More than three dozen members, family and friends of the Allegany District Masons and Eastern Star celebrated the Fourth of July holiday by providing a picnic lunch to the residents of the Bath Veterans Administration Medical Center.
They cooked, decorated, visited, served and transported via wheelchair residents to lunch. More than 150 veterans and their families — plus a number of hospital staff — were served grilled hot dogs and hamburgers, potato salad, baked beans, potato chips, pickles and homemade cookies at the outdoor pavilion.
The group of volunteers expresses that it was a great day to honor veterans and a great way to say thank you for their service to the nation.
One member of the group, Donald Beaver of Cuba, who chaired the event, says he has been helping out at the annual Fourth of July picnic at the Bath VA for more than 20 years.
“Over the years, there have been many organizations who have helped to support this outing,” he says, “including the Masons, Eastern Star, VFW, area legions, as well as a few companies and individuals.”
Some years they served barbecued chicken, some years they provided live music and some years they had special flag ceremonies.
“Each and every year the smiles and appreciation shown by the veterans make it all worthwhile,” Don says.
In addition to the volunteers, the organizers thanked Cuba Giant for its generous support by providing meat for the event, while Marie Nix, Edla Reynolds and Ken Babbitt offered up 60 pounds of potato salad.
Richard and Katie Hollis provided the baked beans, the Robert Baldwin family offered hamburger and hot dog rolls and Jeanne Irwin the sweet and dill pickles. Allegany OES District members and friends made cookies for the event as well.
Organizers were sure to thank all of the Allegany District Mason and OES District members, family and friends for their financial help and volunteer help, “which resulted in a great outing with our veterans at the Bath VA.”