THE BLACK DIAMOND
Fleet Reserve Association
Branch #115, Lehigh Valley, PA
Donald Bear, 315 Peach Street,
Catasauqua, PA 18032
President, Dave Sharp firstname.lastname@example.org
Vice President, Ralph Annunziata, email@example.com
Secretary, Donald Bear, firstname.lastname@example.org
Treasurer, Larry Roth, email@example.com
Upcoming Schedule ; November 8th, Branch 115 Meeting, 0900, City View Diner, 1831 MacArthur Road, Whitehall, PA. Sunday, November 13th, at 1PM, Annual Veterans Tribute at the New Phillipsburg High School.
October 11, 2016 Meeting.
Present were; Vice President Ralph Annunziata, Secretary Donald Bear, Treasurer Larry Roth, Chaplain George Shumack Jr., Master at Arms John Treiber, Americanism / Patriotism Chairman Bill Nixon, Youth Activities Chairman Tim Gilbert, Hospitalization Chairman Harold Newhard, PRPNE George Folk, Jr. Past President Paul Geissinger, John Brooks, Carl Kilhefner, Earl King, Dan Heitzer, Earl Stein, Rich Lamonaco, Dick Schreiner, Ronda Hummel, Jim Kenyi, Colwin Bocasan, Joe Toth, Ralph Slider, Woody Greene, Ron Dickert, Dave Hoffman, Gary Bear and guest Tom Lamonaco.
We have two guest speakers; Gold Star Mother Carol Resh and Author David Venditta.
0900, Vice President Ralph Annunziata performed opening rituals. Shipmate Paul Geissinger made a motion not to read the September 13th minutes since everyone gets them by email or in the mail. Seconded by Ron Dickert and approved by all present.
Vice President Annunziata introduced guest speaker Gold Star Mother Carol Resh.
Carol told us the history of the Wreaths Across America Program. How it started at Arlington National Cemetery and to our local Cedar Hill Cemetery. This year it will start at noon on December 17th at Cedar Hill Memorial Park, 1700 Airport Road, Allentown, PA.
Carol told us all veterans get a remembrance wreath as the students read the veterans information off of the tombstone. She invited everyone to attend this worthwhile endeavor.
Each wreath costs $15 dollars. Please check WreathsAcrossAmerica.org for more information. They are Fundraising group _PA0004.
Vice President Annunziata introduced our guest speaker David Venditta who is the author of the book titled “Tragedy at Chu Lai”.
David told us the book is about his cousin Nicky who went to Vietnam to fly Huey Helicopters. He was only there 10 days when he was killed by a grenade an instructor dropped during a training class. The grenade was supposed to be a “dummy” practice grenade that killed 3 of our helicopter pilots and injured a score more. The book explains what it took to really find out what happened that day. You can find more information online at, www.tragedyatchulai.com. The book is for sale on Amazon.com.
Treasurer’s Report – Shipmate Treasurer Larry Roth read the treasurers report. A motion to accept the report was made by Harold Newhard and seconded by Carl Kilhefner then approved by all present
Americanism / Patriotism – Shipmate Bill Nixon reminded us that the Essay Contest this year is about “What Memorial Day Means to Me”. He encouraged each shipmate to take a flyer to the local school to see if they would participate. Also, family and friends children are eligible to participate in the Essay contest. Essay’s due December 1st. Last year we had a Regional Essay Contest winner who also came in 2nd Place in the whole country. At the moment we are only in possession of two essays.
Hospitalization –Shipmate Harold Newhard informed us that Jack Trimmer suffered a heart attack and received a pacemaker. Dave Hoffman had a hernia operation and is doing well. Jeff Chewning had stomach bypass surgery and loss 60lbs so far. He is doing well and off most of his meds already. John Miltenberger is still doing dialysis and cannot drive at this time. Ron Adams suffered a heart attack and received a pace maker / defibulator. John Zieserl Jr. was admitted to Muhlenberg Hospital on October 4th for stomach ulcers. We sincerely hope are shipmates recover quickly.
Youth Activities – Shipmate Tim Gilbert informed us that he was involved with the veterans outreach program at Ritter School and explained how heartwarming the results of this program are being involved with these young students.
Secretary Bear made arrangements for All American Graphics, 1832 W. Green Street, Allentown, PA 18102 to make Branch FRA shirts. The dressy looking slate gray blue shirt with embroidered FRA Logo on the left side that has embroidered Branch 115 on top of the logo and Lehigh Valley under the logo costs around $34 dollars. There was a $30 dollar embroidered set up fee that Bear paid for as a donation to the branch so you will not be charged a setup fee when ordering your shirt. They are very nice. I hope to have mine soon to show you in person. More will follow about jackets and hats.
Shipmate Nixon reminded us about the Sunday November 13th Annual Veterans Tribute at the new Phillipsburg High School starting at 1PM. The address for this 18th Annual Veterans Tribute is; 1 Stateliner Boulevard, Phillipsburg, NJ 08865. There is plenty of handicapped parking at the new school.
Our branch supports this outstanding tribute. Our shipmate Dave Hoffman will be playing “Taps” and others are involved with the program. Nixon is looking for a few volunteers that will be able to assist people to show them where to go or direct guests to seating area. Please let Bill Nixon or Secretary Bear know if you can assist. Anyone that went to this Tribute in the past will attest to this fantastic show.
Shipmate Dick Schreiner informed us about the Honorary First Defenders Military Ball being held November 5th at the Econo-Lodge located near Routes 22 & 309. Feel free to contact Dick for more information at (610) 395-4009.
Adjourn – 0955 Vice President Annunziata performed closing ceremonies.
Respectfully, Donald Bear, CWO2, USN, Retired