Community Columns

Flanders News: Remembering Barbara Tocci, one year later

Happy New Year, friends and neighbors. Here we are in the beginning of 2015. When I left you last year I was just returning from picking up my daughter at college and now I’m preparing to bring her back again. Is it just me or is each year going by quicker and quicker? One minute my kids are babies and the next? One son turned 22 on Jan. 18, my other son will be 20 next month and my daughter is in her second semester of college. Where did the time go? 

Speaking of time, it’s time for all you readers and residents to pick up the phone and call or email me with any news you’d like to share — birthdays, anniversaries or a shout-out to someone who deserves it. Give me a few minutes of your time so that I can get the word out.

On Jan. 16, the Flanders community and many friends celebrated the one-year anniversary of Barbara Tocci’s untimely and tragic passing. A ceremony was held at the Flanders cemetery, officiated by Bob Bourguignon, chaplain at Flanders Fire Department and a longtime family friend of the Toccis. The reason I say “celebration” is because although her family and friends are still reeling over her loss, some good is coming out of it. Barbara Tocci’s Random Acts of Kindness, for which anyone at any time can do something nice for someone, has been taking over the hearts and minds of those who knew and loved her. Some examples are: Buy the person in line behind you a cup of coffee or give a homeless person a dinner. A friend of ours even placed a homeless vet at a hotel room for a week. Just being nice to someone for no reason at all is what it’s all about. Barbara’s ability to show kindness to everyone has inspired many to do the same. Visit the Barbara Tocci Random Acts of Kindness Facebook page and follow the stories that others have shared. Be on the lookout for cards that are given out by anonymous people. If you receive one, pass it on. For more information or to find out how to get cards that you can give out, visit the Facebook page or give me a call. I’ll get you in contact with someone.

The Friends of the Big Duck held its annual elections. The results are: Fran Cobb, president; Doris Schneider, vice president; Laurie McKillop, treasurer; Lisa Dabrowski, sergeant at arms; and yours truly, secretary. Thank you to Neil Young and Angela Fanelli for their service last year. The next Friends meeting is Tuesday, Feb. 3, at 7 p.m. at the David Crohan Community Center. You don’t have to reside in Flanders to be a Friend of the Big Duck. All are welcome.

The annual winter soiree was held at the Flanders Men’s Club last Saturday. More than 80 people attended. The band Rock Hill was awesome and the food, prepared by FMC members, was delish. Yarra and Carl Sword won the 50/50 raffle and donated half of it back to the Friends of the Big Duck. A great time was had by all.

Happy birthday to Joann Waski, today, Thursday, Jan. 22. I hope you have a great day and I hope “Joannuary” has been good to you so far. Birthday wishes also go out to Fran Cobb, Jan. 23; Lu-Anne Nappi and Jamie Meyer, Jan. 25; my brother Michael Zaleski, Jan. 26; my friends Lee and Ed Rasanen, Jan. 28; Scruffy Shea, Jan. 30; Holly Payton and Jill Konkel, Jan. 31;Thud Hill and Kirsten Skarka, Feb. 1; and Betty Lecenski, Feb. 3. I hope everyone has a great day. Scruffy, I know you’re a dog but I hope Mom gets you an ice cream bone for your birthday!

Condolences to the family of Edward “Sonny” Crohan of Flanders, who passed away Jan. 5. Big hugs go out to his daughter and my good friend, Dawn, and her boys, Liam and Quinn. I know how much your dad meant to you. He will forever be missed by all who knew him.

My Green Bay Packers lost in overtime in the final playoff game Sunday. Oh well, there’s always next year!

I hope to hear from you very soon. The best way to contact me is through email. If computers aren’t your thing, then call me and leave a message. I’ll call you back to confirm the information is correct. Thanks for reading.

Contact Flanders columnist Tanya Doherty at 727-8687 or [email protected].