They came, they saw, and they might even come back.
New Windsor Mayor Jack A. Gullo Jr. said the 10 young residents who gathered Saturday night for the first installment of the town's "Saturday Night Movie" represent the promise of the program.
"I thought it was a successful beginning," Mayor Gullo said yesterday. "I've had activities in college where no one showed up. This is a good start."
The movie program is the first phase in Mr. Gullo's "Town Youth Partnership Experiment." It is designed to encourage community pride, spirit and cohesiveness, as well as provide activities to children who otherwise may have nothing else to do on weekends.
TYPE targets kids ages 9 to 16 -- those who may have limited means of transportation to events outside town. All activities will be chaperoned by adult volunteers, Mr. Gullo said.
The Town Council voted Oct. 7 to initiate the movie activity as a four-week pilot program where the kids would meet from 7 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. at a designated area within walking distance for most of the children.
On Saturday, the children chose two of four movies provided by event chaperones Paula Eckenrode and Sandra Dieudonne, who also distributed refreshments in the room at the Brethren Service Center where the movies were shown.
Contrary to some residents' concerns, there were no problems. The mayor said, "They [the children] showed up and followed all the rules."
Mr. Gullo said he believes the program will have a positive effect on the town by bridging an age gap that in the past has seemed insurmountable. "We've planted a small seed," Mr. Gullo said. "It may have a chance to grow."