(To see the presentation go to Stars for Cars Facebook page)

Thank You Mr. Maisano!

Thank you to Mr. James Maisano for inviting me to go to the Westchester Board of County Legislators on 11/29/11.  I went and I spoke about Stars for Cars.  The County Legislators were all listening and they really wanted to help.  I asked Mrs. Arciola, the Gold Star Mother who inspired me to help the “Blue and Gold Star” families, to come to the County Legislature.  I told the group that I was inspired when I found out that she lost her 20 year old son in Iraq.  I felt that her son and her family made a sacrifice.  I felt that we should really pay attention to that. This website is in honor of Mrs. Teresa Arciola and her son, Michael.  We have never really told her that.  I know that she would really be happy to get the word about Michael out there and get people to care. 

I wanted to acknowledge Mrs. Arciola. I talked about her in my speech.  Mr. Maisano talked about her too.  He had her stand up to be recognized.  When she stood up, everyone stood up too and clapped for her.  I felt like that was great to be acknowledging her. 

I also asked Mrs. Elizabeth Tatarka to come to the County Legislature.  She was my third grade teacher and one of the best teachers I have ever had. When you really needed something, you could really rely on her.  Last year she came to a special nighttime event at the New Rochelle High School that I was presenting a poem at.  The event was called, “Poetry Out Loud.”  That was one of the best moments of my life when I saw her walk in because I knew that she really cared about me.  I miss the class jobs from last year.  After I was finished with my speech, Mrs. Tatarka and I both received proclamations.  I had no idea that was going to happen, nor did Mrs. Tatarka.  Mr. Maisano told us that 11/29/11 was “Jake Gallin Day” and also “Elizabeth Tatarka Day.”  Boy was I surprised!   I felt that Mrs. Tatarka deserved to be acknowledged because she was the first person besides my Mom and Dad that I spoke to about helping the “Blue and Gold Star” families and she took my idea seriously.  I wrote Mrs. Tatarka a letter and asked her to see if we could acknowledge the “Blue and Gold Star” families after the Pledge of Allegiance over the loudspeaker and she took my letter right up to the Principal.  My Principal at William B. Ward allowed me to make this announcement on May 31, 2011 and this is what I said: 

  1. We take this time to remember the “Blue and Gold Star” families and thank them for their generosity.
  2. We remember the “Blue and Gold Star” families and we want them to know that they are part of our community.
  3. We take this time to remember the “Blue and Gold Star” families and their sacrifice.  

While I was at the County Legislature, I also thanked Holy Family and Sister Connie Koch as well as Mayor Bramson.  They have been supporters from the beginning. 

I want the “Blue and Gold Star” families to be recognized all over the place.  That means in school, at work, at home, in church or temple or wherever you go, and even on vacation! 

Thank you Mr. Maisano for inviting me and my teacher, Mrs. Tatarka, and my inspiration, Mrs. Arciola.   

Thank you also to my Uncle Greg Varian (my Dad’s first cousin, but more like my uncle).  He is awesome!

Your Neighbor,


PS I had a lot of homework this week, so I didn’t get the chance to blog earlier.  Sorry for the inconvenience.       


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