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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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On May 9th the times for the Installation of Officers have changed. Social Hour will start at 4:00pm. The installation itself will start at 5:00pm with Dinner to follow.

Sorry for any inconvenience may have caused.


Commander’s Message:

I hope everyone is getting over the long hard winter we had, signs of spring are finally here. Roberts Post is looking forward to the upcoming months of great activities.

Our fish fries have come and gone but there are many people we must thank for all the hard work making this a success. Steve Ballard, our fish fry chairmen, did a great job making sure we had everything we needed for the seven weeks. “Great job” to all the organizations that came in to fund-raise for each of their teams. Also, our Auxiliary, Jr. Auxiliary, SAL and Legionnaires who worked so hard to make this successful every year, great job everyone!

On March 7th, Roberts Post had our water station at Adirondack Bank for the “Heart –Run- & Walk”, doing our share for a great cause. On March 14th, our Post celebrated the Legions’ 96th birthday, great food was had and people talked about how the Legion began from 1919 till now. Again thanks to all for interesting evening of facts about our Legion. At our April Legion meeting, our Post awarded Boy State certificates to Garett Williams and Roy Garett for attending boy’s state in 2014. Thanks again, to these two students from Holland Patent School for representing our Legion.

Note that, the Installation of Officers for 2015-16 will be Saturday, May 9th, with social time at 4pm. The Installation and buffet will be starting at 5pm. Come and welcome our commander and his new slate of officers.

The new slate of officers for 2015-16 are; Dick Roberts, Commander; Steve Ballard;1st Vice; Harold Clawson, 2nd Vice; John Gates, 3rd Vice; Ray Doucette, Adjutant; Tom Heburn, Finance Officer; John Damon, Chaplin; Historian is open; Art Farr, Stg. At Arms; and Service officer – appointed.

Our Executive Committee is: Mike Buczkowski, Barry Gates, and Gary Wedgewood with two open slots.

Just a reminder, that we still have two months to get our 2015 dues in. I would like to thank Gary Wedgewood for doing a great job on this year’s membership. Right now we are currently at 95%, that’s 2nd in the county! So let’s try to reach our goal for 2015! As May and June will be busy months for us, don’t forget our Memorial Day Service & Parade on May 25th, Monday at 11:00am. The Parade begins at 10:30am sharp! Let’s everyone come out and support our Veterans Legion, and take time to honor our American heroes!

On June 4th, Thursday, at 7pm is awards night at the HP auditorium. Come and support these students for all the hard work they have achieved. This year Roberts Post is awarding 4 scholarship awards to help further their education.

Important Dates: Roberts Post Jr. Legion Baseball begins June 1st; County Convention, June 6th, 9:00am at Utica Post 229; Department Convention July 15th – 18th Buffalo. NY.

In closing I can’t say enough for all the support the Legion has given me though out this year, we have done so much for our youth, community, and our veterans, who need us more and more every day! I’m proud to say that I’m a veteran and proud to be a member of Roberts Post #161. Remember our servicemen around the world who defend our freedom and pray for their safe return to us and their families.

Veterans Serving Veterans
Commander Richard Roberts


Ladies Auxiliary:

Ladies of 161, this is the last letter until September. It is so wonderful to see the grass getting green, the trees budding, and daffodils blooming. The last two months were busy and the next two months will also see a lot of activity.

Installation of officers will be May 9 at 5:00pm at the legion. Officers are: D. Roberts – President; A. Shaler – 1st Vice; S. Piseck – 2nd Vice; M. Herringshaw – 3rd Vice; R. Owen – Secretary; S. Wedgewood – Treasurer; K. Lemieux – Chaplain; K. Lemieux, Historian, and M. Clarke – Sgt-at-Arms. Thank you to my outgoing officers, you were amazing this year and made my job easier. I am looking forward to the new members getting involved and making the upcoming year as successful as last year. It will be quite exciting.

May is Poppy month and there will be Memorial Day activities. We are hoping to have our Junior Auxiliary members be the Poppy Princesses in the parade again, they were so cute and did a fantastic job last year. Our junior members were quite active this year making Christmas and Valentines cards for our veterans in area nursing homes and working fish fries. We hope to get them more involved in the coming months with some of the functions we do.

Alice does a terrific job as membership chair. It is not easy. We need members because some of us are getting older [imagine that] and can’t do as much as we used to or would like to. If you know anyone who might be interested in joining please tell them to get in touch with Alice or any member. At the June meeting we will be honoring our milestone members for their years of service. Alice also does a special presentation at a meeting when we have a new member join. We are a great team and we work together well for our veterans, our children, our active military, and our community.

We have held a few extra fundraisers this year and have been able to make more donations to organizations relying on help from outside sources. That is what we are all about – helping!

Department Convention is being held in Buffalo, N.Y. from July 15 – 18. Some of us will be going to that and hopefully we will come back with some new ideas and new ways to serve our veterans and the community where they live.

If you would like to send a “hello” or “thinking of you card” to Jack Boak, Sylvia Davis, Karen McMahon, Stan Brown, Ursula Walker, Rod Walker, Jane Drury, Jean Cady or any member of the legion – I’m sure it would brighten their day to know someone was thinking of them. Any of us would enjoy knowing that.

Our own Bobbie Owen, current 5th District President, will become past 5th District president in July, and her homecoming is being planned for Sept. 5, 2015 at the legion. Please try to attend this event, she has done a super job this year as their president and we need to show her how proud we are of what she has accomplished.

It has been a wonderful year and I am hoping to have a lot more events and good news to report to you in the September newsletter. Thank you for having confidence in me – you make me proud to be part of the Leon R. Roberts Unit 161 team.

Have a safe, healthy, and happy summer! Love to all of you.

Yours in service not self,
Debbie Roberts


Sons of the American Legion:

Pete Chambrone, Tom LaRock and I attended the fundraising dinner for the incoming Department Legion Commander Jim Yermas to meet him and hear some of his ideas.

My thanks to those who worked the Horseshoe Club dinner so we could attend the fund-raiser and thanks, also, to all that helped with the spring fish-fries. Our Squadron gained $155 from the 50/50s.

May 10 the SAL is doing a Mother’s Day Buffet Breakfast 8:00am till Noon. We need lots of help to man the kitchen and dining room and make this a success. Tickets are $8 with children under 5 free. Tickets are available at the bar for pre-sale. Members can sign out some tickets and do some pre-sales to help make this event a winner.

John Bieksza, Commander

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