms up high after cutting the yellow tape to start the Egg Hunt at the Annual Eggstravaganza, held at Fraser Park and hosted by North and Central Merrick Civic Association (NCMCA) and Merrick's American Legion Auxiliary Unit 1282. (© 2018 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

North Merrick, New York, USA. March 31, 2018. Nassau County Executive LAURA CURRAN flings her arms up high after cutting the yellow tape to start the Egg Hunt at the Annual Eggstravaganza, held at Fraser Park and hosted by North and Central Merrick Civic Association (NCMCA) and Merrick’s American Legion Auxiliary Unit 1282. (© 2018 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

The Eggstravaganza co-hosts were North and Central Merrick Civic Association – which had its new co-presidents SUE MOLLER and LOU CICCONE keeping the event running smoothly – and American Legion Auxiliary 1282, which had President FLORENCE HOFFMAN and many other members manning the Entrance and art activity tables & more.

North Merrick, NY, USA. March 31, 2018. At right, Town of Hempstead Supervisor LAURA GILLEN chucks 8-month-old EMMA HALPERN under the chin, while Emma is held by her mom KELLY HALPERN, as dad MATT HALPERN looks on, at the Annual Eggstravaganza. (© 2018 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

North Merrick, NY, USA. March 31, 2018. At right, Town of Hempstead Supervisor LAURA GILLEN chucks 8-month-old EMMA HALPERN under the chin, while Emma is held by her mom KELLY HALPERN, as dad MATT HALPERN looks on, at the Annual Eggstravaganza. (© 2018 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

North Merrick, NY, USA. March 31, 2018. At center, Hempstead Town Supervisor LAURA GILLEN (in pink coat) and Hempstead Town Clerk SYLVIA CABANA (in brown jacket), pose with members of American Legion Auxiliary Unit 1282, which was a co-host of event: L-R, SUE MOLLER, FLORENCE HOFFMAN, MATTIA SARACENI, SHARON WILLIAMS, FAY AMBROSINO, and BARBARA BYRNE, at Eggstravaganza held at Fraser Park. (© 2018 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

North Merrick, NY, USA. March 31, 2018. At center, Hempstead Town Supervisor LAURA GILLEN (in pink coat) and Hempstead Town Clerk SYLVIA CABANA (in brown jacket), pose with members of American Legion Auxiliary Unit 1282, a co-host of event: L-R, SUE MOLLER, FLORENCE HOFFMAN, MATTIA SARACENI, SHARON WILLIAMS, FAY AMBROSINO, and BARBARA BYRNE, at Eggstravaganza held at Fraser Park. (© 2018 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

Other community leaders at the event included WENDY GARGIULO, President of the North Merrick Board of Education; and ALISON FRANKEL, President of South Bellmore Civic Association (SBCA).

North Merrick, New York, USA. March 31, 2018. Sitting at table, LUCY MURPHY, member of American Legion Auxiliary Post 1282 and (right of her) SUE MOLLER, co-Pres. of NCMCA, and others are at Entrance table to Eggstravaganza at Fraser Park. (Ann Parry/Ann Parry, ann-parry.com)

North Merrick, New York, USA. March 31, 2018. Sitting at table, LUCY MURPHY, member of American Legion Auxiliary Post 1282 and (right of her) SUE MOLLER, co-Pres. of NCMCA, and others are at Entrance table to Eggstravaganza at Fraser Park. (© 2018 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

Brittany the Balloon Lady, of Balloons by Brittany, was a big hit – including with my grandson and granddaughter who were there with their mom and dad.

North Merrick, NY, USA. March 31, 2018. Back Row, L-R, Hempstead Town Clerk SYLVIA CABANA; BETTY TUCKER (clown) a member of American Legion Auxiliary Unit 1282; Hempstead Town Supervisor LAURA GILLEN; and SUE MOLLER, Co-President of North and Central Merrick Civic Association; pose with Easter Bunny and children at the Annual Eggstravaganza at Fraser Park. (© 2018 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

North Merrick, NY, USA. March 31, 2018. Back Row, L-R, Hempstead Town Clerk SYLVIA CABANA; BETTY TUCKER (clown) a member of American Legion Auxiliary Unit 1282; Hempstead Town Supervisor LAURA GILLEN; and SUE MOLLER, Co-Pres. of North & Central Merrick Civic Assoc.; pose with Easter Bunny and children at Eggstravaganza at Fraser Park. (© 2018 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

And the Easter Bunny – the furriest special guest at the Eggstravaganza – looked very hoppy to sit on a park bench with children as their parents took photos.

Eggstravaganza North Merrick 2018:  SLIDESHOW | GALLERY

Facebook:  North and Central Merrick Civic Association

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North Bellmore; New York; USA. March 14; 2018. Protesting gun violence, Mepham High School students walk out of class for 17 minutes; starting 10:00 am EST; one minute for each student shot and killed last month in a Parkland, Florida, H.S. It was part of a nationwide walkout in solidarity with student shooting victims, and a demand for U.S. laws to reduce gun violence.

Bellmore-Merrick Students Walkout to Protest Gun Violence: Déjà Vu

From LONG ISLAND – by Ann Parry (ann-parry.com)
March 14, 2018

Today, over a hundred Wellington C. Mepham High School students walked out of class from 10:00 to 10:17 AM, one month after a teen used a semi-automatic rifle to kill 17 students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas H. S. in Parkland, FLA.  

  • Click each photo for larger version – SLIDESHOW link also at end
North Bellmore; NY; USA. March 14, 2018. Protesting gun violence, Mepham H. S. students walk out of class for 17 minutes; starting 10:00 AM; one minute for each student shot and killed last month at a Parkland, Florida, H.S. (© 2018 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

North Bellmore; NY; USA. March 14, 2018. Protesting gun violence, Mepham H. S. students walk out of class for 17 minutes; starting 10:00 AM; one minute for each student shot and killed last month at a high school in Parkland, Florida. (© 2018 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

2018 NATIONAL STUDENT WALKOUT: 17 MINUTES

Mepham’s walkout was part of a nationwide protest to show solidarity with student shooting victims, and to demand U.S. lawmakers enact regulations and laws to reduce gun violence.

By 9:45 AM, several Nassau County patrol cars were parked on Camp Avenue in front of Mepham. School administration had requested police “just in case.” But neither the officers nor the school security guard, standing a distance from the walkout, needed to interact with protestors.

North Bellmore; NY; USA. March 14, 2018. Security Guard in red jacket watches as Mepham High School students, protesting gun violence, walk out of class for 17 minutes; starting 10:00 am.  ( © 2018 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

North Bellmore; NY; USA. March 14, 2018. Security Guard in red jacket watches as Mepham High School students, protesting gun violence, walk out of class for 17 minutes; starting 10:00 am.  ( © 2018 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

Several adults drove or walked to Mepham and stopped to look at the protest held at the west side of the school building. The most visible focal point from the street was four students standing on a bench and holding up big handmade protest signs. 

North Bellmore; New York; USA. March 14; 2018. CRYSTAL PHOTIOU, of Bellmore, drove to Mepham to watch students walkout to protest gun violence.

[Photo digitally altered to remove color from car/driver] North Bellmore; NY; USA. March 14, 2018. CRYSTAL PHOTIOU, of Bellmore, drove to Mepham H. S. to watch students walkout to protest gun violence. (© 2018 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

CRYSTAL PHOTIOU, of Bellmore, stopped her car in front of Mepham to watch the protest. When asked why she was there this morning, Photiou said:

“I wanted to see the kids. I wanted to see our future. That’s why I came.
“We have to do this. We have to support them. Absolutely.”

Midway through the walkout, a car with a man and woman in it stopped in front of the school. The driver said they’d come from the student walkout at Calhoun High School – which, like Mepham, is in the Bellmore-Merrick Central High School District. Smiling, she added there were so many students protesting outside Calhoun it looked like the whole school was participating in the walkout.

Déjà Vu:  VIETNAM WAR 50 YEARS AGO

The Vietnam War started not long after after I was born. By the late 1960’s, protests, notably including student protests, were helping turn public opinion against having American troops in Vietnam, which significantly helped lead to the withdrawal of our last troops by 1973.

I first began to understand the cost of the Vietnam War in 1968 when I was a junior at Calhoun High School. A military draft seemed guaranteed in the near future (in fact, the 1st draft lottery for Vietnam War was held Sept. 1969), and one of my closest friends, Tom, a senior, waited anxiously to find out if he was accepted into a military band, considered a safer assignment than the alternative. My senior year, a small but earnest group of students held a walkout to protest U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War. And in Calhoun’s Main Lobby, the plaque commemorating graduates who died serving in Vietnam had even more brass nameplates than expected for a school our size.

When I was an undergraduate student at SUNY New Paltz, Vietnam War protests were an inescapable part of life on campus, starting with the protest songs during Orientation Week concerts, just weeks after and 50 miles away from the Woodstock festival…  including a sit-in at the Administration Building around the time of the Kent State massacre, May 1970…  and continuing until our troops totally left Vietnam, shortly before I graduated.

North Bellmore; New York; USA. March 14; 2018. Protesting gun violence, Mepham H. S.  students walk out of class, as part of a nationwide walkout in solidarity with shooting victims, and a demand for U.S. laws to reduce gun violence. (© 2018 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

North Bellmore; NY; USA. March 14; 2018. Protesting gun violence, Mepham H. S. students walk out of class, as part of a nationwide walkout in solidarity with shooting victims, and a demand for U.S. laws to reduce gun violence. (© 2018 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

SIGNS OF THE TIMES

Properly motivated lawmakers – who replaced incumbents, when necessary – can pass regulations and laws that both keep Second Amendment rights intact and also help significantly reduce the amount of gun violence, which is significantly, outrageously worse here than in other countries.

Today’s National Student Walkout to Protest Gun Violence is a hopeful step in the right direction. On March 24th there’s the March for Our Lives Rally in Washington, DC, and local communities. After that it’s time for the next steps.  

#ENOUGH  Protect Kids Not Guns  #NeverAgain 

Mepham Students Walkout:  SLIDESHOW  |  GALLERY

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