American Legion Post 362
Commander - Keith Bender
Officers: 1 st Vice – Jack Patterson
2nd Vice – Bill Lewis
3rd Vice – Larry Galusk Jr.
Adjutant – John Franz Jr.
Finance Officer – Paul Petersen
Service Officer – Ken York
Sgt.-at-Arms – Hank Durski Jr.
Chaplain – Ken Krieger
Historian – Joe Stapleton
Past Commander–Tom Ricci
Volume 58, Issue 6
Welcome to a new legion year! I’d like to thank the members of the outgoing executive board for their 50+ years of combined service to our post. I’d also like to recognize and thank Past Commander Tom Ricci for his time and energy over the last 8 years as Commander. I look forward to working with Tom, and everyone else, to continue to make this an incredible post.
As we are all aware, this weekend is Memorial Day, and we will be returning to our normal Memorial Day Procession and Ceremony. All are invited and encouraged to attend. The Procession will assemble at 10:15am at the Hamlin Park parking lot on South Grove Street and will step off at 10:30am. The ceremony will begin at the Oakwood Cemetery at 11am. Please come out and honor our fallen. Afterwards, stop down to the post for some camaraderie and grab a great VFW Chicken BBQ Dinner!
Many of you have already heard from me regarding how I see the next year, but I’d like to take the opportunity to just let everyone know how I see things:
1. First, I despise the answer “This is the way we have always done it.” – The way we have always done it may very well be the best way, but we must look critically at these questions and see if what we are doing currently makes sense both financially and operationally;
2. Second, we have a lot of “single points of failure” here at our post. We need to make sure all of our events/operations are run by committees that provide the required depth, so that if one person is suddenly no longer around, the event/operation doesn’t fail;
3. Third, effective immediately all Executive Board meetings are being opened up to the general membership and representatives of all of our Legion family organizations. I recognize that there will be times when the meetings must be closed to deal with personnel or disciplinary issues, but overall, nothing we do should be done in secret. We all have the right to see how our organization is being operated;
4. Finally,issues will be addressed head-on. We are a tight knit family, and we need to stay that way. Unaddressed issues fester into problems, and problems cause division. Division can stop our family members from being active members, and we can’t afford that.
The ticket sales for the Bills Tailgate Party are selling like hot cakes! Please get yours soon! The Party will be held on Sunday August 1st, and contrary to the printing on the tickets, the live music will be provided by Crossbones (not the Bone Shakers). For those of you still holding outstanding tickets, the early bird drawing is on June 10th, please get your sold tickets into the post before that date.
Final plans for East Aurora’s July 4th celebration, and Veterans Day at the Erie County Fair, remain undecided. I promise that, if allowed, our participation will be as normal. Stand-by for further information on both events.
Thank you for your support and see you at the Post!
VFW Post 205Commander-Larry Galuski
Officers: Sr. Vice Cmdr – B J Shepard; Jr. Vice Cmdr - Nick Schieman; Quartermaster – Jeff Crewson; Adjutant – Dave Nachreiner;
Chaplain - Len Bradley; Svc. Officer - Dean Brewer; Sgt-at-arms - Norm Suttell; Judge Advocate – Lee Crewson; Surgeon – Jim Suttell
All, summer is nearly upon us and this new season brings a new Leadership team to VFW Post 205. I want to congratulate newly elected Commander, Larry Galuski, and the rest of the newly elected and appointed Officers.
As I find myself in the waning days of my tenure, this will be my final Sentinel address as the Commander of VFW Post 205. I cannot begin to tell you the level of joy and honor I have felt to have been in this position for 3 years and working alongside the great members of this post and our partner organizations.
It takes the efforts of many to make our community grow and thrive and I want to thank everyone that has pitched in, big or small, over the years as every little bit helps. Thank you all for the support and comradeship.
Especially, during the pandemic, our Post was able to raise more money and help more people and organizations then in previous years. This is a testament to the hard work and dedication of the men and women of our team and their families. The post truly went above and beyond and persevered despite the ever-changing regulatory landscape.
I am turning over the post to a phenomenal group of guys and I know this new leadership team will do fantastic work as they begin in their new roles. They’re each great individuals, rooted in strong values, and I am confident their team will carry our robust legacy forward for years to come and I will continue to support them in every way possible.
Also, a reminder, the memorial service for Past Commander Dick Bielecki will take place at 11:00 am at the Post on Saturday, June 12th. Please come out to pay respects to a man who was a very big proponent of our community.
Again, a very heartfelt thank you to all for the support and comradeship.
Lee Crewson, Past 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
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 RENEWED YOUR MEMBERSHIP ??? IT IS NOW OVERDUE. ONLY $20.00
First off, we want to wish Rick Rejman a speedy recovery from his heart surgery. He is at home and doing well. The last winner we had in our gun raffle was BOB JOYCE. He won the RUGER 10/22 , 22 lr. rifle. Our next firearm up for raffle is a 9mm CANIK TP9SF pistol. Only 108 tickets will be sold and as of now there is a limited amount available. Some tickets are available at the Legion Post Bar.
We would like to welcome 3 new members to the Squadron. They are Anthony Lombardo of East Aurora, James Bauth of East Aurora and Matthew Hartley of East Aurora (Manassas, VA). When you see then at the post, please give them a warm welcome.
Please remember to keep all our Military and Veterans in your thoughts and prayers. Protect yourself, we are not through this COVID yet.
Adjutant’s Report – Charles Schack
This will be my last article as the Post 362 Adjutant for the past 15 years, four different Commanders and many other board members who have served our post to keep it one of the best in Western New York. Special thanks to Tom Ricci for his leadership and guidance for the past seven years and I wish the best for our new Commander, Keith Bender, Adjutant John Franz Jr. and all the other new officers and board members. I will still be around to help the new officers get settled and will still Captain our Honor Guard and do other small chores as needed. Stay safe everyone....
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
I am pleased to announce the cruise night was a big success 177 cars. Many thanks go to all our volunteers, you guys did a fantastic job. I would also like to thank all the people who donated prizes and other goods. Congratulations go out to all the new officers and e-board members. Mark your calendar July 25 is our annual chicken barbecue. Remember to thank a vet, see you at the post
Bar Report - Greg Hunt
June means the start of summer. Perfect opportunity to stop down to the Post, relax in air- conditioned comfort in the Bar Room or enjoy the scenery on the deck.
Now that the pandemic is hopefully on the wane, the mask requirements are relaxed. If you have been fully vaccinated, no mask is required.
So, join us for a cold beer or one of our signature frozen concoctions.
As Winston Churchill famously said, “I have taken more out of alcohol than alcohol has taken out of me.”
Thank You to all who helped with flag placement at three cemeteries on 5/15. In particular some Akton Club members, Boy Scouts, some General Mills employee veterans, Legion members and others. It is a special honor to decorate graves with flags for Memorial Day.
Thanks to All!
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
June 14th commemorates the adoption of the flag of the United States by Resolution of the Second Continental Congress.
Please replace worn or tattered flags. There is a recepticle in the Legion basement for flag retirement.
Thank you to all who helped with the Post cleanup on May 8th. Your work was much appreciated.
It is important to trust in the Lord.In Isaiah 40 vs 31 God promises:" those who trust in the Lord will renew their strength! They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint."
Service Officer Tom Ernst - firstname.lastname@example.org
Chaplains Report – Ken Krieger
Please keep the families of Dominick Prisinzano and Daniel Long in your prayers. They have gone home to be with the Lord. Also please keep Carl Swinamer in your prayers and any other of our comrades who are dealing with illness and hospitalization. Former commander Bill McGee is now residing at Fox Run and I'm sure would enjoy a phone call or a visit.
Membership – Jack Patterson
American Legion Membership Report for June 2021
We have reached 99% of our 2021 goal. I would encourage the final 1% “RE UP ASAP” We only need 5 more to reach 100%. We have reached out to all of the holdout members to encourage them to renew.
Overall, all Erie County American Legions have achieved 91% of the county goal. 4 Posts have exceeded 100%. So, in comparison we have done well. To reach 100%, a post must sign up enough new members or transferees to replace the deceased members as well as those who have transferred out or just decided to let their membership lapse. With the Pandemic restrictions it has been hard to meet veterans and recruit them to join. I’m in hopes that next year will be better.
The “My Legion.org” website has been updated. If you have previously registered you may need to re-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.
Welcome to John Teach as a transferee into Post 362. Also, Tracy Crewson has rejoined Post 362. Please make them feel welcome when you see them at the Post.
American Legion Riders - Chapter 362
Director Don Butcher OFFICERS: Secretary – Paul Pedersen, Treasurer – Pat Pedersen, Sgt-at Arms - Ben Antonio; Road Cpt – Ray Herter
The riding season is here. Our meetings start at 9:00 AM on the first Saturday of the month until September. The Riders are presenting Happy Hour at the bar on May 14th. Rider members are urged to attend and help out. Food is served from 5:30 to 7:00 PM.
The Memorial Day weekend rides are; May 29th, 100 Mile ride for veterans in need, Warsaw NY; May 30th, Marilla Parade, Meet at Yellow Goose (20A & Two Rod Rd) at 10:30 to ride to Marilla as a group. May 31st, Spraguebrook Park Ride, NOT SCHEDULED AT THIS TIME.
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.