Antique show benefits community program1
For 32 years the Winter Antique Show has benefited New York's East Side House Settlement, now located in the South Bronx. Last year $400,000 went into the settlement's till, enabling it to expand programs despite government cutbacks in funding. (Proceeds from gate receipts and the opening night gala -- not the antique sales -- constitute this donation.) The settlement house, which embraces low-income families and newly arrived immigrants in a multitude of programs, was started in 1891 on East 76th Street in Manhattan. Over the years, however, developers inched into this East Side area to build luxurious high-rise apartments, forcing low-income residents to move. In l96l the settlement house switched locations, too, setting up shop in the South Bronx, where social services were needed.
``Because of last year's antique-show funds, we were able to beef up our VEEP [Vocational, Educational, Employment Program],'' says William Schnappaus, the settlement's executive director. The funds enabled VEEP to place 175 people in jobs. Although the bulk of those placed are in the l6-to-22 age bracket, the program finds work for people of any age, including a large number of senior citizens.
Directed by Frank Morales, the VEEP program includes workshops, training programs, and follow-ups on progress made by the new employees.
``Some of the young people can't cope with finding a job. They can't even fill out a job application,'' Mr. Schnappaus explains. This is where VEEP takes over. Most of the jobs are entry level, but, as Schnappus says, ``we let the kids know they're not going to make French fries all their lives.''
The settlement also poured l985's antique-show money into its senior-citizen program, expanding the weekday hot-lunch program into weekend activities. Senior citizens now enjoy a hot supper -- sometimes with candlelight -- on weekend evenings, plus an occasional movie. The program has managed to capitalize on the help of the settlement youth, who visit the elderly, assisting where needed.
Currently 300 preschoolers are enrolled in day care at the settlement, a program that includes a noon meal. The afterschool program, designed to accommodate latch-key children, provides activities for some 400 youngsters. And more than 1,000 teens spend time at the settlement house throughout the year. Special activities for tweens (l0- to 12-year-olds) are held three times weekly and on weekends.
The late Mr. and Mrs. Carleton Lindquist, directors of the settlement house for nearly 30 years, conceived the Winter Antique Show as a fund-raiser.