Nyack Showcases Fabric of Community Services

 

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Story and photos by Janie Rosman

Education, art, safety, fun, fitness and live entertainment convened at the first Great Nyack Get-Together last Saturday. Sixty nonprofit groups, each with an interactive activity, highlighted services provided by the village and its neighboring towns and villages.

From an idea planted last February, the volunteer committee — co-chaired by Melody Partrick and Kim Cross and wearing bright yellow shirts and duck hats for the occasion — secured sponsors and challenged nonprofits to share their information creatively and in a way that would make visitors remember each group’s cause.

The result was a successful event that drew thousands of people to Memorial Park. Spotted on the grounds were an inflated plastic chicken and chicken legs (familiar from Rockland Center for the Arts’ sculpture garden), fun backdrops for posing. Despite brutal temperatures, the line for a one-to-two minute Ferris wheel ride was consistently long.

An officer from the Orangetown Police Department distributed coloring books that helped explain to kids what cyber-bullying is and how to get help if it happens to them. Little ones curiously approached the police cruiser and grinned broadly when asked if they’d like to look inside.

Visitors to RoCA’s boothcould make their own Hudson River maps from abstract to antique. There were stencils of various components included in mixed media maps in the shape of Rockland County, Nyack, etc.

Rockland County Times met up with Sheriff Louis Falco at the Rockland County Pride Center booth to say hello and pose for a picture. The Center’s annual Pride Ball takes place October 14.

Visitors who tossed a marshmallow into one of four red cups or a robot head received a cupcake that looks like a hot chocolate at the Nyack Hunger Coalition booth. Its second annual Resolution Run, a four-mile walk/run, takes places January 6, 2018.

“As the Y is all about keeping kids active, and we choose games that are fun,” Rockland County YMCA Senior Vice President Maire Brosnan Katavolos said. Its activities promote active minds and healthy bodies. As the day is about adult fun, too, included are childhood favorites like hopscotch, hula hoops and a giant game of Twister.

Remember when you and your friends tried to hold poses for as long as possible? Adults and kids had a chance to do that again at a tree pose competition sponsored by Keep Rockland Beautiful.

“The event is a way to get people into conversations about their activities and learn what the village has to offer,” KRB Development Officer Susan Wilmink said. Finding out about the various fish in the Hudson River was second to the fun of painting plastic fish replicas with different colors and imprinting them on paper.

With thoughts and prayers to those affected by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, Nyack First Friday had post cards for kids and adults to color. These would be sent to residents in the states so let them know their northern neighbors were thinking about them.

A giant iron pour late in the afternoon was molded into Iron Nyack. “We turn the activity more toward the personality of the crowd,” Mike Dominick (aka Iron Mike D) of Manhattan Iron Project.

Molten iron paintings and souvenir medallion were made in sand molds as crowds watch a safe distance away. The moment they were done, the mold was opened so the audience could see the finished result. Once crunched in ice, the molds are opened, and pieces of the cooled iron are distributed to the audience.

“This is a phenomenal event,” Nyack Mayor Jen Laird White said last week. “I can’t believe we’re having a Ferris wheel and an Iron Pour and all these nonprofits in one place in the village.”

White agreed it’s a great way to learn about the backbone of our village. “I’m impressed by the committee and people working so hard, putting in time and contributing to this event.” Word has it a similar event is in the works for next summer.

To learn more about participants and their upcoming events/fundraisers, and sponsors, visit http://www.greatnyackgettogether.com/. For a recap of the day’s activities, visit https://www.facebook.com/thegreatnyackgettogether/.