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East Harlem Holiday Tree Lighting 2009

By Jose B. Rivera

East Harlem, December 15, 2009.  The East Harlem Holiday Tree Lighting was a huge success.  The festivities commenced at 6:30 PM with Jose Carrero, the Master of Ceremony, introducing himself. The Borinquenos from the Harbor Conservatory Children’s Choir sang two songs. Mr. Carrero read off a list of all those who made the tree lighting possible (see listing below). He then introduced the following individuals who spoke: Mr. Roger Caban, Chairman of the board of Hope Community, Inc., Mr. Nelson Garcia, Executive Director of The East Harlem Business Captial Corporation, Assemblyman Adam Powell IV, Councilwoman Melissa Mark-Viverito, Speaker of the New York City Council, Councilwoman Christine C. Quinn, Curtis Archer, Executive Director, Harlem Community Development Corporation, Mr. Johnny C. Rivera, Senior Program Director, Community and Government Affairs at Mount Sinai Hospital, Mr. William French from the Franklin Plaza Board of Directors. Mr. Elmore James, a soloist, then sang two beautiful songs. 

Assemblyman Adam Clayton Powell IV was given the microphone to give the final countdown starting from 10 down to 1 to light the tree. Those gathered heaved out a great cheer when the lights turned on. The tree looks great.  If you have the opportunity, come and see it, especially in the evening when the lights are turned on.

After the tree lighting two trolley cars were available for those who wish to take a tour of East Harlem’s best restaurants.  This writer took at tour which went to Gran Piatto D’oro Restaurant, Madison Cigar Lounge, the SPAHA Cafe, and the FB Lounge.  The tour continued on down Lexington Avenue, but this writer had to get home to eat dinner and rest.

All those who participate to make this holiday tree lighting happen and happen so well deserve your praise and patronage. It is great when elements of the community come together to bring about some holiday cheer.  The listings below indicate those who made the tree lighting possible.

Lead funding provided by
State Assemblyman Adam Clayton Powell IV, East Harlem Board of Tourism, Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone Development Corporation, Con Edison, The Mount Sinai Medical Center, Settlement Health, Manhattan Community Board 11, The East Harlem Business Capital Corporation, East Harlem Restaurant and Bar Association, El Barrio’s Operation Fightback, Harlem Community Development Corporation, Lettire Construction, Banco Ponce de Leon, FB Lounge, La Voz Hispana

Other Supporters:
Union Settlement Association, Lott Residence, East Harlem Little League, Manhattan Youth Baseball, Creole Restaurant, Don Pedro’s Restaurant, Dunrite Glass, East Harlem Cafe, El Barrio Hardware, Field of hopes, Inc., Mr. Nick Lugo, Maxwell Pharmacy, Ricardo’s Steakhouse, Sabor Borriqueno, Stanley Issacs Neighborhood Center, Young Bucks, Inc., Kathleen Benson, Barbara Brenner, Francisco Diaz, David Eastzer, Melinda Velez, Jay Marcus, Sandra Morales De Leon, Carmen Vasquez, Nellie Plummey, Exotic Fragrances, La Fonda Boricua and Tito’s Pizzeria

Special Thanks to the Board of Directors and Management of Franklin Plaza

The East Harlem Holiday Tree 2009 Committee:  East Harlem Business Capital Corporation, East Harlem Cafe, El Museo del Barrio, Hope Community, Inc., La Voz Hispana, The Mt Sinai Medical Center, Union Settlement Association, Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone Development Corporation, Young Bucks Sports, Roger Caban, Kathleen Benson, Jose Carrero, Jay Marcus, Johnny Rivera, Debbie Quinones, Eve Valenzuela, Carmen Vazquez, Councilwoman Melissa Mark-Viverito.

Fiscal Sponsor: Hope Community.

Here is video of Assemblyman Adam Clayton Powell IV counting down till the tree lighting http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KcO66bjrkGA

Here is Mr. Johnny C. Rivera,  Senior Program Director, Community and Government Affairs at Mount Sinai Hospital, giving a rousing speech. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NU6rfXO7ldQ

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