Sunday, December 4

13th Annual East Harlem Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony: Celebrating Our Seniors / Celebrando Nuestros Personas Mayores

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East Harlem Holiday Tree

The 13th annual East Harlem Holiday Tree lighting ceremony will take place on Friday, December 2, 2016, 6:30 p.m., at Franklin Plaza, northeast corner of Third Avenue and 106th Street. The theme for this year’s tree is Celebrating Our Seniors / Celebrando Nuestros Personas Mayores, who preserve and perpetuate our values and cultural heritage.
We are especially grateful to the local seniors who have made “Winter Flowers” decorations for the 2016 East Harlem Holiday Tree in workshops conducted by artist and East Harlem Holiday Tree Committee member Genevieve Andre, through a grant from the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, at senior centers including Carter Burden/Leonard Covello Senior Center, Bonifacio Cora Texidor Senior Assisted Living Housing, and Hope Community’s Carlos Rios Senior Center.
Actor and East Harlem native Victor Cruz, whose film THE STOCKROOM is being featured at festivals around the country, will serve as emcee. Groups from Scholars I and Scholars II of the East Harlem Tutorial network will perform at the beginning and end of the ceremony. Hot chocolate will be served.
For the second year in a row, thanks to our generous supporters, a giant 3-D snowflake will adorn the intersection of Third Avenue and 106th Street, adjacent to the tree site.
This year the tree will remain on view, to be enjoyed by El Barrio’s / East Harlem’s residents and visitors alike, for more than seven weeks, through Octavitas, the Puerto Rican celebration that ends the holiday season, on January 22, 2017.
Elected officials invited to this community celebration include Congressman Charles B. Rangel, Congressman-elect Adriano Espaillat, New York State Senators Jose M. Serrano and Bill Perkins, Assembly Member Robert Rodriguez, Assembly Member-elect Inez Dickens, New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer, and Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer. They will help light up the night as we count down to the illumination of the tree.
The East Harlem Holiday Tree is presented by the East Harlem Holiday Tree Committee, a volunteer group who are committed to the neighborhood of El Barrio /East Harlem. Union Settlement Association is the fiscal sponsor of the East Harlem Holiday Tree. Donations in support of the tree are solicited from community-based organizations, local businesses, corporations doing business in East Harlem, and individuals.
Lead funders of the East Harlem Holiday Tree include: BFC Partners, Con Edison, East River Plaza, Harlem Community Development Corporation, Manhattan Community Board 11, Mount Sinai Health System, Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone Development Corporation, Tahl Propp Equities, Kathleen Benson Haskins, Harlem RBI, Hope Community, Inc., Lott Community Development Corporation, Maxwell Pharmacy, Start Elevator Company, Tonio Burgos and Associates, and Union Settlement Association. Significant in-kind support is provided by: Ponce de Leon Federal Savings & Loan, Applebee’s, New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark- Viverito, East Harlem Tutorial Network Scholars Academies I and II, Hope Community, Bonifacio Cora Texidor (Senior Assisted Living Housing), El Museo del Barrio, and Save-A-Thon.
East Harlem Holiday Tree Committee: Genevieve Andre, artist; Kathy Benson, community advocate; Ana Chireno, El Museo del Barrio; Michelle Cruz, community advocate; Gina Rusch, Union Settlement Association; Taina Traverso, Taina’s Touch Enterprize; Eve Valenzuela, Hope Community, Inc.; Carmen Vasquez, community advocate; Melinda Velez, Chief of Staff, Office of Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito. Advisory Committee: Lillian Bent, Franklin Plaza Board of Directors; Jose Carrero, Jeffersonville HDC; Debbie Quinones, and Young Bucks Sports.

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