Students explore the rich history of Woodhaven
by Ed Wendell
May 15, 2013 | 1662 views | 0 0 comments | 28 28 recommendations | email to a friend | print
For the past few months, students at St. Thomas the Apostle have immersed themselves in our community’s history. The end result will be a film titled Woodhaven: Diverse Backgrounds United in One History, which examines all of their different heritages against the backdrop of their shared history.

And here is some exciting additional news: the film will premiere on Monday, June 10, at 6 p.m. at the Cinemart Movie Theater on Metropolitan Avenue in Forest Hills.

The students have written and produced the storyboards on their own, using The Story of Woodhaven and Ozone Park by Vincent Seyfried as their primary reference guide. Twenty copies of this wonderful history book were donated to St. Thomas the Apostle by the Woodhaven Cultural & Historical Society for use in this project.

The students have interviewed a number of different local residents with a connection or interest in the rich and interesting history of Woodhaven. Last week, they interviewed Paul Rudolph, proprietor of the 114-year old Walker's Funeral Home and Alex Ewen and Loy Gordon, owners of Neir's Tavern, which opened in 1829.

They also took a field trip to Forest Park, where they interviewed Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley at the historic Forest Park Bandshell. While in Forest Park, the students were treated to a visit to the Queens Greenhouse, which is over a century old.

The filmmakers have done their due diligence and we are very excited to see what they come up with. There are a number of other interviews on tap with a number of very familiar names and a few surprises mixed in.

It is our intention that this will be the first in a series of collaborations between the Woodhaven Cultural & Historical Society and local schools. In order for that to happen, we need this project to be a success. To defray some of the costs associated with this project, we need supporters and sponsors.

This is a wonderful opportunity to support an educational and fun experience for the students of a school right here in Woodhaven. If you would like to see more such projects, please consider becoming a supporter and sponsor. We have created four different sponsor options:

• Booster - For $25 you will get two tickets to the premiere and your name listed as a Project Booster in the special program that will be handed out to all theatergoers (and published on Project Woodhaven).

• Sponsor - For $50 you will get two tickets to the premiere. Your name (or business name) will be listed in the special program as a Sponsor, and you can add up to three lines of text beneath. Advertise your business or just pass along a greeting to the residents of Woodhaven. Your name will also be displayed in a list of sponsors on the big screen during the pre-movie slide show of old images of Woodhaven.

• Gold Sponsor - For $75 you will get two tickets to the premiere. Your name will be listed in the special program as a Gold Sponsor, and you can add up to four lines of text beneath your name, which will appear in a box by itself. And during the pre-movie slide show of old images of Woodhaven, you will get an entire slide to yourself. Plaster a giant sized photo of you, your family, your business - whatever you want - up on the silver screen.

• Platinum Sponsor - Anyone that donates the maximum, $125, will get two tickets to the premiere and all of the same goodies that the Gold Sponsor gets. But you will also get two free tickets to a pre-film courtesy buffet from 5 to 6 p.m.

Please note that seating for the premiere is limited so at this time we can only offer tickets to sponsors. If you are interested in becoming a sponsor, please drop us a line at or leave a message for me through the WRBA at (718) 296-3735.

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