To the Editor,
If Spanish was your foreign language in high school, ‘Por favor’ and ‘Gracias’ are easy translations. If it was French, you certainly remember ‘S’il vous plait’ and ‘Merci’. In German, it was ‘Bitte’ and ‘Danke sehr’. ‘Please’ and ‘Thank you’ were also exchanged frequently at the Strawberry Festival hosted by the Westfield (Episcopal) Church of Atonement each June – no matter the language. There were plenty of good reasons for sharing those kind words.
Firs,t some of those Strawberry Festival ‘Thank you’-s. A special ‘Thank you’ always went to local non-profit organizations and their special community-oriented programs that the festival was able to showcase and reward each year. Organizations such as Grandparents Raising Grandchildren, Noble Hospital and The Westfield Food Pantry. Last year’s festival beneficiary was Our Community Table and was the recipient of the festival’s net profits: $9,500 (a festival record). ‘Thank you’ also went out to local venues and organizations that have put their talent and resources to work for the festival over the years – Stanley Park, Westfield Vocational School (now Westfield Technical Academy), Westfield High School, Westfield Boys and Girls Club and Westfield on Weekends. And – of course – another big ‘Thank you’ to local clubs and businesses such as The Kiwanis Club of Westfield, Westfield Dunkin Donuts, Firtion-Adams Funeral Service and The Tavern Restaurant for kickstarting the annual event with important and significant seed funding. And a huge ‘Thank you’ was shared with hundreds of local citizens who have joined us at the festival each June. With the festival celebrating its 156th year in 2019, it’s likely that more than 50,000 servings – whether it was a sumptuous ham or turkey dinner from a while back to a juicy strawberry shortcake or strawberry sundae in more recent years – have been provided!
Now for some of the many Strawberry Festival ‘Please’-s. The first ‘Please’ comes from the Church of Atonement’s Strawberry Festival Committee: Please forgive us for passing on the festival this June. We, too, have been impacted by the coronavirus – and need to step back. Thank you for your understanding. ‘Please’ join us in looking forward to better times for all – and, who knows, maybe a smaller festival in the fall. Nonetheless, please remember the festival next June. Until we are able to serve the tasty desserts (with fresh strawberries from Kosinski’s Farm), please remember those local non-profits mentioned above – as well countless others – whose service to community has even greater significance today. And, please remember the many local clubs and businesses that have supported not only our festival but our community as well. If you have visited them recently, thank you! If you’re thinking of doing so soon, please do!
Hoping to see you soon! Thank you! Gracias! Merci! Danke sehr!
Westfield Strawberry Festival Committee