The plaza at Rockaway Parkway and Glenwood Road was alive on the afternoon of Friday, September 9th, as “From Litter To Glitter,” a group comprised of Canarsie residents committed to the revitalization of their community, celebrated its fifth anniversary with a fete that also paid tribute to the victims of 9/11.
The event was held in collaboration with the Jamaica Bay Science and Resilience Institute, Canarsie Street Team, New York Sea Grant, Rockaway Parkway Corridor Merchants Association and Leaders Engaging in All Round Development International (LEAD’INT), all organizations concerned with the protection of the environment. There were also representatives from House of Clay International Ministries (CLAY), the Divine Explosion Arts Program (DEAP) and the U.S. Army.
CLAY Apostles, Randolph (Randy) Bowe and his wife Shari, opened the event with songs of praise and worship and later offered prayers for the community and all first responders. “We’re giving the devil notice that this community is off limits. We pray for peace in the world, peace in our schools, peace in our parks and peace in our communities.”
To show support for the fallen 9/11 heroes, the event’s organizers painted and displayed signs that read “9/11 We Will Never Forget.” Apostle Randy told those gathered, “We remember what year it happened, and we honor God for what he has brought us from and how far he has brought us.”
Princess Cronneit, who runs DEAP, showed the children how to use colors and even allowed them to don aprons and paint, after which they were treated to snow cones. Some of the young men in her program beat African drums, a sacred rite handed down to them from their ancestors who hail from the tiny Caribbean island of Carriacou.
“The 9/11 Day of Service was beyond my expectations! We reached thousands on the corridor and much more online,” said Jennifer Viechweg-Horsford, founding member of From Litter To Glitter and LEAD’INT. “It is truly humbling to see how this initiative has expanded.”
The group also gave away a large quantity of food and drinks to all passersby.