The September meeting of Manhasset Unit 304 of the American Legion Auxiliary included the installation of two Officers. Alice Guariglia became the new recording Secretary and Anne Hedberg continued in her position as Corresponding Secretary. The membership is grateful to them and the other officers of Unit 304 (who were installed in June) for their contributions to the American Legion Auxiliary’s objective of assisting veterans, active military and their families.
In addition to the officer installation, the meeting featured presentations by three very enthusiastic Empire Girls State citizens from our Manhasset schools who were sponsored for the program by Manhasset Unit 304. Their families also attended the meeting. Julia Greco of Saint Mary’s High School and Emma Fleishman and Lauren Moschitta of Manhasset High School each spoke of what they considered to have been a life-changing experience. They met other young women from all over New York State, many with completely different backgrounds from their own. Some even lived on farms and in rural settings (very different from Manhasset) but, regardless of lifestyles, they all had some very important things in common – a love of learning and a great desire to understand our two-party system, the legislative process and other aspects of the inner workings of government. Our three citizens from Manhasset ran for offices in their fictitious 51st state and met with success, even if it took several tries.
Julia Greco was elected District Attorney of her county. She also served on the Homeland Security committee for her party. She spoke of how moved she was by a presentation by one of our veterans, and how it has motivated her to form a club at St. Mary’s to write letters to our veterans and our troops serving overseas.
Emma Fleishman ran for the offices of county senator and Commissioner of Environmental Conservation, and she was elected to both positions. She spoke of the comradery she experienced at Empire Girls State, and how the knowledge gained there made her a better citizen. She was very committed to informing other students about the program and the benefits she gained from it.
Lauren Moschitta served on the Platform Committee for her party, and was elected Commissioner of Environmental Conservation for her county. She talked about how hard everyone worked, staying up late to prepare campaigns. She also said that she learned a great deal and that the presentations she made helped to improve her public speaking abilities.
In addition to campaigning for office, they learned how to prepare Bills and to present them before more than 300 peers. They mentioned the level of self-confidence this helped them achieve and the desire they now had to participate positively in government at different levels. They also learned about respect for the American flag and the contributions made by our veterans. They sincere gratitude for the opportunity and their desire to spread the word about the program. They summed it up as “AWESOME!”
On leaving they were tasked with continuing to learn about our nation and its issues, to educate themselves before they mark their future ballots and to vote at every opportunity, regardless of how small the election.
Left to Right: President Pat O’Brien, Chaplain Florence Parrella, newly installed Corresponding Secretary Anne Hedberg, newly installed Recording Secretary Alice Guariglia and Vice President and Treasurer Elizabeth Parrella
Left to Right: President Pat O’Brien, Julia Greco of St. Mary’s High School, Emma Fleishman of Manhasset High School, Vice President and Treasurer Elizabeth Parrella and Lauren Moschitta of Manhasset High School.
Emma Fleishman addresses Unit 304
Julia Greco addresses Unit 304
Lauren Moschitta addresses Unit 304