Members of the East Elmhurst community, one of the neighborhoods hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic in the spring, gathered for their second annual tree lighting event last Friday.
Councilman Francisco Moya joined the East Elmhurst-Corona Civic Association for the lighting that featured holiday musical performances with the participation of P.S. 329, Principal Rachel Staroba and Trade Fair Supermarket, who sponsored the tree lighting at Astoria Boulevard and 27th Street, where the tree will be up for families to enjoy through Three Kings Day in 2021.
“Thanks to Larinda Hooks and the East Elmhurst-Corona Civic Association, this tree is not only going to light up this display, it will also light up the hearts of everyone that lives in this neighborhood,” Moya said. ‘The future of East Elmhurst lies in the leaders that we have and that is Larinda Hooks. I am grateful to partner with her and the East Elmhurst-Corona Civic Association who continue to show up for our community with food and toy distributions during what have been very challenging times.”
The tree lighting artwork was designed and assembled by Yessenia Calle and Liberty Custom Design & Restoration Inc.
“This is a tradition we started last year to bring our community together and while this year’s celebration is different, the importance of family remains at the heart of this,” Hooks said. “I am grateful for Council member Moya for always showing up for our community here in East Elmhurst and in Corona. Special thanks to our sponsor Trade Fair for helping to make this tree lighting and display a reality, and to our board for their unending support especially during a time when our neighborhoods needed it most. This is a community and community is family.”
The following evening, Moya and Sheet Metal Workers Local 28 distributed 250 toys to children at William F. Moore Park in Corona. In coordination with elementary and intermediate schools, PTAs and Forestdale gave the toys to children whose families have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic in District 21 ahead of the Christmas holiday.
“I’m grateful for my brothers and sisters at Local 28 for doing what they do, year after year, for families in my district,” Moya said. “This area was the hardest hit by the pandemic and beyond distributing 250 toys, today we also give the gift of holiday cheer that will also uplift these children’s day and lives.”
This was the fourth in a series of toy distributions Moya has sponsored this holiday season to lift the spirits of families during the COVID-19 crisis.
“Our members are always looking to make a difference and this holiday season is no exception,” Sheet Metal Workers Local 28 President and Business Manager Eric Meslin said. “We’re grateful to be in Council member Francisco Moya’s district, which has been the hardest hit by COVID-19, and partner with him to distribute toys. Helping others in our communities is what we want to do and we hope each toy brings out more smiles in children in what has been a tough year.”