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August 23, 2013

‘Pops, Patriots and Fireworks’

Pound Ridge/Scotts Corners

  1. Scotts Corner Market – Trinity Corners Shopping Center;  55 Westchester Avenue

  2. Pound Ridge Sunoco — 66 Westchester Avenue    

  3. Sam Parker Country Market — 257 Westchester Avenue    


Bedford Village

  1. Bedford Rexall Pharmacy — Hunting Ridge Mall; 424 Old Post Road  

  2. Village Green Deli — Village Green; Routes 22 and 172    

  3. Bedford Shell — Routes 22 and 172 (at blinking light); 848 So. Bedford Road

  4. Village Service Center —193 Pound Ridge Road (at Long Ridge Road intersection)    


Bedford Hills

  1. Bedford Hills Deli – 7 Babbitt Road    

  2. Bueti’s Deli – 526 Bedford Road (Route 117)


Katonah

  1. NoKA Joe’s – 25 Katonah Avenue    

  2. Steger’s Paper Mill – 89 Katonah Avenue    

  3. Katonah Pharmacy – Katonah Shopping Center; 294 Katonah Avenue   

  4. Bagel Shoppe – Katonah Shopping Center; 280 Katonah Avenue    

  5. Katonah Sunoco – 105 Bedford Road


Mount Kisco

  1. Teamo/Mt. Kisco News – 239 Main Street    


Cross River

  1. Bagel Boys Café – Cross River Shopping Center; Routes 121 and 35    

  2. Cross River Shell Station – Route 35    

  3. Cameron’s Deli –  890 Route 35    

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Community involvement helps Fox Lane student attend college


By NANCY DEXTER
ANDREW STRAWCUTTER PHOTO

Kim Lapple, Kevin Tejada, Michelle Gosh and Thomas Abt at reception for Kevin at Bedford Presbyterian Church on Sunday, Aug. 4.

 

The story of Kevin Tejada is inspiring and demonstrates the generosity within the Bedford Central School District community. Back in February, when this Fox Lane senior told friends and teachers that his home situation had become untenable, the Rev. Paul Alcorn mentioned the student’s dilemma during his Sunday service. Parishioners immediately stepped forward to help out, including a couple who offered him the chance to live in their home while he completed his high school courses and college applications. These generous women were Michelle Gosh and Kim Lapple, parishioners of the Presbyterian Church. Fortunately, since the couple lives in Mount Kisco, Kevin was able to remain at Fox Lane.

“They were very welcoming,” said Kevin. “I felt like I belonged there. They were supportive.”

The effort to help this particular student has been turned into a movement by the church called “College Bound” to help fund and support kids like Kevin with college costs.

Kevin, who graduated from Fox Lane in June, was chosen to speak at the graduation ceremony. He was accepted to Bates College in Lewiston, Maine, from which he received a full scholarship and will start on Aug. 26. His best friend, Thomas Abt, is going to nearby Colby College. Kevin thinks he will most likely pursue a major in political science. However, he needs funds for books and the usual expenses incurred at college over and above tuition, room and board.

The reception at Bedford Presbyterian Church after the service on Sunday, Aug. 4, was intended to encourage contributions toward Kevin’s expenses.

When speaking of the support he has received, Kevin credits his guidance counselor and teachers for getting him through the college application process.

“My teachers were very supportive,” he said. “They pushed me to finish the applications.” One of the main forces behind his achievement was Shirley Buotempo, an advisor for Latino students at Fox Lane, who helped him with the application process and who attended the reception. “I wanted to pursue my dream to go to college,” Mr. Tejada said. “The Bedford Central School District has been unbelievable — I didn’t fall through the cracks.”

Carola Bracco, executive director of Neighbors Link, was also involved in ensuring Kevin a stable home and attended the reception with her husband, Andy. Kevin was a volunteer at Neighbors Link for the summer, in addition to working at the Mount Kisco A&P.

Mr. Alcorn explained how the effort began and why the reception was organized. “This was something of a vehicle — it’s more than room and board and tuition, there are other costs at college,” he said. Mr. Alcorn thanked contributors for their generous donations but could not reveal the total amount since the reception’s offerings had not been counted. “It will be a wonderful resource for Kevin,” said Mr. Alcorn.

Mr. Alcorn referred to a YouTube video called “First Follower” as an example of what he hopes will happen in the Bedford community. The video shows an outdoor music festival in which one person gets up to dance because they are so energized by the music. After that person gets up, someone else does, taking the role of the first follower. The first person’s act leads to more and more people standing up and dancing, until everyone is on their feet.

“As important as leaders are, the first followers are just as important,” said Mr. Alcorn. “They draw others to join in on the movement. Many others in this community have the same dream but not the community support.”

He said, “How do we take the next step to help others achieve their dreams? We need to begin a conversation with the community about what our responsibility is.” Now that Kevin is off to college, Mr. Alcorn wants to focus on how the community can push forward with the idea and gain momentum.

Following Mr. Alcorn’s message, Kevin said a few words to the crowd. “I feel so grateful,” he said. “At the end, I felt so proud and satisfied when I completed the applications. No one has gone to college in my family before.”

When he found himself in a difficult situation at home — living with his aunt, with his mother in Guatemala — his first step was to go to Neighbors Link. “I feel so good and I feel so much love,” Kevin said. “I see God in all of you. I am so grateful. This is what love is.” He thanked Neighbors Link, Fox Lane High School, his teachers and his best friend Thomas. “It’s a happy ending, but no, it’s the beginning of the rest of my life,” said Kevin. At the end he thanked his two mothers and their three dogs. “We’re a beautiful modern family,” he said. Everyone celebrated with a delicious slice of chocolate cake made by parishioner Mistie Eldrich.

To contribute to Kevin’s College Bound fund or to support the College Bound effort, mail donations to Bedford Presbyterian Church, P.O. Box 280, Bedford 10506.


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