The Von King Conservancy marked this year’s Christmas holiday season with its first ever Christmas Tree Lighting in Herbert Von King Park and a Holiday Party and Fundraising Event with 500 Men Making a Difference on Saturday December 12.
The Von King Conservancy was officially launched this year by 500 Men Making a Difference. The Christmas Tree Lighting is meant to start a tradition that will bring joy to the hearts of community residents and signal a rebirth of the spirit of giving in the Bedford Stuyvesant neighborhood. More than 150 local community leaders and residents attended the tree lighting ceremony at Herbert Von King Park, which included entertainment from local performers and a supportive declaration from New York State Senator Walter Mosely.
The Antioch Baptist Church Choir sang spirited Christmas carols and soloists from Concord Baptist Church also praised the Lord with several selections in the Herbert Von King outdoor theatre. Performers from a local entertainment agency also serenaded the crowd with their rendition of “Baby It’s Cold Outside”.
Senator Mosley and Tremaine Wright, chairman of Brooklyn Community Board 3 addressed the audience before the lighting of the 25-foot tree, adorned with lights and ornaments. Santa Claus arrived at the event to help light the tree with members of 500 Men Making a Difference and the elected officials. Then Santa held court on the outdoor stage, taking photos with youngsters seated on his lap and giving out gifts to deserving attendees.
After the tree lighting and gift giveaway, the Conservancy invited audience members to attend the holiday party and fundraiser at Bedford Hall restaurant. The holiday party featured a live performance from world-renowned rapper Doug E. Fresh and raised nearly $1,000 for the Conservancy’s efforts in 2016. The event capped off a very successful day and year for the conservancy and the 500 Men organization.
The Von King Park Conservancy held its first ever Halloween Festival in Bedford Stuyvesant on October 28th in the south west corner of the 8-acre park which the conservancy has transformed into a sitting garden. Brooklyn’s 79th Police Precinct joined the conservancy in sponsoring the fun-filled event which featured a festive “pumpkin patch” decorated with pumpkins, bales of hay, scarecrows and goblins to set the Halloween mood; a haunted house to scare adventurous visitors; and plenty of cider, candy, games and spooky stories for Bedford Stuyvesant residents to enjoy.
More than 100 visitors showed up in costumes and took part in the event which provided a safe environment for community members to celebrate Halloween. Members of the 79th Precinct watched over the event while dressed in full costume, joining the many parents who brought their children to enjoy the music, face painting, pumpkin decorating, trick or treat giveaways and other activities.
The Von King Park Conservancy paid for new trees and benches to be placed in the “pumpkin patch” that will remain as part of a new sitting garden for park goers to enjoy year round. The conservancy plans to hold the Halloween Festival next year with the help of the 79th Precinct and additional sponsors.