has been since May, 2006 that I have written an up date for the
website! I feel its high time that I report some of the exciting
general, the success of the Eldridge Park Carousel Preservation
Society can be measured by attendance numbers. At this season's
close, over 200,000 riders have enjoyed the Eldridge Park Carousel!!
Season III also introduced Jasper,
the Dragon Boat. To this point about 10,000 tickets have been
sold for this historic celebrity. The Dragon
Hatchlings, introduced during Season IV, have already hosted
over 4,000 riders!
We built the Dance
Hall by converting the old Whip Building in season
II. We built the boat house for Jasper and an addition to the rear
of the carousel building in Season III along with a state-of-the-art
security system covering the entire park at a cost of over $40,000.
opened an old fashioned arcade in Building Two during Season III,
and, in Season IV, an ice cream, cotton candy, french fries w/ vinegar,
snow cone operation in Building One. (Both buildings are located
across from the new boat house and have been turned over to us by
the City of Elmira.)
Theres a fountain
in the lake, two
solid antique marble lions and their cubs guarding the entrance
to the park each weighing 2.400 lbs, thanks to Rotary. The bathrooms
were renovated and this spring we built the most
beautiful BBQ building in the world! We also built the grand
Victorian Pavilion called, Corporate
One, which was sponsored by the City of Elmira. We had
over 16 weddings at the park in 2009 and the dance hall is getting
booked solid for 2010 already.
Walter Booth, has been my V.P. of construction since the beginning,
and I will never let him go! He designed and built the Bridge
to the Future and the Bridge to the Past,
as part of the Season IV BBQ project, sponsored by the community
foundation. Walter has had his hands in every aspect of this project
since day one.
a volunteer force, living and working at the park - there are hundreds
- we have learned some very valuable lessons. Family and Quality
are at the top of the list. The project we volunteer for is cross-cultural,
intergenerational and gets us back to the point and time when family
was everything. We forget about the stress of normal life when we
are at Eldridge! We have created a connection between the generations
and therefore a bridge to the future. We basically, are all hooked!
Jim and Tekla Mucci
spear-headed the tree planning effort at the park in 2009 when I
told them that the park used to sport 1,000 willow trees. During
Season IV at least 50 trees have been planted and more are coming
thanks to them.
The society secured
Erie box car from Northfork Southern to be used as a ticket
booth and museum for the eventual ¾ scale train
planned for the park. A $250,000 commitment has already been
pledged toward this $750.000 project!
The Society and the
Eldridge Park Conservancy have merged boards at the urging of our
Rochester consulting group. Both organizations will, however, retain
separate non-for-profit status for the purpose of funding power.
After the Carousel started
spinning again on May 27th 2006, I thought that the project would
slow down. Boy, was I wrong! People like Dale Bryant approached
me. He took complete charge of the Jasper
II project and will soon be certified to teach the boater
safety and pilots and engineering courses so that our team of NYS
Licensed Captains can continue to grow.
Dan Kane is my right
hand. In charge of the train project, Dan is also a board member.
He is always there to lend a hand, running the Carousel for special
parties, repairing and building and wiring and slaving over every
aspect of this enormous project. Dan Kane, an electronics specialist,
carpenter, train expert and passionate volunteer, is an example
of why we will never fail. He does the work for all of us!
Brian Cassetta first approached me at the Carousel on roller blades,
about 5 yrs ago. Since that time he has become another brother
to me. A renowned physician, there is no limit to Brians
talent and energy. Dr Cassetta is responsible for the dragon hatchlings
project! "Gaspara, Eragon, Saphira,
Conrit, and Glaurung are our beloved paddle
boats and have been wildly successful because of Brian. But most
notable is Brians role as one of our events coordinators.
fest is an event which Brian introduced in Season III.
This music fest for teens grew in Season IV and a national documentary
is being filmed about it. In Season V (in 2010) we look forward
to expanding this event to an all weekend $300,000.00 celebration
of national significance.
In short, Eldridge is
becoming the centerpiece of the community. It is the place where
we reminisce about the past, embrace the present and plan for the
future. It is Home! And I am proud to be a part of it.
So where are we going
and what is the plan? Well, as long as I lead the organizations
we will proceed to the past.
The next step is to
introduce a ubiquitously accepted revenue generating, sensible,
timeless, easy to maintain, addition to the park. As much as I would
like to first pursue Chapel Grove (A beautiful place
for prayer, weddings, and lectures) and the Giant Train project,
our miniature golf project will take us over the top and make EPCPS
and the Conservancy unstoppable!! While we will still expand our
fundraising efforts after obtaining miniature golf, we will be a
financially self-sustaining entity.
We look forward to the
eventuality of Chapel Grove, multiple Victorian pavilions, the ¾
scale train project, the trolley project, a dog walking park, Victorian
lighting everywhere, stamped concrete walkways winding throughout
the park, an amphitheater, a permanent stage, a copper roofed Victorian
band stand, land scaping, and statues which will once again make
Eldridge the most beautiful Victorian walking park in the World.
It is the project of my life!
The pinnacle of my dream,
however, will be The Rebirth of the CASINO, a 120 foot
tall structure located on the south side of the lake, where it was
originally. It will serve as a five star restaurant, convention
center and residential apartment or office space.
conclusion, I am busier than a one legged dog trying, desperately,
to bury a bone on a frozen lake! And I love it. MY GOAL IS TO SEE
IT THROUGH TO COMPLETION. All I ask is that anyone who loves Eldridge
and what we are doing to please think about leaving EPCPS in their
will. We plan to expand our $600,000.00 endowment to at least $3,000,000.00
before we even touch any of the interest earned by the endowment.
By leaving us in your will, you help to guarantee that this historic
project will transcend all generations, so that our descendants
can enjoy the inevitable feeling that envelops us when we experience
It cannot end ever again!
All capital improvements at Eldridge are completed with building
materials that never deteriorate. The best architects and builders
are utilized in the design and fabrication of every improvement.
If it wont last at least 200 yrs, I wont even consider
To find out more about
this historic project, please take the time to explore our incredible
web site. The archives tell the whole story and the naming rights
and sponsorship section tells how you can help us.
Quite simply, you can
do that by getting back to your family and joining ours - Experience