By LEIGH C. MERRIFIELD
News & Journal Editor
The first day of Spring is just 17 days in the offing … and then it will be another three months before we can welcome the summer season. However, nothing can brighten those passing days like making arrangements in advance for a short little jaunt to the Big Apple to celebrate the arrival of summer! And the Lincoln High School Athletic Boosters is offering that opportunity.
“We are hoping to gather a lot of community support,” said Amie Fazalare, LHS Athletic Boosters President. “The weekend trip will be structured somewhat, but it will also offer lots of flexibility and free time so that participants can do some fun things on their own.”
The Lincoln Athletic Boosters are working in partnership with American Destinations for a motorcoach trip to New York City the weekend of June 17-19. This is also Father’s Day weekend, which might make “an escape” even better – depending on the dad! Some dads might see the NYC trip as a treat and an opportunity to see a ball game at Yankee Stadium … while others may opt out and be just as thrilled to have a weekend at home to spend golfing, doing a DIY project, or perhaps nothing at all! Girlfriends may look at it as a shopping trip too! Or a couples’ getaway … or even a family trip because taking children is also permissible.
Participants will be traveling via Coach USA motorcoaches, and the trip to NYC will be night-time travel. The motorcoach will load and depart from Kohl’s parking lot in Clarksburg at 9:30 p.m. on Friday, June 17th.
Curtis Edwards, President of American Destinations, Inc., noted that those who take part in the NYC excursion are encouraged to bring their favorite pillow and blanket so they can get comfortable and sleep during the drive.
“Driving through the night saves time, and time is money because travelers don’t have to spend an additional night in a hotel. Believe me, I’ve been doing this for more than 35 years, and sometimes I wonder if I look like a bus seat with legs,” he joked. “But sleeping on a bus can be done; in fact, these motorcoaches offer very comfortable reclining seats, and then passengers are fresh for the following day.”
Passengers are also free to bring homemade snacks and even a small cooler as well as a compact carry-on bag. And Curtis says there is plenty of room under the bus for shopping packages to be stored on the return trip.
“We use Coach USA all the time. They are very modern motorcoaches equipped with rest rooms and DVDs so movies will be running – moreso during the ride home,” Edwards added.
There will be a stop in the early morning hours (5-6 a.m.) at the Vince Lombardi Welcome Center so that passengers can freshen up, and from there they will go into the city and be dropped off at Rockefeller Center. The group will have the remainder of the day to shop on Fifth Avenue, visit Central Park and Times Square – all easily walkable. A pickup spot will be arranged in advance for around 4 p.m. when passengers will be picked up and dropped off for their lodging at the Holiday Inn Express in Madison Square Garden that night.
“We have made countless trips to New York through the years and we are always looking for the best and most economical hotels for our passengers,” Edwards continued. “Every once in a while, we find what we call a ‘gem’, and this hotel is one of them. It is also one of only a few in NYC that offers a complimentary breakfast with a stay there. This is a full hot breakfast!”
Travelers will checkout following breakfast and the bus will drop them off at the 9/11 Plaza where numerous options will be available to them. They can order tickets to visit the 9/11 Museum, choose to go to Battery Park, visit the South Street Seaport, or take a harbor cruise around Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty. There will be a guided tour of New York City at 1 p.m. and the coach will depart for home at 3 p.m.
During flex time, visitors may want to see a Broadway show as well! Show tickets can be ordered in advance online, or they can get tickets when they arrive from TKTS. Edwards says these tickets are half-price tickets, but you do have to stand in line to purchase them.
Fazalare says that the cost of the trip (which includes transportation and lodging) is $240 per person based on 45 passengers and four people per hotel room. For three people per room, add $25 per person; or for just two people per room, add $70 per person. Add $205 per person if you want a single room. A deposit of $50 must be made by April 1st to reserve a seat.
“For those who are interested, the full amount can be paid up front – or – there are monthly payment options available as well,” Fazalare noted. “The final payment is due by May 13th, and any cancellation for a refund must be made by May 2nd. We would love to have enough interest shown to take TWO buses! But, no matter how many travelers reserve a seat, we will hold an informational meeting and Mr. Edwards will be on hand to answer any questions you may have.”
This trip is a fundraiser that will support ALL the athletic programs at Lincoln High School – even the cheerleaders! Each team is given a budget from funding raised through these events.
Fazalare concluded, “Our Athletic Boosters’ fundraising has been very successful in past years. It helps to supplement costs for summer camps, etc, We have fundraisers throughout the year; this is just one of them. Our goal is to try to help the students wherever we can.”
To make a reservation, please contact Lincoln’s Athletic Boosters President Amie Fazalare at 304-677-9913. Make plans now to pay a visit to the Big Apple to welcome summer!