2000-01-29 / Letters

Legion Says Thanks

Dear Editor;

Our Three Kings Party was one of the best parties I have ever had the pleasure of attending. Everything seemed to be taking care of itself. The St. Albans crew and buses arrived on time to be greeted by Commodore Bob Condelo and his volunteers who eagerly hustled them up the "Tony DeEsposito" ramp (it was in the teens) into the warm Legion ballroom to be welcomed by 60 or so members and friends who proceeded to sit them at the previously set dining room tables and stayed with them through most of the afternoon events.

Right off the bat you had a feeling of kindness because this had a family get-together atmosphere. We had at least nine couples (husband and wives) and several whom had their teenage children to assist in the entertaining and the serving of the seven course dinner prepared by Lou Romas and his many helpers from Ladies Auxiliary. Just a note--because of the medication taken by our disabled veterans, only soft drinks are permitted in the dining room.

Our entertainment featured stepdancer Meaghan Farley, the daughter of Mary and Dennis from the Woodhaven A.L. Post; Helen Merz, our mistress of ceremonies; and singer-publisher-songwriter-excellent story teller Bob McLoughlin (Irish and Wesyern) and Mike Doonan in community sing-a-long. Our black board races, with a built in winner in one out of every six, was and always has been one of better source of veteran entertaining. The prizes of several dollar canteen books for each "horserace" was well received (especially when the commander doubles the prizes--giving the chairman heart tremors).

The distribution of the many gifts is always a challenge--especially with a time frame--with limited space and confusion. Thank God we had the help--for each attending veteran had two-visits to the tables to select gifts. The gifts consist of sweaters, shirts, coats, dresses, pajamas, hats, underwear, portable mini-calculators, radios, etc., all donated by members of the Post and readers of The Wave, who graciously published our need for assistance.

The St. Albans first Monday visitors--Kate and Bob Pickering, Jack Domfort, Florence Elgis, and myself wish to thank each and everyone who had sent checks or donated gifts. I would be remiss if I didn't single out Tina and Bill Walsh, their family and many friends, especially Ms. Virginia Madden, who throughout these many years has provided our most needy veterans, the disabled, with clothes and toiletries gathered by their friends who make those trips to the mountains or Atlantic City.

Commander Bob Condelo thanks the Ladies Auxiliary for their assistance in the setting up, serving, and wrapping of the many gifts. He also welcomed and thanked Jim Casey, department membership chairman, for his continued interest and help with our St. Albans efforts and Jate and Sandy Doremus, 100 Precinct Community Council, for their generosity and support. He recognized Mary Steinke, past department president of VFW Ladies Auxiliary and representative of the Vietnam Veterans, and Lisa Miller, senior volunteer. He extended congratulations to recreation therapist Jim Ferris and Mike Kosinski, nurse Carrie Hautmann and the disabled veterans for their splendid cooperation in making this wonderfully memorable day.



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