American Legion Post 362
Commander - Tom Ricci
Officers: 1 st Vice – Keith Bender
2nd Vice – Harry Kwiek
3rd Vice – Charlie Zoerb
Adjutant – Charles Schack
Finance Officer – Gary Wald
Service Officer – Tom Ernst
Sgt.-at-Arms – Paul Pedersen
Chaplain – Ken Krieger
Historian – Joe Stapleton
Past Commander–Nat Gaghich
Volume 58, Issue 3
Congratulations to Commander Keith Bender and all the newly elected officers of Post 362. We are gratified to have young, energetic, forward-thinking members in positions of respect. This marks a new era for our 93 year old Post, following WWI, WWII, Korean War and Viet Nam veterans as primary officers. The future looks bright.
> The Post spring cleanup is Saturday, May 8th. Outside we need people with rakes, shovels and brooms. The power washer and leaf blower will be in use. Inside we need movers-especially in the basement-as we move racks, tables and empty freezers to clean behind and under. We start at 8 a.m., so if you can spare an hour or two, show up at any time in the morning. By noon we should be struck, ship-shape and squared away.
> Connect Life will be accepting blood donations 05 May and 07 July at Post 362. The VFW Chicken Barbecue will follow Memorial Day observances at Oakwood Cemetery at 11 A.M. as usual. This is their major fundraiser of the year, so get to the Post as early as you can so you won’t be disappointed.
The Erie County American Legion Convention will be held at Post 362 this year on Saturday, June 6th. We will welcome Legion Posts from all of Erie County as well as Auxiliary and Sons Squadrons and Legion Riders for the day. Every delegate will receive a “goody bag”. If you or your business has a handout, coupon, or a give- away, please see me or any committee member. Brochure ads are available, too.
The Bills Tailgate Party is a go as far as we know. Tickets are available at the bar. The date of the party is AUGUST FIRST from 1 to 5, and we plan the usual festivities, food, music, raffles, basket auctions, beer and wine, and the tailgate raffle with cash prizes and two pair of Buffalo Bills season tickets. This is our big one- day fundraiser so please consider buying a ticket or two.
Hall rentals are picking up. If you want a graduation party, dinner, luncheon, reception or shower, get in touch with our under- appreciated Hall and Grove rental attaché at 805-7183. Remember, you don't have the date until paperwork and payments have been made.
Live music with Hintz of Thunder on the First Monday, Trivia on the Second Monday, and Cruise Night on the Third Monday of each month herald the start of summer season at the Post. Remember our troops at home and away.
Keep smiling, Tom
VFW Post 205
Commander Lee Crewson
Officers: Sr. Vice Cmdr – B J Shepard; Jr. Vice Cmdr - Brian White; Quartermaster - Larry Galuski; Adjutant – Jeff Crewson; Chaplain - Ken York; Svc. Officer - Carl Swinamer; Sgt-at-arms - Norm Suttell; Judge Advocate – Keith Bender; Surgeon – Jim Suttell
All, the weather is continuing to warm up and the activities are becoming more prevalent! It feels great to back out and about! A congratulations to the new Legion Post 362 Commander, and Past VFW Post 205 Commander, Keith Bender. A strong delegation of Officers and E-Board members were elected, and I expect nothing but great things from all of them going forward. Congratulations to each electee. I am confident you will each bring positivity and energy to continue the legacy. It is my opinion that the crossover of the membership positions will do nothing but further bolster the ties between our many organizations and make each even stronger.
Our Post election nominations did occur at the meeting in April. Nominations will continue at the beginning of the May 18thmeeting and elections will take place at the close of that meeting. We do have at least one nominee for each position but again would ask all members to consider running. The vitality of our Post depends on our membership and our collective involvement.
A memorial service for Past Commander Dick Bielecki has been announced to take place at the Post in June. More details to follow. Commander Bielecki was VERY big part of our Post and the local Veterans community for many years, and he will be sorely missed.
We are looking forward to Memorial Day; VFW Post 205 will be hosting a chicken BBQ on Monday, May 31st. The sale will take place from noon until sold out. The cost per meal is $13.00. Please come out and support; both volunteers and eaters are needed!
Thank you & See you at the Post! Lee Crewson, Commander
American Legion Ladies Auxiliary
President Nancy Spink
Officers: 1st Vice – Rita Ciszak; 2nd Vice – Dawn Haney; Secretary – Kathy Kuwik; Treasurer – Wendy Lang; Chaplain – Mary Alice Grant; Historian - Sherry Palmer; Sgt-at-Arms - Joan Gillis
Hello members and I hope you are well and healthy.
Please try to attend the May 20, 2021 meeting as we will be discussing a possible change for the monthly meetings. Several members have asked for a change, so we need all members input. If you have an opinion and are not able to attend, please call myself, 989-1404 or any officer. I am also asking if anyone would be willing to Chair any of our committees. Please call me if you can. Thank you.
Stay safe and say a prayer for our troops and our nation in the time of Covid.
Sons of American Legion
Commander Ted Skarupinski
OFFICERS: 1st Vice – Steve Kraft; 2nd Vice – Rick Rejman; Finance Officer –James Collins; Adjutant – Dave Drosendahl; Chaplain – Jerry Boye; Sgt-at-Arms – Damian Redlinski; Historian – Mark Cooke; Past Commander Lenny Mazurkiewicz
Have you checked your membership card ? IF IT SAYS 2020 ON IT YOU ARE WAY OVERDUE. THE TIME TO RENEW IS NOW. STILL ONLY $20.00
THERE ARE ONLY A FEW TICKETS LEFT FOR THE RUGER 10/22 RAFFLE. YOU CAN PURCHASE THEM AT THE LEGION BAR. " ANYONE WHO HAS TICKETS THAT THEY RECEIVED AT THE BAR (Ticket No.'s 96 - 97 - 98 - 99 AND 100) PLEASE RETURN THEM SOLD OR UNSOLD BACK TO THE BAR. THESE TICKETS WERE FOR SALE AT THE BAR.
IF THEY ARE NOT RETURNED BY THE TIME THAT WE ARE READY TO PULL A WINNER THOSE CHIPS WILL NOT BE INCLUDED IN THE RAFFLE. SO PLEASE RETURN THEM AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. WHEN THE TICKETS THAT WE HAVE A RECORD OF ARE ALL TURNED IN AND THESE NUMBERS ARE NOT . THEY WILL NOT BE INCLUDED IN THE RAFFLE.
We would like to welcome a new member to the Squadron. He is FRED KLEMASHEVICH a transfer from Squadron 567, Orchard Park. When you see him at the post please give him a warm welcome.Anyone interested in HATS, T-SHIRTS or SWEATSHIRTS you can contact Jim Collins at (716) 479-4709.
Adjutant’s Report – Charles Schack
Safe deposit boxes info;
The Bank of America is closing the East Aurora branch permanently. It is closed now and will not re-open. The ATM in the Aurora plaza (Tops plaza on Grey St.) will remain. The next closest branch now open is at Union and Seneca, across from Southgate Plaza in West Seneca. The Orchard Park branch on Buffalo Rd. near the four corners is still under construction but may be open in late summer. If anyone has a safe deposit box at the East Aurora Office, they need to call Bank of America at 1-833-477-5830. I hope this information is helpful…...
President Bill Lewis – ealegion362.vietnam.
OFFICERS: Vice Pres – Tom Ernst; Secretary –Charlie Schack; Treasurer – Nat Gaghich; Chaplain – Earl Hattenberger; Historian – Bill Wright; Sgt-at-Arms – Pete Mistretta; Past President – Gary Wald
First, I would like to congratulate Keith Bender for being new commander. Second, I would like to thank Tom Ricci who has been our leader for the past 7 years he has done so much for our legion his dedication is overwhelming so thank you Commander for doing a great job. Congratulations also goes out to all the new appointments if we all work together we can make this a great Legion by a dam site. Again, cruise nights are starting up shortly and we as always need helpers. We have a new DJ his name is Jonathan so let’s hope for a great cruise season. Don't forget to stop down and see the WNY memorial motorcycle it is being displayed in the hall. Remember to thank a vet and see you all at the post.
Bar Report - Greg Hunt
HAPPY HOUR is again starting up at the Post. Anyone interested in running one please let Jenn at the Post know. It runs on Fridays from 5pm to 7pm and you will be reimbursed $60.00. Please remember to keep all our Military at home and abroad, along with all our Veterans that they are all staying safe and well. That those overseas can return to their family and friends safe and well. Friday Happy Hour returns on April 30 and will run through June. We are looking for volunteers to provide food. If you have a gastronomic specialty you would like to share with your Post family, please contact me or Jen George.With the return of summer imminent, come on down to enjoy our drink specials and frozen concoctions. Nothing like sipping a cold Margarita on the outside deck and enjoying the best waterfall show this side of Niagara.
So come on down and join us for good conversation and general camaraderie. In these COVID troubled time, remember the words of Mark Twain, “The best way to cheer yourself up is to try and cheer somebody else up.”
Flag placement for Memorial Day will be at Oakwood West cemetery at 9:00 AM on May 15th with a rain date of May 22nd at 9:00 AM. Meet at center of cemetery, look for red truck where flags will be distributed. Feel free to bring family and friends. Your assistance is greatly appreciated.
Marine Corps League – Southtowns Detachment 1136
Commandant Marcy Ramsdell
OFFICERS: Sr. Vice Cmndr- Mike Cronym; Jr. Vice Cmndr.- Bernie Bartkowiak; Sgt. At Arms- Dave Ramsdell,
Judge Advocate – Dave Miller, Chaplain – Earl Harrington; Paymaster- Margie Sly; Adjutant- Dave Miller; Historian – Merle Sly
EDITOR'S NOTE - Rick Wells
With so much change and uncertainty in our Country right now, it is time to reflect on the good fortune we share at our post. Commander Tom Ricci has done an outstanding job for us all over the past 10yrs, and I would like to thank him for his selfless dedication to each and every member. I know that Keith Bender will do the same, and I wish him much success.
I would also like to thank Tom Ernst for his work over the years as Service Officer.
Please keep the families of Bill McClure, Richard Grotke, Ted Morgan and Dan Ernst in your prayers. They have gone home to be with the Lord.
Regards, Ken Krieger
Service Officer Tom Ernst -
Dealing with the VA bureaucracy can be rather overwhelming, especially if you are just starting out. Hopefully there is help in the form of a new phone number designed to be the one to call when you don't know who to call. It is 1-800-MyVA411 (1-800-698-2411). The VA says you now need to remember just one number for information on VA care, benefits and services or - get this! - to speak to a live agent for assistance. I gave it a try and within about a minute I was connected to a live person. (Or at least she claimed to be alive.) Here's a sobering statistic. The VA says that on a single night in January 2020 there were 37,252 veterans experiencing homelessness in America, an increase of 0.4% over 2019. Ending homelessness continues to be a top priority, the VA says.
On a personal note, after 10 years as service officer I am stepping down and this is my final article. It's been rewarding.
Chaplains Report – Ken Krieger
Christ offers to help us find rest during our times of need in Matthew 11 vs 28-30:" Jesus said Come to me all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle of heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear and the burden I give you is light.
Regards, Ken Krieger
Membership – Jack Patterson
American Legion Membership Report for May 2021Congratulations to our newly elected Commander, Keith Bender. I look forward to working with Keith as his First Vice Commander. Thanks to “Past Commander” Tom Ricci for his many years as our leader. We have reached 97% of our 2021 goal. I would encourage the final 3% “RE UP ASAP” . The “My Legion.org” website has been updated. If you have previously registered you may need to reregister to get access. If you have never registered you may wish to do so. It gives you access to your Legion membership data and allows you to update or change the information. You can also renew your membership here.
In addition, the “My Legion.org” site has been revised for processing membership and running reports. There are some “bugs” and I cannot currently see who has renewed online. If you have renewed online and do not get your card in the mail, please let me know so I can take care of it. You can contact me at the email or phone listed below. We are still working to secure the final renewals we need to meet our goal. Thanks to those who have made calls and sent emails or letters. For those of you, who have reached out to fellow members for a “Buddy Check”, I thank you. I know each call I make is rewarding for me. Please try to stay in touch with fellow members. If you need names, please contact me www. Ealegion362.firstname.lastname@example.org
It’s very rewarding to have members ask if they can help other members pay the dues of those who have been hurt financially. Please contact me if you would like to accept their offer. It will remain completely confidential. You can email me at the address below or call me on my cell 716-609-1257
Welcome to Anthony Faraco and John Duerr as transferees into Post 362. Please make them feel welcome when you see them at the Post.
Over the course of the last several months, many of you have noticed the many amazing updates happening at our Post. While we aren’t done yet, the hall/ picnic grove is still available for rent.
We have many amenities including:
Presentation Ready with WiFi, Microphone Access and Power Point Capable
Access to use of 65” Flat Screen TV/DVD/Cable
Full Catering Options Available
Please contact Seija Sadowski at: ealegion362.rental@gmail .com or call the Post for more information.