Commander’s Message:

With 2015 coming to an end, I hope everybody had a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

November and December was very busy at the Post, with dinners and parties all of December. Many thanks goes out to the Auxiliary and SAL for all they do throughout the year, without your time and effort we couldn’t do what we do best, serve our Veterans and community!

Again this year our Auxiliary, on December 29th, did Christmas boxes for families and Veterans who are in need of our help to make their holiday season a little brighter. Great job ladies! This year twelve boxes were done. Also helping were the high school wrestling team. Great Job everyone!

On December 21, Roberts Post had its Blood Drive at the Post. I will have the results of the blood drive in the next newsletter. Last year we did 21 units. Hoping we can do more this year! Sue Wedgewood will be working the front door and does a great job as usual!

Mid-Winter will be January 22nd to the 24th in Albany, NY at the Desmond Hotel. This year Legion, Auxiliary, & SAL members will be attending hoping to bring back good info about our Veterans.

Remember, the start of Lenten fish dinners will start on February 12th, 2016 and will run through until March 25th. Anyone interested in cooking or helping out in the kitchen, please let us know.

Important dates to remember: Jan.17th (Persian Gulf War began (1991); Jan. 27th (Signing of Vietnam Peace Accord (1973); and Feb.1st National Freedom Day.

Membership is moving along, were closing the year close to 81%.

In closing I can’t say enough for all the support you have given me though out the year. I know 2016 will be a better year. Remember our servicemen around the world and pray for their safe return to their families.

Sick call: Please Notify Chaplin John Damon at (336-6851) of members who are confined to their home or the hospital due to illness. Please keep in mind; we have hospital equipment available without charge for any Legion and community member in need.

Veterans Serving Veterans,
Fly the Flag,
Commander Richard Roberts


By the time you get this newsletter the holidays will have passed. I hope everyone had a blessed and Merry Christmas with family and friends.

As of the end of December membership stands at 82.8%, having 198 members signed up with a quota of 239. For those of you who may not have renewed your membership, please feel free to do so right away. Remember, it is not the amount you pay in dues to be a member that is important. It is the dues you paid to be eligible to be a member that matters most!

I’d like to take a moment and thank the people who have “walked” me through the role of membership this year. It was all new to me and the help and patience has been much appreciated.  I hope to see many of you at upcoming meetings this year. We are only as strong as the number of members who participate.

For God and Country,
Steve Ballard

Ladies Auxiliary:

“Happy New Year”, to the Ladies of Unit 161. Hoping the holidays were kind to all of you. Life is good and the freedoms we experience are because of all the selfless men and women who served and are serving this great country of ours. I hope and pray the year 2016 will bring more happiness into everyone’s life.

Veterans’ Day was a great day of tribute and celebration for the Veterans in our community. The Legion was open and many Veterans stopped by for the ceremony and to enjoy the company of all who were there. A day of friendship, good will, and memories was experienced by all.

With the direction of Mary Briggs, our Junior Auxiliary members and friends made some beautiful Christmas cards for our Veterans. Over 50 cards were sent out to say “Thank You” for your service to our country and have a Merry Christmas. Some cards were also sent to Auxiliary members just to let them know they are remembered and to wish them happiness.

Some of us went to Clark Mills Legion in early December to help the Oneida Co. Auxiliary wrap over 400 Christmas gifts for our Veterans who are in area nursing homes. It was one of the best experiences I have had and am looking forward to doing it again. Let me know if you might like to do this. It is so rewarding!

The Legion was decorated for Christmas with two beautiful trees; one in the foyer and the other in the bar. A big “Thank You” goes to the Auxiliary members and Legionnaires who put the trees up and decorated for the holidays. The Auxiliary gave poinsettias to some community members to help brighten their homes for the holidays and we also did food boxes for those we thought might need a little something extra at this time of the year.

In January some of us will be attending Midwinter Conference in Albany. I will convey to you some of the things we learn in the March/April newsletter.

The Legion was very busy with parties in December and I want to thank all the ladies who worked them. It is with your help that things go so smoothly during these functions.

A big “Thank You” goes to Diane Money, Sue Wedgewood, and all the Auxiliary members who sold and bought tickets for our lottery raffle fundraiser for the month of November. It is because of fundraisers like this that we are able to do the things we need to do for the veterans and the residents in our community.

Membership is coming along good. The important thing to remember is that if you have not paid your 2015 dues and 2016 dues, it is MOST important you pay your 2016 dues FIRST. The 2015 back dues can wait. Thank you Alice for all the hard work you do on membership.

Fish Fries will start Feb. 12, 2016, so be ready for calls asking for your help. We will probably be doing the first three for the Legion, with the community organizations doing the last four. That has yet to be determined.

These are some people who might enjoy getting a card from some of us now that winter is getting ready to rear its ugly head. Ceil Pianella, Joyce Schweinsberg, Mary Shaw, Bev Stark, Ruth Kessler, Peg Curtacci and someone who you miss and you would like them to know you care. Maybe someday someone will pay it forward with a card to you just like you sent to them.

My wish for all of you for 2016, live each day to the fullest and remember you are always surrounded by love.

Yours in service,
Debbie Roberts

Sons of the American Legion:

Let us start off the New Year and make it a truly great one. I challenge SAL members to bring in new members and make us a stronger Squadron. Thanks to all those members who have pitched in to help with dinners at the Post. We still need assistance for NFL Sundays so that duties don’t fall on just a few.

Midwinter Conference in Albany is coming up in January so if you plan to go please make sure you have a room reservation. See me if you need information. This is a great learning session.

For God and Country and the Support of the Legion,
John Bieksza, Commander

SAL Membership:

We currently have 85 members of which 58 are paid. Dues are $15 for Seniors and $10 for Juniors.

Bob Stanger, Chairman

Commander’s Message:

Well, 2015 is moving pretty fast as we see the leaves fall and snowflakes in the air, we know what’s coming! As you know October and November are busy months around the Legion.

September was busy with improvements inside and outside for the Post, a little paint can sure do a lot.

Fish fries have started at the Post and will run every Friday from 4:30pm -8:00pm until November 20th, so bring the family out for great food and salad bar!

On November 3rd at 7:00pm the Holland Patent High school will be presenting the Veteran’s Concert for all Veterans’. Let’s show our support as the students do a wonderful job in showing their respect for all the veteran’s in our community.

On November 11th Roberts Post will be having its annual Veterans’ Day Ceremony starting at 11:00am at the Post. Please come and show your pride for your Legion and all of the veteran’s in our community! Also if you have pictures of your service days bring them in to share with us. November 15th the Post will be having it’s Veteran’s Dinner at 5pm with cocktail hour at 4pm. Bring a dish to pass, a signup sheet will be at the bar.

Membership chairman Steve Ballard will be having our Early Bird Event at the Post on Sunday November 22nd from 4-7pm.

Remember our Blood Drive Monday December 21st at the Legion from 1:00pm till 6:00pm. Sponsoring a blood drive is an important community responsibility and it requires advance planning to ensure success. Help us reach our goal that is needed to support the patients in your community.

As the holidays approach this year, let’s remember all those in nursing homes, hospitals, etc. that these Veterans are a part of the Legion family, who gave so much for what we have today.

In closing, I can’t say enough for all the support you have given me though out the year. We have done so much for our youth, community and most of all our Veterans!

Be safe and enjoy the holiday’s where ever you may be and remember our servicemen around the world and pray for their safe return to their families.

Veterans Serving Veterans,
Richard Roberts, Commander

Attention All Members:

As of January 21, 2016 the dues for the American Legion will increase by $5.00 to $40.00. (As you know this was passed at the National Convention in Baltimore, Maryland this year. Please note that Roberts Post#161 will absorb the increase for the members who are paying their 2016 dues. Our increase will begin in 2017! We felt this was easier to do than change things in the middle of the year. If you have any questions please call me at the Post. So let’s try to reach our goal and show our pride of the American Legion. As always, we truly appreciate your continued support of our Post and we look forward to your continued support in the future.

Veterans Serving Veterans,
Richard Roberts, Commander

Ladies Auxiliary:

Ladies of 161,

It’s time for the November/December Newsletter. I can tell you that the Fish Fries are going strong, we have good help from our members and I am grateful for all of you. There is going to be a Halloween Party on Oct. 31, I am sorry I wasn’t able to let you know about it sooner. It takes a little more work to get this party organized and it is not in my thought processes in August when I type the September/October newsletter.

Don’t forget to get out and vote in November. Veteran’s Day is coming and there will be a ceremony at 11:00am at the Post that day. If you have not attended the beautiful Veterans Concert that the Music Department puts on, please try to attend this year’s at the high school on Nov. 3 at 7:00pm. The students do an amazing program and it is a wonderful way to spend an evening. A covered dish dinner for Veterans Day will be at the Post on Sunday, Nov. 15 at 5:00 pm. It would be lovely to see many of our veterans and their families attend.

December brings Christmas and the anniversary of Pearl Harbor. Please take a moment to pay your respect to the men and women who lost their lives in that attack. We hope to be decorating the Post for Christmas either Black Friday or Saturday. If you are interested get in touch with me – 865-5756. Mary is planning a Junior activity for Nov. 29 at the Post starting at 1:30. This will be a Christmas card making event for our area veterans. The Auxiliary will be doing our annual Christmas projects again this year. If you know a veteran, a veteran’s family, an active duty person, or the family of someone serving our country, or someone who might need a little help during the holidays please get in touch with me or any Auxiliary member. Let’s make this Christmas a little happier for someone who needs it.

Membership is moving along. We would love to welcome new ladies to our unit and show them what we are all about. Our goal is to help as many Veterans and their families, active military and their families, our children and youth, and our community as much as possible. The more members we have – the more we can do.

We are saddened at the loss of our dear member and friend Karen McMahon. She fought a valiant and exhausting battle with cancer for a long time. She will be missed by all of us and we send our love and sympathy to her family and friends.


Yours in service not self,
Debbie Roberts, 161 President

Sons of the American Legion:

SAL membership for 2016 is due now. Please check your membership card. If it still says 2015, please pay your 2016 dues now. All 2015 cards expire on December 31st.

My thanks to those who have been participating in Fish Fries. Many hands make light work. Remember that the SAL benefits by 25% of the weekly 50/50 proceeds so we need to encourage fish fry patrons.

We need to help in the kitchen for NFL Sunday food. We serve 1-8 PM. If you can give a couple of hours on Sunday, please let me know.

For God and Country,
John Bieksza, SAL Commander

Commander’s Message:

Summer is almost over and our Post is gearing up for the busy months ahead of us. July and August have gone by so fast I hope everyone had time to enjoy these days of summer! As you know during the month of July our kitchen at the Post had some renovations done. We did some painting, a new floor, replacement of cabinets, etc. Also the walk-in cooler was cleaned and painted. Many “thanks” to all who helped out to make this a job well done.

Again, I would like to thank the Legion for letting our members, from Roberts Post 161, attend the Department Convention in Buffalo, New York this year from July 15th thru 18th. Oneida County was represented well. Again we talked to a lot of Legion members throughout the state and learned a lot about our veterans who need our support throughout the year and new ideas for them and their families!

Also, we had the pleasure to meet our Dept. Commander James V. Yermas for the coming year. As you know the American Legion Department Of New York Oneida County Committee is having a Testimonial Dinner honoring the commander on Friday, October2, 2015 at “ Nicole’s at Camden” 9501 Harden Blvd., Rte. 13, Camden, NY. The reception will be at 6:00pm with dinner at 7:00pm. Call me at the Legion for tickets 865-9921.

“Congratulations” go to Don Edwards for being elected as County Commander. I know all the Posts in the county will work hard to support him on the up- coming year.

“Thanks” go out to Mike Sobel on coaching our Jr. Legion Baseball Team this year. These young men played hard all year missing the play-offs by one game! Hopefully next year we will achieve our goal having a senior team back. All of you represented our Post well!

Once again September and October will be here soon. Check the calendar in the newsletter for the up-coming events. Remember school will be in session, so watch out for our children and youth. They are a big part of our programs throughout the year!

Dues for our Legion members are $35.00. Our 2016 cards are in, you may pay online or drop it off at the Legion or mail it to the Legion addressed to our membership chairman Steve Ballard. Our address is at the top of this page.

Fish Fries will be starting on October 9th and as usual help is needed to make this a successful year. Many hands will make our job easier serving our community. So call the Post if you can help any way you can. Thank you!

Just a reminder, our 2015 Cash Bash Raffle is now under way. Tickets are $10.00 and 27prizes in all, will be drawn on December 6th at 5pm. We have extra’s at the Legion. Proceeds for this are to help the Legion building fund.

In closing I just want to thank everyone at Roberts Post, Legion members, Auxiliary, and SAL, for what you have done for me in my past two years as Commander and make 2015-16 a great year!

Veterans Serving Veterans,

Richard Roberts, Commander

Ladies Auxiliary:

It’s that time of the year again – letters from me to you. Summer was good, a little busy but not bad. The legion has a new kitchen floor and some other new changes in there that were really needed. Thank you Legionnaires for the improvements, we will all enjoy them.

Because Labor Day is always the first Monday in Sept. and we have our meetings on the 1st Monday of each month, Sept.’s meeting will be the 2nd Monday at 7:00pm. The Lions Club dinners will be the 1st and 3rd Tues. of each month starting on Sept. 1, 2015. Be ready for calls asking for help with desserts and possibly waitressing.

On Sept. 5th at the legion there will be a homecoming party for Bobbie Owen from 1:00 – 5:00 pm. A meet & greet with snacks will start at 1:00 with an Italian Buffet to follow at 2:00. The cost is $12.00 per person. If you would like to attend this please get in touch with Jeannine Damon @ 336-6851. Bobbie did a super job as 5th District President and we want her to know how proud we are of her accomplishments.

The next thing that is important, Debbie Racquet Kryczkowski, a HPCS graduate, is this year’s 1st vice-president for the Dept. N.Y. American Legion Auxiliary. That means that at next year’s convention she will be running for Dept. President which would make her only the 3rd one from Oneida Co. since the 1930’s. Let’s support her in every way we can.

Membership is the big item to talk about. Dues for the year 2016 are due now. Please try to get them in as soon as possible. They are still $23.00 for senior members and $7.00 for juniors. If you know anyone who might like to join the Auxiliary please let Alice Shaler know. New members are always welcome and we would all be pleased to see more faces in our ranks. We are accepting only dues for 2016. If you owe back dues, don’t worry about paying those first, they can wait. That is one of the new things we learned at convention this year. It is more important to collect the current dues and take care of the back dues later on.

Roberts Post will walk in the Sitrin’s “Stars & Stripes” Walk on Sept. 12 at SUNY. We will walk as “Team Blaise” in memory of Blaise Oleski who lost his life in combat. Hopefully this will be a busy year for us involving fundraising efforts for veterans programs and health related programs.

The fish fries will start in October so be ready for calls asking for your help with those. The Auxiliary is also having its lottery fundraiser this fall. This is like the same one we did last year and it was very successful. The tickets will be sold in Sept. and Oct. with Nov. being the month for the lottery numbers draw. All proceeds from this event will help fund all the programs we support.

Please try to make the first meeting in Sept. Our own Peg Curtacci is going to speak about Chiari and I have some special things I need to talk about.

Our own Jean Farr had a little mishap a while ago, so if you would like to send her a card I am sure she would enjoy it. Mary Shaw, Barb Doucette, and Ruth Kessler might enjoy a “thinking of you card”. They also have had a rough spot in the road over the summer.

Yours in service not self,

Debbie Roberts, President

Legion Membership:

I trust everyone is having a great summer and well deserved after the winter we all went through.

Membership renewals are beginning to come in and so far about 50 have been processed. Thanks to those of you who have renewed already! PUFL’s, WWII veterans and any memberships paid by the Post should all go out by end of August. We will be having our Early Bird dinner in October for those who sign up or renew by October 1st. Our goal for membership is 239. If you know of anyone who would like to join or transfer let them know what a great, active and community service oriented Post we have.

Thanks in advance for all your support in our membership efforts and special thanks to Gary and Sue Wedgewood and Commander Dick Roberts for showing a greenhorn the ropes. I could not do it without you.

For God and Country,

1st Vice Steve Ballard

Sons of the American Legion:

Calibri I hope everyone had a great summer and we are ready to get started on SAL fall activities. Our next meeting will be Monday August 31 at 7pm. This was moved up due to the Labor Day holiday falling on our normal meeting day.

2016 membership cards are now available. Please be an “Early Bird” and pay your dues now.

Roberts Post American Legion Family is going to sponsor a Starts & Stripes Walk team again this year. If you are interested in raising money and/or walking for this very worthwhile event please let me know. Sitrin does great things for our Veterans!

For God and Country,

Commander John Bieksza

Ralph W. Kessler, 84, formerly of Holland Patent, NY, passed away on July 2, 2015 in Tupper Lake NY. Ralph was a Past Post Commander and a 60 year member of Leon R. Roberts Post #161 of the American Legion. He was also a Korean War Veteran.

Roberts Post Legion members will be doing a ceremony at 5:30 pm at Dimblely, Fredel, Williams, & Edmunds Funeral Home at 7944 Steuben Street in Holland Patent. Anyone wishing to attend will meet at the Leon R. Roberts #161 of the American Legion on Depot Street at 5:00 pm.

Yours truly,
Commander Dick Roberts








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