CRAFT FAIR 3X10½
MONROE VILLAGE 3X9½
SAWING AND SPLITTING…Pictured above, a child tries his luck at sawing some wood. Logsawing and shingle splitting will be just one of many Colonial and Native American skills demonstrated at Trailside Nature and Science Center’s 17th Annual Harvest Festival on Sunday, September 27, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
THE COLONIAL WAY…Pictured above are members of the 2nd New Jersey Regiment dressed in authentic Colonial costume. The group will provide a living history demonstration and encampment at the Trailside Nature and Science Center Heritage Festival on Sunday, September 27, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Harvest Festival on Sunday Promises to be Biggest Yet By BOBBIE BALDASSARI TURSI
Specially Written for The Westfield Leader and The Times
The 17th Annual Harvest Festival will bring Colonial America to life once again this Sunday, September 27, at the Trailside Nature and Science Center in Mountainside from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Presented by the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders and the Division of Parks and Recreation, the festival will take place rain or shine within the beautifully scenic Watchung Reservation — Union County’s largest park.
After 16 years of success, the festival continues to improve with the passage of each year, according to Betty Ann Kelly, Trailside’s Festival Coordinator since 1990.
“Years ago, the main focus of the Harvest Festival celebrated the time of year when farmers would enjoy the fruits of their labor,” she recalled. “But over the years, the festival’s popularity grew, and so did the focus, which in turn called for additions” to the celebration.
Today, the festival is a colossal event featuring a huge variety of events and exhibits aimed at educating and entertaining the whole family about Colonial history and Native American life.
There is something for every age at this festival, according to Ms. Kelly. For children, there will be a petting zoo, pony rides and tug-of-war games almost every hour. In addition, Lenape Indian-style face painting, authentic Colonial-era children’s games such as Trundle the Hoop, graces, marbles and jacks will also be featured.
Children and adults will also have an opportunity to take part in handson Colonial and Native American arts and crafts demonstrations, such as candle dipping, creating Native American jewelry, canoe building,
stained glass, Colonial doll clothing, lace making, blacksmithing, quilting, soap making and even spinning using wool sheared from sheep on the premises.
Authenticity is the key here: all demonstrators will be wearing period clothing as they recreate Colonial and Native American culture through arts and crafts presentations. Almost all arts and crafts will be available to purchase as well.
Music and dance will also be important aspects of the festival, with some distinguished performers slated to appear at this year’s event.
The Second New Jersey Regiment of the Continental Line (Maxwell’s Brigade-Helms’ Company), will present a reenactment of a Revolutionary War encampment. Dressed in authentic period clothing, members of this recreated military unit will demonstrate wartime skills and crafts.
The Second New Jersey Regiment has several films and television documentaries to its credit, which have been broadcast on the Discovery Channel and during special programs about the American Revolution on the Arts and Entertainment network.
In addition, Kenneth Little Hawk, an actor of Mohawk and Micmac descent, will share with visitors information on Native American Indian culture, traditions, dance and musical instruments in an interactive lecture, storytelling and musical demonstration format.
Mr. Little Hawk is a member of the Screen Actors Guild and Actors Equity, and has appeared on stage, in films, television and concerts throughout his career.
Additional entertainment will include the Manahata Indian Arts Council’s “Red Hawk Dancers,” a five-member dance troupe which aims to develop a greater understanding of Native American culture through social dance, art, music and folklore.
Honing in on some more American history, the “Golden Age Retrievers,” a string band duo versed in fiddle, banjo, guitar and autoharp, will showcase their diverse repertoire of songs, including selections from the Colonial and Revolutionary War periods.
Some Colonial magic will be conjured up by William Meyers, who uses live animals and early American-style props in his act.
Trailside has added more food vendors this year, according to Ms. Kelly, who will offer such traditional specialties as corn on the cob, pork shishkabobs, beef barbecue, grilled chicken and baked potatoes from the fire pit, as well as freshly-squeezed lemonade.
Visitors will even be able to watch a fresh-pressed cider demonstration, among other activities.
United Way of Union County Begins Campaign With Annual Day of Caring
By PAUL J. PEYTON
Specially Written for The Westfield Leader and The Times
The United Way of Union County, based in Elizabeth, kicked off its annual fund drive with its sixth Day of Caring, an event aimed at showing volunteers how their donated dollars are being spent.
Over 400 volunteers from Union County companies performed service projects last Friday and Saturday. The Day of Caring was launched nationally in 1987 as a way to promote United Way-sponsored programs while simultaneously beginning the organization’s annual campaign.
The Union County program kickoff included a Jamboree at the Engel Senior Adult Day Care Center at Catholic Community Services in Cranford, featuring stimulating activities such as a game of Jeopardy. Catholic Community Services is just one of 84 programs which are funded through the United Way of United County.
This year, United Way of Union County, one of eight United Way chapters in the county (including the United Fund of Westfield), has set a campaign goal of $6.35 million.
Pilar Lopez, Communications Director for the United Way of Union County, said a volunteer committee decides where best to allocate campaign donations.
She noted that the Day of Caring volunteers participated in 39 different projects. In addition to the Engel Senior Adult Day Care Center, Day of Caring events featured volunteers from Schering-Plough Corporation in Summit working one-to-one with physically and mentally handicapped children at the YWCA. Their fivehour day together included gymnastics and swimming.
Juvenile offenders currently on probation from the county’s Juvenile Detention Center did their required community service project by laying wood chips on the grounds of the Roselle Day Care Center.
In Westfield, Union County employees assisted in preparing meals for the Mobile Meals of Westfield program. Also, Kemper Insurance employees volunteered their time at the Westfield Community Center on West Broad Street by participating in interactive activities with senior citizens before serving them lunch.
United Way officials noted that a loss of high paying jobs in the county has had a definite impact on United Way fund-raising campaigns. In fact, since 1980, Union County has lost some 55,000 high paying manufacturing jobs – employment which led to some sizable donations to the United Way, according to Dell Raudelunas,
Chief Professional Officer of the United Way of Union County.
These jobs have been replaced by lower-paying service industry employment, thus requiring more people to make up what a few individuals used to donate, said Ms. Raudelunas.
Dennis Poller of Westfield, President of the United Way of Union County’s Board of Directors, said the United Way works hard at developing new corporate fundraising accounts to make up for lost donations due to the shrinking county economic base.
Larry J. Lockhart of Manhardt Sharkey & Gorman, Inc. in Cranford, Vice Chairman of this year’s United Way campaign, noted that each year, the United Way loses 10 to 15 percent of its donation base from the previous year, as people and companies move out of the county.
Mr. Lockhart, thus, emphasized the importance of generating donations throughout the county. He noted that 90 percent of the donations collected goes directly to United Way member agencies.
“One of the nice things about the United Way is that you can personalize your giving. So you can designate who you want to give your dollars to, while also contributing to the community as a whole,” he explained.
He said the most convenient method of donating to the United Way is a payroll deduction, although major gifts are also accepted.
Mr. Lockhart said donations go a long way “to fill the gaps that government doesn’t always fill.”
One thing which remains crucial to the United Way reaching its campaign goal is corporate sponsorships. One of the more active firms in Union County is Merck & Company’s Rahway facility. Previously headquartered in the city, Merck has moved to White House Station.
Five Merck employees took part in last week’s events at the Engel Adult Day Care Center. Other participants included Union County government employees and representatives from Hoffman LaRoche, Lucent Technologies, Dun & Bradstreet and Summit Bank.
Mr. Poller noted that this year’s volunteers might head up an employee campaign drive, with each serving as a team captain, to raise donations for the United Way.
Mr. Poller, an Exxon retiree who has been volunteering with the United Way since the early 1960s, said the organization funds a number of programs, including neighborhood community centers, care centers for senior citizens, and organizations dedicated to those afflicted with condi
tions such as cerebral palsy or mental illnesses, or treatment for drug addiction.
The United Way also helps with social problems, whether it be drug abuse treatment or helping people move from welfare to work and a more meaningful life.
Mr. Poller noted that the United Way Board of Directors includes representatives from non-profit agencies and industry, as well as public officials and educators.
“Its a wonderful board because they combine practicality with a good heart,” he said.
Mr. Lockhart noted that the Day of Caring gives volunteers the opportunity “to see their dollars at work” while also interacting with senior citizens, children and other county residents who are receiving services through United Way funded agencies.
County Sheriff’s Office To Sponsor Program, ‘Project Identification’
The Union County Sheriff’s Office, in cooperation with the Union County Commission on Child Abuse and Missing Children, will sponsor another session of “Project Identification” on Saturday, September 26, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Educational Safety Fair at Union County College in Cranford. Rain date will be Sunday, September 27.
Project Identification is a program that offers free videotaping and fingerprinting for children ages 3 to 12. Children under 3 will not be fingerprinted but may be videotaped. The fingerprints and tapes are presented to the parents for safekeeping and future use in the event the child is ever reported missing or abducted.
Children must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian in order to participate.
There will be a smokehouse demonstration, food, activities, free giveaways, and more.
For more information, please call Jill Kohlbecker or Stacy Pelham at (908) 298-7800.
Freeholders to Sponsor Heritage Festival in Fall
The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders and the Union County Division of Cultural and Heritage Affairs will sponsor a Heritage Festival on Saturday, October 24, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Sunday, October 25, from noon to 5 p.m.
Entitled “Four Centuries in a Weekend…A Journey Through Union County’s History,” the event will include visits to 20 historic sites and house museums throughout Union County.
Visitors will receive a Time Traveler Certificate with validated “Passports to Discovery.”
For further information, please call Liza Betz, Programs Coordinator, at (908) 558-2550.