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January/February 2022 -   -  

Membership Notes

Big Bend (Florida) Chapter 96
Clermont County, Ohio, Chapter 649
Big Bend (Florida) Chapter 96 Preston County, West Virginia, Chapter 977
Big Bend (Florida) Chapter 96
Veterans Against Drugs


Rutland, Vermont, Chapter One member Tim Lonergan recently asked the chapter to provide financial support for Vermont Adaptive Ski and Sports, which provides recreational opportunities such as rock climbing and mountain biking for Vermonters with disabilities, including veterans. He suggested a $2,000 donation because the organization was in “dire need” during the pandemic. Chapter members unanimously agreed and the check was sent.

Rochester, New York, Chapter 20 President Val Gatto recently presented a check for $1,500 to Dr. Peter Ziarnowski, the director of the Rochester Vet Center, on behalf of the chapter. The funds will help underwrite the Vet Center’s array of free services to veterans, service members, and their families, including include counseling for depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and the psychological effects of military sexual trauma.

Members of Rockland County, New York Chapter 333 spent a weekend in mid-December fundraising at the Palisades Center Mall in West Nyack. With a good turnout of members, the chapter raised $1,626. “Special thanks to Gold Star family Glenn Perrone and his wife for visiting us,” said Chapter President Roy Tschudy. “They both made an overly generous donation to the chapter for which we are extremely grateful.”

Cumming, Georgia, Chapter 1030 presented a $600 check at the December chapter meeting to Elizabeth Johnson, the executive director of Jesse’s House, a local emergency shelter for adolescent girls experiencing abuse and neglect. The money went to gift cards for each girl living in the shelter for Christmas. The chapter members then passed the hat and collected an additional $600 to help with the girls’ care. Chapter President Gary Goyette congratulated Johnson and her staff for their accomplishments and said the chapter will continue to provide support to the shelter.

VVA members and chapters across the country have supported the Kentucky State Council’s fundraising efforts to help VVA members in need following the devastating tornadoes in Western Kentucky in December. Sussex County, Delaware Chapter 1105, for example, collected donated clothing, tools, children’s items, and toiletries to deliver by truck in late December. Brooklyn, New York, Chapter 72 donated $500 and set up a “Kentucky Fund” for chapter members and others to contribute to individually.

The Villages, Florida, Chapter 1036 sent the Kentucky State Council a donation of $2,000. The chapter also continued a Christmas tradition by donating more than $1,800 to the St. Timothy Roman Catholic Church’s St. Vincent DePaul Society to distribute to three needy local veterans’ families. The donation, Fred Harrop, the president of the society and a chapter member, said, “provided twelve children with a proper Christmas that they would not have had without [the chapter’s] generosity. Each child received two sets of clothes and a gift of their choosing.” The parents received $100 grocery store gift cards.

Salina, Kansas, Chapter 809 held a charitable event on Veterans Day at the city’s historic Masonic Temple in conjunction with the Salina Innovation Foundation, which operates The Temple, as it is known. Chapter members set up in The Temple’s parking lot and collected snack items, toiletries, napkins, tissues, cleaning supplies, and socks to donate to the Kansas Soldiers’ Home in Fort Dodge.

Saint Lucie County, Florida, Chapter 566 delivered twenty turkey dinners to needy veterans and their families two days before Thanksgiving. Each family also received a $50 grocery store gift card. The Chapter 566 Color Guard took part in the ceremonies that kicked off the Red, White, and You Fairway 5K charity event benefiting veterans at the Wanamaker Course at the PGA Golf Club in Port St. Lucie on December 5.

Northern Virginia Dean K. Phillips Memorial Chapter 227 celebrated its 36th anniversary in November at the chapter’s monthly dinner meeting. On hand to commemorate the event were many longtime chapter members, as well as Bill Bennett, the president of Silver Spring, Maryland, Chapter 641, and recently retired VVA Government Affairs Director Rick Weidman.


VVA chapters throughout the country participated in the 2021 Wreaths Across America event the weekend before Christmas, in which nearly two million wreaths were placed at veterans’ graves by hundreds of thousands of volunteers at more than 2,000 locations. Kansas State Council President Roland Mayhew, for example, along with President Walt Schley and 1st Vice President Lynn Rolf of Leavenworth, Kansas, Chapter 75, took part in the event on December 17 at Fort Leavenworth National Cemetery.

Members of Knoxville, Tennessee, Capt. Bill Robinson Chapter 1078 participated in the Wreaths Across America event December 18 at Knoxville National Cemetery. Westchester County, New York, Chapter 49 held its WAA program that day as well at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Lasdon Park in White Plains. The black granite memorial is inscribed with the names of 217 local service members who died in the Vietnam War. Following the ceremony, chapter members went to the Kensico Dam Plaza in Valhalla where they placed wreaths honoring 17 Westchester County men who died in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Delaware County, Ohio, Chapter 1095 pitched it at two local cemeteries, Oak Grove Cemetery and Saint Mary Cemetery, placing wreaths on veterans graves. Some 3,000 veterans are buried in these two cemeteries; 11,000 veterans are buried in Delaware County.

Auburn, New York, Chapter 704, working with local community college and high school students, held a WAA ceremony at the Episcopal Church of Saints Peter and John in Auburn. The chapter worked on the ceremony with students from the Cayuga Community College Criminal Justice Club, the Auburn High School Orchestra, and Dana L. West Jr.-Sr. High School in Port Byron.

Brookings, Oregon, Chapter 757 sponsored the WAA ceremony at the W.J. Ward Memorial Cemetery. Chapter members and community volunteers placed wreaths on every veteran’s grave.

Guadalupe, California, Central Coast Chapter 982 helped coordinate the ceremonies and placed wreaths and American flags on the graves of more than 2,000 veterans at Arroyo Grande Cemetery. About 150 volunteers, including members of the local Boy Scout troop, took part in that WAA event. Members of Clinton Township, Michigan, Chapter 154 took part in WAA ceremonies at three local cemeteries: St. Mary’s and Oakwood in New Baltimore, and Resurrection Cemetery in Clinton Township.

Members of Sierra Nevada Chapter 989 conducted the WAA ceremonies at the Northern Nevada Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Fernley. The chapter, in conjunction with Comstock Lode Quilters, also delivered 96 handmade Quilts of Valor to the Northern Nevada State Veterans Home in December and distributed them to veterans and veterans’ spouses. The event included an Ice Cream and Cake Social.




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