OP-ED: SENATOR GREG BALL THANKS COMMUNITY FOR VETERANS EVENTS
Over the last few months we hosted three large events all focused on saying ‘thank you’ to our veterans. In September, we hosted a bus trip allowing dozens of World War II veterans to visit the World War II Memorial built in their honor at the National Mall in Washington DC. In November, we hosted our third annual Veterans Hall of Fame, honoring 27 veterans for their service to our country and including them on a traveling Wall of Fame. Then most recently, we hosted the third annual Veterans Thanksgiving Dinner, where over 800 veterans and their guests were treated to a free Thanksgiving meal.
You might ask yourself, ‘how can a small State Senate staff organize these enormous events?’ The answer is, we can’t. These events are made possible, at zero cost to tax payers, thanks to the outpouring of community support from local businesses, organizations and literally hundreds of volunteers.
While it would be impossible to list everyone that helped out at these events in this letter, I would like to mention some of the businesses and organizations that were especially helpful.
The World War II trip was made possible by dozens of donations from community members and local businesses including a generous $2,500 donation from the Northeast Regional Council of Carpenters and an entire breakfast sponsored by ShopRite of Cortlandt Manor. Other businesses that donated food and services include: FirstLight Homecare, Bucci’s Deli, Sauro’s Deli, Patterson Deli, Competitive Telecoms Group, Putnam County Hospital and Dante’s Deli II.
The Hall of Fame Ceremony couldn’t have been possible without the help of local Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Dale Beatty of Purple Heart Homes, Hawthorne American Legion, Larry Cassidy on the bagpipe, Mahopac Central School District including Superintendent Thomas Manko and John Wilson, the PACappellas, Putnam County Civil Air Patrol, and so many more.
Serving 800 veterans over 70 turkeys is no small feat. By the end of this event, we had well over 200 volunteers and dozens of businesses that helped make this wonderful day possible. Some of those that were instrumental are: Ace Endico, Arturo’s, Astoria Federal Savings in Somers, BJ’s Wholesale Club, Brewster Schools, Lakeland Schools, Mahopac Schools, Bucci Brothers Deli, Camp Kiwi, CAPGEN Financial, Cardillo’s Super Deli, Carmel Diner, Clocktower Grill and Bar, Cecilia Delgado, Costco, Croton Rotary, Dante’s Trattoria, Froggy’s, Greek Village Restaurant, Hannaford, Krasdale foods, Las Mañanitas, Le Fontane, Local Boy Scouts, Local Girl Scouts, Mamma Rosa’s Ristorante, Mahopac American Legion Post 1080, Mahopac Seniors, Mamma Rosa, Pasqual’s Pizzeria, Military Order of the Purple Heart Chapter 21, Michele Rogers, Patterson Diner, PepsiCo, Primavera, Route 6 Tap House, Shoprite of Bedford, Somers Diner, Somers Delicattesen, Southeast Grille, Stan Mersand, Taste, Traditions 118, VA Hudson Valley Health Care System Outreach Program, Villa Barone and so many more.
Looking forward, our next mission is to provide winter clothing to our veterans in need. There is currently a very serious shortage of coats and personal care items at the Hudson Valley VA Hospitals. Veterans at both the Montrose and Castle Point Hudson Valley VA Hospitals are in need of t-shirts, diabetic socks, underwear, warm coats, gloves and hats for the winter.
No veteran should go cold, or without his or her basic necessities this winter, so I am pleased to announce that in partnership with my Faith Based Advisory Council and my Veterans Advisory Council, my office is hosting a clothing drive. Once again, we need community support!
Residents can drop off clothing during normal business hours at my district office located at 1441 Route 22, Suite 205 in Brewster, NY 10509. For more information contact (845) 279-3773 or email me email@example.com.
Over this holidays season it is so important that we take time to honor and remember our veterans who have fought for the freedom that we are able to enjoy today. I am so proud to live in this great community and I thank you all for joining us in our salute to New York’s heroes.
Senator Greg Ball
40th Senate District