Tim Van Patten Elected New York Commander
SAL LEADERS BRING FAMILY MESSAGE;
DEPT HONORS EDUCATOR, CADET OF YEAR
|Colorful brass band blares support for Tim Van Patten|
ROCHESTER -- Timothy Van Patten is the new commander of the Department of New York. His election on July 21 for the 2012-13 term followed a rousing parade of supporters carrying campaign signs, and a colorful pinstripe-suited brass band blaring marching and patriotic tunes.
"With your help, we will have a very productive year, refueling our future," declared Van Patten, a Navy vet who served on an Oiler that refueled ships during the Vietnam War.
|NY Department Commander Tim Van Patten|
Outgoing Detachment Commander Greg "Doc" Gibbs spoke of sharing a wonderful year with Outgoing Department Commander W. Michael Bowen, and how at first he didn't quite understand Bowen's reference to "there's no rank among us." Then he realized that "we all share the same mission and have the same pay."
|Doc Gibbs and W. Michael Bowen|
Gibbs introduced his successor, 2012-13 Detachment Commander John Knapp Sr. from Broome County, who stated that his project would be to support the department commander's project and the national emergency fund. Then World War II vet Al Paviglianti made a special presentation to Knapp. "This is to conduct your meeting. This gavel belonged to your dad."
|John Knapp receives a special gavel from Al Paviglianti|
Echoing Commander Bowen's membership theme, he said, "Just ask, and give them a little education (about the legion)." To that end, he will urge all SAL members to take the American Legion Extension Institute online class about the Legion so they can be prepared to educate prospects when asking them to join.
|Chris Huntzinger, leading candidate for SAL national cmdr|
Then National SAL Commander James Roberts stepped up to the podium and said: "Good morning, fellow members of the American Legion Family."
"Good morning!" delegates roared back.
He asked the dual members of the Legion and SAL to stand. Quoting a past national SAL commander, Roberts said: "If you're not dual, you're not cool; so thanks for being cool!"
|SAL Nat'l Commander James Roberts|
His message to SAL members has been three-pronged. "We need to communicate, we need to be committed, we need to show recognition for folks doing good things." As a result, "we've accomplished a lot, and folks are coming back to renew their memberships."
He referred to the "Drive for 5" campaign, with the Sons committing to raise $5 million for child welfare. "I'm proud to say that on Nov. 17 we surpassed our $5 million goal," with the Sons raising over a half million dollars this year alone.
Once the SAL delegation departed, the Educator of the Year was honored. He is Richard Forsey of Spencerport. He said the award was a tribute to his parents, who got him to join the Legion when he returned from Vietnam, and that "all of you are educators by supporting" the many Legion and SAL programs.
|Educator Richard Forsey|
One other award highlighted the convention. Kerri Hands of Orient, NY was named the Junior ROTC Cadet of the Year. She was cadet commander in the Navy JROTC program at Southold High School. Mother Janet and sister Shannon accepted the award and scholarship on Kerri's behalf -- because she was participating in Plebe Summer at the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis. Her mother said Kerri "would like to fly Cobras for the Marines," and that her advice to other youth would be: "Keep trying. If something gets in your way, stand tall, and keep trying."
As Janet and Shannon Hands were leaving the stage, Department Adjutant Richard Pedro shouted: "Bill Hands was a pitcher for the Chicago Cubs…He's the girl's grandfather."
Legion Post Color Guard
1. Post 468
2. Post 1830
Legion County Color Guard
1. Monroe County
2. Erie County
1. 8th District
2. 7th District
SAL Color Guard
1. Seeley B. Parish
Auxiliary Unit Color Guard
1. Fagan Unit 1151
2. Chili Unit 1830
Auxiliary County Unit
Auxiliary District Unit
1. 6th District
2. 10th District
Legion Family Color Guard
1. Robert Lee Walsh Post 337
2. Utica Post 229
1. Tonawanda Post 264
High School or Junior Band
1. Sandy Creek
Pipe & Fife