Millennium Development ushers in fall with family funday

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Balloon-tastic Mr. Dunkintux makes a fun sculpture for Valerie Shnayderman, 4.
Mill Basin reveler Roymara Louisant — a student at PS 203 — puts her best face forward, thanks to vollie Jessica Miccilla.
Pumpkin-hunters Kaitlyn O’Brien (left) and Jessica Gimeli, both 11, are spoiled for choice!
Isabella Caratelli, 9, is an urban cowpoke at heart.
A bobcat catches the eye of emergency rescue worker Pete Bojmal.

Four-year-old Valerie Shnayderman of Mill Basin clasped the purple balloon dog with joy and shyly hugged its sculptor — Mr. Dunkintux the clown!

The adorable PS 312 student and the yellow-wigged entertainer from the Verizon Clown Unit had the merry exchange on Saturday at the John Malone Community Center in Bergen Beach — the site of Millennium Development‘s ninth annual harvest festival, where Mom, Dad and the kids welcomed fall with games, rides, performances and giveaways.

Max Gilyutin, who attends the Hebrew Language Academy Charter School in Midwood, headed straight for the pumpkin patch, collapsing into giggles as he tried to balance a pair of orange baby behemoths in each hand. Nearby, volunteer Jessica Miccilla helped the crew of merrymakers put their best faces forward by adorning their cheeks with party paint.

The grown-ups were called upon to do their bit for the community by participating in a blood drive.

“It made it feel like l was doing something important for others while having fun with my family,” said Flatbush visitor Mariya Huston, who rolled up her sleeve with a smile.

The fun continued with the state Department of Conservation, which showed off some thrilling critters, including a bobcat. The endangered species caught the eye of Pete Bojmal from the Flatlands Volunteer Ambulance Corps, who gave it a cuddle.

Reach reporter Shavana Abruzzo at or by calling (718) 260-2529.
Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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