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2 - November 18, 2011 | Pelham - Windham News Pelham VFW Holds Open House

by Marc Ayotte On Sunday, November 13, VFW Post 10722 in

Pelham had an open house. The event included a flag retiring ceremony, performed by Boy Scout Troops 25 and 610. According to Rita McCabe, who is the Women’s Auxiliary president, the event was for veterans as well as the general public as she “hoped to bring people in to show them

From the left: Madeline Dreusicke, Sr. VP/Ladies Auxiliary; Rita McCabe, VFW Post 10722 Ladies

Auxiliary President; and Jorg Dreusicke, VFW Post 10722 Quarter Master

Members of the Claudia Combs choir (far right) perform the National Anthem as part of the flag retiring conducted by Pelham Boy Scout troops 610 and 25

Boy Scout Troop 610 member Ryan Cummings places the first stripe of the United States flag into the fire during the flag retiring ceremony held at the Pelham VFW Post on Sunday, November 13

who we (VFW) are and what we offer.” As part of the daylong event, the VFW offered free food to

veterans and displayed informational brochures to make veterans aware of the assistance that is available to them. Rita McCabe sadly indicated that many veterans are not even aware that they are entitled to assistance and as such the Post provides hot lines for veterans to call as a means of inquiring and applying for available assistance. As part of a combined weekend-long effort of observing Veteran’s Day, the VFW joined forces with all the scouts in Pelham to raise food and money for the veterans. Scout Master Roger Patenaude of Troop 610 noted that the effort from the scouts was wide spread, saying that it involved “every scout in town - boys, girls and cubs.” The scouts were directly involved in selling ‘Poppies’ as part of generating donations during the VFW’s ‘Buddy Poppy Campaign’ – of which, all proceeds

go to veteran’s assistance programs. Additionally, Patenaude indicated that the “food collection on Friday and Saturday night collected about 1,800 items for the Pelham Food Pantry”. In the late morning, the boy scouts, under the supervision of Patenaude and Troop 25 Scout Master Tom Goss, performed a flag retirement ceremony.

Just prior to the ceremony, those in

attendance were treated to a very nice rendition of the National Anthem by the Claudia Combs choir. Always a solemn event, Patenaude differentiated between ‘burning’ the flag and ‘retiring it with honor’ in a systematic, respectful manner. The retiring of the flag involved burning each stripe on the flag separately, as each stripe has its own special significance, for instance; the third of 13 stripes on the flag represents ‘courage.’

Culminating the procedure was the retiring of the blue field, the portion of the flag which represents the Union and bares the stars which represent each state.

As an integral part of the local community,

the Pelham VFW Post is known state wide for their extensive community involvement. In August, while attending a national convention in San Antonio, TX, the National VFW Committee recognized Post 10722 by awarding them the National Community Service Award for their tireless efforts involving veterans and the community. As part of that community involvement, the VFW will be holding their next theme dinner on Saturday, December 3. The Christmas dinner show, featuring the Claudia Combs music academy choir, will begin at 5:30 p.m. and will be held inside the St. Pat’s Parish hall.

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submitted by Rita McCabe, President VFW/Ladies Auxiliary The John H. Hargreaves Memorial VFW Post 10722 and its Ladies Auxiliary has been busy this Veterans Day season. Starting with a very successful BBQ with entertainment by the new local country group the Boys of Rockingham, guests line danced the evening away. Proceeds from these events go directly to Veterans assistance programs. The VFW/ Ladies Auxiliary members, with a donation of stockings

by Pelham Walgreens, then partnered with several Pelham Girl Scout Troops, including Brownies from Troop 10034, the Pelham Mom’s Group, the Windham Senior Center, the Pelham Red Hats and donations were obtained from Margaret and Tom Case, Marie-Elaine Dinter, the Boys Scouts and many others all of which combined to create a total of 145 filled stockings which were sent to New Hampshire service men and women through the MooreMart organization. In total,

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MooreMart, over a three day period collected, sorted, filled and packaged over 4,500 stockings which will make Christmas a little brighter for the men and women from New Hampshire who are currently serving their country overseas. Within each of those stockings is a card, letter or picture which is written or drawn by area children. “Our Ladies Auxiliary treasurer, Diane Brunelle, obtained the donation of stockings from Walgreens and our Ladies Auxiliary Sr. VP, Madeline Dreusicke, worked very hard to obtain about 800 cards and letters from area schools,” stated Rita McCabe, President of the VFW Ladies Auxiliary. Schools who donated these cards include Pelham Elementary

Letters for the troops

School, St. Patrick’s School, Windham Center School and Kids N Kribs Daycare and Pre-k School in Dracut, MA. “Thank you to the many volunteers from within our Post and throughout the community who helped make this year’s VFW Post 10722 packing event a great success,” said Commander Mark McCabe. “As always, I’m very proud of our veterans and Ladies Auxiliary for all they do for fellow veterans and the community of Pelham.” On November 13, the VFW held an Open House and invited all to come partake of free breakfast/lunch, pick up literature regarding veteran’s benefits and services, Claudia Combs Music Academy (CCMA) performed patriotic songs and Boy Scout Troop 610 and 25 performed a touching flag retirement ceremony accompanied by CCMA performing the national anthem and Sean O’Marcaigh played the bagpipes. The next event for the VFW/ Ladies Auxiliary will be Saturday, December 3. All you can eat Italian/pasta dinner and holiday show in one. CCMA is presenting a fantastic holiday show with music, costumes and even a sing along. Bring your camera and take a free photo with Santa. Bring your family, have fun and kick off the holiday season by supporting local kids and veterans!!

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Staff photos by Marc Ayotte

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