We at SoH embark on a very special and cause-driven expedition each holiday season: to raise awareness and support for underserved populations, namely children with special needs and our proud U.S. Veterans. One of the many reasons we consider this an expedition is the collaboration of many different organizations and people, each unique and different in nature, yet united to explore the community and support our mission.
Each year, our organization hosts a community gathering event: Winter Wonderland. Per our tradition, our students spend the weeks leading up to the event designing, developing, and painting a huge winter-themed mural, heavily-inspired by imagery from the holiday film The Polar Express.
Alongside this mural, we also prop up a huge, 120-square foot train layout on display, which is made possible through our founder Erich Preis. Few things give us more joy than seeing the eyes of our students and proud Veterans light up upon the sight of this robust and intricate display.
In addition to all this, we invite visitors and community members to indulge in holiday snacks and treats, a wide selection of food, and live music. We’ll come together to embrace the holiday spirit, along with a notion of camaraderie and community that will translate quite well into the holidays.
This gathering is not only a soirée for our community, but a tribute to recently fallen solider, Anthony Michael Martinelli. Martinelli Spec 4 US Army of Lindenhurst, L.I. passed on April 19, 2014 and is remembered as a proud veteran who sacrificed his life in serving our great country.
Gold Star Parents Theresa and James are delighted that we honor their son Anthony. Founder Erich Preis is happy to dedicate the train exhibition because Anthony and his father loved model trains and had many happy memories together over them. Erich, an accomplished artist, also created a beautiful painting last year of their fallen son.
Thank you Erich for all your dedication and love of Veterans at the Spirit of Huntington Art Center. We look forward to an amazing event. Join us Tuesday, December 17th from 3pm to 6pm for an evening to remember.