Generous Donation Made to the Friends!
The Sons of the American Legion based out of Westfield donated nearly $2,000 to the Holyoke Soldiers’ Home this week.
The donation, which totaled $1,776, was given by the Sons of the American Legion Squadron 124, which is a subsidiary organization of the Westfield-based American Legion Post 124, to the Friends of the Soldiers’ Home on Monday, Feb. 13. The money was raised through the organization’s third annual “Chot Baginski Ice Fishing Outing” that occurred Feb. 4
“We look out for our veterans that gave so much, and we look out for the residents at the Soldiers’ Home, some of which are Westfield residents, too,” Gene Theroux, Sons of the American Legion’s post commander, said about the fundraiser.
Theroux said that the organization has worked with the Soldiers’ Home since it was first erected in 1952, and was one of the main foci of the group since. The group raises money through the ice fishing outing, as well as other fundraising events, in order to assist those at the Soldiers’ Home who may not have assistance.
“Some of the residents that don’t have immediate relatives and no one can take care of them or provide them with basic essentials, we help provide them with that stuff,” Theroux said.
These essentials, including underwear, socks and toiletries, are usually provided by the Friends of the Soldiers’ Home, with fundraisers like the one the Sons of the American Legion had providing the money to purchase the essentials.
The ice fishing outing is done in honor of Baginski, who was a Korean War-era veteran, as well as longtime member of the American Legion Post 124. The outing also honors the memory of Walter J. Zarichak, a past commander of the Post and key influencer in the fundraising efforts for the Holyoke Soldiers’ Home, and current Post member Paul F. Fouche, Sr.
The ice fishing outing actually initially raised a different amount than the $1,776 reported, but Theroux said they couldn’t leave it at that number.
“The actual number that was raised was $1770,” he said. “We threw in another $6 to remember the founding of our country and the spirit of independence.”