New Castle News

January 15, 2014

American Legion post makes donations

By Staff
New Castle News

NEW CASTLE — Nearly $30,000 in donations were given to 19 community groups at an American Legion awards dinner Tuesday.

The Rev. William Schafer, vice commander of Perry S. Gaston Post 343 and master of ceremonies for the evening, said the post had raised the money through its biweekly bingo games. He explained the Pennsylvania Legislature requires 70 percent of proceeds from small games of chance be given as donations.

He said the American Legion board authorized him to decide who the recipients would be and he decided they should be local groups.

Recipients are: United Way of Lawrence County, New Castle Community Y, Croton Honor Roll, City Rescue Mission, New Castle Police Department, New Castle Fire Department, Jameson Health System, Jameson Hospital School of Nursing, Albert P. Gettings Memorial Fund, New Visions for Lawrence County, American Cancer Society of New Castle, Civilian Conservation Corps Scholarship Fund, ITAM, New Castle Area Honor Guard, Lawrence County Veterans Council, China Banquet, Lawrence County Historical Society, Children’s Dyslexia Center of Western Pennsylvania and the Mahoningtown Veterans Memorial.

The amounts of the donations were not made public.

The event included a dinner for 150 veterans and donation recipients. Schafer said one purpose of the donation was to bring veterans and civilians together.

The event also was the unveiling of an American Legion backdrop constructed by Schafer’s son, Nathan, who also lettered it and placed flags representing each branch of military service in front of it.

David Gettings and Doug McIltrot were on the program to sing patriotic songs. Others expected to attend were Lawrence County Common Pleas Court Judge Thomas Piccione and District Attorney Joshua Lamancusa, who are both veterans and post members, other county judges and New Castle Mayor Anthony Mastrangelo. The ceremony also was to include a tribute to member Sam Bonfield, who died last month.

Schafer said this is the post’s first awards dinner, but he would like to make it an annual event.