Pets bring people together
by Ed Wendell
Oct 18, 2012 | 2235 views | 0 0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
It never fails. Take two people of wildly different backgrounds – different race, different nationality, different religion - maybe even two people who don’t like each other very much, but get them talking about their pets and all of a sudden they’re talking like long lost friends. Pets are something that people bond over rather quickly.

Saturday, October 27, is a big weekend for pet owners, animal lovers and families in Woodhaven. First up is the Blessing of the Pets at Emanuel United Church of Christ on 91st Avenue and Woodhaven Boulevard. There will be a brief ceremony at 11 a.m. followed by individual blessings of the pets by Pastor Toni Walrond.

“The thing that touches me most is that many times people bring their ailing pets, and I’m always moved to hear their stories,” Pastor Toni said about Emanuel’s annual event, which is now in its second decade.

You will hear a lot of stories at this event about all sorts of creatures, great and small. You’ll get to meet cats and dogs and birds – one year we even got to meet a pair of turtles, Jason and April, who were purchased over a decade ago at the Woodhaven Street Fair.

This is a fantastic outing for pet lovers and for children, as well. Emanuel is also going to have a mini pumpkin patch and fresh apple cider for sale. Come down and bring your pets. Even if you don’t have pets, come down, bring the kids, meet your neighbors and enjoy the blessing.

Later that day, from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Dog Run in Forest Park (85th Street and Park Lane South), there will be a Halloween Costume Contest for Dogs (with a Hot Dog Bobbing Contest, as well).

They will also be collecting blankets, towels, sheets, and anything else that can be used to keep animals warm. They will also be collecting donations of cat and dog treats. For more information, call Charlotte at (917) 337-7613.

And later, at the Forest Park Carousel, there will be a “spooktacular” birthday party for Cido the Clown, from 2 to 5 p.m. There will be free magic shows, a costume contest for kids, free birthday cake – and all guests wearing costumes get one free ride for each one they buy.

Please note that this will be the next to last day of the year for the Forest Park Carousel. The very next day, Sunday, October 28, will be your last chance to climb aboard our historic ride until Spring 2013.

All of these great events, and more, can be found on the Woodhaven Residents’ Block Association’s Community Calendar, which can be found on our website ( Have an event that would interest the residents of Woodhaven? Email us at and let us know.

A couple of quick final notes: The WRBA will hold their monthly Town Hall meeting this Saturday, October 20, at 1 p.m. at the Woodhaven Volunteer Ambulance Corps (78-15 Jamaica Avenue). At this meeting we intend to lay out a plan for how we will work together to effect positive change in our community in 2013.

And on Halloween, October 31, we will be in front of our office (84-20 Jamaica Avenue) from 4 to 6 p.m., holding a costume contest for children 12 and under. There will be a first place cash prize of $50 and two runner-up prizes of $25 each. Assemblyman Mike Miller will be joining us to help with the judging. Feel free to come down and help us hand out candy to the trick-or-treaters.

Wherever you live, it is important to step up and be involved. Get out and meet your neighbors – be a part of your community, not apart from it. The next few weeks present you with a number of opportunities to do so right here in Woodhaven. We hope to see you there.

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