Two New Officers Installed and Empire Girls State Citizens Address Membership

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.

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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

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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.

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Emma Fleishman addresses Unit 304

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Julia Greco addresses Unit 304

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Lauren Moschitta addresses Unit 304

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Manhasset Unit 304 Mourns the Loss of Betty O’Connor

Mary Elizabeth O’Connor was a devoted member and a cherished friend to many of us.  She served as the Chaplain of our Unit for many years .  She was the mother of 6, the grandmother of 18 and the great grandmother of 10 children.  Betty loved her God, her family, her community and her country.

Betty joined our Unit in 1996 and was presented with her  20-Year Certificate at our luncheon in June.  The Certificate was not a recognition just of time spent, but rather of time well spent.  Betty attended all of our meetings and always shared in the fun at an Oktoberfest, a BINGO night and a St. Patrick’s Day party.  She supported our veterans and our active military through her participation in all of our fundraisers and always voted yes when it came to designating funds for them.  Until this year, she helped us obtain donations for Poppies at the side door of St. Mary’s.  She participated in the Veterans’ Day Parades, the Memorial Day Services and the Memorial Day Parades and award ceremonies.

Betty was a teacher at Shelter Rock School for 23 years and retired just prior to the loss of her beloved husband, Gene.  Betty certainly gave back to the community she loved, not only as a teacher, but also as a former Board member of the Manhasset Community Club.  Her love for St. Mary’s led her to become a Eucharistic Minister and a member of the Rosary Society and the Social Ministry.  She was one of the founders of a bereavement program and FOCUS or Friends Offering Care, Understanding and Support to those who were divorced, single or widowed.  She visited the home-bound and the sick at North Shore Hospital and St. Francis Hospital.  Betty thoroughly enjoyed the North Hempstead Country Club and often invited friends to join her for lunch or a special celebration.  She could often be found enjoying a game of Bridge at the home of a friend.

Betty’s spirit will always remain with us in the American Legion Auxiliary and will surely continue to be a positive force for good within St. Mary’s.

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President Patricia O’Brien Honored by Nassau County

Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano announced that Patricia O’Brien is Nassau County’s 2016 “Senior Woman of the Year.”  Pat was presented an award at the 42nd Annual May Conference in observance of Older Americans Month on May 19th at the Long Island Marriott in Uniondale.  Pat represented Nassau County in Albany at the 2016 Senior Citizens Day Recognition Event  Ceremony on May 10th.

County Executive Mangano said, “It is my distinct honor to present Patricia as Nassau County’s 2016 Senior Citizen “Woman of the Year.”  Her dedication to homeless and struggling Long Island veterans, children of veterans and active duty military in war zones truly illustrates why Patricia is deserving of the recognition accorded to her.”

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County Executive Mangano with Pat and Donald O’Brien

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L to R: 2016 Ms. New York Delores Hofman; Victoria Meyerhoefer, Director, Nassau County Office for the Aging;  2016 Senior Man of the Year Joseph Borelli; County Executive Edward Mangano; 2016 Senior Woman of the Year Patricia O’Brien; Lisa A. Murphy, Commissioner, Nassau County Department of Human Services; John Cochran, Assistant Director of the Executive Division, New York State Office for the Aging 

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Members of American Legion Post 304 Celebrated with Pat and Donald

Pat and Ladies

Linda Clarke, Pat O’Brien, Ann Marie Moschitta, Anja D’Angelo, Liz Miller

 

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Unit 304 Recognizes Three Outstanding Youth

Unit 304 recognized three members of our youth community for the good works they perform related to the mission of the American Legion Auxiliary.  Each received a Certificate of Appreciation and a gift card to Amazon.  Their family members also attended our Unit meeting on April 20th where we had a special cake and other refreshments for all.

Each of the students individually approached us and told us what they were able to do to assist us, if we wanted their help.  All of them succeeded in their efforts for us. 

Our senior awardee was one of our Empire Girls State citizens last year and also our Poppy Queen in the Memorial Day Parade.  Julia Henry spoke with the advisor of her Social Studies Honor Society and asked for approval to have the members help obtain items for our troops in Afghanistan.  She planned an afternoon at Raindew with the members.  They made flyers, set up tables to collect items and stayed at Raindew soliciting the support of customers for our military.  Some people shopped at Raindew and donated items.  Others made monetary donations.  The Honor Society used the donations to shop at Raindew for items on the list.  They then wheeled shopping carts full of supplies to the American Legion hall and helped to pack them for mailing.  They filled at least 20 boxes.

Our junior awardee helped at several of our collection drives and packing marathons for our troops in Afghanistan.  When Lauren Moschitta heard about the November standdown, she came up with a plan to have a clothing drive.  She prepared a “Letter to the Editor” for the Manhasset Press announcing the drive, produced a flyer, and set up donation sites.  She also spoke with the manager of Raindew who donated many new warm items.  She collected 276 articles of warm clothing with a value of approximately $2,825.  She then packed up the items with the assistance of her family and two unit members and donated the clothing to us for distribution at the standdown in November.  She also followed up with a thank you letter that appeared in the Manhasset Press.

Our sophomore awardee has taken our Unit into this century because of his technological expertise.  Daniel Miller asked if we would like to have our own website.  So we began to work on it together at his home.  We spent many nights around the dining room table so there is a piece of each member of his family in the final product.  He was a great architect for the website.  He gave us a living website that allows us to add to it with each new event or project that we undertake.  It actually serves as a history of our year.  We thank Dan for bringing us into the present technologically and for giving us a platform to help the community understand our commitment to veterans, God and country.

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Vice President Elizabeth Parrella (L) and President Pat O'Brien (R) with Julia Henry

Lauren Moschitta

Daniel Miller

 

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Manhasset Unit 304 Initiates New Members

We are proud to announce that Unit 304 now has three new members.  Kathleen Sharkey and Ann Marie and Lauren Moschitta were initiated into the Manhasset American Legion Auxiliary Unit 304 at the Unit’s meeting on April 20th.  We welcome them and are grateful for their willingness to support the programs and purposes of the American Legion Auxiliary.

Vice President Elizabeth Parrella (L) and President Pat O'Brien (R) with Ann Marie Moschitta, Lauren Moschitta and Kathleen Sharkey

Vice President Elizabeth Parrella (L) and President Pat O’Brien (R) with Ann Marie Moschitta, Lauren Moschitta and Kathleen Sharkey

 

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Manhasset Unit 304 Mourns the Loss of Veronica Brooks

Ronnie Brooks was a faithful and devoted wife, mother, grandmother, teacher and friend. Many knew her as their child’s first grade teacher at Munsey Park School.  Others knew her as a religious education teacher at St. Mary’s.

Ronnie  believed in giving back.  She joined the American Legion Auxiliary in 2007 and truly lived our motto, “Service not Self, for Veterans, God and Country.”  She held two officer positions, Recording Secretary and Sergeant-At-Arms.  She would say that she would do anything that was needed, just as long as someone showed her how.  And she did.  She exemplified commitment and dedication despite the challenges of a serious illness during the past few years.  She was truly a faithful member of the American Legion Auxiliary.  She distributed Poppies each year at St. Mary’s, at King Kullen and at the Memorial Day Parade to raise funds for veteran programs.  If we were packing boxes for our military in Afghanistan, Ronnie was there to help.  She served on our Selection Committee for our annual Americanism award for graduating seniors. She never missed a Unit meeting, any of our luncheons or fund raising events, and she always marched in the Memorial Day parade.

Ronnie supported  the Nassau County American Legion Auxiliary through her attendance at conferences, monthly meetings and annual dinners.  She supported American Legion events locally and at the County level and attended the Nassau County Commander’s Ball just one month ago.  Ronnie never stopped willingly.  She only stopped when God called her home.

Many St. Mary’s parishioners will remember the Brooks family entering St. Mary’s on Easter each year as the children were growing up.  Ronnie and her two daughters were always wearing Easter bonnets.  Easter must have held very special meaning for Ronnie.  God called her home at Easter, and just as we are celebrating the joy of His Resurrection here on Earth, she is now experiencing the even greater joy of sharing in His Resurrection in Heaven.  We will remember Ronnie with pride and gratitude for her works and for the positive example she has given to so many.

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Vice President and Treasurer Elizabeth Parrella Honored by the Town of North Hempstead

On March 16, 2016 Manhasset Unit 304 Vice President and Treasurer Elizabeth Parrella was enrolled as a member of the Town of North Hempstead’s Women’s Roll of Honor at a Breakfast hosted by Supervisor Judi Bosworth, Town Clerk Wayne H. Wink, Jr. and the North Hempstead Town Board at the Clubhouse at Harbor Links.  This honor is given to women of the Town of North Hempstead who give selflessly of themselves for the betterment of their community.

Unit 304 is very proud of the work that Elizabeth performs in support of our community, our youth, our veterans, and our active military.  Congratulations, Elizabeth, on your many accomplishments and thank you for your selfless commitment!

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Elizabeth Parrella (left) with her Mom, Florence Parrella:20160316_095030

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Manhasset Unit 304 Mourns the Loss of Ruth Lee Needham

Ruth Lee Needham was a member of the American Legion Auxiliary for over 42 years. Her membership is actually longer since her mother enrolled her when she was a young girl as a Junior member.  Ruth Lee was a former member of the Port Washington Unit who joined Unit 304 upon the closing of the Port Washington Unit .

Ruth Lee touched the lives of countless veterans during those years, one of whom was her husband, Bob, to whom she wrote a letter each day of his military service.   Bob saved them all.  Ruth Lee was also a true role model for young women.  At a time when it was not so fashionable, she graduated from college with a double major in economics and sociology.  That was in 1948 when less than 29% of those enrolled in colleges were women.  Now it’s over 57% so Ruth Lee was definitely ahead of her time.

She was a devoted wife, loving Mom successful businesswoman and a giving volunteer.  Her life was characterized by service beginning with her earliest days as a Girl Scout and then continuing as a Girl Scout Leader.  She did extensive work with her husband Bob for the Lion’s Club and was a very active member of St. Stephen’s Church in Port Washington.

Ruth Lee was an Empire Girls State citizen and we are very proud that she served as our Empire Girls State Chairperson for several years.  This is a wonderful program each year for more than 300 girls who are juniors in high school from all over New York State.  They meet for one week at a college campus and undergo an intense, hands-on experience in learning about our form of government.  By serving as Chairperson, Ruth Lee assisted young women in becoming informed voters and maybe even political leaders.

Ruth Lee’s contributions to our American Legion Auxiliary will not be forgotten. She had a tremendous influence upon our communities and lived our motto, “Service Not Self for Veterans, God and Country.”

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Empire Girls State Citizens Speak to Unit 304

As is the tradition for Manhasset Unit 304, the sponsored 2015 Empire Girls State Citizens, Julia Henry and Elizabeth Guariglia, attended the September Unit meeting to discuss their experiences in June and early July when they met with other citizens to form a fictitious 51st state.  Both young women found the week to be a real period of learning that increased their understanding of our nation’s two-party system.  They met other young women from all over New York State who had also just completed their junior year in high school  and they quickly learned of the state’s diversity.  After running for office, participating in elections, and proposing and defending bills, both Julia and Elizabeth came away with a deeper appreciation for our country and a strong commitment to being informed future voters.

If you are currently a young woman in junior year at either Manhasset High School or St. Mary’s High School and are interested in attending this year’s Empire Girls State Program, please speak to your Guidance Counselor immediately.  Manhasset Unit 304 will again sponsor young women for Empire Girls State which is scheduled for June 26, 2016 – July 2, 2016 at the College of Brockport in Brockport, NY .  Interviews will be conducted by members of Manhasset American Legion Auxiliary Unit 304 in January.  To learn more about Empire Girls State, please see their website http://www.empiregirlsstate.org/

Elizabeth Guariglia Julia Henry

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Unit 304 Celebrates 40th Anniversary

40th Anniversary cake

Manhasset Unit 304 of the American Legion Auxiliary proudly celebrated its 40th Anniversary on September 16 at Post 304.  In addition to Unit members, Nassau County American Legion Auxiliary Officers attended as well as members of American Legion Post 304 and an Officer of the Nassau County American Legion.  Town of North Hempstead Supervisor Judi Bosworth attended with staff members along with representatives of Nassau County Legislator Richard Nicolello and Assemblywoman Michelle Schimel.  The elected officials presented citations to the Unit.  Legislator Nicolello awarded a citation to Florence Parrella, Department Unit Member of the Year.  State Senator Jack Martins also gave the Unit two Citations.

The Charter was draped in red, white and blue.  All Charter Members were recognized and our two living Charter Members received Awards.  Our Past Presidents received awards and pins and a 48-year member of the American Legion Auxiliary, June R. Mackey, was recognized with a Continuous Membership Certificate. All of those mentioned received beautiful red, white and blue corsages.

Nassau County American Legion Auxiliary President Yvonne Brunner presented the Unit with a desktop stand with the US and POW/MIA Flags to be used at Unit meetings. 

American Legion Post 304 graciously donated pizzas for the evening and a cake for the 40th Anniversary celebration was served.

Left to Right: Charter Member Helen Miserendino with President Pat O'Brien and Vice President Elizabeth Parrella

Left to Right: Charter Member Helen Miserendino with President Pat O’Brien and Vice President and Treasurer Elizabeth Parrella

Members of Unit 304 with Nassau County American Legion Auxiliary Officers

Members of Unit 304 with Nassau County American Legion Auxiliary Officers

Left to Right: Unit Chaplain Florence Parrella, President Pat O'Brien, Nassau County American Letgion Auxiliary Staff, President Yvonne Brunner, First Vice President Sonja Neal, Second Vice President Mary Ann Busa, Unit Vice President Elizabeth Parrella

Left to Right: Unit Chaplain Florence Parrella, President Pat O’Brien, Nassau County American Legion Auxiliary Staff ( President Yvonne Brunner, First Vice President Sonja Neal, Second Vice President Mary Ann Busa), Unit Vice President and Treasurer Elizabeth Parrella

Florence Parrella (Center) with Citation from Senator Jack Martins

Florence Parrella (Center) with Citation from Legislator Nicolello

 

48-Year Member June R. Mackey (center)

48-Year Member June R. Mackey (center)

Left to Right: President Pat O'Brien, Past Unit 304 Presidents Barbara Pierce and Teddy Bogner, Vice President Elizabeth Parrella

Left to Right: President Pat O’Brien, Past Unit 304 Presidents Barbara Pierce and Teddy Bogner, Vice Presidentand Treasurer Elizabeth Parrella

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