Lake Chautauqua Memorial VFW Post 8647 Celebrates 48th Charter Anniversary

MAYVILLE – Ray Cenni, master of ceremonies, welcomed everyone who was on hand to celebrate the 48th charter anniversary of Lake Chautauqua Memorial VFW Post 8647 recently.

Wesley Weise Jr., post charter member and World War II veteran, led the Pledge of Allegiance.

Cenni invited veterans to stand as he called their branch of service. Veterans from World War II, Korea, Vietnam and Desert Storm were present. Past post commanders Walt Langford, Wes Weise, Wayne Dunbar and Paul Holhouse were presented with flags. Flags were presented by Debbie Cenni to Ladies Auxiliary past presidents Pat Baker, Edna Brown, Pauline Cole and Clara Dunbar, and Tom Douglas presented flags to Past Men’s Auxiliary presidents Bill Larson, Randy Edwards and Steve Edwards.

The Ladies Auxiliary was chartered on Nov. 19, 1967. Ms. Cenni presented a certificate of appreciation and flower to Ladies Auxiliary Charter members (47 years): Baker, Brown, Cole, Rita Lescynski, Josephine Spas, Marie Stanton; 46-year member Katherine Warner; and 61-year member Dolly Burlett who transferred to Auxiliary 8647 in 1998. Ms. Cenni expressed her appreciation for their continued support.

The following volunteers who helped set up, cook, serve and clean up were introduced and thanked. They include Fred Buxton, Caron Cady, Dunbar, Larson, Louise Richir, Jim Thomas and Sarah Zemcik.

Jan Derbish assisted with the Missing Man Remembrance Ceremony. Ms. Cenni presented a brief history of the Purple Heart Medal. Dunbar assisted member Bill Pihl to enroll in the Purple Heart Hall of Honor. Ms. Dunbar presented him with a certificate of enrollment and Ms. Cenni presented him with a commemorative coin from the Purple Heart Hall of Honor.

This year’s Voice of Democracy theme was, “Why I’m Optimistic About Our Nation’s Future.” The post winner was Samantha Bauer. She is the daughter of Todd and Susan Bower and is enrolled in ninth grade at Chautauqua Lake Central School.

The Patriot’s Pen topic was, “What Patriotism Means to Me.” Post winners were Collin Wood, son of Jonathan and Carolyn Wood, enrolled in eighth grade at Chautauqua Lake Central School; Onnalee Strong, daughter of Bridget Strong, enrolled in eighth grade at Panama Central School; and Gavin Kahle, son of Eric and Kristi Kahle, enrolled in eighth grade at Sherman Central School.

Each year the VFW recognizes top classroom teachers who teach citizenship education topics and promote America’s history, traditions and institutions effectively. Michael Rohlin, history teacher at Chautauqua Lake Central School, was awarded the VFW’s 2014 National Citizenship Education Teacher Award for sixth through eighth grades. Joshua Liddell, Chautauqua Lake secondary school principal, wrote ” Mike diversifies his instruction and brings history alive Mr. Rohlin is dedicated to education ” Rohlin was presented with a plaque and thanked each veteran in attendance. He will also be recognized at the county council and Sixth District convention awards dinners.

Scholarship information for the 2014-15 contests can be obtained by contacting Debbie Cenni at 753-3757. Teachers who participated in this year’s patriotic project were, from Chautauqua Lake Central, Brian Binkley; Robert Pawlak from Panama Central; and Heather Croscut, John Keating, and Kim McCray from Sherman Central.