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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: December 27, 1996

Release #685-96

Contact: Colleen Roche or Kim Serafin (212) 788-2958


MAYOR GIULIANI ANNOUNCES NEW TRADITION FOR NEW YEAR�S EVE:
COMMUNITY HERO TO LEAD TIMES SQUARE CELEBRATION

Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani and Gretchen Dykstra, President of the Times Square Business Improvement District (BID), today announced the start of a new New Year�s Eve tradition. Starting this year, the Times Square BID will invite an individual who has made a significant contribution to the community to flip the switch that lowers the Times Square New Year�s Eve Ball. This year, Oseola McCarty, the 88-year-old Mississippi woman who donated her life savings to the University of Southern Mississippi, will do the honors.

�Celebrating New Year�s Eve in Times Square -- in the heart of the most exciting City in the world -- is one of New York City�s most time honored traditions. It provides an exciting, safe and free way to ring in the New Year. The presence this year of Oseola McCarty, a true American hero, adds a wonderful element to a very special celebration,� said Mayor Giuliani. �I�m sure all New Yorkers join me in applauding her generosity and selflessness. We are proud to have Miss McCarty in New York to usher in the New Year.�

Ms. McCarty will begin 1997 at the Crossroads of the World in Times Square, joining more than half-a-million New Year�s Eve revelers. She will flip the switch to activate the laser light that causes the Ball to descend. Ms. McCarty gained national attention after donating her life savings of $150,000, which she saved during a lifetime of washing and ironing, to a scholarship fund at the University of Southern Mississippi.


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