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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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