Story by Sara Paul
Dozens of families gathered at the Warwick Valley Community Center on Sun., Jun. 23 to enjoy a day of outdoor family fun. The afternoon event kicked off with a bike parade in the Village of Warwick and attendees finished at the Warwick Community Center. Kids of all ages enjoyed a Bicycle Rodeo, food, and games, which included different races like a sack race and egg in a spoon race.
An auction was held, with several donated prizes, benefitting the Community Center. The Orange County Bicycle Club (OCBC) donated $500 in prizes and was also on hand to check bike tires, brakes, chains, and helmets.
“We are so happy to give back to the community,” said OCBC President Peggy Cullen, “We want to stress that it’s so important to always wear your helmets!”
“Bicycle safety is so important, especially this time of year, and we want families to have as much information on safety as possible. It’s really a public safety issue,” noted Village of Warwick Mayor Michael Newhard.
Community Center Board of Directors President Bill Steinauer said, “The Center is all about diversity and we do a lot for families, particularly individuals dealing with substance abuse, and days like today are something that give people an alternative. It’s all about bringing family together.”
Steinauer added that the Center’s Three Pines Nature Place is a safe place for kids to play and that, “these fundraisers help with the heat and other utilities for this old 1924 building.”
With a host of community programs for individuals of all ages, the Center hosts free community dinners, free English as a Second Language (ESL) classes, and $5 movie nights, to name just a few offerings.
Long time Warwick resident, Lilibet McLean, was sporting an American flag covered hat as she came out to participate in the parade.
“This is a wonderful way to showcase the Community Center and it’s a wonderful way to get the children out in the air and away from those little hand held electronic toys.”
The Warwick Volunteer Ambulance Corps was present at the event, which was emceed by former Town Supervisor Tony Houston.
Event organizers were pleased with the weather as well as the donations for the day, which took more than three months to plan. The event raised $1,900 for the Community Center.