Over $40,000 was raised for the Veterans & Community Housing Coalition at its second annual Veterans Ball at the Hall of Springs in November.
Some 400 people attended to support of the mission of helping local veterans and their families with affordable housing and services while they transition to independent living.
A highlight of the evening was a special tribute to area WWII Veterans who were honored and presented with quilts made by Loving Hands in all Seasons.
The list of honored WWII veterans included Walter Blair, U.S. Army 1943-1945; Marion Buchanan, Women’s Army Air Corps, 1943-1948; Stephen Dennis, U.S. Navy 1942-1945; David Forbert, U.S. Navy, 1943-1946; John Harrigan, U.S. Army, 1942 -1945; Ralph Nicolson, U.S. Army, 1943-1945; Corodon Norton II, Army Air Corps, 1942-1945; Dan Riley, U.S. Navy, 1943-1946; Mario Trieste, U.S. Navy, WWII; Thomas Woods, U.S. Army, 1943-1945
Another feature of the evening was a tribute to local veterans who served in different branches and conflicts. That list of honored veterans included: Cpl. Timothy Bramer, U.S. Marine Corps; Sgt. 1st Class Patrick L. Fenton Sr., U.S. Army; Photographer Mate, 3rd Class David Forbert, U.S. Navy;Petty Officer 1st Class Keith J. Koster, U.S. Navy; Col. Ed Kinowski, U.S. Air Force; Staff Sgt. Corodon Norton, U.S. Army Air Corps; Signalman 3rd Class Dan Riley, U.S. Navy Amphibious Forces; Cpl. Lou Schneider, U.S. Army Medical Corps.; Pvt. II Michelle Taylor, U.S. Army.
The evening also included a special tribute to the Saratoga Fourth Degree Assembly of the Knights of Columbus as the Civilian Honoree for its continued service to help the homeless veterans served at VCHC. Veterans & Community Housing Coalition’s Executive Director Cheryl Hage-Perez led a tribute to Cpl. Ben Osborn, U.S. Army, 2007-2010, as a fallen hero who died in combat in Afghanistan at the age of 27.
The ball was sponsored by KCG Development, Pompa Brothers and the Veterans of Foreign Wars Department of New York. Silver Star Sponsors of the event included Ballston Spa National Bank; Bryan Reed of Exemplar Real Estate; DAV Marcell Nolan, Chapter 158; Insurance Agency Group of New York; Paul & Susanne Guttenberg, PMA Mechanical, Prestwick Chase, Ray and Mary O’Conor, Saratoga Hospital, Saratoga National Bank, Stewart’s Shops, the Navy Federal Credit Union and the NRP Group LLC.
Media sponsors included Look TV, Magic 590 AM/100.5 FM, Saratoga.com, Saratoga Business Journal, Saratoga Today, The Daily Gazette and The Saratogian.
“We are grateful for another very successful event in honor of our veterans,” said Hage-Perez. “The response from the community was overwhelming again this year. We will use the funds raised to purchase a van to take our veterans to appointments, community events and activities. Transportation remains one of the biggest obstacles in our veterans attaining self-sufficiency.
“The van will also help us pick up the many donations of furniture we receive from individuals and businesses to help our Veterans set up their new home once completing our programs. ”
According to the coalition, over 50,000 veterans are homeless on any given night in the United States. Nearly 600 homeless veterans are in the Capital District.
The programs of the Veterans & Community Housing Coalition provide a resource for homeless veterans in Saratoga, Warren, Washington, Fulton, Montgomery, Schoharie and Schenectady counties.
For more information on the coalition, contact Hage-Perez at 518-885-0091 or email email@example.com.