The Commander's Corner
This Commander’s Corner issue finds Post 35 near the end of a very busy season!
Since my last update, we attended the Memorial Day school assemblies at the North Hampton School, Marston School and the Hampton Academy. All were wonderfully done, and our Veterans were well received! This year we focused on teaching the kids the meaning of the memorial poppy, and we distributed over 1300 memorial poppies to the school children!
Our Memorial Day ceremonies went well, and they were well attended, in spite of the threat of rain and occasional drizzle. Post 35 members attended the wake and funeral on June 5 and 6 for our beloved Colonel Paul Lessard, USMC. The Colonel was notably a long time member of the Post, but a superior officer and true gentleman. He will be missed.
We also had success this spring in generating interest in two American Legion youth programs: the High School Oratorical Contest, and Boys and Girls State. Special thanks to Mike Edgar and Bob Niver, who worked with Vice Principal Mike Daboul and the staff of Winnacunnet High School to generate interest among the students for the programs. With the help of Wendy Bergeron, a Social Studies teacher at Winnacunnet, the high school was able to field a contestant for the Oratorical: Nadiah Hamdi of North Hampton.
The Post was also able to sponsor high school junior Cormac Mahoney to Boy’s State. And to illustrate what a strong candidate Cormac was, he not only won the $1500 Samsung Scholarship at the State level, but he was a runner up for the National Samsung Scholarship, winning an additional $5000!
Since April, John Barvenik and his volunteer crew are continuing to man the concession stand at the monthly swap meet and flea market held at the New England Dragway in Epping on the last Sunday of every month. Funds raised from the sale of breakfast sandwiches,hot dogs, hamburgers, and sausage grinders, help keep the Post running, and has proven to be a great fund raiser for the Post. The crew also provided concession at two North Hampton Concerts this summer: the Fourth of July concert with the Air Force Heritage Band, and the Labor Day concert with the Blue Note Band. The hard work and dedication of the concession crew is greatly appreciated!
Chris Nevins and his “bingo buddies” are also very active on the fund raising front! These hard working volunteers run bingo every Monday, and one weekend a month, at Ocean Gaming down at Hampton Beach. These bingo days, along with our share from 10 days of charitable gaming, have proven to be another wonderful fund raiser for the Post! We appreciate the time our “bingo buddies” are volunteering for this project!
The 10th annual Wounded Warrior “Hit the Beach” event took place at Hampton’s North Beach on Friday, August 25. This year was another great year, with 30 Wounded Warriors, along with 20 spouses and 45 children signed up to try surfing! Ralph Fatello ran the program on the beach with his fellow surfers, while John Barvenik and Post 35 volunteers ran the concession stand up in the parking lot. A long day for all, but well worth it!
Desi Lanio and the 401 Tavern in Hampton hosted an End of the Summer Oktoberfest on Sunday, September 10, as fund raiser for Post 35. It was a great time with German food and beer, and live music by the Old Bastards! Desi, one the biggest supporters of Post 35 in the area, presented us with a check for $2675! But in light of the devastation caused by Hurricane Harvey in Texas, and the threat of Hurricane Irma in Florida, the Post Executive Board elected to donate the check to the American Legion National Emergency Fund to be used to help our fellow Legionnaires who were affected by the hurricanes.
The next day, September 11, we conducted our annual GWOT Monument Rededication. Unfortunately, we had to add another name to the monument, SSG David J. Whitcher, USA. We had a large crowd, with over 350 in attendance. Our guests included families of our fallen heroes, and New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu. Governor Sununu was quite impressed with our ceremony, and told us that we had a “home run” here for the state of New Hampshire!
Post 35 supported the Run for the Fallen New Hampshire which was held on Sunday, September 17 at Odiorne State Park in Rye. Post 35 members not only manned a water table at the finish line and helped supervise parking, but served as Hero Buddies, standing a vigil by photos of our fallen heroes for those families that are unable to attend. Another great way to get out and honor our fallen heroes and serve our community at a very worthwhile event!
Next year, we are honored as a Post to take over the administration of the Run for the Fallen.
On October 5, Post 35 hosted a spaghetti dinner and Court of Honor for Boy Scout Troop 177. Post 35 is the charter organization for the Troop, and we started the annual spaghetti dinner as a way to show our support for the Scouts.
Coming up in November , we have the annual Veterans Appreciation Breakfast, put on by the New England Shores Baptist Church. That will be held on Saturday, November 4, from 8 am to 10 am at the Post. We enjoy a great relationship with the Church, and they always put on a great breakfast for us! Veterans , families, and friends are invited.
Also on November 4 is the ever popular Veterans Appreciation Dinner at the Post, starting at 6 pm. It is catered by Joe’s Meat Shoppe, and the menu for the dinner is prime rib, mashed potatoes, butternut squash, rolls, gravy, and pie. We can only seat 100 people, so make your reservations with me, at: firstname.lastname@example.org, or my cell phone 603-918-7847, or contact Joe Kutt at email@example.com. Cost of the meal is $15 per person. Each member is allowed one guest.
This is also the season for school assemblies, and for the first time in a while, we have been invited to the Exeter High School for an assembly on Wednesday, November 8, from 10 am to noon. There is lunch afterward. If interested, please contact Debby Harrison, at 603-395-2400. On November 9, the Hampton Academy is having their Take a Veteran to School day. That will start at 8:20, and we are still looking for volunteers, not only for the Academy, but also for the Marston School, which is where the 6th grade is located because of the renovations at the Academy.
The North Hampton School will be having their assembly also on November 9, at 8:30 am. All veterans are invited!
Marston Elementary School will have their assembly on November 9, at 10 am.
And lastly, our Post once again exceeded our annual membership goal set by the Department! Not only do we have more members joining the Post, we have more members attending the meetings, and that is a great sight to see! We want to try to attain 100% by the end of the year, so if you haven’t paid your 2018 dues yet, please try to get them in by December 20!
Let’s make 2018 another great year for the Post!
Thanks for all you do!
Post 35 Legion Hall
Post 35 is nestled in the quiet, seacoast town of Hampton, New Hampshire and located at 69 High Street. The building boasts two floors containing a main meeting and event hall as well as an event hall including a small stage on the second floor.
The Hamptons, American Legion Post 35
69 High Street
Hampton, New Hampshire 03842