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Last updateFri, 29 May 2020 5pm

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FoodlineLast week as Scarsdale’s Amy Nadasdi and her 16 year-old daughter Lydia drove home from Whole Foods with a trunk full of groceries, they passed the Salvation Army and saw a line of over 100 people snaking all the way down Post Road towards Scarsdale. There were young, old, men, women, and many, many children all wearing masks and standing apart from each other. Most of them were carrying empty grocery bags. Amy and her daughter froze with the realization that these people were waiting in line for food, and Amy started to cry.

She could not get the image out of her head. The next morning she reached out to the Salvation Army to understand the situation, and spoke with Clare Wares, one of only a handful of Salvation Army employees at the site. Wares explained the depth of this crisis and the huge number of community members that the Salvation Army is trying to feed. Last week they provided food to 202 households. Amy immediately vowed to help, and asked about their greatest needs. She learned that the Salvation Army is desperate for funds to purchase bulk food items, but Amy knew if she just wrote a check, her daughter would feel that “mom took care of it” and perhaps move on from thinking about the is problem. In addition to a donation, Amy suggested that they help to organize a food drive, calling on family and my friends to help.

Amy initially thought that some friends would be willing to donate and asked a few to send out emails to their networks. Isabel Finegold sent an email to the neighbors on her block and within an hour she had boxes and cans on her front steps. Joanne Teoh offered to “guest” Amy at Costco where they purchased cases of peanut butter and pasta sauce. Amy’s husband Jim become invaluable in helping to carry, sort, pack and load the car. Daughter Lydia posted on her social media, and her friends and their families also pitched in.

Amy started to get a great response from the people she knew, but many more responded to a post on Facebook of a photo of the long lines on Post Road and a request for donations. Amy was overwhelmed with the response from people she knew, but also from the many people she didn’t know. Within an hour over 50 people had responded and by then end of the night she could barely keep up with the messages she was receiving about offers of donations. She woke up with an inbox of over 150 promises of donations.

Many people were not aware of this dire situation that is so close to home and were thankful for bringing it to their attention. Several people asked how to make monetary donations, which are also appreciated by the White Plains Salvation Army. If donors write in the memo line of their check “Food Distribution” they can be assured that those funds are going directly to the purchase of food. Check can be sent directly to Salvation Army of White Plains 16 Sterling Ave, White Plains, NY 10606.

Primarily, Scarsdale residents seem happy to donate food, as they feel more of a direct connection between their actions and theamy1 people the food will help. Some of the people who have come to drop off food have admitted to hoarding food during the early days of quarantine, and now have over-stocked pantries of shelf stable food. Others are just happy to add a few extra items to their weekly grocery delivery from Fresh Direct or Peapod. Many are involving their children in helping to select, purchase and transport food. One contributor said, “It feels much more real than just writing a check to a large organization.”

Amy plans to continue to accept donations and deliver to the Salvation Army for as long as people are willing to contribute. The number of households in search of assistance continues to grow each week. Amy will continue to post updates on the Scarsdale Buzz Facebook page with any changes in needs or specific requests.

However people choose to help, the kindness and generosity of this community has overwhelmed her. Amy is so proud to live in Scarsdale and call the people of this community her neighbors and friends.

To find out how you can contribute, email Amy at amynadasdi@gmail.com.

parade1The Scarsdale Fire Department and Scarsdale Volunteer Ambulance Corps covered over 270 miles celebrating 200 kids in town during the past six weeks as part of their drive-by celebration program. They took their last birthday ride on Saturday May 16, 2020.

Recognizing that the outbreak of the virus caused many to miss their birthday parties, emergency workers stepped up to provide a different kind of celebration. Emergency vehicles formed a parade and drove by homes on Wednesdays and Saturdays to offer good wishes to birthday boys and girls who were surprised and excited to see a parade in their honor!

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Scarsdale photographer and SVAC volunteer Jon Thaler shared his wonderful photos og the parades. See more here

QR5On Monday afternoon Quaker Ridge families came out to celebrate teacher appreciation week! Quaker Ridge School was filled with emotion and love for the community. Students decorated their cars, made signs and drove around the bus circle honking their horns to celebrate their teachers. It was an amazing turnout with over 140 cars in attendance most with multiple students from each family. A good time was had by all.

Photos courtesy of Quaker Ridge PTA President Beth Lazarus.
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WEstCovidMap5 11There are a total of 345 cases in Scarsdale with 7 active cases.With the number of active cases and hospitalizations dramatically lower than they were a month ago, County Executive George Latimer gave a brief outline of how Westchester County could meet thresholds to begin the process of re-opening in the coming weeks.-

In a press conference on Monday May 11, Latimer provided the following statistics on the state of the outbreak in the county:

-There are 31,384 total cases which is up 90 cases from yesterday.
-The number of active cases has dropped to 3,377, down dramatically from the peak of 11,000 cases from about a month ago
-Hospitalizations are below 500, down from the peak of 1,100
-There have been a total of 1,227 deaths, and nine people died on Sunday night. There is a continuous drop in daily fatalities.
-The county has tested over 112,000 people, which is 11% of the population. 72% of those tested are negative.
-The county has begun antibody testing of first responders and has test 2,000 people to date. -They are up to 450 tests per day. More antibody testing centers will open in Northern Westchester.

Latimer explained how Westchester County could comply with the Governor’s opening plan to re-open in phases. Westchester is a part of the Mid-Hudson Valley region that includes Orange, Ulster, Dutchess, Putnam and Sullivan counties that are required to meet certain thresholds to begin the re-opening process. All the counties in the region must meet these requirements to be in compliance.

Here are the requirements to re-open:

-The region must show a 14-day decline in hospitalizations in a rolling 3-day average to avoid any spikes.

-New hospitalizations must be under 2 for every 100,000 residents – or 20 in Westchester County

-30% of all hospital beds must be available for patient occupancy

-The share of ICU beds should be 30%

-Testing thresholds are 30 people per 1,000 residents

-The county needs to hire 30 contact tracers per 1,000 residents and they are working on that now.

The opening plan is as follows:

Phase 1 includes construction, manufacturing, and select retail with curb-side pick-up.

Phase 2 is retail, real estate, and finance.

Phase 3 will allow restaurants and hotels to reopen.

Phase 4 includes entertainment venues and schools.

According to Latimer, the region needs to continue to meet the thresholds to remain open and move to the next phase.

Her reassured residents that “We are going to get there” saying “We need to get back to sanity and normalcy.” He said, “We’re close, but we’re not there yet.”

ChuppahGrand Park Avenue residents were busted for holding a wedding in their yard on Thursday night April 23 in spite of the Governor’s orders mandating social distancing. Undaunted by police the family proceeded with the wedding. When confronted by Scarsdale Police Officers, the father of the bride was adamant that the ceremony would go on and refused to acknowledge that it was illegal to hold a gathering in his yard.

Scarsdale Police were tipped off to the celebration at 7:45 pm on Thursday night April 23. When they arrived, they saw an “unusually large number of vehicles parked on Cornell Street and Grand Park Avenue.” Police entered through an open gate to find the homeowner.

They found an elaborate set up for a wedding, including a four-piece band, musicians, photographers, a large commercial tent with a clear plastic roof and a chuppah all in place. The 8-10 foot chuppah was covered in flowers and underneath was a table with a wine bottle and glasses surrounded by twelve chairs.

Police located the 65 year-old homeowner who was not wearing a mask. He claimed that he was holding a small wedding for his daughter and that only ten people would attend. Police asked everyone on the scene to put on a mask. The homeowner insisted that the wedding would proceed quickly. Police informed him that “all social gathering and all non-essential gathering were not permitted due to the current pandemic under Governor’s Executive Order 202 which prohibits worship services, parties, celebration or other social events of any size for any reason.”

The father of the bride said he thought he could hold a gathering of ten people and claimed they were just taking photos and the photographers were leaving. While police were speaking to the man, several cars pulled into the driveway and the drivers were told to turn around and park on the street. Police also observed two men who later said they were security guards. Inside the house, police saw another 15-20 people all wearing suits and attire for a formal gathering.

Outside the gate, police found more people in their cars dressed in evening attire. Some said they were family members who wished to congratulate the family and said they would exit immediately. The number of people at the event grew and police could hear loud music coming from the house. Police rang the front gate buzzer to speak to the homeowner “to no avail.” They spoke to the rabbi who said, “a gathering of 10 people is fine” and refused to provide any additional information as he exited the premises.

According to the report, after the music stopped, several of the guests, the mother and the father of the bride, the bride and groom, the videographer and the photographer exited the property and handed out gift bags to the people in parked cars and those driving on Grand Park Avenue.

Police gave a summons to the homeowner for willful violation of health laws per the Governor’s Order which is a misdemeanor.

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