Charles S. Hatch Post #79
ME 03901 Post Newsletter, December 2012
(Vol. 7, Issue 1)
Mark Pilgrim Charles E. Bogdan
Boys State: We kicked off our September meeting with a report from Mitchell Brooks, who attended the 65th session of Dirigo Boys State. Mitchell, the son of Dale and Christine Brooks, was pleased with the experience and seemed to have gained a great deal from attending. All in all, this was a very worthwhile expenditure of Post funds.
Run for the Fallen: On Sunday, August 19th, we manned two stations honoring North Berwick soldiers SPC Kyle Little and Sgt. Jeremiah Holmes, along the route of the "Run for the Fallen" in Wells, Maine. We had a minimum number of participants at each station to support the soldier's families and cheer on the many runners who participated in this event.
Annual Post Picnic: The picnic was held on September 8th and we were blessed with a clearing but windy day. Some 40 members and their families attended and had a pleasant afternoon. As usual, there was more food than could be eaten. Thanks to all who cooked and set up the event. Kudos to Frank Milinski for coordinating a fine picnic this year. Hope to see you all at next year's gathering.
Fall Raffle & Spaghetti Supper: Due to the hard work and leadership of Comrade Paul Lapierre, Chair of the Veterans and Community Affairs Committee, this year's fund raising efforts were a phenomenal success! More than 1200 books of tickets were sold, $4000.00 in prizes were raffled and the supper sold out! The Post earned about $8000.00 due to Paul and the efforts of many. Kudos and thanks to all.
Raffle Sponsors: The Post relies on the many local businesses who donate cash, gift certificates, or an item or service for the fall raffle. The net proceeds of this raffle allow us to serve veterans and the community better. Our website lists each of these sponsors. If you frequent any of these businesses, please express your gratitude for their support.
Red Cross Blood Drive. The Post and Auxiliary sponsored the American Red Cross blood drive on November 17th at the Berwick Town Hall. This drive netted 53 units of blood. The event ran smoothly with no waiting at all. The next drive is scheduled for January 26th, 2013. Appointments are strongly recommended and volunteers are still needed to help host the remaining blood drives (March 23, May 18, July 13, September 14 and November 16).
Blue Star Banners: Since the last newsletter, the Post presented a Blue Star banners to Dennis and Judy Ouelette and Robert and Joyce Place. Letters from Ann LePage, the Governor’s wife were also presented to these Blue Star Banner recipients thanking them for their children’s service to our country.
Honored: Our hard working and dedicated Post Historian, Robert Place, took first place in the State and second place in the nation in the National Headquarters Scrap Book competition. Congratulations, "Gabby!"
Veterans Day Activities: There was a good turn-out for our 11 November Veteran's Day service. Many members attended a wonderful service at the Berwick United Methodist Church beforehand and then went to Lord's cemetery to hear our guest speaker, MG Tom Needham. About 100 veterans, Boy Scouts, Cub Scouts, Brownies and citizens were on hand for the event. Additionally, many members attended Veteran's Day activities at the Great Works and Marshwood Schools in South Berwick as well as the VFW ceremony at the Town Hall. Thanks to all participants for this great show of support.
Berwick Christmas Parade: The American Legion was well represented in the Town Christmas parade with three units on December 1st. The Post provided the Color Guard comprised of Paul Lapierre, Louis Sanfacon and Jeff Chase. Auxiliary Unit 79 participated and took home a 2nd place Trophy in the Civics Division! They built and "manned" a float and should be able to give the Post some advice as we recently approved putting a float in next year's Centennial (weekend of 7-9 June 2013) and Memorial Day parades. Legion Riders Chapter 79 debuted as an official unit in the parade too.
Post Budget: This year's budget was presented by our Finance officer, Ron Vigue and is based on our best projection of income and expenses in the coming months. This will help us manage our funds better.
Committee Activities: The Goals committee was reconstituted and currently has four members (Tony Cincotta, Bob Irvine, Rodney Webber and Tom Blanchard). We would like to add two more to the rolls. If you are interested in participating in the committee's activities, please contact me to be appointed.
Post By-Laws: Modest changes were approved this fall that allow the appointment of additional post officers, including an assistant Finance Officer and Assistant Adjutant. Under the authority of the By-laws appointment of Liaison Officers to the Legion Riders (Dennis Ouellette), Auxiliary (Sheri Urbanski) and Town Centennial Committee (Andy Buckman) were also made.
American Legion Riders Chapter 79: The Post voted to approve Chapter 79 representing Charles S. Hatch Post 79. Dennis Ouellette is the first Director and 12 have signed up to date. The chapter is open to Legion members, Sons of the American Legion, Auxiliary members and member's spouses. If you ride or know someone who does, please urge them to contact Dennis at 207-216-2158 or email@example.com. The chapter completed a trip in November to the "Field of Flags" in Plaistow, New Hampshire. The "Field of Flags" is located in a field next to the Rockingham Church where 6000 flags are on display during the month of November honoring the men and women who have died in the service of their country. In addition to the flag, the names of each service man and woman are displayed.
Supporting The Troops: Auxiliary Unit 79 assembled and mailed Christmas boxes to the troops serving from Berwick again this year! Kudos to them for their time and effort in sending off six Christmas boxes to personnel currently serving overseas and 15 more to military members in country.
Post Donations: Donations from the Post to support veterans, active duty personnel, and community projects exceeded $2,375 since our September meeting. The bulk of these donations went to the following:
· $500 to the Berwick Fuel Fund to assist needy families in the community
· $200 to the Berwick Table of Plenty
· $100 to the Dover Police Department Christmas Basket Project
· $60 to the South Berwick Community Food Pantry
· $100 to the Somersworth-Berwick Community Food Pantry
· $100 to the North Berwick Christmas Project
· $900 to active duty personnel from Berwick. We sent either a $50 check as a Christmas gift and/or letters of support to all known active duty personnel from Berwick (over 20 men and women).
Post Website: Thanks to the efforts of Andy Buckman, the Post website is still self-sustaining! If you have internet access, please be sure to check our website at www.berwickmelegionpost79.org. If you have any suggestions or comments for improving or correcting the website, please forward them to Rosanne Martin, webmaster, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 698-5036.
Post Membership: Membership renewals are progressing well with only a small number of members not yet renewing. We are shooting for 100% renewals before the end of the year.
We also welcome the following new members: Jeff Chase, Leslie Weymouth, Ben Getchell, Dave Doucette, Russ Hall and Dave Gilbert.
Letters: The Post has sent letters to all persons from the Town of Berwick currently on active duty wishing them a Merry Christmas, Happy New Year and a safe return home. Many of these armed forces personnel also received a check for $50 from the Post as a Christmas gift and small token of our appreciation for their service to our country.
Sick Call: If you know of a member (or any veteran) who is ill or in need, contact Chaplain Lapierre (698-1762) or Service Officer Stevens (698-7400) and make them aware of the situation.
Since our last newsletter, we lost three members to the call of the Great Commander. We remember them and mourn the passing of the following comrades-in-arms: Warren Steeves, Keith Bowles, and Sam Mathews. Our sincere condolences go out to their families. As is our custom, the Post was well represented at their services
NOTE: All of the items listed below should appear in the Events Calendar of our Post website, www.berwickmelegionpost79.org.
Post Meetings: Tuesday, January 1st 2013 at 7:00 PM at the Town Hall and every 1st Tuesday of the following months through May.
Auxiliary Meetings: Wednesday, January 9th at 7:00 PM at the Town Hall and every 2nd Wednesday of the following months through May.
Legion Riders: Wednesday, January 30th at 6:00 PM, Dennis Ouellette’s home and every last Wednesday of the following months of the year.
Citizenship Dinner/Citizen of the Year: Saturday, April 27, 2013. Time to be announced.
Memorial Day Parade and Ceremony: May 30, 2013, Berwick Town Hall. Time to be announced.
Berwick Centennial Celebration: Friday, Saturday and Sunday, June 7, 8 & 9. Times to be announced.
Flag Day Ceremony: June 14, 2013, Berwick Town Hall. Time to be announced.
If you do not attend our regular meetings because you do not want to drive at night, or in bad weather, or just do not drive at all, but would really like to attend, call me (1-207-698-1741) or Paul Lapierre (698-1762) and we will see if we cannot arrange transportation for you.
For God and Country,