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Larece Galer brings you the latest military news. To submit items for this column or the online listings, send them to: The News-Herald, Attn.: Larece Galer, 7085 Mentor Ave., Willoughby, OH 44094; fax to 440-975-2293; or via email to LGaler@News-Herald.com.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Reading the mail

I receive a number of magazines and newsletters from the various groups that I belong to and write about, and I find them all interesting.
The articles often refer to a historical event that the group was involved in or that is of interest to the membership. One newsletter contained an article highlighting the life and demise of actress Veronica Lake, the girl with the “peek-a-boo hair.”
Another highlighted a real “Rosie the Riveter” who has volunteered on the B-29 “Doc” project since May 2000. She began on the B-29 assembly line as a teenager and worked on all of the 1,644 B-29’s that came out of the Boeing plant in Wichita, Kansas. This young lady recently celebrated her 90th birthday and is still going strong.
Bob Brice Sr. of Willoughby took the time to send me a photo of the B-29 nose art on his plane “The Flying Nightmare.” Brice, a staff sergeant in the Air Force, was the former crew chief on the plane. He included a narrative of the plane’s last flight that took the lives of all of the crew in September 1955, about six months after Brice returned to the United States.
The articles, newsletters and magazines all get read cover to cover. Grandmother always said to learn something new each day.

VFW Post 2595 Men’s Auxiliary serves breakfast
The Veterans of Foreign Wars Men’s Auxiliary of Post 2595, 570 New St. in Painesville, will serve breakfast beginning at  9 a.m. April 19. The breakfast is open to the public. For details, call 440-354-9090.

Veteran Orientation at Cleveland VA hospital
Veterans are invited to learn about medical and mental health services, pharmacy information, eligibility status, priority groups, co-payment information and more at the upcoming Veteran Orientation.
The event takes place from 10 to 11:30 a.m., April 24 at Louis Stokes Cleveland Veterans Affairs Medical Center, 10701 East Blvd. in Cleveland. Please RSVP to the local community clinic in your area or by call Judy K. Zamlen-Spotts, community outreach coordinator at 216-791-2300, ext. 4172.

Legion now serving lunch
American Legion Post 336, 60 Chester St. in Painesville, will now be serving lunch 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday and Wednesday. Choose from a fried bologna sandwich for $2.50; or a bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich for $3.50.
The menu for Tuesday and Thursday will be cheeseburgers for $3. The canteen opens at 9 a.m. Monday through Sunday. For details or information, call the post home at 440-357-7711.

Spaghetti dinner at VFW
Ladies Auxiliary of VFW Post 4358, 29412 White Road in Willoughby Hills, will host a spaghetti dinner from 3 to 5 p.m. April 26 at the post home.
The dinner is by reservation only and deadline for tickets will be April 19. Tickets are $8 per person and available at the post home.
For details call the post at 440-944-1642 or Rosina Drenski at 440-944-4903.

Last-chance pancake breakfast benefits vets
American Legion, Geauga County Council will host a last-chance pancake breakfast benefit for Geauga County veterans in need.
The benefit will be 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. April 19 at the Burton American Legion Post 459, 14052 Goodwin Ave. in Burton.

Deepwood Run begins at Gunny’s Hall
The Deepwood Run will be 9 a.m. April 19 at Gunny’s Hall, 8720 Twinbrook Road in Mentor.
The run is $15 per person and will feature a breakfast buffet with bloody marys, a Chinese auction and raffles. Event proceeds will help enhance the quality of life for people with developmental disabilities.
Tickets may be purchased online at thedeepwoodrun.org or by calling 440-350-5209.

Fundraiser helps Boulevard of Flags
Boulevard of Flags will host its annual fundraiser from 6 to 11 p.m. April 24 at the Patrician Party Center, 33150 Lakeland Blvd. in Eastlake.
Tickets are $35 and include a sit-down dinner with open bar. Proceeds will benefit the Boulevard of Flags at 35150 Lake Shore Blvd. in Eastlake. To purchase tickets, call Joe Strand at 440-942-9344 or Lois Sbrocco at 440-946-3439.

13th annual Rally for the Troops
The 13th annual Rally for the Troops will take place at 11 a.m. April 26 at the Greater Cleveland Veterans Memorial, between Saint Clair and Rockwell avenues, west of East 6th Street in Cleveland. The location has been changed because of the ongoing construction at Public Square.
Group rides will leave from many of the Northeast Ohio Harley Davidson dealerships to the rally. Call in advance to determine the plans for each dealership.
For details, call John “Kiks” Kikol at 440-263-8121 or kiksharley@aol.com.

Celebrate mother at VFW post
A Mother’s Day Brunch will be hosted by the Ladies Auxiliary of VFW Post 4358, 29412 White Road in Willoughby Hills, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. May 10.
Tickets in advance are $10 per person or $5 for children ages 5 through 10. Tickets must be purchased by May 3 at the post canteen from 3 to 9 p.m. For details, call Rosina Drenski at 440-944-4903.

Operation S.T.A.T. Open House
Operation S.T.A.T. (Standing Tall for American Troops) will host an open house May 16 at VFW Post 3863, 33641 Vine St. in Eastlake.
The group will offer free hamburgers and hot dogs at the event, and will educate the public and veterans about services offered by Operation S.T.A.T. Other military organizations have been invited and will be on hand to answer questions, provide information and promote their organizations. The event is open to the public.

To submit items for this column or the online listings, send them to: The News-Herald, Attn.: Larece Galer, 7085 Mentor Ave., Willoughby, OH 44094; fax to 440-975-2293; or via email to LGaler@News-Herald.com.

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Friday, April 10, 2015

B-29 ‘Doc’ inches closer to flight

The B-29 “Doc” is slowly inching its way to flight.
The restoration began in 2007 when the aircraft returned to its birthplace in Wichita, Kansas, for a complete restoration. The aircraft sat at Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake in Ridgecrest, California, before being selected from about 30 airframes to be rebuilt and restored.
The restoration has been done with a dedicated team of volunteers and the hope is that “Doc” will fly at EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, this year. “Doc” was rolled out of the hangar at McConnell Air Base in Wichita on March 23, 70 years to the day that it originally was delivered to the Army Air Forces.
I have been watching the restoration of this war bird since it began the journey back to an airworthy airplane. I have seen B-29 aircraft on the ground only in static displays and am hoping to see it flying later this year. The dedicated volunteers from all over the country have taken great time and care to breathe life back into this war bird.

Spaghetti dinner 
helps cadets
Civil Air Patrol Squadron 252 of Painesville will host a spaghetti dinner from 5 to 8 p.m. April 11 at American Legion Post 336, 60 Chester St. in Painesville.
Cost is $6 per dinner and includes homemade spaghetti sauce, and meatballs, salad, bread and a dessert. Dine in or take out.
For details, call the post at 440-357-7711.

Blessing of the Bikes at Willowick Post
American Legion Post 678, 570 E. 328th St. in Willowick, will host the second annual Blessing of the Bikes April 12. The parking lot will open at 10 a.m., with the blessing at noon.

Fundraiser benefits 
6-year-old
American Legion Family of Post 214, 4304 Center St. in Willoughby, will host a fundraiser beginning at 3 p.m. April 18 at the post home.
Proceeds will benefit 6-year-old Kallie Kramp, who has been diagnosed with neuroblastoma. Dinner tickets are $10.
A basket of cheer and an iPad mini with a keyboard case will be raffled off. Tickets are $5 each for the raffle. DJ Trenda will entertain from 7 to 11 p.m. Donations are being gratefully accepted.
Call 440-942-7762 after 3 p.m. for more information.

Wickliffe post hosts 
polka party
American Legion Post 7, 29919 Euclid Ave. in Wickliffe, will host a polka dance beginning at 6:30 p.m. April 18.
Tickets are $25 per person and include beer, wine and ethnic foods. Patty C and the Guys will entertain.
For more information or tickets, call the post home at 440-585-4191.

Last-chance pancake breakfast benefits vets
American Legion, Geauga County Council will host a last-chance pancake breakfast benefit for Geauga County veterans in need. The benefit will be 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., April 19 at the Burton American Legion Post 459, 14052 Goodwin Ave. in Burton.

Pancake and sausage breakfast in Burton
Burton-Middlefield American Legion Post 459, 14052 Goodwin St. in Burton, will host a pancake and sausage breakfast from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. April 12 at the post home.
Adult breakfast is $9 and the child’s portion for ages 12 and younger is $5.
For more information, call 440-635-0223.

Catholic War Veterans host membership drive
The Catholic War Veterans of Lake, John Paul II Post 1959, will host a membership poppy drive at Mount Carmel Catholic Church in Wickliffe on April 18 and 19 at all Masses.
The members also will be selling tickets for the Super Raffle that will be Oct. 24 at the Patrician Party Center in Eastlake during the Annual Reverse Raffle.
 Grand prize will be $5,000.
Tickets can be purchased from any CWV member. For more information, call Bill Varga at 440-352-2315.

Deepwood Run begins 
at Gunny’s Hall
The Deepwood Run will be 9 a.m. April 19 at Gunny’s Hall, 8720 Twinbrook Road in Mentor.
The run is $15 per person and will feature a breakfast buffet with bloody marys, a Chinese auction and raffles. Event proceeds will help enhance the quality of life of people with developmental disabilities.
Tickets may be purchased online at thedeepwoodrun.org or by calling 440-350-5209.

Fundraiser helps 
Boulevard of Flags
Boulevard of Flags will host its annual fundraiser from 6 to 11 p.m. April 24 at the Patrician Party Center, 33150 Lakeland Blvd. in Eastlake.
Tickets are $35 and include a sit-down dinner with open bar. Proceeds will benefit the Boulevard of Flags at 35150 Lake Shore Blvd. in Eastlake.
To purchase tickets, call Joe Strand at 440-942-9344 or Lois Sbrocco at 440-946-3439.

13th annual Rally
for the Troops
The 13th annual Rally for the Troops will take place at 11 a.m. April 26 at the Greater Cleveland Veterans Memorial, between St. Clair and Rockwell avenues, west of East 6th Street in Cleveland.
This year, the location has been changed because of the ongoing construction at Public Square.
The ceremony will begin at 11 a.m. with Monica Robbins of WKYC-TV Channel 3 as master of ceremonies. After a reading of the names of Ohio’s Fallen Heroes from Operation Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom, there will be a post-rally gathering at Rock-N-Roll City Harley-Davidson, 14550 Lorain Ave. in Cleveland, from 12:30 to 3 p.m. with food and entertainment.
Group rides will leave from many of the Northeast Ohio Harley Davidson dealerships to the rally, call in advance to determine the plans for each dealership.
For details, call John “Kiks” Kikol at 440-263-8121 or kiksharley@aol.com

To submit items for this column or the online listings, send them to: The News-Herald, Attn.: Larece Galer, 7085 Mentor Ave., Willoughby, OH 44094; fax to 440-975-2293; or via email to LGaler@News-Herald.com.

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Thursday, April 2, 2015

Magazine brings back memories of ‘Smilin’ Jack’

I was recently given a copy of the magazine Volunteer by a friend who is a member of the Painesville Civil Air Patrol.
Knowing I liked aviation, he thought I would enjoy the magazine full of stories about flying and the Civil Air Patrol. I was surprised to find a story about “Smilin’ Jack’” a cartoon character who flew airplanes. I had no idea there was a comic strip by this name, it’s the same name I’ve been calling this friend for several years. The nickname fits, because he is always smiling.
The comic began in 1933 and ran on the comic pages until 1973, when “Smilin’ Jack” retired. The creator, Zack Mosley, was a member of the Civil Air Patrol Squadron that flew from Coastal Patrol Base 3 in Lantana, Florida, eventually becoming a colonel in the Civil Air Patrol.
The nationally syndicated cartoon was seen all over the country.
The patrol helped with submarine spotting and chasing during the war along the coast. At the time, civilian single-engine planes were outfitted with small bombs in case they had the opportunity to hit an enemy ship. Today, the Civil Air Patrol teaches young people about aviation and search and rescue.
The Painesville squadron will host a spaghetti dinner at American Legion Post 336, 60 Chester St. in Painesville, on April 11. The dinner will be served from 5 to 8 p.m. and is $6 per person.
Proceeds will benefit cadets attending the annual encampment this summer.

Fish fry at Fairport Harbor VFW Post 7754
Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 7754, 540 New St. in Fairport Harbor, will host a fish fry lunch and dinner on April 3 at the post home. Lunch will be served 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and dinner 4 to 7 p.m. Carryout will be available. For details or to order a meal, call 440-352-1123.

Gunny’s Hall closed 
for Easter
Gunny’s Hall, 8720 Twinbrook Drive in Mentor, will not serve breakfast on April 5 because it will be closed for Easter Sunday. For details or questions, call the hall at 440-974-9380.

Pancake and sausage breakfast in Burton
Burton-Middlefield American Legion Post 459, 14052 Goodwin St. in Burton, will host a pancake and sausage breakfast from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. April 12 at the post home. Adult breakfast is $9 and the child’s portion for ages 12 and younger is $5. For more information, call 440-635-0223.

Blessing of the Bikes at Willowick Post
American Legion Post 678, 570 E. 328th St. in Willowick, will host the Second Annual Blessing of the Bikes April 12. The parking lot will open at 10 a.m., with the blessing at noon.

Fundraiser benefits
6-year-old
American Legion Family of Post 214, 4304 Center St. in Willoughby, will host a fundraiser beginning at 3 p.m. April 18 at the post home.
Proceeds will benefit 6-year-old Kallie Kramp, who has been diagnosed with neuroblastoma. Dinner tickets are $10.
A basket of cheer and an iPad mini with a keyboard case will be raffled off. Tickets are $5 each for the raffle. DJ Trenda will entertain from 7 to 11 p.m. Donations are being gratefully accepted.
Call 440-942-7762 after 3 p.m. for more information.

Wickliffe post host 
polka party
American Legion Post 7, 29919 Euclid Ave. in Wickliffe, will host a polka dance beginning at 6:30 p.m. April 18.
Tickets are $25 per person and include beer, wine and ethnic foods. Patty C and the Guys will entertain. For more information or tickets, call the post home at 440-585-4191.

Catholic War Veterans host membership poppy drive
The Catholic War Veterans of Lake, John Paul II Post 1959, will host a membership poppy drive at Mount Carmel Catholic Church in Wickliffe on April 18 and 19 at all Masses.
The members also will be selling tickets for the Super Raffle that will be Oct. 24 at the Patrician Party Center in Eastlake during the Annual Reverse Raffle. Grand prize will be $5,000
Tickets can be purchased from any CWV member. For more information, call Bill Varga at 440-352-2315.

Deepwood Run begins 
at Gunny’s Hall
The Deepwood Run will be 9 a.m. April 19 at Gunny’s Hall, 8720 Twinbrook Road in Mentor.
The run is $15 per person and will feature a breakfast buffet with bloody marys, a Chinese auction and raffles. Event proceeds will help enhance the quality of life of persons with developmental disabilities. Tickets may be purchased online at thedeepwoodrun.org or by calling 440-350-5209.

Fundraiser helps 
Boulevard of Flags
Boulevard of Flags will host its annual fundraiser from 6 to 11 p.m. April 24 at the Patrician Party Center, 33150 Lakeland Blvd. in Eastlake.
Tickets are $35 and include a sit-down dinner with open bar. Proceeds will benefit the Boulevard of Flags at 35150 Lake Shore Blvd. in Eastlake.
To purchase tickets, call Joe Strand at 440-942-9344 or Lois Sbrocco at 440-946-3439.

Open house 
for Operation STAT
The First Operation STAT Open House will be May 16 at VFW Post 3863, 33641 Vine St. in Eastlake.
Standing Tall for American Troops will offer free hamburgers and hot dogs at the event. The open house will educate the public and veterans of the services offered by the organization.
Other military organizations will be invited and be on hand to answer questions, provide information, and promote their groups.
The event is open to the public.

PLAVA hosts golf outing
The Polish Legion of American Veterans and Auxiliary Ladies Auxiliary Chapter 31 of Cleveland will host an Armed Forces Day Golf Outing to Benefit Greater Cleveland Fisher House, beginning at 7 a.m. May 16.
Tickets are $70 per person. Call 216-337-8997 or 216-337-8996 for tickets or information.

To submit items for this column or the online listings, send them to: The News-Herald, Attn.: Larece Galer, 7085 Mentor Ave., Willoughby, OH 44094; fax to 440-975-2293; or via email to LGaler@News-Herald.com.

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Thursday, March 26, 2015

Best meals in town? Try your local post

There will come a day when people realize what a great deal meals at the local posts can be.
I have had many of them and have never been disappointed. The fact that the food is priced right and most of it is homemade only adds to the dining pleasure.
The Lenten fish dinners are some of the best during the year. Each post does the meal just a little bit different, so a dinner at one post may not be exactly the same at a second post. If you have not already stopped by a local post and gotten a fish dinner, you only have one more Friday before Easter.
The posts serve a variety of dinners all year and the menu is as different as each post. I have seen everything from a frog legs dinner to an old fashioned hamburger meal in the same week at different posts. Finding something to suit everyone should not be a problem.
I think the best part of these meals is the fact that proceeds benefit post home projects, veterans in need or community projects that the post would be helping with.
So stop and get a dinner, keep Mom out of the kitchen and enjoy a meal that helps the community and its veterans.

Abbey Rodeo appears
at Willoughby Post
The sixth annual fundraiser for VFW Post 1500, 38295 Pelton Road in Willoughby, will be 6 p.m. March 28 at the post home. Abbey Rodeo will perform at 8 p.m.
Tickets are $10 for members and $12 for nonmembers. There will be a special offered for those who join the post. To purchase tickets, call 440-669-3495 or the post at 440-951-9233.

Pancake and sausage breakfast in Burton
Burton-Middlefield American Legion Post 459, 14052 Goodwin St. in Burton, will host a pancake and sausage breakfast from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. April 12 at the post home. Adult breakfast is $9 and the child’s portion for those ages 12 and younger will be $5. For more information, call 440-635-0223.

Painesville post serves up 
chicken dinners
VFW Post 2595, 570 Liberty St. in Painesville, will host a chicken dinner beginning at 5 p.m. March 28 at the post home. Dinners are $5 per person. For details call 440-354-9090.

Fundraiser for 6-year-old
American Legion Family of Post 214, 4304 Center St. in Willoughby, will host a fundraiser beginning at 3 p.m. April 18 at the post home.
Proceeds will benefit 6-year-old Kallie Kramp, who has been diagnosed with neuroblastoma, Kallie is an auxiliary junior member, daughter of an auxiliary member and granddaughter of Fred Brown, a member of the Sons of the American Legion.
Dinner tickets are $10. A gas grill will be raffled, with tickets priced at $5. There also will be sideboards, a 50/50 drawing, Chinese auction, door prizes and a bake sale. DJ Trenda will entertain from 7 to 11 p.m.
Donations for the auction are being gratefully accepted.
Call 440-942-7762 for more information.

Wickliffe post host polka party
American Legion Post 7, 29919 Euclid Ave. in Wickliffe, will host a polka dance beginning at 6:30 p.m. April 18.
Tickets are $25 per person and include beer, wine and ethnic foods. Patty C and the Guys will entertain. For more information or tickets, call the post home at 440-585-4191.

Catholic War Veterans
host membership poppy drive
The Catholic War Veterans of Lake, John Paul II Post 1959, will host a membership poppy drive at Mount Carmel Catholic Church in Wickliffe on April 18 and 19 at all Masses.
The members also will be selling tickets for the Super Raffle that will be Oct. 24 at the Patrician Party Center in Eastlake during the Annual Reverse Raffle. Grand prize will be $5,000. Tickets can be purchased from any CWV member.
For more information, call Bill Varga at 440-352-2315.

Fundraiser helps Boulevard of Flags
Boulevard of Flags will host its annual fundraiser from 6 to 11 p.m. April 24 at the Patrician Party Center, 33150 Lakeland Blvd. in Eastlake.
Tickets are $35 and include a sit-down dinner with open bar, Chinese auction, door prizes, sideboards and a 50/50 raffle. Proceeds will benefit the Boulevard of Flags at 35150 Lake Shore Blvd. in Eastlake.
To purchase tickets, call Joe Strand at 440-942-9344 or Lois Sbrocco at 440-946-3439.

PLAVA hosts golf outing
The Polish Legion of American Veterans and Auxiliary Ladies Auxiliary Chapter 31 of Cleveland will host an Armed Forces Day Golf Outing to Benefit Greater Cleveland Fisher House, beginning at 7 a.m. May 16.
Tickets are $70 per person and include coffee and doughnuts, lunch at the turn, green fees and cart, and full buffet dinner at PLAVA Post 31, 850 E. 200th St. in Cleveland, immediately following.
Prizes for the longest drive, closest to the pin, longest putt, a raffle and door prizes will be part of the fun.
Call 216-337-8997 or 216-337-8996 for tickets or information.

West G military alumni wanted
West Geauga High School wants all alumni who have served in the United States military to contact the school. The alumni association is compiling a list of those who served to be included on a memorial plaque that will be permanently displayed in the high school.
To be included, please submit information to kim.rataiczak@westg.org or call 440-729-5930.

To submit items for this column or the online listings, send them to: The News-Herald, Attn.: Larece Galer, 7085 Mentor Ave., Willoughby, OH 44094; fax to 440-975-2293; or via email to LGaler@News-Herald.com.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

West G military alumni wanted

West Geauga High School is looking for alumni who served in the United States military. The school will be installing a plaque for permanent display, listing the names of those men and women.
Veterans who wish to be included are asked to provide the year of graduation from West Geauga High School, the branch of service they served in and their rank.
“We have about 200 names at this time,” said Kim Rataiczak of the Alumni Office. “We hope to have a small ceremony in May when the plaque is completed.”
The list will be updated from time to time to include those who will be serving in the future.
For a name to be included on the plaque, call Kim Rataiczak at the West Geauga Alumni office at 440-729-5930 or email her at  kim.rataiczak@westg.org.

Rolling Thunder at Piston Power Show
Rolling Thunder Chapters 1, 2 and 8 will again be working for donations to fund Greater Cleveland Fisher House at the Piston Power Show, taking place March 19 through 21 at the I-X Center in Cleveland.
At 3 p.m. March 21, there will be the march to the main stage. The Brook Park Marines will lead, with the Cleveland Young Marines following.

Military show at Lakeland
The Lakeland Militaria Collectors Show will be March 20 and 21 at the Lakeland Community College main gym, at 7700 Clocktower Drive in Kirtland. This is a buy, sell or swap event, and no firearms or ammunition will be permitted at the show.
Tickets are $4 for adults and $2 for children. For details, call Dean Becker at the Lakeland Campus Police Department at 440-525-7241.

Pancake breakfast hosted by fraternity
Kappa Sigma fraternity at Lake Erie College in Painesville will volunteer its time to host a pancake breakfast as part of the organization’s Military Heroes Day of Service event.
The members will serve the breakfast from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. March 21 at First Church of Christ, 422 Mentor Ave. in Painesville.
Tickets for the adult breakfast, in advance, will be $7 and for seniors or LEC students. Tickets at the door will be $8 for everyone. Tickets will be sold on campus March 16 through 20 between 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. in the Holden Center.

Abbey Rodeo appears at 
Willoughby Post
The sixth annual fundraiser for VFW Post 1500, 38295 Pelton Road in Willoughby, will be 6 p.m. March 28 at the post home. Abbey Rodeo will perform at 8 p.m.
Tickets are $10 for members and $ 12 for nonmembers. There will be a special offered for those who join the post. To purchase tickets, call 440-669-3495 or the post at 440-951-9233.

Pancake and sausage breakfast in Burton
The Burton-Middlefield American Legion Post 459, 14052 Goodwin St. in Burton, will host a pancake and sausage breakfast from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. April 12 at the post home. Adult breakfast is $9 and the child’s portion for those ages 12 and younger will be $5. For more information, call 440-635-0223.

Fundraiser for 6-year-old
American Legion Family of Post 214, 4304 Center St. in Willoughby, will host a fundraiser beginning at 3 p.m. April 18 at the post home.
Proceeds will benefit 6-year-old Kallie Kramp, who has been diagnosed with neuroblastoma.
Dinner tickets are $10. A gas grill will be raffled, with tickets priced at $5. There also will be sideboards, a 50/50 drawing, Chinese auction, door prizes and a bake sale. DJ Trenda will entertain from 7 to 11 p.m.
Call 440-942-7762 for more information.

Wickliffe post host polka party
American Legion Post 7, 29919 Euclid Ave. in Wickliffe, will host a polka dance beginning at 6:30 p.m. April 18.
Tickets are $25 per person and include beer, wine and ethnic foods. Patty C and the Guys will entertain. For more information or tickets, call the post home at 440-585-4191.

Catholic War Veterans host membership poppy drive
The Catholic War Veterans of Lake, John Paul II Post 1959, will host a membership poppy drive at Mount Carmel Parish in Wickliffe on April 18 and 19 at all Masses.
The members also will be selling tickets for the Super Raffle that will be Oct. 24 at the Patrician Party Center in Eastlake during the Annual Reverse Raffle. Grand prize will be $5,000. Tickets can be purchased from any CWV member.
For more information, call Bill Varga at 440-352-2315.

Fundraiser helps Boulevard of Flags
Boulevard of Flags will host its annual fundraiser from 6 to 11 p.m. April 24 at the Patrician Party Center, 33150 Lakeland Blvd. in Eastlake.
Tickets are $35 and include a sit-down dinner with open bar, Chinese auction, door prizes, sideboards and a 50/50 raffle. Proceeds will benefit the Boulevard of Flags at 35150 Lake Shore Blvd. in Eastlake. To purchase tickets, call Joe Strand at 440-942-9344 or Lois Sbrocco at 440-946-3439.

PLAVA hosts golf outing
The Polish Legion of American Veterans and Auxiliary Ladies Auxiliary Chapter 31 of Cleveland will host an Armed Forces Day Golf Outing to Benefit Greater Cleveland Fisher House, beginning at 7 a.m. May 16.
Tickets are $70 per person and include coffee and doughnuts, lunch at the turn, green fees and cart, and full buffet dinner at PLAVA Post 31, 850 E. 200th St. in Cleveland, immediately following.
Prizes for the longest drive, closest to the pin, longest putt, a raffle and door prizes all will be part of the fun. Call 216-337-8997 or 216-337-8996 for tickets or information.

To submit items for this column or the online listings, send them to: The News-Herald, Attn.: Larece Galer, 7085 Mentor Ave., Willoughby, OH 44094; fax to 440-975-2293; or via email to LGaler@News-Herald.com.

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Wednesday, March 11, 2015

WWII veteran honored on his 100th Birthday

Robert (Bob) Lukes of Chester Township recently was honored with a presentation of a United States flag by Geauga County Veterans Service officials and a proclamation from Geauga County Probate and Juvenile Court Judge Timothy J. Grendell.
Lukes was honored in celebration of his 100th birthday. The World War II veteran served from 1941 to 1946 as a first lieutenant with the 487th Bombardment Group of the U.S. Army Air Corps. Lukes was in charge of ordnance loading on aircraft that were part of the massive bombings of Nazi manufacturing, transportation and military targets in Germany.
Stationed in Suffolk, England, from April 1944 to August 1945, he was on the base when Nazi “buzz” bombs rained down. The bombs hit the base’s outer perimeter, barely missing a direct hit.
Following the ceremony, Lukes was joined for lunch by family members and the residents of Amelia Grace Assisted Living, followed with a birthday cake for dessert.
Lukes worked as a quality control engineer for American Stamping in Euclid for 42 years before retiring. He was married for 62 years to his wife, Evelyn, who passed away in 2002. The couple raised two children.
The Chester Township resident credits his longevity to never smoking or drinking alcohol.
Bob Lukes enjoying the Birthday celebration with his son Ken and daughter-in-law Judi Lukes.


Corned beef just around the corner

Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2595, 570 Liberty St. in Painesville, will host a corned beef hash breakfast beginning at 9 a.m. March 15 at the post home.
For details, call the post at 440-354-9090.

VFW Post 3863, 33641 Vine St. in Eastlake, will celebrate St. Patrick’s Day from noon to 8 p.m. March 15 with corned beef dinners, sandwiches and Reubens; and on March 17 with corned beef sandwiches and Reubens. For details, call the post home at 440-942-3980.

Col. Justice M. Chambers Detachment 555, 8720 Twinbrook Drive in Mentor, will serve corned beef sandwiches or dinners March 17 at Gunny’s Hall. For information, call 440-974-9380.

American Legion Post 214, 4304 Center St. in Willoughby, will offer Reuben or corned beef sandwiches with fries and cole slaw from  5 to 11 p.m. March 14. The sandwiches will be $10. The evening also will include side boards, a 50/50 raffle and door prizes.

VFW Post 336, 60 Chester St. in Painesville, will serve corned beef sandwiches, potato salad and chips from noon to 4:30 p.m. for $9, followed by corned beef dinners from 5 to 7:30 p.m. for $11, on March 17. For details, call the post home at 440-357-7711.

Rolling Thunder at Piston Power Show
Rolling Thunder Chapters 1, 2 and 8 will again be working for donations to fund Greater Cleveland Fisher House at the Piston Power Show, taking place March 19 through 21 at the I-X Center in Cleveland.
At 3 p.m. March 21, there will be the march to the main stage. The Brook Park Marines will lead, with the Cleveland Young Marines following.

Military show at Lakeland
The Lakeland Militaria Collectors Show will be March 20 and 21 at the Lakeland Community College main gym, at 7700 Clocktower Drive in Kirtland. This is a buy, sell or swap event, and no firearms or ammunition will be permitted at the show.
Tickets are $4 for adults and $2 for children. For details, call Dean Becker at the Lakeland Campus Police Department at 440-525-7241.

Pancake breakfast hosted by fraternity
Kappa Sigma fraternity at Lake Erie College in Painesville will volunteer its time to host a pancake breakfast as part of the organization’s Military Heroes Day of Service event.
The members will serve the breakfast from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at First Church of Christ, 422 Mentor Ave. in Painesville.
Tickets for the adult breakfast will be $7 and for seniors or LEC students $5 in advance. Tickets at the door will be $8 for everyone. Tickets will be sold on campus March 16 through 20 between 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. in the Holden Center.

Abbey Rodeo appears at Willoughby Post
The sixth annual fundraiser for VFW Post 1500, 38295 Pelton Road in Willoughby, will be 6 p.m., March 28 at the post home. Abbey Rodeo will perform at 8 p.m.
Tickets are $10 for members and $ 12 for nonmembers. There will be a special offered for those who join the post. To purchase tickets, call 440-669-3495 or the post at 440-951-9233.

Fundraiser for 6-year-old
America Legion Family of Post 214, 4304 Center St. in Willoughby, will host a fundraiser beginning at 3 p.m. April 18 at the post home.
Proceeds will benefit 6-year-old Kallie Kramp, who has been diagnosed with neuroblastoma.
Dinner tickets are $10. A gas grill will be raffled, with tickets priced at $5. There also will be sideboards, a 50/50 drawing, Chinese auction, door prizes and a bake sale. DJ Trenda will entertain from 7 to 11 p.m.
Call 440-942-7762 for more information.

Wickliffe post host polka party
American Legion Post 7, 29919 Euclid Ave. in Wickliffe, will host a polka dance beginning at 6:30 p.m. April 18.
Tickets are $25 per person and include beer, wine and ethnic foods. Patty C and the Guys will entertain. For more information or tickets, call the post home at 440-585-4191.

Fundraiser helps Boulevard of Flags
Boulevard of Flags will host its annual fundraiser from 6 to 11 p.m. April 24 at the Patrician Party Center, 33150 Lakeland Blvd. in Eastlake.
Tickets are $35 and include a sit-down dinner with open bar, Chinese auction, door prizes, sideboards and a 50/50 raffle. Proceeds will benefit the Boulevard of Flags at 35150 Lake Shore Blvd. in Eastlake.
To purchase tickets, call Joe Strand at 440-942-9344 or Lois Sbrocco at 440-946-3439.

PLAVA hosts golf outing
The Polish Legion of American Veterans and Auxiliary Ladies Auxiliary Chapter 31 of Cleveland will host an Armed Forces Day Golf Outing to Benefit Greater Cleveland Fisher House, beginning at 7 a.m. May 16.
Tickets are $70 per person and include coffee and doughnuts, lunch at the turn, green fees and cart, and full buffet dinner at PLAVA Post 31, 850 E. 200th St. in Cleveland, immediately following.
Prizes for the longest drive, closest to the pin, longest putt, a raffle and door prizes will all be part of the fun. Call 216-337-8997 or 216-337-8996 for tickets or information.

To submit items for this column or the online listings, send them to: The News-Herald, Attn.: Larece Galer, 7085 Mentor Ave., Willoughby, OH 44094; fax to 440-975-2293; or via email to LGaler@News-Herald.com.

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Wednesday, March 4, 2015

French Legion of Honor Award goes to long-time Lake County resident

Joe DiFranco was presented the French Legion of Honor Award at American Legion Post 214 in Willoughby on Feb. 22.
The 92-year-old received the honor in front of about 80 onlookers. DiFranco was awarded the medal by honorary French Consulate Stephen J. Knerly.
A longtime Lake County resident, DiFranco was a member of the Army’s 862nd Engineer Aviation Battalion during World War II. Serving in France, Belgium and Germany, he earned a Purple Heart for wounds sustained during a Luftwaffe bombing raid.
The barracks he was in took a direct hit, injuring DiFranco and two others, one of whom was trapped under a large beam.
“I don’t know where I got the strength when I lifted that beam,” DiFranco said. All three were seriously injured, but survived the attack.
It took almost a year for the French Legion of Honor Award to be processed. The award from the French government is a tribute to the soldiers who fought to free France from the Axis powers.
In addition to the French Legion of Honor Medal, DiFranco earned the Good Conduct Medal, the Purple Heart, Honorable Service Lapel Button, Expert Army Marksmanship Qualification Badge of the M1 rifle and the World War II Victory Medal.
He is the proud father of Steven DiFranco and Diana Everett and grandfather to John Ours, Adam Ours and Dr. Alice Ours Vitiello.

Honor guard available
American Legion Post 459, 14052 Goodwin St. in Burton has an honor guard available with a few days’ notice to perform a full military funeral service to honor any service man or woman at their passing.
For details call 440-834-8764, please leave a message if no one answers.

Gunny’s Hall Sunday morning breakfast buffet
Gunny’s Hall, 8720 Twinbrook Drive in Mentor, offers a Sunday morning breakfast buffet from 9 a.m. to noon.
Cost is $7.50 with additional menu items at reasonable prices. For details, call 440-974-9380.

Polka dance at Post 7 in Wickliffe
American Legion Post 7, 29919 Euclid Ave. in Wickliffe, will host a polka dance beginning at 6:30 p.m. April 18 at the post home.
Tickets are $25 per person and will include beer, wine and ethnic foods. Patty C & the Guys will play. All are welcome. For details, call 440-585-4191.

SAL offers Lucky Shoots on Saturdays
Sons of the American Legion Post 112, 6671 Middle Ridge Road in Madison, offers Lucky Shoots beginning at 9 a.m. every Saturday through March 14.
Sign-up begins at 9 a.m. and shoots begin at 10 a.m. Full shoots are $30. For details, call the post at 440-428-7893.

Militaria Collectors Show at Lakeland
Lakeland Community College, 7700 Clocktower Drive in Kirtland, will host a Militaria Collectors Show March 20-21 in the main gym.
Admission for the show is $4 for adults and $2 for children. The public is welcome and parking is free. For details, visit www.lakelandmilitaryshow.info or call Dean Becker at the Lakeland Campus Police Department at 440-525-7241.

Willowick post rents hall
American Legion Post 678, 570 E. 328th St. in Willowick, has a banquet hall for rent.
The hall’s capacity is 200 people and it’s ideal for weddings, reception, parties and gatherings. Contact the post for more information at 440-943-9659 or post 678@sbcglobal.net.

Sixth annual fundraiser at Willoughby VFW
Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1500, 38295 Pelton Road in Willoughby, will host its sixth annual fundraiser beginning at 6 p.m. March 28 at the post.
Abbey Rodeo will perform at 8 p.m. The event also will feature a 50/50 raffle and sideboards.
Proceeds will benefit VFW Charities.
Tickets are $10 for VFW members and $12 for nonmembers. A special will be offered for membership sign-up. For tickets, call 440-669-3495 or the post at 440-951-9233.

Blessing of the Bikes April 12
American Legion Post 678, 570 E. 328th St. in Willowick, will host a Blessing of the Bikes on April 12.
The parking lot will be open at 10 a.m. with the blessing at noon. There will be vendors, a DJ and food. The public is welcome
For details, call the post home at 440-943-9659.

Fundraiser for Boulevard of 500 Flags
The Boulevard of 500 Flags 2015 annual fundraiser dinner will be 6 to 11 p.m. April 24 at the Patrician Party Center, 33150 Lakeland Blvd. in Eastlake.
Tickets are $35 and include a sit-down dinner with open bar, Chinese auction, door prizes, sideboards and a 50/50 raffle.
To purchase tickets, call Joe Strand at 440-942-9344 or Lois Sbrocco at 440-946-3439.

Junior Girls host chicken Alfredo dinner
The Junior Girls Unit of VFW Post 2595, 570 Liberty St. in Painesville, will host a chicken Alfredo dinner 1 to 3 p.m. March 8 at the post home.
Dinner donation is $7 per person. For details, call 440-354-9090.

European Tour scheduled in May
American Legion Post 214 and Military Historical Tours will host a European tour from May 31 through June 10.
The tour will in Reims, Verdun, Normandy and D-Day Anniversary commemoration at Omaha Beach, American Cemetery and Pointe Du Hoc. For details, call 703-590-1295 or 800-722-9501.

Eastlake post plans corned beef dinners
VFW Post 3863, 33641 Vine St. in Eastlake, will serve a corned beef dinner, sandwiches and Reubens on March 15 and corned beef sandwiches and Reubens on March 17. Hours are noon to 8 p.m.
For details call 440-942-3980.

Willoughby Legion to host St. Patrick’s Day party
American Legion Post 214, 4304 Center St. in Willoughby will host a St. Patrick’s Day party from 5 to 11 p.m. March 14 at the post home.
Reuben or corned beef sandwiches with fries, cole slaw and pickle will be $10. The evening will include sideboards, a 50/50 raffle and door prizes. Please sign up at the post or reserve a spot by calling 440-942-7762 after 3 p.m.

To submit items for this column or the online listings, send them to: The News-Herald, Attn.: Larece Galer, 7085 Mentor Ave., Willoughby, OH 44094; fax to 440-975-2293; or via email to LGaler@News-Herald.com.

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