|CHARLES P. CECIL
2001 Buffalo Reunion
Summary of activitiesOur seventh reunion was hosted by Bill Paige and Bob Catalano. It was one of the largest if not the largest to date. Together with their wives, they put in many hours getting this reunion under way. It was a wonderful time from start to finish with tours of the Niagara Falls Casino, shopping at the outlets, more shopping at the quaint town Niagara on the lake, a cruise on Niagara River on board the Grand Lady, golf and the Navy Serviceman's Park. Oh, and what a show at the Friday night banquet - full of patriotism.
Wednesday night we held our annual auction. Our President and auctioneer, Warren Brandt kept us laughing and worked his magic again this year. Only Warren could auction off one of his Wife's dead plants. Just remember those words in stone Jules. "I tried, but it died." There were some great items up for auction this year, including some very tough emotional ones commemorating the September 11 attacks in NYC. Steve Ferraro of Beth Page, NY , a retired firefighter himself, donated two posters and two 11 x 14 size pictures of the three firefighters raising the flag up the flagpole of the World Trade Center, which brought the high bid of the night by yours truly of $75.00. Another great item that was auctioned off was a beautiful hand carved F-4 Phantom brought in by Rich Sayers. A thank you goes out to Ginny Cullen and Chris Anderson for collecting the money. Our action brought in the largest amount yet totaling $1,772.00.
Thursday was a tour of Niagara on the Lake, a quaint little town with shopping and plenty of places to eat lunch. Fort George was near-by and some of the members opted to tour this on their own. Thursday night was open to do as you liked.
Friday moming was a cruise up the Niagara River on board the Grand Lady. In the aftenoon there was a trip to the Naval Park in Buffalo whicn,is the home of the DD537 The Sullivans and the CLG-4 Little Rock. Our memorial which was led by Rev. Warren Brandt was held on the fantail of the Little Rock in which we remembered our shipmates Tom Cliff, Frank Porcino, Robert Snyder, Franklin Lee and Jim Westerby that have passed on in the past year. We also remembered wives of our shipmates Helen Lelleck and Yvonna Ann Dike, the victims and their families of the September 11th attacks as well as the firemen and NYPD. Flowers were thrown into the river in theIr memory. Taps was played and there were readings by Mary Dywer and Chris Anderson. We all sang the Navy Hymn accompanied by Bob Ahrens on the sax. God Bless America was sung by all at the conclusion of the memorial.
Friday evening was our banquet followed by a USO style show from the Viva Niagara Productions. Their show, Spirit of America brought one standing ovation after another and at times not a dry eye in the house.
Big thanks go out to Chris Anderson who brought a lot of pictures of the ship for anyone who wanted them free for the taking. She also put together a book about a foot thick for everyone to look at. What a nice thing to do!!! She joined us again this year accompanying her dad, Reed Santa, who is a Plank Owner.
Butch Carter handed out bumper stickers with the ship's name and number on it. What a nice thing to do especially after just coming from dialysis treatments. Thanks, Butch!!
Lou Capriotti and his wife Janice gave up their room Friday night to Butch Carter and his wife after a mix-up at the hotel desk and the hotel being full. Now there's a great shipmate!!!
On a not so nice note, Warren Brandt is missing a cruise book that is from 1957. This is very sentimental to Warren and if anyone knows who might have it, please have them return it. No one wants to believe we have a shipmate that would take something that does not belong to them.
People we missed this year include Donna Sayers, Bev Dunn and Larry Kesselring.
We finally got to meet the face behind our great website, Ed Crowley. Glad to have finally met you.
While we are on the subject of the website, it is in a state of limbo right now since Ed has relocated from Massachusetts to New Hampshire and is experiencing some problems updating the site. The main problem is cost. The ISP that hosts the web site is in MA and does not provide a toll-free line to out-of-state customers. He is in the process of solving this problem and has placed a note on the site informing visitors that the site data is currently static. He hopes to be back up to speed shortly and mentions that he enjoyed meeting a lot of new shipmates and he and his wife Marcia had a wonderful time in Buffalo and are looking forward to another good time next year in Texas.
Also, Ed now has a new email address, which is email@example.com. His new mailing address is Ed Crowley, 68 Glen Drive, Hudson, NH 03051 and his new phone is (603) 595-9359.
Summary of Business MeetingThe treasury report that was given by Maryann Fryoux stated a balance as of October 11th to be $7,652.00.
An audit by Al Chlapowski showed our books to be in order and up-to-date.
Gerry Davis steps down from his seat on the Board of Directors and Robert Ahrens was voted in. That gives us members of the Board from WWII, Korea and Vietnam.
Pres. Warren Brandt suggested we donate $500 to the WTC disaster relief fund. This was voted upon and all agreed.
Jerry Beard and Ron Gordon filled us in on next year's reunion, which will be held September 22nd - September 29th in Corpus Christi, TX. Things are just about all wrapped up.
Maryland has been voted upon for our 2003 reunion. Vernooy. It will be hosted by William Vernooy.
Some suggestions were made to hold our reunions at an earlier date and condensing the length of the reunions. "BYOB" was suggested to help defray some of the liquor cost, especially for those of us who do not drink. Also a suggestion was made for the association to purchase a coffee urn to help keep cost down as well.
IMPORTANT NOTE: There will now be a cut off date for registration forms, which will be strictly enforced !!!!!A misunderstanding on refunds to be given must be clarified. Tour #2 (Niagara on the River) is a town and not a boat ride. The difference of price on the Tour #3 has already been issued. For only those who had paid for this tour (tour #3) and were not interested in going on the boat ride on Friday moming, another credit will be given, but they must contact Jules and Mary Ann Fryoux directly by mail or email; they do not have a list of these people. Please do not make their job more difficult than it already is and ask for refunds that are not refundable. They had to pay a week before the reunion for the number of people paid to go on these tours and they do not get any money back for those not going.
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