Old church needs new organ

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A Douglaston church is attempting to raise thousands of dollars to refurbish its 81-year-old organ so that it can offer a children’s music program beginning this fall.

The Community Church of Douglaston, at 39-50 Douglaston Pkwy., raised more than $1,000 last weekend after taking part in a community-wide yard sale held around the area that was the first of its kind.

Sally Ann Castle, office manager and Sunday school superintendent at the church, said the total cost for the upgrade of the organ as well as its continued maintenance would be at least $200,000.

“We’ll have an up-to-code and modern organ,” she said. “Right now it looks ancient. Parts of it are made of wood so it deteriorates with moisture and dust. But it is pretty close to being paid off.”

A large part of the organ’s refurbishment has been paid for by a large gift from one parishioner. Meanwhile, the church continues to raise money for the project.

Some of the organ’s original wiring from 1928 is still intact. The newest wires in the instrument are from 1968.

Castle said the church would host a series of concerts called Music for the Next Century beginning in September that will feature the organ as well as musicians playing string and wind instruments. A large gala fund-raiser will also be held at the church this fall.

The church, which opened in 1915, will need to raise an estimated $20,000 to $30,000 annually to run the music program, Castle said.

At last weekend’s sale, the house of worship sold furniture and pieces of art.

The yard sale also included 53 households along 235th Street in Douglas Manor and Douglaston Hill as well as four community businesses — Station Realty, SG Custom Sounds, Douglaston Market and Peak Mountain Bikes, which raised $350 for the Girl Scouts, said Dorothy Matinale of Station Realty.

Items for sale during the Saturday event included a 1929 Mercedes-Benz and a baby grand piano.

Reach reporter Nathan Duke by e-mail at or by phone at 718-260-4566.

Updated 5:48 pm, October 10, 2011
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