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Forliano

Column: Thomas Pell: Lost hero

A portrait of Thomas Pell, First Lord of the manor of Pelham. (Privately by Robert T. Pell, 1962) Photo courtesy Richard Forliano

A portrait of Thomas Pell, First Lord of the manor of Pelham. (Privately by Robert T. Pell, 1962) Photo courtesy Richard Forliano

This is the sixth in a series of articles on the Colonial and revolutionary history of Eastchester. 

History is often unkind to people who should be ranked among the heroes of America. The obscurity of reliable records can doom these figures to relative oblivion. The complexity of the era in which they live or the failure to identify with a ruling elite can also obscure their importance. Thomas Pell is such a person. Today, the amazing life of Thomas Pell would make a great story for a best-selling historical novel or a gripping subject for a made-for-TV mini-series.

Who was Thomas Pell? He was born the second son of a prominent Englishman. Orphaned at age 4, he was raised by caring stepparents. As a very young man, he held a minor position in the court of King Charles I but was forced to leave the country on account of an indiscretion with a lady-in-waiting to the queen. Pell volunteered in the Netherlands to help that country fight for its independence against Spain. There, he mastered enough of the medical practices of the day to be considered a surgeon. By 1637, 24-year-old Pell had crossed the Atlantic and was found practicing his surgical skills in the bloody Pequot War on the side of the Puritans in nearby Connecticut.

As he amputated limbs and bandaged wounds, he witnessed firsthand the horrors of the savage combat between the Native Americans and Europeans. There is good reason to believe that Pell heard the screams and smelled the burning flesh of the 600 old men, women and children who were burned alive in their stockade by Puritan militia as he tended to the wounded aboard a nearby ship.

A few years after the war was over, Pell moved to New Haven, Conn., practicing his surgical skills and investing in real estate and shipping. He soon became a wealthy man. In 1647, 35-year-old Pell married the widow Lucy Brewster and began to relocate to Fairfield, Conn. Also in that year, Pell had his first brush with Peter Stuyvesant, the newly-arrived Dutch governor of New Netherlands. One of his vessels filled with beaver skins was halted in the East River by Dutch authorities under Stuyvesant’s command and the cargo of valuable skins confiscated.

By 1653, Pell began to sell substantial holdings in New Haven and bought a permanent home in Fairfield. Fairfield, located at the edge of the Puritan wilderness, bordered the Dutch territory of New Netherlands and the remnants of the Lenape tribes that had been decimated by a recent conflict known as Kieft’s War. That very same year, an abortive plan to invade New Netherlands by Puritan invasion enthusiasts from Fairfield had been scrapped, but Pell thought of a more subtle way of gaining control over unsettled lands controlled by the Dutch.

His plan was both simple but ingenious. He would purchase a huge tract of disputed lands from five Lenape chiefs. By gaining dominion over the lands that later in the 17th century became lower Westchester County, the English could block any further movement of Dutch settlers, at least along the shore of the Long Island Sound westward to the Hutchinson River. Pell developed considerable knowledge of dealing with Native Americans both from firsthand experience and hearing about needless hostilities that led not only to the massacre of Anne Hutchinson and her party, but also the near extinction of the Dutch settlement a decade before.

On June 27, 1654, Pell met with five Lenape sachems to buy all of what is currently known as the eastern half of the Bronx and a portion of eastern Westchester County. To prevent any uprisings that might arise over the land purchased, the sachems agreed to send a delegation every spring to the exact spot where the treaty was signed to mark the boundaries of the land that had been purchased. At yearly meetings at the oak tree where the treaty was signed, the sachems and Pell traced the exact boundaries of the treaty.

This treaty was significant. While sporadic outbreaks of violence broke out in other places, no hostilities every broke out in the 9,000 acres purchased by Pell. An interesting aside is that one of the sachems who signed the treaty, named Wampage or John White, is alleged to have signed his name as “Anhooke,” and claimed to be the person who killed Anne Hutchinson. While this story is recounted frequently, there is no clear documentation to prove the validity of that claim.

A year after signing the treaty, Thomas Pell gathered 15 men to settle the village of Westchester on land he had purchased. It was no coincidence that war had broken out in Europe between England and Holland. When Peter Stuyvesant learned about this intrusion, he ordered the settlers of Westchester to leave. Conflict persisted for almost two years and was finally resolved when the settlers of Westchester signed an oath of allegiance to the monarchs of Holland.

The town of Westchester, now a section of the Bronx, while ostentatiously under Dutch control, remained more or less an English settlement with British customs and language, its own militia, and continuance of good relations with Native Americans, thanks to Thomas Pell. Pell would get one last chance to establish an English settlement when on June 24, 1664, he granted a deed to 10 Puritan farm families from Fairfield, Conn., that would become Eastchester.

Thomas Pell was a 17th century swashbuckling adventurer who overcame overwhelming odds to become a major player in the history of lower Westchester County and the Bronx. The treaty that he signed in 1654 was very unusual in that it insured peaceful relations with the area’s Native Americans. His sale in 1664 of 6,000 acres to fellow townspeople from Fairfield, Conn., marked the beginnings of the town of Eastchester.

 

Many thanks to Blake Bell, Pelham town historian, and Lloyd Ulton, Bronx County
historian, for their pioneering research and writing from
which much of the material in this article is taken.

In the next article in 2016, the story of the founding of Eastchester will be told.

Please contact us at historian@eastchester-historicalsociety.org about any comments or questions
you might have about  this column.

 

 

 
LETTER

Letter: Political arrogance in the ‘friendly village’

 

 

To the Editor,

The village of Mamaroneck Board of Trustees received the initial recommendations by their appointed Ad Hoc Parking Commission. The commission’s chair, Maria DeRose, and committee member John Farris, noted that the recommendations are based upon a consensus of the committee and a poll of 500 responses, as well as personal visits to Mamaroneck Avenue merchants, where the majority of those who responded are either in favor of single-space meters or no change on Mamaroneck Avenue.

The following in part was presented to the board of trustees at its Dec. 21 meeting.

The village should develop and implement a plan to:

Install multi-space parking meters at certain off-street lots to include:

Hunter Tier Parking Deck
Phillips Park Road (adjacent to the Heithaus Walkway)
East Prospect Lot (across from House of Honda)
Spencer Lot
Emelin Theatre Lot

Establish a pilot program to test single-space “smart” parking meters on Mamaroneck Avenue.

The majority members of the Board of Trustees chose to ignore their appointed committee and the response of merchants and residents by passing a resolution to install multi-space meters along with the single-space meters on the avenue.

Led by Trustee Leon Potok, with support of trustees Illissa Miller and David Finch, all Democrats, they make a mockery of the intent of the Ad Hoc Parking Committee by continuing Potok’s original quest to have all multi-space meters on Mamaroneck Avenue and potential license plate readers and limited time in the village.

I believe, along with Deputy Mayor Louis Santoro, that this is a formula for economic and community development disaster at the expense of the residents, merchants, visitors and shoppers in the village. This blind support by Potok, Miller and Finch flies in the face of facts that many communities are reversing the use of multi-space meters in favor of single-space meters.

This certainly will tarnish the image of a “friendly village” to one that many will choose to shop and dine elsewhere. The obvious impact on seniors, drivers with small children, the disabled and weather factors clearly demand the support of the parking committee recommendations to help assure the continued viability of the “friendly village” as the prime destination it has become and should continue to be.

The democratic process avails all who live, work and visit the “friendly village” of Mamaroneck to contact the three trustees Potok, Finch and Miller—lpotok@vomny.org, imiller@vomny.org and dfinch@vomny.org, respectively—to support the recommendations of their own ad hoc committee and the best interests of the continued vibrancy of the village of Mamaroneck.

 

Norman Rosenblum,

Village of Mamaroneck mayor

OP/ED

OP/ED: Saving the next generation

 

 

By Dr. Gary Blick
More than a decade ago, I came into contact with the plight of a young HIV-positive Zimbabwean couple who tried desperately to conceive their first child. Tragically, they lost their HIV-positive firstborn who died shortly after birth. But it was more than 30 years ago when I decided to enter the field of HIV/AIDS research and treatment here in the United States. I was emotionally devastated by the amount of victims that this disease claimed in the early years of its arrival, as well as the indifference of politicians toward the most affected communities at the time.

Today, however, a different battle is being waged. Not between politicians and citizens and certainly not by an unknown disease of disputed origins. No, today we are more aware of the HIV/AIDS virus as well as the politico-social atmospheres that lend to its unfortunate and continued spread.

In the United States, just as in countries such as Zimbabwe—where my organization, World Health Clinicians, WHC, runs an entirely unique, health care provider-based HIV awareness and treatment initiative entitled BEAT AIDS Project Zimbabwe, BAPZ—we are not only witnessing a steady decline in certain numbers of HIV infection rates, but also a rapid increase of infections in demographics of youth aged 13 to 34.

Certain factors lend themselves to stigmatize different groups in each geographic location, such as men, health care workers and commercial sex workers in Zimbabwe, or individuals within the African-American, Latino and young gay or bisexual men—known as MSM—communities here in the U.S. But education is key to reducing the HIV/AIDS stigma, increasing awareness and decreasing the number of infections in any community, and that is one of the underlying goals of our outreach as we work to save the next generations here in the U.S. and abroad.

One dramatic and alarming difference in the response to HIV/AIDS in Zimbabwe compared with the U.S. has to do with those “lost to follow-up,” LTFU. In the U.S., a “developed” nation with the financial ability and structure to treat all Americans with HIV/AIDS, 1 million people have tested HIV-positive, but 50 percent of them, approximately 500,000 people, have been LTFU, with stigma being a strong contributing factor. In Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, a town in a “developing” nation where BAPZ and the Zimbabwean Ministry of Health and Child Care, MoHCC, partner to perform HIV/AIDS outreach in the municipality and surrounding rural villages, the LTFU rate is 0.26 percent.

BEAT AIDS Project Zimbabwe is continuously helping local communities and revolutionizing the way that HIV/AIDS treatment is delivered throughout Zimbabwe, a country where 13.7 percent of the adult population—about 1.1 million people—is infected with the disease. We have even brought our popular anti-stigma and testing initiative, HIV Equal, to test and photograph local villagers. In June 2015, we opened our first state-of-the-art HIV specialty clinic in the township of Mkhosana, located in Victoria Falls, where we centralized our efforts to provide care to the nearly 22,000 people who fall within our jurisdiction.

Between 2011 and 2015, World AIDS Day had the theme “Getting to zero: Zero new HIV infections. Zero discrimination. Zero AIDS-related deaths.” UNAIDS has set a 2030 goal of eradicating HIV around the globe via “90-90-90,” meaning by 2020, 90 percent of individuals will be getting tested for HIV, 90 percent of those who test positive will be started on HIV medications, and 90 percent of those HIV-positive individuals will have undetectable viral loads, which prevents transmission by 96 percent.

Through our continued efforts in Zimbabwe, we not only hope to stem the spread of HIV infection from mother to child, we also hope to provide the next generation with awareness, testing and linkage-to-care services that will help to reduce, if not eventually eradicate, the impact of HIV/AIDS on local communities there while also continuing our important work in the U.S.

 

Dr. Gary Blick is the co-founder and chief medical officer of the Norwalk, Conn.-based nonprofit humanitarian organization World Health Clinicians, whcccc.org, which provides awareness, treatment and prevention initiatives across the U.S. and Zimbabwe. 

 
OP/ED

Op-Ed: Not surprised by Trump’s success

By CLIFFORD JACKSON

It is no surprise that Donald Trump is getting support from millions of whites across this country. It is also not surprising that he is doing so well in the polls, leading as the potential Republican nominee for president.

America has a racist and criminal history that is manifesting itself clearly today. Trump represents “Joe America,” who has been racist and brutal from the very beginning.

It is insane when you analyze and cogitate about this country’s history. The United States declared war on Mexico when it initiated the confrontation at the Rio Grande. It stole half of Mexico, literally killing, raping and beating the Mexicans into submission. Texas, California, New Mexico, Utah and part of Colorado used to be Mexico. Manifest Destiny sanctioned this barbaric behavior, saying that “it was divine providence that allowed the superior Anglo-Saxon race to subjugate inferior peoples.”

That is what Trump epitomizes and represents. He is the progeny of centuries of a pseudo-sense of white superiority and entitlement. That is exemplified in all of the laws and policies in this society that have provided for slavery, more than a century of legalized apartheid, and the destruction of Native Americans’ culture, attempting to make them white and Christianized, and displacing them to reservations where they have had one of the highest suicide rates in the country.

Trump has said “blacks kill whites at a very high rate in this country.” Many whites believe that, but like many other things in America, it is based on a lie. Eighty-five percent of whites in this country are killed by other whites, according to the FBI and the U.S. Justice Department statistics. Even though white violent crime is the highest in this country among all industrial nations, Trump and his supporters will call that “liberal nonsense.” These are the same people that call African-Americans and the poor “lazy.” These are also the same people that when confronting the racism, ignorance and prefabrications of this society, will respond by being “politically correct,” which is nothing but a euphemism to try and ensconce the racist and very ugly and brutal history of this country.

Trump’s recent proposition to ban all Muslims from entering this country is very similar to Adolf Hitler and the nascent stages of the Third Reich. What Hitler did starting in the 1920s was initiate a form of German nationalism that excluded people of Slavic, Judaic and non-German descent. It led the National Socialist Party to take over the Reichstag and for him to become chancellor in 1933.

Both Hitler and Trump, especially with what Trump has been espousing, were, and are, in the forefront of white nationalism. Trump and his ilk ignore the fact that the United States has invaded, occupied or bombed 16 Muslim states since 1980—including Iraq, Iran, Yemen and Kosovo—but Trump’s supporters and their primitive way of thinking will call that “victimization.”

These people live in Mahopac, Bensonhurst and certainly are represented here in Larchmont. Like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said, “This is a sick and racist society.”

Clifford Jackson is a  resident of Larchmont. The views expressed are his.

 
This snowflake was created by young artists during the two-day event, “A Dickens of A Weekend,” at The Wainwright House in Rye.

‘A Dickens of a Weekend’

At Wainwright House, the festivities included a marionette performance by Kim Profaci and her class of puppeteers who have worked diligently with writer Maureen Amaturo to create the story for this show. The weekend events also included an opportunity to learn Victorian folk dancing with live music. And on Saturday, Dec. 5, Wainwright received the students from The Mannes College The New School for Music with artistic director Pavlina Dokovska. (Submitted)

 
A crowd gathers around for the official lighting of the 25-foot tree in Larchmont’s Constitution Park. Photos/Andrew Dapolite

Larchmont lights up for the holidays

The Larchmont Professional Fire Fighters Association Local 895 and the Larchmont Police Benevolent Association joined forces for the second annual Light Up Larchmont event that took place on the evening of Saturday, Dec. 5 at Constitution Park. Revelers headed over to the Larchmont Fire House at 120 Larchmont Ave. to get into the Christmas and holiday spirit.

The free event returned outdoors in Constitution Park, back-dropped on a colorful holiday scene scape. Some patrons had their photos taken by professional photographers to capture the feeling of the season.

Also at the event were local choirs and bands performing seasonal tunes. All of the musical performances were coordinated by the Larchmont Music Academy featuring the Larchmont Chorale and the French-American School Choir.

Patrons warmed up with hot cocoa and pastries, got creative with arts and crafts, and all children who attended were entered to win various gift certificates to local businesses. In addition, the French-American School across the street from the park hosted their annual holiday fair.

To end the celebration, revelers counted down to light up the 20-plus-foot Christmas tree which featured hundreds of spectacular lights. (Submitted)

 

LAURA-BRETT2

Column: On being a Rye City Council member

 

 

It has been a great privilege to serve as an elected member of our city council. When I ran for Rye City Council, I was inspired by the spirit of volunteerism in our community. After serving for four years I remain awed by the commitment exhibited by the volunteers who serve our city on the council, on our boards and commissions and as advocates for issues. I am also inspired by the dedicated and professional staff that serves our city every day.

When campaigning for a position on the city council, I promised I would prioritize a few issues. For me, the most important issues to the city were efficiently managing services costs, developing solutions for flood mitigation, implementing pedestrian safety initiatives, prioritizing historic preservation, protecting Rye’s interests in Playland and Rye Town Park, and, most importantly, governing in a way that inspires public confidence.

In my four years on the city council, we have restored public confidence in the integrity of a city government. We uncovered fraud at the golf club, replaced the golf club manager and have outsourced the golf club catering facilities to a private operator who agreed to allow golf club members access to the restaurant facilities. We negotiated a resolution to three of four outstanding labor contracts. We adopted a change to the city charter, which requires that city council members be allowed access to all of the city’s books and records, and we replaced our outside auditing firm. We also hired a new city manager who shares the goal of an open and transparent city government.

An unexpected and welcome result of restoring public confidence in city government is that our regular council meetings have become significantly shorter. The increased confidence in the integrity of the city government seems to have decreased some of the antagonism between members of our community and the council.

The council has made progress on other issues as well.

During my four years on the council, the city budget has been consistently within the tax cap, meaning that tax increases have been less than 2 percent each year. We also sold city-owned property at 1037 Boston Post Road for maximum value, without any loss to the city. This seemed like an unlikely outcome a few years ago, yet the public auction of the property brought out several interested bidders.

With regard to flood mitigation, we were selected to receive $3 million in NY Rising flood mitigation grants and have worked with the state to identify potential flood mitigation opportunities. We are now in a position to install significant flood mitigation projects with funding through NY Rising. We have installed miles of new sidewalk and found funding for several pedestrian safety projects through both the Safe Routes to School program and by asking voters to approve a bond for pedestrian safety projects.

We have made strides in historic preservation as well, enacting legislation that gives property owners a tax incentive to renovate or rehabilitate historic properties and defined a new downtown historic district where land will now be eligible for this tax incentive. Additionally, the council has been active and vocal in advocating for Rye’s interests in Playland and at Rye Town Park.

Many issues that have come up during my time on the council, however, were driven by circumstances or the advocacy of members of our community. We have approved zoning changes for two new senior housing developments based on inquiries from the county and a property owner. At the urging of a resident, we implemented a Drive 25 pilot study to encourage drivers to slow down on our city streets. We are now pursuing state legislation that would make this change permanent. Additionally, several residents advocated for the council to place restrictions on rock chipping in our community, which we introduced, debated and enacted within the past year. We are also addressing concerns about deer, sidewalks on Forest Avenue, the development on the former United Hospital site, and the conditions of our roads, implementing a 2014 pavement management plan that requires a significant increase in city funds devoted to road repair.

These accomplishments are significant and, as I leave office, I am proud of what the Rye City Council has done during my time here. When asked about my biggest contribution, however, I would not point to any one of the items listed. I cannot individually take credit for any of these listed achievements because the council has worked collectively to achieve each outcome.

Instead, my biggest contribution—and often the biggest challenge—during my service on the council was to stay engaged in the issues. On this council—and in every governing body—it is easy to take a position and steadfastly advocate for it. Influencing a decision on a difficult issue requires more than advocating for a position. It demands engaging in debate and conversation. Digging into an issue to find out where there is agreement and where there is disagreement takes patience and persistence. I know that my persistence resulted in a better outcome on several of these decisions, and on other issues, it allowed the council to arrive at a decision by consensus rather than a split decision.

During the last few years, I have had the fortune of working with a mayor and city council that have worked hard, sifted through the issues and made decisions that are in the best interests of Rye. My hope for the members of the next council is that they have the good fortune to work collegially, and my respectful advice is that, regardless of the issues and challenges that they face in the years ahead, they stay engaged in each debate. If they do, I have no doubt that they will be making decisions that are best for Rye.

LETTER

Letter: Re: ‘Tuckahoe adopts Eastchester fast food rules’

 

 

To the Editor,

I am writing this letter in response to the article, “Tuckahoe adopts Eastchester fast food rules,” published on Dec. 4. The article’s headline really caught my eye. The headline was written in the present tense, i.e. “adopts,” as if the adoption of the fast food law had already happened.

Surprised, I continued reading, wondering just when the village board had adopted the new law. I knew they had a formal board meeting on Nov. 9 where the public comment period regarding the new proposed law was kept open; however, the next board meeting was not scheduled until Dec. 14, according to the calendar on Tuckahoe.com. Although no agenda was posted as of Dec. 8, I checked the website calendar and could find no reference to a meeting on Nov. 23. Was the public notified of that meeting? I could not find the minutes of the Nov. 9 village board meeting on the website as of Dec. 8 either.

So I wondered, when exactly was the new law adopted? As I continued reading, the article stated, “The Tuckahoe Village Board of Trustees will pass a law on Monday, Dec. 14 prohibiting ‘formula fast food and formula quick casual’ restaurants from moving into the village, according to Village Administrator David Burke.”

From the headline, a reader could reasonably believe that the village board had already adopted the new law and that it was a done deal. It is only until one reads further that they learn this is not the case at all, and that the new fast food law has not yet been adopted and that the public comment period is still open.

Wasn’t the headline telling the reader something completely at odds with the facts? The new law has not yet been adopted by the village board of trustees and your readers need to know the correct facts. Tuckahoe residents should be afforded the opportunity to comment until the village board actually meets, on Monday, Dec. 14 at 8 p.m. in Village Hall, located at 65 Main St., when the board will again meet to consider the adoption of the proposed new fast food law.

 

Melba T. Caliano,

Tuckahoe

LETTER

Letter: Donate to The Community Fund

 

 

To the Editor,

We at the Cancer Support Team, CST, wish to express our deepest appreciation to The Community Fund for its support of our free home care services for cancer patients in Bronxville, Eastchester and Tuckahoe. CST is the only Westchester-based home care agency licensed by the New York State Department of Health specializing in oncology. With the support of The Community Fund for our nursing, social work counseling, case management and financial assistance services, we continue to respond to requests for services from residents of Bronxville, Eastchester and Tuckahoe who face a myriad of medical and psychosocial challenges associated with a cancer diagnosis.

Because of The Community Fund’s generosity, CST patients receive:

• Visits from registered nurses who advise them about symptom control and pain management.

• Sessions with our social workers who guide them through the difficult emotions associated with cancer.

• Assistance from case managers who help find resources to relieve financial worries.

• Transportation provided by our volunteer drivers, who take patients to and from chemotherapy and radiation appointments.

The Community Fund’s ongoing support is vital for the continuation and enhancement of our services. On behalf of CST’s Board of Directors, staff and the people we serve, we urge you to support The Community Fund’s annual fundraising campaign. Your contribution will be used to support your friends and neighbors in your community and will continue to make our services possible.

 

Gina A. Russo,

Executive director of the Cancer Support Team

WGO

What’s going in Eastchester 12-11-2015

Eastchester Public Library

Christmas crafts

Make special Rudolph and Christmas-themed necklaces on Tuesday, Dec. 15 from 2 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. The craft session is appropriate for children ages 3 and 4. For more information or to register online, visit eastchesterlibrary.org/events/.

Reading Buddies Book Club

This drop-off program is appropriate for readers in grades two and three. The book club, which will be held on Wednesday, Dec. 16 from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m., will be a round-table discussion where participants can discuss whether or not they enjoyed the assigned book and how it compares to other books they have read. The assigned book was chosen a month prior to the book club discussion. The discussion will end with a trivia contest about the book with prizes. Refreshments will also be served. Online registration for this program is suggested. For more information or to register online, visit eastchesterlibrary.org/events/ or contact Jonathan Heifetz at 721-8105 or jheifetz@wlsmail.org.

Knit for charity part two

The second part of this knitting series will be held on Saturday, Dec. 19 from 11 a.m. to noon and is appropriate for children in sixth grade and up. The first session of the program covered the basics of knitting and participants began to knit squares. In the second part of the program, participants will finish knitting their squares and will put them together to make a blanket that will be donated to a local charity. Yarn and multiple sets of needles will be provided; however, the library would appreciate it if participants could bring their own knitting needles. This program is open to beginner and advanced knitters. For more information or to register for the program, visit eastchesterlibrary.org/events/ or contact Elizabeth at 721-8102 or eportillo@wlsmail.org.

Bronxville Public Library

Ornament craft

Make a handmade ornament using ribbons and embellishments during this program on Monday, Dec. 14 from 11 a.m. to noon. All materials will be provided. Advanced registration for this program is required. For more information or to register for this program, call 337-7680 ext. 24 or email bronxvillelibrary@gmail.com.

Teen DIY holiday craft

Make a special gift during this program on Tuesday, Dec. 15 from 3:30 p.m. to 4:45 p.m. This program is appropriate for children grades six and up. Participants will be able to make their own candles and decorate coffee mugs with nail polish and permanent marker. Advanced registration for this program is required. For more information or to register for this program, call 337-7680 ext. 34 or stop by the Children’s Room.

Family Film Fridays

The library will be screening Disney Pixar’s film “Minions” during this week’s Family Film Fridays movie series on Friday, Dec. 18 from 3:30 p.m. to 5:15 p.m. This movie follows the story of minions Stuart, Kevin and Bob, who are recruited by Scarlett Overkill, a super-villain who, alongside her inventor husband Herb, hatches a plot to take over the world. Rated PG, running time: 91 minutes.

Tuckahoe Public Library

Charles Dickens book and tea

The library will explore the classic history behind Charles Dickens’ classic holiday tale “The Night Before Christmas” on Saturday, Dec. 12 at 11 p.m. Participants will be able to discuss what the story meant to Dickens and how it affected
Victorian readers while enjoying tea.

Raw dessert

Learn how to make three low-calorie desserts on Wednesday, Dec. 16 at 4 p.m. These raw foods will nourish the brain for improvements in learning and mood, and are simple enough to make with only a food processor.

Bronxville Women’s Club

Holiday brunch

Members and non-members can enjoy a champagne holiday brunch on Sunday, Dec. 13 from noon to 1 p.m. at Bronxville Women’s Club, located at 135 Midland Ave. in Bronxville. The brunch will be catered by Sheldon Party Services. Reservations for the event are required. For more information or to make a reservation, call 337-3252.

TBA Pipe Dream Theater

Enjoy a holiday show performed by BWC’s resident theater company on Saturday, Dec. 19 from 7:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. at BCW. The performance will include a live band and food catered by Sheldon Party Services. The event is open to the public. For more information, call 337-3252.

The Reformed Church of Bronxville 

Messiah Sing

The Reformed Church of Bronxville will be hosting its annual Messiah Sing of the holiday classic program from “Handel’s Messiah” on Saturday, Dec. 12 at 4 p.m. at the Church, located at 180 Pondfield Road in Bronxville. Singers will include professional soloists and a string quartet conducted by Dr. Sándor Szabó. It promises to be an exciting community event. Audience members are invited to sing along and be part of this family tradition. A reception will follow the performance. For more information, call 337-6776.

Community volunteers and donations

Snow angels needed

The Snow Angels program needs volunteers to aid the elderly and disabled with snow removal. All requests from volunteers are matched up with a request from someone who lives near them and who has requested help with snow/ice removal. Volunteers will receive community service hours from the program coordinator. Those who are interested should contact Sheila Marcotte at tuckahoesnowangels@yahoo.com, and parents can contact her at 309-6947. Sheila will contact the program coordinator directly.

Community food drive

Eastchester Community Action Partnership, ECAP, will be collecting nonperishable food items this holiday season, including canned goods, rice, pasta, hot and cold cereal, boxed foods and sauces. Monetary donations are also greatly appreciated. Donations can be dropped off at ECAP, located at 142-144 Main St. in Tuckahoe. For more information, contact Don Brown at 337-7768.

Matthew’s Wish toy drive

Matthew McKinnon, a patient at Cohen Children’s Medical Center, wished for an 18-wheeler truck with toys to be delivered to the hospital for children to enjoy during the holidays. Unfortunately, he passed away before his wish was able to be fulfilled. Matthew’s mother AnneMarie and his family and friends created Matthew’s Wish, an organization that works during the holiday season to make Matthew’s wish come true by filling an 18-wheeler with toys for the children at Cohen Children’s Medical Center, Ronald McDonald House and other worthy organizations to enjoy. Those who wish to contribute to the toy drive are asked to send new, unwrapped toys to the donation bins in the main office of Anne Hutchinson School. The toys will be collected until Friday, Dec. 11. For more information, contact Wendy Pregiato at wendyandlarry1@hotmail.com.

Eastchester Historical Society

Annual Victorian Christmas Party

Annmarie Flannery, president of the Eastchester Historical Society, invites everyone to its annual Victorian Christmas Party on Saturday, Dec. 12 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the Room School House at the intersection of California and New Rochelle roads. The party is free, open to community members of all ages and reservations are not required. A Christmas tree decorated with candles and old fashioned decorations will be on display, with 19th-century toys and memorabilia around it. This annual event is a time when children can learn about one of the society’s oldest traditions and adults of all faiths can meet and learn about the exciting historical activities that are planned for 2016.

Deadline for our What’s Going On section is every Thursday at noon. Though space is not guaranteed, we will do our best to accommodate your listing. Please send all items to news@hometwn.com.