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GOOD NEWS!: Businesses, fire dept. pool resources for veterans


By Melanie Lekocevic

Capital Region Independent Media

Members of the American Legion Post 1614 presented plaques of appreciation to the New Baltimore Fire Department, Auxiliary, C.A. Albright and Sons, and Precision Roads for their contributions to veterans. Melanie Lekocevic/Capital Region Independent Media

NEW BALTIMORE — A pair of local businesses and the New Baltimore Fire Department and its auxiliary united in a single cause — to support local veterans.

C.A. Albright and Sons, Precision Roads, the New Baltimore Fire Department and the New Baltimore Fire Department Auxiliary joined forces back in April to raise funds for the town’s American Legion Post and for other veterans.

The Legion members expressed their gratitude Aug. 14 at a ceremony honoring the businesses and the fire company for their contributions. Plaques were presented to each of the four recipients.

“In April of this year, the firehouse was going to be having a wings and pizza night,” said American Legion Post 1614 Commander Dan LaMora. “I was contacted by the firehouse and they said they would like to donate the proceeds to the American Legion Post. We said that is great. Then I got another call the next day and they said Albright’s and Sons and Precision Roads are stepping up and they are going to offset the expenses for the pizza and the wings.”

By donating the funds to pay for all the expenses, the proceeds from the event could go directly to the American Legion Post and its initiatives to aid veterans countywide.

“The money we accumulated is being used not only for the Post, but for the veterans’ services in Greene County,” LaMora said. “We also do a lot with the VA up in Albany at Christmastime.”

A total of $3,000 was raised and donated to the American Legion.

Pizza and wing nights are typically held at Cornell Hook and Ladder once a month, but the April fundraiser was a special one — it was dedicated to the memory of veteran and past assistant chief Fred Ingraham.

The fundraiser was held in memory of veteran and past assistant fire chief Fred Ingraham. Contributed photo

“We did this in memory of one of our past assistant chiefs, Fred Ingraham, who passed away in November of last year,” said Scott Van Wormer, president of Cornell Hook and Ladder. “He was a veteran and a member of the Legion and he was a big person in our fire company, so that was a way for us to give back in his name.”

Diana Van Wormer, from the fire department’s auxiliary, said the group’s members were happy to donate their time and efforts to aid veterans.

“They did everything for us,” she said. “They gave us our freedom so it’s our pleasure to give back to them.”

C.A. Albright and Sons and Precision Roads collaborated to donate all of the money for the supplies that made the pizza and wing night possible, and so all the proceeds could benefit the veterans.

Randy Lent, from C.A. Albright and Sons, is also a firefighter with the department and said when he had the opportunity to help veterans, he was all in.

“When they asked me about it, I said I was in — whatever they needed me to do, I would do,” Lent said. “Anything to do with veterans in our town is important. I will support them every day if I have to. The veterans in our town deserve everything they can get.”

Harry Lambert Jr., from Precision Roads, said he and Lent agreed they would cover the cost of expenses for the fundraiser and he was glad to do it.

“I was asked if I wanted to be involved and I said definitely. Anything for the veterans,” Lambert said. “We were up for whatever they needed — we just wanted to make sure they had everything they needed. When you can help, you should help. It’s our town and we all need to stick together.”

Award recipients were honored for their support and contributions to a pizza and wing night that raised $3,000 for local veterans. Melanie Lekocevic/Capital Region Independent Media

LaMora said the Legion was “flabbergasted” when they learned of the generosity of the businesses and the fire department.

“We were totally dumbfounded,” LaMora said. “But New Baltimore has a history of always supporting the Legion Post and the veterans in our community. And we are so glad to see that happen because you don’t really get that in larger communities, but in a place like New Baltimore? Yes, we do, and it’s totally appreciated.”

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