Junior Members Elected to Honorary Department of New York Offices

Samantha (Left) and Katharine (Right) socially distanced before the American Flag at Post 304

The American Legion Auxiliary Department of New York held its annual Mid-Winter Conference virtually on January 23rd.  On the same day, it held a virtual conference and elections for Junior members of the American Legion Auxiliary from New York State.  Junior members are girls under the age of 18 years.  Manhasset American Legion Auxiliary Unit 304 is proud to announce that two of its Junior members were elected as Honorary Junior officers for New York State.  Katharine Caputi is now serving as Honorary Department Junior Vice President and Samantha Palmadessa is serving as Honorary Department Junior Treasurer.  Both girls were installed by American Legion Auxiliary Department of New York President Linda Tome.  Serving as Honorary Junior officers is a great way for our Junior members to learn about the ALA and our mission.  During the next year, they may be paired with senior officers to learn the duties and responsibilities of that office.  Congratulations to Katharine and Samantha, who made history for our Manhasset Unit through their elections!

Posted in News | Comments Off on Junior Members Elected to Honorary Department of New York Offices

BECOME A SECRET SOLDIER SANTA

Make the Holidays Brighter for our Veterans – Become A Secret Soldier Santa 

 2020 American Legion Auxiliary Holiday Poster

For several years, the American Legion Auxiliary has reached out to you for help in spreading holiday cheer to our veterans residing at the Northport VA Medical Center (NVAMC) through your participation in our Holiday Gift Bag Program. Your response has consistently overwhelmed us and last year, as a result of your generosity, we prepared and delivered over 200 very large holiday bags to our veterans, overflowing with necessities and gift items.

This year has been very difficult for all of us as we continue to struggle through the impact of the pandemic.  The situation has also been extremely difficult for those veterans who live or receive treatment at the NVAMC. With concerns for their health and safety our veterans will not be permitted to receive traditional gifts items this holiday season.

While we cannot do the Gift Bag Program, we can still honor our Veterans and help bring them some holiday cheer.  This year the NVAMC has launched a Secret Soldier Santa Program. It is a revisualization of a program they have run for a number of years. In the past a party was held for veteran and military families in which Santa presented the children with age appropriate gifts. Since actual gifts are not permitted, gift cards (which can be sanitized) will be distributed to our veterans for use in purchasing gifts for their children. We are working to raise money to purchase these gift cards from major stores and your donations will help make this happen.

On Saturday, November 21st, from 9:30 am until 4:30 pm, the Scouts and our Junior Auxiliary members will be in the back outdoor section of Raindew (Manhasset) accepting monetary donations in a contactless manner.  All will be safely distanced and wearing personal protective clothing.  We will have an American Legion Auxiliary member who is a nurse stationed at the Raindew site to ensure adherence with safety measures.  We are very grateful to Raindew for their continued support of our veterans and the American Legion Auxiliary’s ongoing programs.  This is a very generous and patriotic gesture on their part.

Post 304 of the Manhasset American Legion, 27 Bayview Avenue, will also be open on Saturday, November 21st, from 9:30 am until 4:30 pm, to accept donations for this worthy cause.  There will be a totally contactless “Drive-By Donation” site in the parking lot and a “Walk-By Donation” site at the front door.

Donations may be made in cash or by check.  Checks should be made payable to American Legion Auxiliary and may be dropped off on November 21st or mailed to American Legion Auxiliary, 27 Bayview Avenue, Manhasset, NY 11030.  American Legion Auxiliary Manhasset Unit 304 is a 501(c) (19) tax exempt organization.  All donations are tax deductible as permitted by law.

Please join us in spreading cheer to those who have sacrificed so much in the service of our great nation and in the preservation of our freedoms.  Thank you for all you have done and continue to do for our veterans.  May you each be blessed in abundance at this beautiful holiday season.

For additional information, please feel free to contact Pat O’Brien at 516-850-5702 or patobrien17@msn.com.

Posted in News | Comments Off on BECOME A SECRET SOLDIER SANTA

VETERANS DAY

The American Legion Post 304 conducted a Veterans Day ceremony on November 11th at Mary Jane Davies Park in Manhasset.  Only the American Legion and American Legion Auxiliary were invited to attend because of the pandemic.   However, two Boy Scouts played Taps.  All attending wore masks and remained socially distant.   ALA President Pat O’Brien was invited to read a portion of the ceremony.

Following the ceremony, Unit Secretary Diane Klein presented all Legionnaires with new patriotic face masks that she had sewn for them. We are grateful to all our men and women who served our great nation.

      

           

 

 

Posted in News | Comments Off on VETERANS DAY

NEWSLETTER 2

This Newsletter was created for your benefit and enjoyment during this period when we are still social distancing and wearing facemasks.  We hope you and your family are well and that we will soon be able to meet face-to-face.  Simply click on the link below.

Fall 2020 Newsletter

Posted in News | Comments Off on NEWSLETTER 2

NEWSLETTER

Please enjoy this Newsletter that was prepared specifically for this time when we are faced with the threat of Covid-19.  We hope you enjoy the information and find it beneficial to your time at home.  May you and your family remain safe and healthy.  Simply click on the link below.

Auxiliary Newsletter_053120

 

 

Posted in News | Comments Off on NEWSLETTER

Memorial Day Tributes

This was a very different Memorial Day from those past.  Only one of Brian Kenny’s floats was present.  No marchers came down Plandome Road.  No bands played.  No small children waving American Flags adorned the Parade route.  As New York began the process of re-opening from the pandemic, a small group from the American Legion Family and some residents of Manhasset gathered to remember those veterans who gave all in the service of our country and those veterans who are no longer with us.  Armed with gloves and masks, those present remained socially distant while listening to the introduction by Commander Peter Killian and to the reading of the names of those who had served in our Armed Forces but passed away since Memorial Day 2019.  Vice Commander James Brooks placed a wreath on the Gold Star Monument and Sergeant-at-Arms Thomas Buzzitta raised the Flags while Dennis Klainberg played Taps.  All then left in the manner they had arrived – with dignity and respect, acutely aware of the sacrifices that had been made.

Veterans of Manhasset American Legion Post 304

Members of Manhasset American Legion Auxiliary Unit 304

Commander Peter Killian began the ceremony and Chaplain James Sharkey read the names of veterans who had passed since May 2019

  Vice Commander James Brooks laid the Wreath

Sergeant-at-Arms Thomas Buzzitta raised the American Flag and the POW Flag as Dennis Klainberg played Taps 

Our Thanks to Brian Kenny for the beautiful Float

TAPS ACROSS AMERICA

The National Moment of Remembrance is an annual event that asks Americans, wherever they are at 3 p.m. local time on Memorial Day, to pause for a duration of one minute to remember those who have died in military service to the United States. It is especially poignant this year, given that our many remembrance ceremonies and parades will not take place because of the pandemic.

The 3 p.m. commemoration of those who died in service to the country includes taps played by anyone who has a bugle or trumpet.  The time 3 p.m. was chosen because it is the time when most Americans are enjoying time off of work for the national holiday. The Moment was first proclaimed in May 2000 for Memorial Day that year, and was put in law by the United States Congress in December 2000.

The Village of Plandome Heights hosted Taps Across America in Dennis Klainberg’s front yard.  Members of the community supported the beautiful tribute to our fallen Heroes and were grateful for the rendition of Taps performed by Dennis Klainberg, Rachel Sloan, and Michael Riscica.

Posted in News | Comments Off on Memorial Day Tributes

MEDAL OF HONOR RECIPIENTS

Our Unit again supported the Medal of Honor recipients who were scheduled to be hosted at a dinner specifically to celebrate their exceptionally brave heroism during various wars.  We had the privilege of recognizing Lieutenant Harvey Barnum and Sergeant Gary Beikirch, who distinguished themselves during the Vietnam War, and Staff Sergeant David Bellavia, who distinguished himself during the War in Iraq.  With the support of our Junior members and contributions from Great Neck South High School, we sent each one a box containing homemade cards, sweat shirts, t-shirts, and box art that said, ”Heroes don’t wear capes.  They wear dog tags.”

              

            

Posted in News | Comments Off on MEDAL OF HONOR RECIPIENTS

MAKING THE HOLIDAYS BRIGHTER FOR OUR VETERANS

The Unit again invited the community to participate in its fundraising activity,”Make the Holidays Brighter for our Veterans.” The Manhasset Press helped to spread the word along with our Boy Scouts and Junior members.  There was a chill in the air but warmth in the hearts of those who participated in the fundraising, shopping, and wrapping of gifts for the veterans at the Northport VA Medical Center.  The success of this effort was the result of much planning, much cooperation, and much generosity of time and donations in many forms and by many individuals and businesses.

A Boy Scout. Matt Moschitta, again served as liaison to Raindew where the managers enthusiastically supported the effort by permitting the Scouts and our Junior members to set up a table and encourage Raindew’s patrons to assist our veterans.  Volunteers stayed at the table throughout the day and received very generous donations from shoppers.  Raindew has always been an energetic supporter of veteran causes presented to them by the ALA.  The kind cooperation and support shown by Raindew’s owners and the many discounts applied to purchases for our veterans are very much appreciated.

We continue to reap the rewards of the initiative of our Junior member, Kaitlyn Clarke, who, two years ago, arranged for us to participate in the Modell’s coupon program.  We were again given discount coupons that were good for a month of shopping.  Five percent of the purchases above $500 are being returned to the ALA and will be used for additional items for veterans.

A second Boy Scout, Daniel Cataldo,  once again served as the lead in advertising the event throughout town.  His announcements appeared in stores, his posters outside American Legion Post 304 explained the event, and his flyers listing the items needed for our veterans and active military were distributed to shoppers at Raindew.

While collections were being made at Raindew, donors also stopped by the American Legion Post with items and monetary gifts.  Care to Knit donated 121 beautifully handmade blankets.  The Al & Peggy DeMatteis Foundation donated $300 to assist in the purchase of electric shavers.  The Ace in the Hole Foundation donated $620 for the purchase of six robotic cats and dogs which are being used to assist our veterans suffering from dementia.  The Columbiettes donated hundreds of dollars’ worth of sweatshirts, hats and gloves.  Members of the Manhasset community dropped off hundreds of items and made monetary donations.  Members of the American Legion Auxiliary, the Junior American Legion Auxiliary, and students from each of our Manhasset schools also made donations and gave generously of their time.

Much sorting and wrapping was also taking place at the American Legion Post.  Led by Pat O’Brien and Elizabeth Parrella, the President and Vice President of Manhasset Unit 304, many elves ensured that the gifts received would be beautiful holiday surprises for the veterans.  Manhasset Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts donated homemade cards, others spent hours making and writing cards, and several days were spent wrapping the gifts.  In between, Umberto’s of Manhasset provided relief by once again graciously supplying pizzas for the many volunteers.  At the completion of the collection, Raindew reviewed its stock and then made extremely generous contributions of clothing to our veterans.

By the evening of December 15th, 243 individual, very large, gift bags had been filled for our veterans.  In addition, there were numerous bags of CDs, DVRs, and miscellaneous items for Northport.  The holiday gift bags and additional items were delivered to the Northport VA Medical Center on Monday, December 16th, by a group of Auxiliary members.  A truck and driver donated by Tridon Chemical, as well as a company representative, and a trailer on loan from the Manhasset Crew Team, made the trip much easier.

The gifts were distributed to veterans on December 19th by two Unit members, Pat O’Brien and Linda Clarke, an Eagle Scout, Martin Clarke, who was home from college on break, and several Vietnam Veterans.  Those delivering the gifts were met along the way by Dr. Antonio Sánchez, Executive Director of the Northport VA Medical Center.  He thanked everyone profusely for the outpouring of generosity shown to our veterans.

Over 100 members of the American Legion Auxiliary, the Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts, and the Manhasset community assisted with this wonderful project and spent over 300 hours working to complete it.  The number and value of the donations are truly overwhelming.

In addition, Unit 304 partnered this year with the Working Women of Manhasset (WWOM) to prepare 50 holiday gift bags for the female veterans who attend the Northport VA Hospital Women’s Wellness Center. Led by Susan Neville, 2nd Vice President of Manhasset Unit 304, nine committee members from both organizations shopped for and packed the bags with personal care items, in addition to chocolates, cookies and holiday card greetings. These bags were delivered to the Northport VA Medical Center earlier in December so that each woman attending the Women’s Wellness Center during the month of December would receive a gift bag in recognition of her valued service.

   

Manhasset Unit 304 Junior members, Scouts and our college supporters accepting donations for veterans and troops in back of Raindew.  Raindew continues to be a major supporter of our programs for our Veterans.

   

Our Scouts made donations, sorted items, and began packing the gifts for our Veterans

Thank you to our generous and faithful friends

Unit 304 Junior members and other volunteers with Robotic Dogs purchased for the Northport VA Medical Center (donated by Ace in the Hole Foundation)

Many help to pull it all together

Unit 304 Junior members and volunteers wrapping electric shavers for the NVAMC

Unit 304 members and volunteers put sizes and building numbers on the gift bags

Toiletries bagged by Margaret Palmadessa, a new Unit 304 member (right) and her sister Bernadette

As always, we are grateful to John D’Angelo and Troop 97.  The pizza boxes show some of the donations from Umberto’s for all the volunteers who made our effort possible.  Thank you, Mike!

Unit 304 members and volunteers help to sort and pack items for the holiday gift bags

Daniel and Lorraine Cataldo

Unit 304 member Diane Klein makes sure each bag is stuffed

New Unit 304 member Sandra Acerra  packs holiday gift bags

Selfies add to the fun…so much joy in giving joy to others!

Donations flowed into the Post all day.  Thank you, Belley family!

Keith DeMatteis and the DeMatteis Foundation are truly loyal supporters of our Veterans

(L to R) American Legion Post 304 Commander, Peter Killian, Auxiliary member Carol-Anne Condon, and Post 304 member Peter Cogan

Members of Northport VA Women’s Wellness Center Committee and holiday gift bags; Susan Neville, Unit 304 2nd Vice President and Committee Chair (second from left).  We are very grateful for this year’s partnership with  Working Women of Manhasset.

DELIVERY DAY ARRIVES on December 16th!!

The holiday gift bags and additional items were delivered to the Northport VA Medical Center on Monday, December 16th, by a group of Auxiliary members.  A truck and driver donated by Tridon Chemical, as well as a company representative, and a trailer on loan from the Manhasset Crew Team, made the trip much easier.

Manhasset Unit 304 President Pat O’Brien and members Elizabeth Parrella and Linda Clarke amidst completed holiday gift bags at American Legion Post 304

Unit 304 members and volunteers pack the gift bags into the truck for transport to the Northport VA Medical Center

Delivery and sorting of gifts at the Northport VA Medical Center

 

Gifts were distributed on December 19th.

Posted in News | Comments Off on MAKING THE HOLIDAYS BRIGHTER FOR OUR VETERANS

WREATHS ACROSS AMERICA

Unit 304 served as a sponsor for fundraising associated with the donation of wreaths and we distributed flyers at our 100th Anniversary event.  The Unit donated 15 wreaths to Wreaths Across America and members donated 8 wreaths which resulted in a total of 38 wreaths because of a 3 for 2 promotion.

Two members of Unit 304, a Legionnaire from Post 304, a community member, 6 Boy Scouts, and their leader and parents from Troop 97 participated in Wreaths Across America at Long Island National Cemetery in Farmingdale.  Approximately 2,000 attended, unloaded the tractor trailers, and placed a record number of wreaths – more than 46,000.  One member researched the lives of five soldiers where she placed wreaths:

James F. Nolan served as a PFC in the US Army during World War II. From 1940 to 1944.  The registry shows that he died of wounds.

Sidney L. Moskovitz served as a 1st Lieutenant in the US Army during World War II.  He was killed in action on March 1, 1945.

Charles L. Auber served as a Corporal in the Us Army during World War II.  He was killed in action on March 1, 1945.  He and Sidney Moskovitz are buried with their names on the same headstone.

Joseph A. Hrivnak served as a Corporal in the US Army during World War II.  He gave his life fighting in the Battle of the Bulge in Belgium on December 23, 1944.  He was in a tank with another soldier and both were killed.  A third soldier received a medal for trying to get them out of the tank.

The World War II Registry lists Richard L. Weichmann, a technician in the US Army during World War II, as having been killed in action.  Since the date of death is also December 23, 1944 and both he and Joseph A. Hrivnak share the same headstone, perhaps they were together in the tank.

President Pat O’Brien and Boy Scout Troop 97 await the start of the ceremony

VP Elizabeth Parrella prepares to lay wreaths

Trucks came from the entire eastern seaboard to support Wreaths Across America 2019

Anthony lays a wreath on the grave of a Spanish American War hero

Overview of our National Cemetery following the laying of wreaths.  God bless our heroes, especially those who paid the ultimate price for our freedom.

Posted in News | Comments Off on WREATHS ACROSS AMERICA

MEET THOSE WE SUPPORT

Unit 304 was privileged to support the US Army’s 2-211th General Support Aviation Battalion during their deployment in Afghanistan.  Thanks to the additional generosity of our Manhasset friends, we supplied them with both essential items and goodies that reminded them of home.  In the midst of constant danger, they still smile…and can make us smile.  God bless them for their selflessness.  We are proud to present the 2-211th GSAB!

Posted in News | Comments Off on MEET THOSE WE SUPPORT