Editor's Note: The following release was submitted by the Peekskill school district. If you would like to post your news to Patch, click here.
A group of 14 Peekskill school district students from grades 6 - 12 visited the NYS Veterans Home at Montrose on Wednesday morning to distribute over 50 handcrafted cards to the Home’s residents. The cards were made in honor of Veterans Day by students at Woodside, Oakside and Hillcrest Elementary Schools, Peekskill Middle School and Peekskill High School during the children’s English classes.
The students passed out cards decorated with flags and inscribed with thanks as residents enjoyed their normally scheduled coffee hour. Some students even took cards room-to-room to ensure that everyone received a letter of appreciation.
“It’s really nice,” said Joseph McHenry, a WWII veteran and resident at the facility.
After the cards had been distributed, the students had the opportunity to meet with Edward Kloos, the Director of Therapeutic Recreation and Volunteers. Kloos took the students on a guided tour of the building and spoke to them about the volunteer opportunities available to them at the Veterans’ Home.
Guest speakers at the event included Assemblywoman Sandy Galef, and the Chairman of Senator Ball's Veterans Advisory Council and two time Purple Heart recipient, Eugene Parrotta. Peekskill City School District’s Superintendent, James Willis and Peekskill High School English Department Chair Todd Newby spoke at the event as well.
“This is something great that young people can do,” Parrotta said. “I can carry the word on about our veterans for only so long, and then it’s up to the next generation.”
Also joining PCSD students and staff at the Veterans Home were Peekskill High School Principal, Fred Hutchinson and PHS teacher, Allison Risoli who helped organize the event.
Superintendent Willis, a veteran himself, thanked his fellow veterans for their service to our country and thanked Peekskill’s students for their kind gestures and creative efforts.
Mr. Newby spoke to the students about celebrating and honoring our veterans and acknowledged the importance of passing on the knowledge of our vet’s sacrifices.
“I know that as an educator and a father, we need to teach every generation to celebrate the sacrifices veterans have made, honor the lives they’ve lived and acknowledge the roles they’ve played in defending our country and protecting the opportunities that are the foundation of this country,” Newby said.
“It’s nice to show our appreciation for the vets,” said Peekskill High School student, Mike Snell. “I can tell they were really happy.”
Kloos said that the event was “fantastic,” and that the residents were happy to have the students visit.
“So many of our residents are divorced from their families and friends,” Kloos said. “As they get older their friends pass away and families move, and they’re left feeling forgotten, but when groups like this come in, they say, ‘Hey, I’m not forgotten.’”
The NYS Veterans Home at Montrose is looking for volunteers. For more information or to volunteer contact Edward Kloos at (914) 788-6175 or email EKloos@nysvets.org.