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How Do You Thank Our Veterans?
ing performance of their duty this month in Yemen aboard the USS Cole.
This year, veterans of all wars will be remembered and honored by a “thank you” dinner dance on Veterans Day, Saturday, November 11, at the New Jersey Army National Guard Armory on Rahway Avenue in Westfield. Everyone in the region is urged to join with their fellow Americans at the Y2K Dinner Dance, which will take place from 7 to 11 p. m.
This program was conceived by the Westfield Historical Society in its endeavor to document and memorialize the efforts of veterans for future generations. All proceeds will be contributed to the Disabled American Veterans Department of New Jersey toward the purchase of a vehicle to transport disabled veterans.
A ninepiece dance band will entertain and a buffet dinner, including steak, chicken, pasta, salad, beer, wine and soda, will be served. There will be door prizes of goods, services and gift certificates. The cost is $35 per person, for seating at tables of 10.
Tickets are available at Irma’s Hallmark, Fanwood; Bayberry Card & Gift Shop and Patterson Interiors, Mountainside; Nuts n’ Plenty, Scotch Plains, and The Town Book Store and Lancaster Hallmark Ltd., Westfield.
For information, please call Charles Brown at (908) 6543946 or Brian Mueller at (908) 5805788.
By GARLAND “BUD” BOOTHE
Specially Written for The Westfield Leader and The Times
For centuries, many men and women of the United States of America have put their careers, family and other interests on hold for months and years at a time. In uniform, they were thrust into harm’s way. Military service could be unpleasant, lonely, dangerous and, sometimes, fatal. Our veterans did this for one purpose, and one only — to serve and protect this country.
Communities across America are filled with monuments to remember our veterans of wars. In the many towns of Union County, some of these monuments are wellknown, while others are forgotten. In Westfield, local veterans who lost their lives during the first World War are remembered by the monument at the Plaza, as well as with goldstar street names and signs. The 78 Westfielders who died in World War II are memorialized by a bronze plaque outside the Town Hall Community Room. Those lost in Korea and in Vietnam are remembered with plaques at the Memorial Pool.
Hopefully, the conflagrations of earlier years will not be repeated, and the number of those called upon to serve and to sacrifice for our country will be accordingly fewer. Still, the daily headlines remind us that there are men and women out there serving and dying. God bless those who died dur
New Jersey Table Tennis Club Features Ideal Playing Conditions, Olympic Champs
Westfield Veterans Day Ceremony To Be Held
At WW I Monument
On Saturday, November 11, at 10: 30 a. m., the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) of Westfield will honor all veterans at the Monument to Veterans of World War I in Westfield.
All are invited to attend as Commander Alfred Riker of the American Legion and Al Shay of the VFW will preside over the ceremony along with Westfield Mayor Thomas C. Jardim.
Ted Schlossberg of the New Jersey Workshop of the Arts will present a vocalist and Taps will be played.
Rosarians to Present Mother Teresa Video
WESTFIELD – The Holy Trinity and St. Helen’s Rosary Altar Society will meet on Thursday, November 9, in the “Blue Room” at St. Helen’s Parish Center at 12: 30 p. m.
A video will be presented on the life of Mother Teresa. Participants may bring a bag lunch, and dessert will be provided. All are welcome to attend.
A liaison from St. Helen’s is still needed. Interested individuals may call Rose Russo at (908) 2329047.
The Society has announced that the Day of Recollection at St. Joseph’s Shrine in Stirling will be held on Wednesday, May 2.
By DEBORAH MADISON
Specially Written for The Westfield Leader and The Times
The members of New Jersey Table Tennis Club (NJTTC), located in Westfield, prefer to call the sport table tennis, not pingpong. Watching the athletes compete, the difference is obvious. Members of the club, many of whom are national champions, describe pingpong as a recreational hobby and table tennis as a competitive sport.
The paddle makes a loud thwack as it slams the pingpong ball across the table, a white blur at speeds exceeding 125 miles per hour. The players jump from side to side with the reflexes and agility of tennis pros. The best players have leg muscles like Olympic gymnasts. In fact, table tennis has been an Olympic Sport since 1988 and some of this club’s members are Olympic champions.
With roots that go as far back as the 1930s, according to club president Barry Dattel, the New Jersey Table Tennis Club has about 150 members in three leagues, beginners, intermediate and advanced. Mr. Dattel is a twotime New Jersey State Champion.
Professional table tennis players come from far and wide to experience
table tennis in what many members describe as “ideal conditions” at the Westfield club on North Avenue. Proper lighting, a level floor and enclosed table areas make the club one of the best in the country, players say. Members hail from as far away as Pennsylvania, Connecticut and South Jersey. There are other table tennis clubs in those areas, but none with the same ideal conditions as the club in Westfield.
“That’s why we get top worldclass players here,” Mr. Dattel said.
According to the USA Table Tennis Web site at (www. usatt. org), table tennis is the second most popular sport in the world, second only to soccer. It is estimated that there are 20 million table tennis players worldwide. The sport is most popular in China and Korea.
“Increasingly, more women and children are taking up the sport in this country,” Mr. Dattel added.
At the NJTTC, young and old, male and female, compete against each other in leagues and tournaments, as well as for recreation and fun. Beginners play on Monday nights, intermediate players on Tuesday nights and advanced players on Thursday nights. Tournaments, played 10 times a year, are open
to both individual players and doubles teams of both sexes.
The club also hosts school exhibitions and a variety of special tournaments for the police and fire departments.
Twotime Olympic Gold Champion and Woman’s National Champion, Lily Yip, who also happens to be Mr. Dattel’s wife, is one of the club’s best players. Mrs. Yip won Gold for the PanAmerican team in the ’92 and ’96 Olympics. Originally from China, Mrs. Yip learned the sport as a young girl.
“In China, we practiced six to eight hours a day to be the best,” Mrs. Yip recalled. “That was grueling.”
Other members of the club, like Mrs. Dattel’s son Adam, who is the national champion in the under 13 age division, practice one to two hours a day to stay on top of their game. Mrs. Dattel’s daughter, Judy, is the woman’s national champion in the under 12 division.
Adam, who is 12, attributes his success to the great coaching of his parents.
“A small part of it may be inherited talent, but more importantly, I had the best teachers in the world,” he said.
Adam has only been playing table tennis for three years and said that anyone can learn to become really good at it with hard work and practice. Adam said that he hopes to one day compete in the Olympics like his mother.
“It’s important to be in good condition all around and especially to have strong legs,” Adam remarked. He strengthens his legs by working out on a trampoline.
Other members include twotime Olympic champion and threetime National champion David Zhang and Junior Olympic champion Alex Groyzburg from Brooklyn. Alex, who is 17, won second place in the Junior Olympics and first place in the team doubles for the under 18 division. Alex has only been playing for five years and practices one to two hours a day.
Watching a tournament match between Mrs. Yip and Alex is an exhilarating experience. The ball moves faster than the eye can see, and the two Olympic champions put spins on the ball that seem to defy the laws of physics.
Club member Larry Bavly from Somerset said that being good at the sport requires speed and focus.
“You have to have the competitive drive to win,” he added. Mr. Bavly is ranked number five in New Jersey and has been playing for 13 years.
But not everyone at the club has hopes of Olympic glory. Table tennis enthusiasts also come to the club just to enjoy the game and to compete against themselves.
Brian Farkas of Lawrenceville has been playing table tennis for 20 years. He enjoys playing for the sheer fun of it.
“Table tennis is very popular in Scotland, where I’m from,” he said.
Ray Arditi drives two and a half hours from Winwood, Pa. just to get lessons from Mrs. Yip, his coach.
“The level of competition here makes the drive worth it,” he remarked.
Mrs. Yip and Mr. Dattel hope that the sport catches on more in the United States as it has in many other countries.
“We invite anyone to come down to watch and try out,” Mr. Dattel said.
The club relies solely on membership fees to survive. Membership fees run $245 for an adult, $125 for students and $83 for Juniors. Anyone interested can call the club at 908 6549009. They are open seven days a week from 7 to 11 p. m. Or you can visit their Web site at: http:// members. aol. com/ ustabletennis.
The Web site contains links to the 20 pages of official table tennis rules as well as tournament and club locations.
A Weekly Column From Members of the
Scotch PlainsFanwood Ministerial Association
By REV. GARY F. ROTHWELL
On Tuesday, November 7, many Americans will be going to the polls to elect a new set of government leaders. We will elect a new President, numerous members of the House of Representatives and onethird of the Senate. In addition, we have our own state and local races and issues. These new leaders will have a great influence on the future of our nation and world. What will that influence be?
Voting is a very important part of our democratic process and one many of us hold dear. We appreciate the
right we have as American citizens to choose those who will govern us. Most take this right seriously by studying the issues and how the different candidates say they stand on these issues. We see the ramifications of who we elect on our society and our hopes for a bright future.
In my congregation, we are in the midst of our annual stewardship campaign. Yes, we are talking about money again. But Biblical stewardship isn’t solely about what you do with your money. It encompasses all of life, as we seek to take proper care of all God’s blessings. Part of the stewardship of our American freedom is to exercise the privilege of voting and educate ourselves about the candidates and the issues.
As people of faith, many of us must consider not only our personal interests that are at stake in the issues, but also the interests of our Creator and fellow citizens as well. What do our religious texts say about the sanctity of life and marriage, of care for the poor, aliens, orphans and widows? What are some of the hurts that government can help heal? Where are people suffering and where might we bring help and hope?
I encourage you, as you are preparing to cast your vote, to include prayer and maybe even some fasting. Seek to find God’s heart in the issues and vote according to His will, not your own. We need to let His Spirit guide our thoughts and our votes.
We are truly blessed with the freedom and responsibility to vote according to our conscience. May God, the creator, sustainer and redeemer of our world, so mold our will to His that our votes will elect men and women of good moral character and noble abilities who will govern us according to His will and way. May we be good stewards of our vote.
* * * * *
Reverend Rothwell is Pastor of the Scotch Plains Baptist Church, located at 333 Park Avenue in Scotch Plains.
Mayor’s Gala Set For December 1
SCOTCH PLAINS – The 10th Annual Scotch Plains Mayor’s Charity Gala will take place on Friday, December 1, at the Shackamaxon Golf and Country Club in Scotch Plains, from 7 p. m. to midnight.
Tickets will be on sale through Friday, November 17, at the Scotch Plains Recreation Office, 430 Park Avenue, or at the Scotch Plains Library, located at 1927 Bartle Avenue.
Tickets are $50 per person and include hors d’oeuvres, a sitdown dinner, dessert and a live band.
In keeping with the theme of the new millennium, Mayor Martin L. Marks has chosen to honor the “Mayors of the 20th Century” as the Male and Female Volunteers of the Year, while the Scotch Plains Recreation Commission has been selected as the Volunteer Organization of the Year.
The recipient of this year’s gala proceeds will be the Scotch PlainsFanwood Municipal Alliance Committee, which is dedicated to preventing drug and alcohol abuse. To raise additional funds, the Scotch PlainsFanwood YMCA will cosponsor a 50/ 50 raffle.
Tickets, which cost $2, may be purchased at the Recreation Office or from any committee member.
For the first time, the Gala Committee will also sponsor a Silent Auction, which will be held during the cocktail hour at Shackamaxon from 7 to 8 p. m. Donations for the auction are still being sought. Individuals interested in making a donation or obtaining more information are asked to call the Recreation Office at (908) 3226700, Extension No. 220.
First Baptist of Westfield
A Christcentered church that cares about the community
Preaching and Music that Uplift the Spirit, Sundays at 10: 30a. m. Quality programs For children, youth & adults
“I urge that prayers and thanksgivings be made for all who are in high positions, so that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and dignity.”
– excerpted from the New Testament, the first Letter to Timothy
170 Elm St., Westfield (908) 2332278 www. fbcwestfield. org
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