July 10, 2019 Staff Report
A festival celebrating community activism and making a difference in the world will take place in Sunnyside this weekend.
The second annual “A Better World Festival” invites kids and adults to sing, dance and create arts and crafts from noon until 5 p.m. on Sunday, July 14 at Bliss Plaza.
The free event is sponsored by the Sunnyside Shines Business Improvement District, the Office of New York City Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer, and LOVE, HALLIE Foundation, which was set up by the parents of 11-year old Hallie Geier who died after being struck by a car in 2004.
The foundation promotes activism, kindness and empathy – values which Geier held dearest – and aims to show that making a difference in the world can be a lot of fun.
The event’s “Ringmaster” is 14-year old actor Ellis Rubin. A Queens native, Rubin played P. T. Barnum in the 2017 sensation “The Greatest Showman.” Rubin is an active member of Hallie’s Angels, the youth branch of the LOVE, HALLIE Foundation.
“Hallie felt that she could make a difference. She always wanted to do something special,” said her father Ted Geier. “I know people will be inspired to take action when Ellis and others read her encouraging words at the Festival.”
Activities at the event include arts and crafts with the Girls Scouts of Greater New York, Sunnyside Artworks and Hallie’s Angels. Families will also have the opportunity to sing and dance with local groups such as Unity Stage and Woodside on the Move, as well as Story Pirates.
There will also be free chess instructions from Chess in Schools, while Headcount will register young voters.
“The spirit of Sunnyside is the kind of attitude that can create a better future – uniting people of all ages and backgrounds who care about their neighbors, their country and the world,” said Jaime-Faye Bean, Executive Director of Sunnyside Shines.