The free event, running noon until 5 in the Bliss Plaza, (Queens Blvd. @ 46 Street) on Saturday brings together neighborhood residents and merchants,
nonprofits, and well-known speakers and performers for a unique celebration of idealism and engagement. 13 year-old Queens native Ellis Rubin, who earned critical raves as young P.T. Barnum in the 2017 film The Greatest Showman will emcee the even. She is part of the LOVE HALLIE Foundation.
The event will feature dramatic readings by youth activists, and will also include a special performance of Hallie Geier’s writings by best friends Barbara Feldon and Buddy Mantia. Feldon created the role of Agent 99 in the 1960s television series Get Smart, and Mantia is best known for his numerous TV appearances and performances with the comedy ensemble The Untouchables.
Children at the event will be given the opportunity to sing, dance, read and more.
“The spirit of Sunnyside is the kind of attitude that can create a better future — uniting people of all ages and backgrounds who care about their neighbors, their country, and the world,” said Jaime-Faye Bean, Executive Director of Sunnyside Shines (www.sunnysideshines.org), which is presenting the Festival with LOVE, HALLIE.
The inspiration for A Better World is Hallie Geier, a prolific writer and youth activist who lived in Sunnyside during her eleven years of life. Her favorite themes were the value of kindness, empathy, and positive action. Her family established the Love, Hallie Foundation (www.lovehallie.org) and Hallie’s Angels to spread Hallie's message and encourage young people to engage with causes they care about.
The Earth, a book written by Hallie at age 6 with illustrations by Casey Conselmo, will be released at the Festival. “Hallie felt that she could make a difference. She always wanted to do something special,” said her father Ted Geier.