By Mayor Ron Belmont
Last month, Harrison held its annual “Its Great to Live in Harrison/Columbus Day” Celebration. Our community takes tremendous pleasure in this yearly tradition as our nation honors the culture and heritage of Italian-Americans. In addition to recognizing the many achievements of Italian-Americans, Harrison residents and visitors participated in a weekend of exciting events. Saturday evening’s fireworks display was spectacular and the Open House at Police Headquarters, featuring a display of emergency apparatus and tours of the Police Station, was well attended.
Thankfully, the weather cooperated as a sizeable crowd attended the annual “Its Great to Live in Harrison Day” Parade on Monday. Marching bands serenaded as student groups and civic organizations marched down Halstead Avenue. Following the parade, a festa took place in Ma Riiis Park and included a variety of children’s activities. I would like to thank Wegmans for joining us as we celebrated and for providing refreshments on the evening of the fireworks as well as after the parade. It was a successful event, full of national and hometown pride!
At the post-parade celebration, Bruno Strati was recognized as this year’s Citizen of the Year. Mr. Strati is a lifelong Harrison resident and previously served on Harrison’s land use boards as well as the Harrison Town Board. He is a well respected member of our community and is a wonderful role model. I am so glad that his many years of service to our community were acknowledged in this way.
It was a pleasure to see many friends and familiar faces at the recent Harrison-Rye football game. Friendly rivalry is part of the football tradition in both communities. Like most rivalries, the week before the big game is filled with excitement and hometown pride. I was happy to see that when the Harrison players looked up into the stands, they witnessed our community rallied together to support them and cheer them on. I look forward to watching the team as they progress through the playoffs.
Recently I attended the first annual Flight of Dreams event hosted by ACDS Westchester, an organization that services children and adults with developmental disabilities. It was an honor to be at this important event and to receive an award for supporting the mission of ACDS.
As you travel down Harrison Avenue, towards Mamaroneck, you may notice a newly painted mural on the side of 221 Harrison Avenue. The mural depicts an Asian American woman and reflects the issue of gender equality and diversity. The non profit organization, Street Art for Mankind, curates murals that primarily center on issues pertaining to social justice. London based street artist Mr. Cenz is producing the mural and has recently been commissioned by the International Labour Organization of the United Nations to produce 5 murals in New York City. For more information, visit www.streetartmankind.org. To see more murals, join Street Art for Mankind on November 2nd at 3 PM at 134 North Avenue in New Rochelle for the largest Art Walk exhibit in Westchester.
Law enforcement and other first responders frequently have contact with residents who have communication, cognitive and physical needs that make providing services to them more difficult. Emergency situations often create high anxiety, excitement and physical demands that may exacerbate these pre-existing conditions. In an effort to preemptively address these needs, the Harrison Police Department assists our residents, with special needs, by accepting “Special Needs Registry” forms. Special needs can include, but are not limited to, elderly, dementia, Alzheimer's, autistic, or any other cognitive or physical condition which may require specific attention or assistance in an emergency.
HPD officers are compiling a database which will provide first responders with the information they need to help a special needs resident who is without their caregiver, who may have wandered from home or who otherwise is in need of assistance. As officers come in contact with special needs residents, caregivers should be asked to voluntarily fill out a "Special Needs Registry" form which is available on the Town of Harrison website (harrison-ny.gov). This form will provide the officers with vital information to ensure the special needs resident is properly cared for in an emergency situation. Information in the registry will be held in strict confidence.