A celebration will be held to honor actress Karolyn Grimes on Friday, December 9, 2022 at 32 Fall Street, Seneca Falls, the permanent home of the Seneca Falls It’s a Wonderful Life Museum. At that time, the Bells of the Real Bedford Falls will ring twenty times in honor of the 20th Anniversary of Karolyn Grimes’ first visit to Seneca Falls.
Welcoming Karolyn Grimes (“Zuzu Bailey”) back home to Seneca Falls along with other actors from the film will be local dignitaries, residents, members of the Seneca County Suicide Prevention Coalition, and fans from all over the country. Elizabeth Kress, the granddaughter of Antonio Varacalli’s sister Elisabetta Palandro will be present as will Shaylyn Ford, Mrs. World 2022, who will represent the Victoria’s Voice Foundation.
During the ceremony and throughout the It’s a Wonderful Life Festival weekend (Dec. 9-11), individuals will be given the opportunity to write notes or letters to be included in a Time Capsule that will be opened in December 2046 – the 100th Anniversary of the premiere of “It’s a Wonderful Life.”
Five actors from the film will be present to launch the Time Capsule: Karolyn Grimes (“Zuzu Bailey”), Jimmy Hawkins (“Tommy Bailey”), Michael Chapin (“Young George’s Friend”) and Donald and Ronald Collins (“Young Pete Bailey”). Also present will be Frank Capra’s granddaughter Monica Capra Hodges and Mary Owen, Donna Reed’s daughter.
Hannah Capra Ermi, Frank Capra’s great-granddaughter will announce the names of individuals who have agreed to be part of a team representing younger generations, ranging in age from 10 through 39. These include Charles and Andrea King, the great-great-grandchildren of Charles Fornesi, the first Italian to permanently settle in Seneca Falls, who built the first Theater in Seneca Falls. This magnificent building now serves as the permanent location of the Seneca Falls It’s a Wonderful Life Museum.
Langston Bias, age 14, will be traveling from Westfield, NY, to speak at the Ceremony and Jane Middaugh, one of the creators of “It’s a Wonderful LEGO Life,” will be coming from Camillus. Fifth grade students from the Elizabeth Cady Stanton Elementary School have already created four posters to be included in the Time Capsule. Local high school students will also participate along with various members of the community.
As part of its Expansion plans, which will be on display, the It’s a Wonderful Life Museum plans to re-create important sets from the film. A safe like that used in the Bailey Brothers Building and Loan will be created to house the Time Capsule. Generations Bank will serve as an advisor on the safe and insuring the safety of the items for the Time Capsule now and in the future. Expansion plans also include a 47-seat theater.
Anyone who would like to write something about the impact that “It’s a Wonderful Life” and Frank Capra’s timeless message have had on their lives and their family and/or their thoughts for future generations, are welcome to drop their notes or letters off at 32 Fall St. during the Festival or send them to the Seneca Falls It’s a Wonderful Life Museum, PO Box 642, Seneca Falls, NY 13148. Submissions should be received by December 11, 2022. Everyone is welcome to be a part of the future of “It’s a Wonderful Life” – “The Most Inspiring Film of All Time.”
FingerLakes1.com is the region’s leading all-digital news publication. The company was founded in 1998 and has been keeping residents informed for more than two decades. Have a lead? Send it to [email protected].