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Monday, May 30th, Memorial Day at the Post 161


Memorial Day Service & Parade on May 30th, Leon R. Roberts Post 161 will be having our Parade and Memorial Day Service. The Parade begins at 10:30am sharp! The Service will be at 11:00am. Let’s everyone come out and support our Veterans and Legion. Take time to honor our American heroes!

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Memorial Day


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Leon R. Roberts Post May/June Newsletter

Commander’s Message

I hope everyone is enjoying the great weather we are having. Our spring was cold and wet especially in the Holland Patent area!

In case you haven’t herd I’ve reconsidered my position being commander and agreed for one more year at Roberts Post. I enjoy being around some wonderful people who do a lot of things for this Legion and this community, without them my job would be a lot harder.

Our fish fries have come and gone but many people we must thank for all the hard work making this a successful spring event. During the seven weeks our SAL & Auxiliary did an excellent job serving the people in the dining room and cooking in the kitchen. Our count was up this year from last year, with a lot of new faces coming in to the Post. “Great job” goes to all the organizations that came in to fund raise for their teams.

On March12th our Post celebrated the Legions 97th birthday, great food was had by all and people talked about how the Legion began from 1919 up until now. Again, thanks to all for interesting facts about our Legion from the members who attended. The Post awarded Boys State certificates to Simon Vurnham and Andrew Stowell for attending boy’s state in 2015, Thanks again to these two students from Holland Patent HS for representing our Legion. The night ended with a presentation to a member who has been a member for sixty years at Roberts Post #161. Dan Seifried received his award for 60 continuous years of membership to the American Legion and was recognized for his longtime service and support to the ideals, principles, and programs of the American Legion. Again, congratulations to Dan for serving his country and his Post.

Also in March the American Legion awarded the Red, White and Blue Certificates for the Wrestling Team, Music Department, and 8th Grade Middle School Students from Holland Patent for communicating this spirit to our fellow citizens with your own personal patriotic examples. Great job to our children and youth!

Note that the Installation of Officers for 2016-17 will be Saturday, May 7th at Roberts Post # 161 with social time at 5:30 to 6:30pm. Installation will start at 6:30, with a buffet to follow. Come and welcome our new slate of officers for the coming year! The new slate of officers for 2016-17 are Dick Roberts – Commander; Steve Ballard – 1st Vice; Harold Clawson – 2nd Vice; John Gates – 3rd Vice; Tom Waters – Adjutant; Tom Heburn – Finance Officer; John Damon – Chaplin; and Art Farr – Sgt. At Arms. Our Executive Committee is: Mike Buczkowski, Barry Gates, Gary Wedgewood, Bob Leahy, and Jeff Duda.

Just a reminder, we still have two months to get our 2016 dues in. Right now we are currently at 95%. So, let’s try to reach our goal for 2016!

As May and June will be busy months for us, don’t forget our Memorial Day Service & Parade on May 30th, Monday at 11:00am. The Parade begins at 10:30am sharp! Let’s everyone come out and support our Veterans and Legion. Take time to honor our American heroes!

On June 2nd, Thursday, at 7pm, is awards night at the HP auditorium. Come and support these students for the hard work they have achieved. This year Roberts Post will be awarding scholarships to help further their education.

Important Dates: Roberts Post Jr. Legion Baseball begins June 4th; County Convention, June 4th 8:00am at Meeker; O’Rourke Post 1309, Taberg, NY; and Dept. Convention 07/11/16– 07/13/16 at Binghamton, NY.

In closing I can’t say enough for all the support the Legion has given me though out the year. Remember, our Veterans need our help every day. Roberts Post will always be there when asked! Thank you for letting me serve as your commander and I couldn’t be more proud as being a member of this Post!

Veterans Serving Veterans,
Richard Roberts, Commander
Ladies Auxiliary:

This is the last newsletter for the 2015-2016 year. It has been a very good year in every way. Our senior members have always been there to help when asked and our junior members have done a lot of volunteer work this past year. Our Juniors have worked on Hope House needs, sold Girl Scout cookies, made cards and wrapped presents for our veterans at Christmas, made table favors for a County meeting, and worked fish fries and the Easter party. We should be so very proud of the volunteer hours and projects our young ladies have done.

Installation of officers will be May 7, 2016 at the legion. Social hour will start at 5:30pm, with installation at 6:30 with a buffet to follow. The officers for 2016 – 2017 are : President – Deb Roberts; 1st Vice – Alice Shaler; 2nd Vice – Sheila Piseck; 3rd Vice – Mary Lou Herringshaw; Treasurer – Sue Wedgewood; Secretary – Bobbie Owen; Sgt. At Arms – Marion Clarke; Chaplain and Historian – Kathy Lemieux. I am so pleased to be part of a unit that works so well together and even more proud of the work we do for our Veterans, children and youth, and our community. This is what we, as an auxiliary unit, are all about.

May is also “POPPY MONTH”. The lovely little flowers will be out at various locations for you to be able to get. The Poppy is the official ALA flower as it represents our Veterans and reminds us to never forget them. “Flanders Field” is a poem that shows why the poppy is symbolic of a veteran. Don’t forget there will be a parade and a Memorial Day service at Roberts Post 161 on May 30, 2016. Hope to see many of you there.

If any of you don’t already know, our own Holland Patent graduate Debbie Racquet Kryczkowski is ALA Dept. of NY 1st Vice-President this year and is looking to be the Dept. President for 2016-2017. Oneida Co. and 5th District are very proud of this fact and even more proud of Debbie. Congratulations and we are all behind you!

Ladies, one thing that is very important to our unit and our county is the volunteer hours you put in. It is such a large subject to try to comment on in a newsletter but it needs to be brought to your attention. It is so very important that, even if you don’t come to meetings, any volunteer work you do is reported. Any questions, please get in touch with my by telephone, mail, e-mail, or Facebook. We need people to know how much we do and how important it is for us to be able to help those who need it.

If any of you know a person who has been ill, had surgery, had a birthday or anniversary, or just might like getting a card, please let me know. It would be a pleasure to just send a card to let someone know someone cares.

Have a safe, healthy, and happy summer. I will be back in September with the next newsletter. And thank you for letting me be your president for one more year. Love to all of you!

Yours in Service,
Debbie Roberts

Hey fellow Legionnaires, spring has finally decided to arrive and none too soon!

We currently stand at 226 members or 95% of our quota of 239. We only need 13 more people to make our goal of 100%. If you know of anyone who has yet to pay their 2016 dues let them know it is not too late.

If you have not been to a meeting lately come on back and bring a friend. We always welcome new faces and conversation! If you have been here, thank you! You know which group you are in. Hope to see you soon!

For God and Country,
Steve Ballard
Sons of the American Legion:


SAL members, please look in your wallet and see if you have your 2016 card. It seems that it’s the same ones, every year, that pay late which keeps us from having 100% for the year.

Special: Thank you, prepping crew for Fish Fries and Dinners including set-up crew for tables. Where are the rest of you for mornings and nights? We need some new blood. The average age of our workers now is 74 to 76. (Gary & Sue Wedgewood; Dick Roberts; Bob Leahy; Art Brancato; Bob Stanger; Ray Doucette; and Sylvia Davis)

Bob Stanger, SAL Membership

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Leon R. Roberts Post 161 March/April Newsletter

Commander’s Message:

As you know this winter has not been kind to all of us but spring is just around the corner.

I hope all will take advantage of the upcoming activities and events in the coming months. Lenten Fish Fry Dinners will be already started by the time you get your newsletter.Feb..12th—Mar.25th are the dates for the dinners. Take outs are available – call 865- 9921. Help is always needed on Friday for prep and clean up. Anybody who could help in the morning from 8:00 am to 9:30am would be greatly appreciated. Just call me at 865-5756 if you can help in any way you can .Friday when we start at 4:30 pm we could use extra set of hands for take –outs. Our youth organizations will be working the last four weeks, so let’s show our support for them as well as the Legion.

It’s that time of the year again that we have to think about elections. If you would like to run for an office or the Executive Board, please notify me at the Post no later than March 7th. I will be chairing the Post Nominating Committee this year and we have many offices to fill for the coming year. If you do not submit a letter of intention prior to the membership meeting, you can still be put on the ballot by being nominated off the floor at the meeting, but you must be present and accept the nomination.

Most of you probably assume I will continue on as commander if elected, I am sorry to say I will not accept the nomination for commander. It is my turn to give up this position to a younger member who will have the energy to move the Legion into the future. I will always be there for support- mentoring and helping in any capacity where it’s needed.

On March 12th, Sat. the Post will be having its upcoming 97th Legion Birthday Observance. Cocktails are at 6p.m. – Dinner 7:00pm. A sign- up sheet will be in the bar area for those attending. Bring a dish to pass as we celebrate the Legions birthday. Also attending will be students who attended Boy’s State and will speak of their experiences at Boy’s State. So come and enjoy good food and support our youth programs.

Also, March 5th will be the Heart, Run and Walk Roberts Post will have a table for the runners at the Adirondack Bank at 7:30am in Holland Patent. Come support these people who run for a good cause!

In closing, I would like to thank the Legion, Auxiliary and SAL for all the hard work you people do throughout the year in making this community what it is today! Your dedication to your Legion has been tremendous, and our Veterans appreciate all you do for them!

Veterans Serving Veterans,
Richard Roberts, Commander


Hello fellow members! I hope this finds everyone surviving our strange and currently cold upstate New York winter well.

Currently we are at 211 members for 2016 of a goal of 239, or 88.2%. I am expecting a few of you stragglers will be sending in your dues soon to help us reach 100%.

Whenever I stop at another Post or their members visit Roberts Post I am always proud to speak of what our members do for our Veterans and the community, in general: the Fire Department, Boy Scouts, High School Programs/Scholarships, Pop Warner Football, etc. I am saddened, however, by the attendance (or lack of attendance) by members at our monthly meetings. I recently heard it said that we do not do enough for our members.

I am encouraging each of you to take a moment and let us know if there is something we could/should be doing for members that would enhance your Post experience. You can send me an email to me at and I will pass along to the Commander and Executive Board. If you do not have email, you can drop off a note in a sealed envelope at the Legion.

All will be kept in confidence. Any Post only exists if it has an active membership. Fifteen to twenty active Legion, Auxiliary, and SAL members CANNOT keep a Post alive!  I would ask that you read our Preamble which begins “For God and Country, we associate ourselves TOGETHER….” I invite you to associate once again!

For God and Country,
Steve Ballard, Membership Chairman

Ladies Auxiliary:

Hello Ladies of 161! It’s time for an update on what has been going on and what is supposed to be going on in March and April. Winter was kind to us for a while but we knew it wouldn’t last for the whole season.

Fish Fries have started and will continue right through March 25. The first one was VERY busy with a few bumps but we handled it all like we always do. This auxiliary of ours in tremendous and is always there to help when needed. I am proud of all of you. Thank you to Beverly Seifried for all the work that is done to organize the auxiliary’s part in the fish fries.

March is going to be pretty busy for us. On Sunday March 6 at 1:00pm the juniors will be making table favors for the Oneida Co. Auxiliary meeting that will be held at the legion on Sat. March 19, with a luncheon at noon and meeting after. I will be asking for help with dessert for this meeting. If you would like to attend the meeting please let me know by March 10.

On Wed. March 9 at 6:30pm we will be making Easter cookies at the legion for the Easter party. The Easter Party is scheduled for Sunday March 13 at 12:00 noon. Hope to see a lot of happy young people come and have some fun with us for the afternoon.

On Sat. March 5 the Great American Heart Run/Walk runners will start in Barneveld and come west on Rt. 365 into Holland Patent. Again this year Roberts Post 161 will have a water station set up in front of Adirondack Bank to hand out water to these runners. We will meet at the legion at 7:00am and go to the bank from there. If you would like to join us in this please get in touch with the legion or me. Hope to see you there.

We have a nominating committee that is asking for candidates for the upcoming election of officers at the April meeting. If you are interested in being an officer, please let Beverly Seifried or Jeannine Damon know as soon as possible. The officers that will be elected are: President, 1st Vice-president, 2nd Vice, 3rd Vice, Treasurer, and Secretary.

The Legion birthday party will be on Sat. March 12 with cocktail hour from 6:00-7:00, with a dish to pass dinner at 7:00. There is always a POW/MIA ceremony done before the dinner and a new ceremony will be added to the program. It is a Military Children’s ceremony and I am hoping to get some of our juniors to do it for us that night. This was introduced to us at Mid-winter conference and it is really very touching and brings the military children into the light of what the deployed parent is missing while on duty.

April’s meeting brings the election of officers for 2016/2017 year. Please try to make this one so you can have some input into the selection of officers. April also brings our 3rd annual Craft and Vendor Show fundraiser for the auxiliary. This will be on Sat., April 2, 2016 from 10:00am to 3:00pm. There will be many crafters and vendors there with a lovely selection of items for you to look at and buy. A light lunch menu will be offered [at reasonable prices] for those who would like to have lunch with us. We can always use help setting up, working the kitchen, and cleaning up after.

With thoughts of spring and Easter, I am wishing all of you good health, sunshine, and happiness. Happy Easter to all!

Yours in Service,
Debbie Roberts

Sons of the American Legion:

We have 79 members and 56 are paid for 2016. Our Squadron had 4 representatives at Mid-winter Conference in Albany. We attended several informative sessions and gathered information to bring back to the Squadron. I wish to thank those who spent their time to attend this conference.

There is a fundraising dinner for the incoming Legion Commander on March 19th at Utica Post 229. I have tickets for this event. If you are interested, contact me.

For God and Country,
Commander John Bieksza

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Leon R. Roberts Post 161 January/February 2016

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

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