Holiday Lights on Ditmars: Fundraiser with Local Businesses
By Sofia Pipolo
Vivian of Lavendar Label/Little Soap Shop has been working with other business owners and neighbors to raise funds for holiday light decorations on Ditmars Blvd and on 23rd Avenue. Along with business donations, they have set up a GoFundMe page to help ensure they can bring the traditional holiday cheer to everyone here in Astoria.
Vivian was born and raised in Astoria and has many fond memories of bright lights up and down the streets, with music playing under the train and by pizza palace on Ditmars. Streets packed with individuals shopping at the local butcher and gift store, or going out for a holiday meal.
It was only two years ago that she learned volunteers going store to store collecting donations from businesses were responsible for organizing, paying for, and putting up the annual lights. Mr. George Alexiou and Mr. George Delis the organizers for years, but last year they express it was difficult to collect the funds from the local businesses – so the lights, unfortunately, didn’t go up until the last minute.
Vivian was disappointed along with many other members of the community so she began working with Mr. Delis to bring the lights back for this year that could use some brightening up. They’ll be combining donations from both businesses and individuals through the GoFundMe.
She tells us, “The Ditmars and 23rd Avenue holiday lights have been a tradition for so many years. Many residents have been here a lifetime. It has conjured up nostalgic memories, walking along the bustling streets of the unaltered Ditmars Blvd. This has been a very tough year for all of us and those lights will keep some sort of normalcy on our streets during the holiday season. A light of hope to help us get through and to help our local businesses.”
The cost will run from 15k to 20k, which includes installation, permits, and music.
Your individual contribution to the GoFundMe will be much appreciated and go a long way to brighten up the neighborhood and show your appreciation to local business owners and celebrate our beautifully diverse community.
Thank you to the generous donations from Pizza Palace, Kyklades, Lefkos Pirgos, Crescent Apothecary, Mediterranean, Stamatis, Double G pharmacy, Thirsty Koala, Zorbas, Cassinelli, Crown Chemists, Alexiou Realty, Alba’s Pizza, Marthas bakery, Peter Vallone, Ditmars flowers, HCN Design Architects, Watawa, Souvlaki Lady, Thessaloniki Jewelers, Brass Owl, and Lavender Label.
Photo Credit | @ts1000